An amputation is the removal of an injured or diseased body part. Typically, an amputation is carried out for one of the following reasons:
- The limb has been affected by gangrene (the body tissue begins to die due to loss of blood supply);
- The limb poses a life-threatening danger to your health (e.g. it has been affected by cancer or a serious infection);
- The limb has experienced serious trauma (e.g. a crush or blast wound).
Circa of 5-6,000 major limb amputations take place in the UK every year. 70% of lower limb amputations are performed due to loss of blood supply to the affected limb. 57% of upper limb amputations are carried out as a result of trauma.
People with diabetes are 15 times more likely to need an amputation than the general public. This is due to the possibility of the high blood glucose levels in diabetes to damage blood vessels, which may lead to a restriction in blood supply.
More than 50% of all amputations are performed on people aged 70 or over. Men are twice as likely to need amputation than women.
AFTER THE AMPUTATION
After an amputation, it may be possible to fit a prosthetic (artificial) limb onto the remaining base. Prosthetic limbs have become more and more sophisticated and can mimic a lot of functions of the hands, arms and legs (e.g. many people who have had a transtibial amputation can walk or ride a bike using a prosthetic limb).
Nevertheless, extensive course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation is necessary for the adjustment to life with a prosthetic limb. Moreover, it is a lot more energy-consuming to use a prosthetic limb because your body has to compensate for the lacking muscle and bone. Therefore, frail people or those with a serious medical condition, such as heart disease, may not be suitable for a prosthetic limb.
Your prospects after the amputation will generally depend on:
- Your age (younger people seem to meet the demands of adjusting to life with an amputation easier);
- How much of your limb has been removed (the less part of the limb is removed, the greater the range of movement in the prosthetic limb);
- How well you deal with the emotional and psychological effects of amputation;
Following an amputation, you may experience emotions such as grief and bereavement, similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Furthermore, a phantom limb (experiencing sensation of your limb still being attached to your body, often causing pain) is a frequent complication following an amputation.
HOW DOES AN AMPUTATION AFFECT YOU?
If you or a loved one suffers an amputation it may be difficult to know where and how to get the appropriate support. An event of a serious injury, such as an amputation, changes your whole life: even your everyday tasks and routine turn out to be difficult or even impossible. You experience severe changes to almost everything familiar: your home life, work, social life, transport, etc. Furthermore, it is essential that after the amputation you have access to the specialist care and services that you may need (rehabilitation or retraining; specialist equipment; private medical treatment and therapy; adaptations to your property; care support and assistance; extensive prosthesis, etc).
EXPERT LEGAL REPRESENTATION:
Amputation cases are typically exceptionally complex. Thus, they require a particular expertise and experience from the solicitors who undertake such claims. Compensation Solicitors Online is a well-established specialist in the area of amputation claims and our professionals are fully equipped to lead you all the way to the compensation which you deserve in this difficult time of your life. Furthermore, we understand that you need more than just money: we will advise you and support you all the way through your claim, by ensuring access to the appropriate medical and other expert support and to the crucial rehabilitation.
We can simplify the complexity of making an amputation claim and summarise it in three steps:
ESTABLISHING LIABILITY (WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCIDENT):
The first step is to show who was at fault for the accident to take place and to what degree. This is not necessarily straightforward and sometimes contributory negligence may be found (the victim has contributed to some extent to the harm that s/he has suffered). However, this concept only plays a role in calculating the compensation value and does not affect the establishing of liability.
SHOWING CAUSATION (SHOWING THAT THE ACCIDENT CAUSED THE AMPUTATION):
Once a degree of liability has been established, it must be demonstrated that the resulting amputation has been caused by the accident, and not by a previous medical condition or another accident, for example.
CALCULATING THE QUANTUM (ESTABLISHING THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION):
The compensation in such cases will have the purpose of attempting to put the claimant in the position s/he has been in before the accident. It is our specialist solicitors' job to liaise with medical and other experts in order to prepare a Schedule of Loss, setting out the solutions and costs to all problems which the claimant has or may have in the future, as a result of the accident.
Our expert solicitors have experience in achieving the best results in all the three steps of the process, thus ensuring that you get the best compensation which you deserve.
It is our priority to ensure that you get the right medical/rehabilitative treatment, as well as expert advice on nursing care and disability aids (e.g. wheel chair ramps, bathroom/car adaptations) as quickly as possible. This can make a real difference in your life.
There are a variety of funding options open to you. We will discuss these options with you in more detail and where appropriate represent you on a no win no fee basis (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).
An amputation claim can take years rather than months to finalise. The specialist solicitors from Compensation Solicitors Online always aim to establish a balance between the need to allow time for medical experts to examine and evaluate the full extent of the injury, and the client's interest of concluding the claim and moving on with their life.
There are two parts to any compensation claim, consisting of two types of damages:
General damages are calculated as a part of the compensation based on the type of injury and are designed to compensate for pain and suffering and the impact on the claimant's enjoyment of life.
Special damages are the more variable part of the compensation and depend on individual circumstances. The claimant may be able to recover:
- Expenses relating to the cost of living with any disability;
- Expenses to cover services provided by other people;
- Increased accommodation costs;
- Loss of earnings;
- Medical expenses;
- The cost of buying in care.
Establishing the level of special damages to be paid is a crucial part of a compensation claim. Compensation Solicitors Online have experience in compensation claims in cases of serious injury.
Generally, personal injury claims have a three year time limit i.e. court proceedings have to be issued at least one day before the third anniversary of the accident , otherwise they will be time barred and you will no longer be able to pursue your claim. (There are a few exceptions to this rule and the court does have some very limited discretion to extend the various time limits). You can still pursue a claim for personal injury after the third anniversary of the accident, you just have to make sure court proceedings have been issued before that third anniversary in order to do so. We will be happy to discuss this further with you.
If you are a minor at the time of the accident, i.e. under 18 then the 3 year limitation date period starts to run after you have turned 18. Furthermore, there also a complicated set of rules that allows the 3 years limitation date period to run from the date of knowledge of the incident/accident. These rules normally apply to clinical/medical negligence cases or industrial disease claims, where they may be a long latency period between the incident giving rise to your claim and you first suffering any symptoms and becoming aware of it. The rules on this are technical and we will, once again, be happy to discuss this in detail with you.
MAKE A CLAIM
If you would like to speak directly to a solicitor for a free and without obligation chat about your case call us on 0203 380 9406 or send us your details, with brief outline, by email to [email protected] and you will receive a prompt response.