While claiming compensation mightn’t be at the forefront of your mind after suffering an amputation, a prompt claim could ensure a better outcome for your rehabilitation, financial stability and your quality of life.
We want to ensure you live a full and independent life after amputation surgery, so we’ll help you access the very best physical and psychological care.
Our committed and approachable Solicitors will work tirelessly to get the right outcome for you and your family. And we’ll speak to you in plain English as we manage your claim, rather than legal jargon.
If you’ve suffered an injury that resulted in an amputation, the physical and mental effects are life-changing. So it’s vital for anyone who has undergone an amputation to receive the right support to maintain a good quality of life.
Some of the instances that can result in amputations include:
- A road traffic accident
- Being run over
- Getting your finger, toe, hand, foot or leg trapped in machinery
- Unsafe working conditions
- Dangerous, defective or unsafe products
- Surgical or medical negligence
- Injuries suffered whilst serving in the armed forces
If the situation that led to your amputation was caused by someone else’s negligence and therefore could have been avoided, you could be eligible for compensation.
Claiming compensation can ensure you receive the best medical care, support, aids and equipment and suitable accommodation.
We know this can seem a daunting and stressful process, but our team of specialist Solicitors are experienced enough to understand your complicated needs.
We pride ourselves on our ability to help clients with every aspect of their life, including recovery and rehabilitation.
Our Personal Injury Solicitors Can Help
- Ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our team always aims to calculate all of the potential losses injured people may be able to recover. This will help ensure you receive ample compensation that will help you get your life back on track and afford ongoing care.
- Connect you with relevant services and organisations: We can connect you with a strong support network that can give you the help you need to begin your rehabilitation.
- Advise on relevant community care services: Our community care team can talk you through the support you can receive from your local authority and ensure that you’re aware of the support services available in your area.
- Organise the best treatment: Getting specialist referrals in the same areas where you live can have an enormous impact on your recovery. Our team can work with Case Managers to arrange these appointments.
Rehabilitation and Other Support
Rehabilitation support can ensure you are as mobile and pain-free as possible. You could be treated by any one or more of the following professionals:
- Prosthetic rehabilitation specialist - The use of the prosthetics can enable people to return to the same activities and hobbies they enjoyed prior to their injury. Products purchased in the private sector can often be better fitted and more specialist. We work with prosthetic specialists at the cutting edge of technology to ensure you receive the best possible results.
- Physiotherapist - To help with physical problems such as restrictive movement, balance, weakness, stiffness or poor coordination.
- Occupational therapist (OT) - To help you make changes in your home to accommodate any new needs you may have. OTs can also assist you in the workplace if you’re able to return to work.
- Psychological therapist - You might be advised to have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you better cope with life after your injury and improve your mental wellbeing.
Additional Support We Can Help With:
Case Management: While your assigned Solicitor will build your case and seek fair compensation for your injury, a case manager will coordinate care from different providers, assist with the purchase of any specialist equipment, liaise with specialists, and recruit and train any care staff you may need.
Case management is an essential service that can help you through every step of your rehabilitation and the costs associated with this can be included within the claim.
Financial Planning: After your injury, you may not be able to return to work; in some instances this may be temporary, while more serious cases may mean you can’t ever regain full-time employment. In either of these instances, you could claim welfare benefits to help ease financial pressures and ensure you aren’t hit by a loss of earnings.
Our financial services team will be here to help you with any monetary queries throughout the claim process. We often refer our serious injury clients to our financial services team due to the large value of claims for long-term injuries.
Your compensation should provide you with long-term ongoing care, so it’s likely that you’ll get a very large lump sum that you’re expected to manage yourself and use for relevant medical care and assistance.
Our independent financial advisors are experts in handling serious personal injury cases and can provide advice every step of the way, from pre-settlement all the way through to after your case is resolved and you may need the establishment of a personal injury trust.
Our Welfare and Benefits Advisors can assist with any applications relating to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit.
This is the name for the type of amputation that happens at the point of the accident. The word 'traumatic' refers to the sudden and often violent nature of an unexpected event that has caused the loss of a person's limb.
Some situations in which a traumatic amputation can happen include:
- Road traffic accidents
- Explosions or other blast injuries
- Electric shocks
- Becoming trapped in a building or car
- Accidents involving machinery, often in the workplace
These types of amputations can be incredibly dangerous and are often life-threatening due to the loss of blood and the increased risk of infection. However, due to huge medical advances, survival rates have increased considerably in recent years.
If there’s no possibility of re-attaching the limb, the amputee will go through surgery in case there is a need to:
- Re-shape the bone on remaining limb
- Clean and close the wound
- Skin graft
The most common reason for needing a surgical amputation is through complications with the blood vessels or infections. If the blood supply to a limb has been lost, then the limb begins to die (necrosis) and this can’t be reversed.
There are also times when a person may have suffered an injury that warrants an amputation in order to save the person's life. This could be due to severe damage to bones and/or skin tissue. In this case, a surgeon will do everything in their power to save the limb and use amputation as a last resort.
There are times when a limb may be replanted (re-attached) if the limb has been preserved correctly. However, this kind of surgery isn’t always successful. The limb and its useful functionality will be monitored and if the limb doesn’t demonstrate its full and useful function, the decision may be made to amputate. This could take effect years after the initial injury.
Areas of Amputation
An amputation can happen to any part of the body's limbs and extremities (fingers and toes).
All amputations are categorised by the part of the body that is removed.
