If an injury results in a loss of a limb then the consequences are both life changing and traumatic. In many cases it leads to post traumatic stress disorder.
No-one can underestimate the devastation experienced by someone who has lost an arm or leg which not only affects their quality of life but of those close to them.
Whatever the cause of the injury the aftermath means months of lengthy rehabilitation, learning to use a prosthetic and adjusting to their altered circumstances. If this has happened to you then it means coming to terms with your injury and looking at ways of rebuilding your life.
If you have had to undergo an amputation due to an injury which was not your fault then you may be able to claim compensation.
An amputation is a medical term for the removal of a body part, e.g. arm or leg as a result of an accident or via a surgical operation. The most common types of amputation are fingers, toes, arms and legs.
An amputation occurs for the following reasons:
A limb, e.g. hand may have to be removed during surgery if it is too badly damaged to be saved or if it has become seriously infected. In those cases treatment is ineffective and surgery may be needed to prevent the risk of further injury to the patient.
Surgical amputation is often performed in life threatening situations.
An accident can result in an impromptu amputation: in other words, an arm or leg may have been torn off as a result of some form of trauma. Types of trauma include road traffic accidents and workplace accidents.
Examples of these include the loss of a limb via a motorcycle accident or if a limb becomes trapped in industrial machinery.
If there is evidence to show that negligence caused your amputation then you may be entitled to compensation.
Impact of an amputation
An amputation has serious consequences for both the person who is affected and their family. It causes a great deal of physical and mental distress not to mention the accompanying emotional upset caused by this life changing injury.
There is the pain of the injury itself which is a distressing affair. But there are other factors to think about as well which include:
- Loss of earnings
- Changes to lifestyle
If your injury forces you to change jobs or leave work altogether then this drop in earnings will impact upon your standard of living. You may have to give up a well paid job for something which is better suited to your changed circumstances but at a lower rate of pay.
An amputation means long term rehabilitation such as physiotherapy, medication and plastic surgery to repair any scarring. This deals with the physical aspects of the injury but the psychological aspects cannot be ignored.
Anyone who has lost a limb often experiences what is known as ‘phantom pain’where they imagine they can feel pain or sensation in the injured limb even though it is has been removed.
Plus there are the feelings of anger, embarrassment and lack of self-esteem that losing a limb engenders. Some people feel self-conscious about appearing in public following an amputation or inferior in some way. Counselling can help in these situations.
An injury of this magnitude means lifestyle changes such as modifications to the home; using a specialist aid such as a walking stick and adapting to a prosthetic limb. All of these are expensive although compensation may cover these costs and any others.
Making a claim for compensation for amputation
Compensation can help to cover the cost of treatment and other forms of rehabilitation following an amputation. It can be used to pay for private treatment, alterations to your home, specialist care and your prosthesis.
All of these are vital in enabling you to rebuild your life and adapt to your new circumstances following your injury.
To make a claim for compensation for this personal injury, find a solicitor or law firm who have expertise and understanding in these types of claims. They will have dealt with compensation claims of this type and will be fully aware of the many issues involved.
They should handle your claim with tact and sensitivity and recognise the effect this has had upon you and your family. They will understand that it is a life changing situation which requires a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
The lawyer or solicitor will assess your claim and examine any evidence to support it. He or she will be able to advise you about the likely outcome of your claim and keep you updated as it progresses.
Time limit for claiming compensation for an amputation
There are strict guidelines regarding personal injury claims. Most claims have a 3 year time limit which starts from the date of the original accident.
Consult with your lawyer or solicitor about the time limit for your type of claim.
Personal Injury Guide
- Guide to Personal Injury
- What is personal injury?
- Types of personal injury
- Accident or negligence?
- Decisions about personal injury
- Complaint about personal injury
- Making a claim for compensation
- Personal injury claim process
- Taking legal action
- Personal injury lawyer
- Choosing a solicitor
- Legal costs for a personal injury
- No win no fee
- Compensation payout
- Using a claims assessor
- Criminal injuries compensation authority
- Criminal compensation order
- Specialist compensation
- Financial problems from personal injury
- Support and counselling for personal injury
- What is compensation culture?
- Personal injury fact and fiction
- Personal injury FAQs
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