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How do I make a negligent amputation claim
If you or a member of your family has undergone an amputation which you suspect was due to negligence by a medical practitioner, you may be entitled to make a claim. Damages awarded in amputation claims cover financial compensation for particular injuries as well as the need to fund adaptations to the home or purchase specialist mobility equipment and prostheses.
Medical negligence claims are complex and demanding. The first thing to do is to contact an expert law firm like Access Legal which specialises in these sort of cases.
It is important that your chosen law firm has relationships with the appropriate medical and other experts who can be instructed to assess the right amount of damages you should claim. Their evidence will be absolutely crucial to the success of your claim and improving your chances of recovery and regaining as much independence as possible.
You normally have three years to issue a claim in Court from the date of the incident but you should seek further advice about this from your solicitor.
How long will my negligent amputation claim take
It is difficult to give a ‘standard timescale’ for these cases. Generally you have three years from the incident to bring a claim, so it is important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible. We will need medical evidence from independent experts to provide various reports. The expert will report on whether there is a case to be answered by the other side.
The likely contentious area in this type of claim is proving whether the loss of your limb is as a consequence of negligent treatment or not. We need to obtain evidence about your current condition and what the future holds for you. Even if liability is admitted quickly by the other side it can take several months to build up a whole picture about your current and future condition.
The way the other side responds to a negligent amputation claim also affects the time it takes to settle. Sometimes, they will make admissions based on our evidence and valuation. In other cases, they may require you to be assessed by their own expert and will value the case themselves. We will then enter into negotiations in order to try and reach a settlement. Sometimes this is not possible and we will need to ask a Judge in Court to decide at a trial.
The length of time spent in such negotiations can vary, but if we settle too early, we can’t re-open the claim and ask for more money should additional medical or practical problems arise. Access Legal will always aim to resolve your amputation claim as quickly as possible and will seek to obtain interim payments where admissions have been made so you don’t have to wait until the end of the process for starting to rebuild your life.
If I have a negligent amputation case
In order to establish whether you have a case for making a negligent amputation claim, with the support of Access Legal’s expert lawyers you have to show that it was the breach of the duty of care owed to you by the doctor or surgeon which directly caused the injury you suffered.
The onus will be on our expert medical negligence solicitors to prove your claim that 'on the balance of probability' (i.e. a greater than 50% likelihood) it was those failures, before, during or after surgery that were directly responsible for the otherwise unnecessary amputation. Since your negligent amputation claim concerns a medical or surgical procedure, the most important evidence to support it will come from independent medical experts whose opinions will be crucial.
The claim for compensation will include an award for your pain and suffering and to ensure that your quality of life is maintained to as high a standard as possible. This will take into account any financial losses and will also include any past and future costs of treatment, rehabilitation and care, adaptations to the home, and state-of-the-art prostheses that may be required.
Your legal team must possess an understanding of complex medical terminology and evidence as well as the law. Accreditation by the Law Society or patient safety charity AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) will be a good indicator that your medical negligence solicitors have the necessary expertise and experience to handle your case.
More about negligent amputation claims
Although extremely rare, there have been cases where a surgeon has mistakenly amputated the wrong limb. This is a NHS ‘never event’ (i.e. something that should never, ever, happen).
Negligent amputation claims can also result from an avoidable surgical error during an otherwise routine procedure or as a consequence of misdiagnosis, negligent delays in treatment or some other medical mistake by hospital staff or a GP.
Diabetes is a leading cause of amputation. Diabetics must take particularly good care of their feet and need specialist medical attention if they suffer an injury, infection or ulcer on their feet or legs. If medical practitioners fail to diagnose the disease or treat these complications, an avoidable surgical amputation may occur.
The loss of a limb can have an extensive psychological, physical and financial impact on an individual and their family. Getting used to a prosthesis and the psychological problems such as phantom limb pain or phantom limb sensation can be difficult to come to terms with.
Access Legal’s expert medical negligence lawyers are experienced in dealing with amputation claims and aim to support your medical, social and personal needs by securing early intervention and rehabilitation to help you overcome the obvious problems and challenges that the loss of a limb presents.
Our client, Mr John Simon, received £150,000 compensation after he suffered an unnecessary lower limb amputation after negligence by the Kettering General Hospital A&E department. Find out how Access Legal Solicitors' medical negligence experts helped Mr Simon with his case here.
'Access Legal Solicitors got me the rehab I needed and really helped with my family. They were fantastic throughout.'
Access Legal's clinical negligence solicitors are recognised to be among the best in this field and have excellent relationships with a range of different experts who can assist in negligent amputation claims.Why Access Legal