When you have been in a really bad auto accident, lawyers try to make the situation better. They want to help you sue the parties responsible, especially when the accident causes a physical disability. When you have your auto accident lawyer file a lawsuit, he or she will need to know if you have "loss of limb" or "loss of use of a limb." Here are the differences, why it matters to your lawsuit, and how it determines how much compensation you can request in your lawsuit.
Loss of Limb
Loss of limb means exactly how it sounds. In the course of your accident, either the other driver sheared off a hand, arm, foot, or leg with such force that you lost the limb entirely, or that the loose and dangling limb had to be amputated. Either way, you can sue for the loss of your limb in addition to lifelong compensation for lost wages, lost the ability to work, medical expenses, and medical equipment such as the prosthetic(s) to which you will be fitted.
You can also sue for psychological treatments and medications. It is quite traumatic to lose a limb, and you will need emotional and psychological support during this time. Any physical therapy your doctor prescribes and for which your insurance will not pay, you can add that to the list of compensation measures you expect.
Loss of Use
Loss of use is different from the loss of a limb in that loss of use refers to the fact that you still have a limb. The only problem is that this limb was so horribly damaged in the accident you cannot use it to lift anything or carry anything. It remains part of you, but only because your body did not reject it after being crushed. The nerves and blood vessels survived, and the bones were able to stitch back together. Still, the muscles have degraded or they needed to be removed to save the limb. Hence, you can no longer use the limb like you used to, but you still have it.
In this case, you will receive less compensation than if you had lost the limb entirely. You can sue for most of the things previously mentioned in the "loss of limb" section above. The exceptions are medical equipment and prosthetics since you will not need these items and lifelong compensation for work you are no longer able to do.