In this guide, we will look at the amputation claims process. If you were injured as a result of negligence and this caused you to suffer a surgical or traumatic amputation, then you may be able to claim.
There are a variety of different scenarios in which a duty of care applies, meaning that someone has a responsibility toward your safety. A breach of duty of care is an example of negligence; we will provide examples of how this could occur later on in this guide.
Contact our team of advisors today. Available 24/7, they can grant you a free consultation with no obligation to pursue a claim.
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Amputation is the loss or removal of a body part. Amputation can either be traumatic or surgical.
Traumatic amputation is where the body part is lost in an accident. For example, a traumatic hand amputation could occur in a multi-car pile-up if the hand is severed by sharp or twisted metal.
Surgical amputation is one that occurs in a hospital. You may have a limb surgically amputated if you were involved in an accident and your limb sustained a crush injury that it cannot recover and must be amputated.
In some cases, amputation is not necessitated because of an accident caused by a breach of duty of care, but by medical negligence. This is where a healthcare professional provides a level of care that falls below the standard that is expected.
Read on for more information on the circumstances that could entitle you to claim, please read on. You can also contact our team for free legal advice on amputation claims.
An amputation at work, for example, a partial finger amputation, is a potentially life-changing kind of workplace injury. If you suffer this kind of injury because of employer negligence, then you may be able to claim compensation.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) outlines the duty of care that employers owe their workers. It states that employers are responsible for the health and safety of all their employees and need to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety in the workplace.
Some of the steps that employers are expected to take as part of this duty of care include:
- Machine maintenance. It is the duty of an employer to ensure that any equipment that employees use is safe and well-maintained. Failure to do so could result in the loss of a limb due to faulty machinery. For example, if the automatic stop function on a table saw was faulty, and this was missed because a scheduled check was not performed, an amputation could happen as a result.
- Providing suitable and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Your employer must provide you with the equipment you need to do your role safely. If they fail to provide you with PPE, or if the PPE they give you isn’t fit for purpose, then this could lead to an injury.
- Adequately training employees. Workers must be trained to correctly and safely do their jobs. If employees are given no training, or aren’t given the right training in the correct field, this could lead to an amputation.
If you’d like to know more about amputation claims and when they could be justified, speak with an advisor today. If you have a valid case, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to the patients that they treat. A breach of this duty of care that causes unnecessary harm is known as medical negligence.
For example, you may go to seek medical attention with clear symptoms of bone cancer. However, your doctor fails to listen to your symptoms and ignores them, resulting in a negligent misdiagnosis.
As a result, the condition progresses without treatment. When it is eventually diagnosed, you require amputation which you would not have needed if it had not been for the negligence.
In some cases, you might claim compensation if you needed an amputation, but the wrong part of the body was removed in the procedure. For example, you go into an operation needing your left leg amputated, but the surgeon removes the right one.
This is known as a never event. A never event is defined by the NHS as something that would not have happened if the proper guidelines and frameworks were followed. They should be entirely avoidable and, as a result, never events are always examples of negligence.
For more information on claiming for an amputation caused by medical negligence, speak with an advisor today. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
To pursue amputation compensation, you must prove that the following criteria apply:
- You were owed a duty of care
- This duty of care was breached
- You suffered an amputation as a result of this breach
It is important to note the claim time limits that apply to starting a claim. The personal injury claims time limit is the same as the time limit that applies to medical negligence. This is generally three years from the date of the incident or from the date you connected negligence with the injury you sustained.
If you were under 18 when the incident happened, you cannot represent yourself in a claim. However, a litigation friend could pursue a claim on your behalf while you’re under 18. While you’re still a minor, the time limit is suspended and starts again if you turn 18, and no claim has been made.
Similarly, a litigation friend can be used to claim on behalf of someone without the mental capacity to claim. The time limit resumes in the event they regain their mental capacity; otherwise, it’s indefinitely suspended.
For more information on the time limits that apply to starting amputation claims, speak with one of our advisors today.
The settlement that could be awarded in amputation claims can be split into two heads. These are general and special damages.
General damages are awarded to compensate for pain, suffering and a loss of amenity caused by your physical and psychological injuries. Legal professionals value this head with the help of a document called the Judicial College Guidelines.
We’ve used excerpts from these guidelines to create the table below. However, you should be aware that these are not guarantees and the amount you receive in your claim may differ.
Injury Compensation Bracket Notes
Amputation of Arms (a) £240,790 to £300,000 Loss of both arms. A person who is fully aware moves to a state of considerable helplessness.
Amputation of Arms (b) Not less than £137,160 An amputation of one arm at the shoulder.
Hand Injuries (a) £140,660 to £201,490 Total loss of both hands.
Hand injuries (c) £96,160 to £109,650 Total loss of one hand.
Hand Injury (d) £61,910 to £90,750 The hand is rendered of little use following an amputation of the index and middle/or ring fingers.
Leg Injuries (a) £240,790 to £282,010 Loss of both legs above the knee or where one is lost to a high level above the knee and the other below the knee.
Leg Injuries (a) £201,490 to £270,100 Amputation of both legs below the knee.
Leg Injuries (a) £104,830 to £137,470 Above-knee amputation of one leg. The level of amputation, severity of phantom pains and associated psychological problems will affect the award.
Leg Injuries (a) £97,980 to £132,990 Below knee amputation of one leg. A straightforward case of a below knee amputation with no complications would justify an award at the bottom of this bracket.
Foot Injury (a) £169,400 to £201,490 Amputation of both feet. This injury is treated similarly to a below-knee amputation of both legs because the common feature is loss of a useful ankle joint.
Special damages can be claimed alongside general damages; however, a successful claim does not guarantee they are awarded. Special damages compensate for financial losses attributed to your injury, such as:
- Loss of earnings including future income.
- Transport to and from medical appointments.
- Medical costs include procedures not covered by the NHS, such as surgery to reduce severe scarring.
Should you decide to pursue legal action, you may consider hiring a solicitor to represent you. If you have a strong case, said solicitor may offer to take you on with a No Win No Fee agreement.
This is an umbrella term which encompasses Conditional Fee Agreements. With this kind of agreement in place, there are no upfront or ongoing fees to pay to your lawyer.
Furthermore, if your claim fails, you won’t be asked to pay your lawyer for their services. Only if you’re awarded compensation will you have to pay; then, a legally-capped percentage of your award will be taken by your lawyer.
For more information on amputation claims, speak with an advisor today.
You can get in touch in the following ways:
- Via telephone at 0161 696 9685
- Contact us online
- Use the live chat feature at the bottom of this page
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If you have any more questions about amputation claims, speak with one of our advisors today.
Written by RW
Edited by FS