In all cases, surgeons will attempt to save as much of the injured limb as possible.
Shoulder disarticulation - the removal of the entire arm at the shoulder joint.
Forequarter - the removal of the entire arm and the shoulder including part of the shoulder blade and the collarbone.
Trans-humeral - the removal of the arm between the shoulder and elbow. The amputee will maintain the use of their shoulder.
Elbow disarticulation - the removal of the forearm through the elbow joint.
Transradial amputation - the amputation of part of the arm through the forearm. This could be anywhere between the elbow and hand.
Wrist disarticulation - the removal of the hand through the wrist joint.
Metacarpal - the amputation of the hand, but leaves the wrist intact.
Digit - the amputation of one (or more) of the fingers or the thumb. This term is used for any part of or the entire finger/thumb.
Hip disarticulation - the removal of the entire leg through the hip joint.
Transfemoral - the removal of the leg above the knee joint. The amputee will maintain full use of the hip.
Knee disarticulation - the amputation of the leg through the knee joint.
Transtibial - this amputation takes place between the knee and the foot. The amputee will maintain use of the knee joint.
Ankle disarticulation - this amputation occurs through the ankle joint, removing the foot.
Partial foot - an amputation where part of the foot is removed.
Digit - the amputation of one (or more) toes. This term is used for any part of or the entire toe.
What is Phantom Limb Pain?
Phantom limb pain can occur just a few days after surgery. It can also become apparent at a later stage. The pain can appear to occur in the missing limb, or survivors may find that they feel severe pain in their stump.
If pain appears to occur in the missing limb, this can be confusing and potentially distressing. This occurrence is normal and occurs in about 80% of amputees.
The pain can present itself in various different ways, including:
- Burning sensation
- Crushing feeling
- Stabbing pain
- Shooting pain
Whilst there has been a lot of research surrounding the phenomena, doctors are still unsure as to why it occurs. It’s understood that the pain comes from damaged nerve endings. This means that the source of the pain is in the brain and in turn, can be quite difficult to treat.
It’s important to speak with your doctor about any phantom limb pains felt after an amputation has taken place so that they can advise on the best course of action. The pain is a lot more difficult to treat once a year has passed after it was first felt.
Phantom limb pain is commonly treated with:
- Opoids - strong painkillers
- Anti-depressants - which are effective in treating pain as well as depression
- Anti-convulsants - usually used to treat epilepsy and pain caused by excessive nerve signal firing
- Anaesthetic - injecting anaesthetic around the stump nerve endings can block the pain signals being sent to the brain.
What are the psychological effects of amputation?
Understandably, an amputation can have a considerable emotional effect on amputees.
It’s often reported by survivors of an amputation that the sadness felt after surgery can be akin to that of bereavement, or the death of a loved one.
There’s a huge amount to process when you’ve undergone an amputation. Besides the obvious changes to your mobility, you also have to come to terms with a new sense of body image and accept that other people's perception of your body image may well change as well.
It’s common to have negative thoughts after an amputation and understandable too.
These kinds of negative thoughts can resonate in the form of:
- Feeling suicidal
It’s important to remember that whilst life may be very different after an amputation, amputees can live very full lives.
Help is available for amputees who are having trouble with coming to terms with their new futures. A doctor may prescribe anti-depressants or counselling.
There are also support groups organised by the Limbless Association, where support and advice can be provided.
What other health issues could I face after amputation?
As a result of the sensitive nature of stumps after surgery, it’s possible for the skin to break and wounds to be left open. This can lead to infection, which can often lead to further surgical procedures in order to ensure it doesn’t spread.
It’s important to report any potential infections to your doctor, as they can prevent amputees from using prosthetic limbs.
Sometime after surgery, the wound will heal and close. At this point, you will be provided with a compression garment for your stump, which should be worn every day, taken off at night and washed regularly.
People who have had an amputation are also at a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is the development of a blood blot in a vein. It can cause pain and swelling and lead to further complications such as a pulmonary embolism.
To treat DVT, the amputee will take anticoagulant medicines which reduce the body's ability to clot and stop any existing clots getting bigger.
We’re a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme and are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which means you have a team you can trust to act on your behalf.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the claims process?
After taking on your case, we need to know the full impact of your injury. So we’ll work with an independent medical expert to get objective evidence to support your claim.
Each claim is different so we can’t say exactly how long yours will take to resolve.
But rest assured that we’ll be at your side every step of the way.
- What funding is available?
Amputation claims can often be funded through a No Win, No Fee agreement - ask us for details.
- How Much Compensation Will I Get?
You may claim damages for loss of earnings, the cost of care and treatment and other financial expenditure, as well as compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by such severe injuries.
- What are interim payments?
Your serious injury claim may take some time to conclude, as we need to ensure that your medical condition has settled to a point where the experts can reasonably predict your long-term future.
But that doesn’t mean you need to be without any money until your injury claim is concluded. And this is where the benefit of interim payments comes into play.
Often, we’re able to achieve the payment of large interim payments at the early stages of your serious injury claim.
These often-needed funds will enable you to clear accumulated debts, meet your daily household expenses, pay for necessary equipment (such as wheelchairs or vehicles) or even fund the purchase of suitable accommodation.
In short, it means you can start on your road to recovery.
Interim payments will generally be achievable where liability has been admitted, the defendant is insured and it can be demonstrated that there is a reasonable need for the interim payment at this stage.
We’ll work with you on this and do our best to gain you an interim payment as early as possible during the claims process.
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