If you’ve suffered an injury that led to an amputation, the physical and mental effects can be huge.
We have a dedicated major trauma service with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Solicitors, and we’re here to help you claim compensation, so you can get the best and most innovative medical care, support and rehabilitation, to help you live your life to its fullest.
Get in touch with us for a free claims assessment, so we can discuss what’s happened to you and how our dedicated major trauma team can work on your behalf and get you the justice and compensation you need.
We can usually deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, so call us today.
Meet some of our Serious Injury Solicitors
We’ve helped countless people who’ve had suffered the loss of a limb, finger or toe resulting from various situations, such as:
- Road traffic accidents
- Limbs or digits being injured from being trapped in machinery
- Diggers overturning
- Farming accidents
- Unsafe working conditions
- Dangerous, defective or unsafe products
- Medical negligence
- Injured in the Armed Forces
We understand that claiming compensation can be daunting, especially after going through a life-changing experience, but our expert Solicitors are hugely experienced in this field, and aim to make the process as stress-free for you as possible.
Why Choose Simpson Millar?
- Our dedicated major trauma unit includes not just our leading Personal Injury Solicitors, but other specialists who can meet all your legal needs, such as making a Will or setting up a Personal Injury Trust
- We’ll help you access and fund the very best physical and psychological care so you can live a full and independent life after an amputation
- Our friendly team of experts will explain everything fully in plain, easy to understand language so understand what’s happening at every stage of your claim
- Some of our team are also members of groups including the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society
- We can visit you at home or in hospital (in England or Wales) or talk on the phone or by video call – whatever works best for you
- We can help you find support networks in your area, including charities and community care services
- Our team can work with case managers to arrange appointments with specialists who can aid your recovery, and advise on what state benefits you could claim following your amputation, such as Universal Credit.
Major Trauma Unit - Your Lawyers For Life
Our Major Trauma Unit is here for anyone who has suffered serious, life changing injuries.
A specialist, experienced lawyer will help and support you every step of the way from the beginning of your claim, right through to the end.
Because we have a wide range of expertise in the firm, we can help you to deal with any legal issues that arise because of your injury such as making sure you have a personal injury trust in place, any employment law issues or making or reviewing a Will.
Phil's Story - Life after Amputation
Phil is a 73 year old man who had to have his leg amputated after a driver fell asleep at the wheel of his car and collided with his motorcycle. Phil talks about the collision, his recovery and his life with his wife Suzy and their Cockerpoo Sadie, after losing his leg. He’s back riding, only a year after losing his leg, on his brand new Trike.Read More
Passenger in Car Crash has Below Knee Amputation
A man in his 20s was badly injured when the driver of the car he was travelling in lost control. He had to have several operations over the next few years, including a below the knee amputation of his left leg. With our help, he received £2.4 million in compensation, which will help him meet his day-to-day living costs and access the care and support he needs to live independently.Read More
Toe Amputation in Accident at Work
Our client was hit by moving machinery at work and one of his toes had to be amputated. He continued suffering symptoms in his foot, including constant pain, swelling and loss of sensation on the ball of his foot. Following negotiations he took a compensation settlement of £110,000.Read More
What Rehabilitation and Support Can We Help You Access and Fund?
Rehabilitation support can make sure you’re as mobile and pain-free as possible. So we’ll consider how much this costs when we’re valuing your compensation claim.
You could be treated by any one or more of the following professionals:
- Prosthetic rehabilitation Specialist- Prosthetics can help people return to the same activities and hobbies they enjoyed before they were injured. We work with prosthetic specialists at the cutting edge of technology to make sure you receive the best possible results.
- Physiotherapist- To help you if you’re suffering physical problems such as restrictive movement, balance, weakness, stiffness or poor coordination.
- Occupational Therapist (OT)- An OT can help you make changes to your home where necessary, and help you if you’re planning to return to work.
- Psychological Therapist- The emotional impact of an amputation can be just as significant as the physical effects, so we want to make sure get the psychological treatment you may need, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
- Accommodation Expert – an accommodation expert can help give advice on suitable alternative accommodation, if needed.
A case manager to be brought in to arrange all this for you, finding the right specialists, booking appointments and buying specialist equipment on your behalf.
Getting Your Prosthesis
When we negotiate your compensation claim, we know that your needs will develop throughout your lifetime and you will almost certainly need to change or update your prosthetic.
We will work with you to understand exactly what your social and occupational needs are and we’ll talk through any hobbies you have which may need specialist prosthetics.
Once we understand your lifestyle, we can get specialist advice on the types of prosthetics that will fit your lifestyle and also understand the costs involved.
This is often one of the biggest costs involved after an amputation, so it’s very important to get all the information right so that all the costs can be factored in.
Elective Amputations and Compensation
Even if you decided to have an elective amputation because of pain levels or infection, you could still claim compensation if your injury was caused in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Don't Just Take Our Word For It - See What Our Clients Say
This type of amputation 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.
If there’s no possibility of re-attaching the limb, you’ll 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 an injury that warrants an amputation in order to save the person's life. This could be due to severe damage to bones, skin or tissue. In this case, a surgeon will do everything in their power to save the limb and use amputation as a last resort.
A limb can be replanted (re-attached) if it’s been preserved correctly, but this kind of surgery isn’t always successful. The limb and its functionality will be monitored and if it doesn’t demonstrate its full and useful function, the decision may be made to amputate. This could happen 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) and they 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.
- Upper-limb Amputation
- 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.
- Lower-limb Amputation
- 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.
Phantom Limb Pain After Amputation
Phantom limb pain can happen just a few days after surgery, or at a later stage. The pain appear to happen in the missing limb, or show as severe pain in their stump.
When pain seems to happen in the missing limb, this can be confusing and distressing, but it’s normal and happens to about 80% of amputees.
The pain can present itself in various different ways, including:
- Burning sensation
- Crushing feeling
- Stabbing pain
- Shooting pain
Doctors still aren’t sure why it happens, but they do know that the pain comes from damaged nerve endings. This means that the source of the pain is in the brain and because of this, it can be quite difficult to treat.
Speak with your doctor about any phantom limb pains so that they can help you as 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 opioids strong painkillers, anti-depressants, which are effective in treating pain as well as depression, anti-convulsants used to treat pain caused by excessive nerve signal firing and injecting anaesthetic around the stump nerve endings can block the pain signals being sent to the brain.
Psychological Effects of Amputation
Understandably, losing a limb can have a considerable emotional effect. Survivors of an amputation often say that the sadness they feel after surgery can like a 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, you can still live a very full life.
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 given.
Other Health Issues 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 to make sure the infection doesn’t spread. Report any potential infections to your doctor, as they can stop you using your prosthesis.
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.
Anticoagulants are used to treat DVT – they will reduce the body's ability to clot and stop any existing clots getting bigger.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.