Suffering a motorcycle accident, an accident at work or a mistake from a medical professional can be incredibly distressing, but when that incident results in amputation, the consequences can be devastating. An amputation can have a serious impact on your life, your loved ones and your independence.
At Fletchers, our team of specialist serious injury & medical negligence solicitors will take the stress out of the claims process. We have over 30 years’ experience dealing with amputation cases, so you can rest assured we’ll bring the best legal minds to your case.
What is an amputation compensation claim?
An amputation is the surgical removal of part of the body, such as an arm or leg. In very serious accidents, an amputation can also be ‘traumatic’, where the limb is lost in the accident itself. This can be common in motorcycle accidents.
Medical negligence can result in amputation if there is a failure by medical staff to identify and treat your symptoms. For example, a failure to diagnose infection in a wound, issues relating to circulation or the mismanagement of diabetes or misdiagnosis of cancer may result in an amputation.
Medical mistakes that result in amputation can leave an overwhelming impact on patients and their families.
People may suffer psychologically, as they come to terms with losing a limb, and they may have difficulty finding a suitable prosthetic limb. They may need to make adjustments to their lifestyles, such as having to change their job or retrain, or they may need to change or modify their home. Patients will almost certainly need to undergo extensive rehabilitation. They may also need a new or modified vehicle and require a substantial care package tailored to their needs. An amputee may also experience difficulties with phantom limb pain and contracture.
Different types of amputation compensation claims
Most of the amputation cases that we deal with are either caused by serious accidents such as motorcycle accidents or accidents at work, or by medical negligence. If you’ve undergone an amputation due to medical negligence, or negligence has occurred during the aftercare of your amputation, then you may be able to claim compensation. If your amputation was caused in an accident that was not your fault, then you should be able to claim compensation.
Compensation is not only for your pain and suffering, but is also crucially for the adjustments needed for your lifestyle and future care and treatment. It may be that as a result of an amputation, you need to make changes to your home to assist your new lifestyle. Accommodation experts can provide evidence on this and may decide that single level accommodation is required, as well as modifications and adjustments. These adjustments can significantly improve quality of life.
Patients may also need a new or adapted vehicle following an amputation to help them adjust to their circumstances and regain independence. We regularly obtain payments from the negligent party for adapted cars, motorcycles and bicycles that are able to be used following the loss of a limb.
Following an amputation, some patients may require private sector care to help them with tasks that they would have previously carried out themselves. Our legal team will work with specialist care experts to assess your current and future needs.
Many people who have undergone amputation surgery, report feelings of grief and bereavement. Some may experience feelings of depression, anxiety, denial and feeling suicidal. As a result, it is very important for those who have undergone amputation surgery to speak to their care team about their feelings. It may be that they need additional treatment, such as antidepressants or counselling, to improve their ability to cope.
Is there a time limit on making an amputation compensation claim?
It is important to remember that a claim for negligence must be made within three years of the accident, or with medical negligence, the date which you became aware of the mistake affecting you. This is known as the “date of knowledge”.
However, if the claim relates to a child under the age of 18, the time limit for bringing a claim will not begin to run until their 18th birthday.
If the person involved does not have the mental capacity to recognise the mistake, there can be no time limit.
If you’re unsure about the timescales of your case or if there is any ambiguity around the details of your case, our dedicated legal advisors can quickly assess the facts of your case to help you understand if you have a claim.