Failure to diagnose and treat an Arterial Occlusion resulting in a lower leg amputation – settled for £715,000
Substantial settlement for above the knee amputation - failure to treat a peri-operative infection
Medical Negligence and Personal Injury claims: Limitation period
It takes courage to get back on the road
We act for people who have lost limbs through injury or medical negligence.
Any limb loss will impact on daily activities and may also have significant psychological impact. Difficulty returning to work or carrying out caring responsibilities are some of the possible life changing effects.
Children who have lost limbs may need extra help with education, physical activities, and socialising.
We support you through the process of bringing a claim, to enable you to obtain much needed compensation to adapt to life with these injuries. Our expertise is recognised by legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers UK We are also signatories to the Serious Injury Guide.
If you or a family member has suffered limb loss through an injury or negligent medical treatment, please contact us to discuss how we can help.
Situations in which we often assist
Partial or full loss of a limb can occur as a result of a negligently caused accident or through a poor standard of medical treatment. Sometimes there was a failure to provide treatment that would have protected the limb.
Limb loss can also occur as part of a more complex set of injuries, such as neurological (brain) injuries. In these cases, it is necessary to understand fully how all of the injures together have affected a person’s life.
Some of the ways in which the amputation of a limb may be caused, include:
- Road traffic accidents
- Accidents in the workplace or other places outside the home
- Failures in treatment of meningitis or sepsis
- Failure to adequately treat thrombosis
- A delay in the diagnosis or treatment of vascular disease
Your case will be investigated by our specialist lawyers, led by a partner. This typically involves working with experienced experts (such as orthopaedic surgeons, accident investigators, orthotics and prosthetics specialists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) to understand your injury. We consider how the injury was caused and its impact on your life.
We also calculate the amount of funds required to put in place an individualised package of high quality care and support.
Compensation may also be claimed for losses, such as lost earnings or pension.
Limb loss is an area in which there are rapid technological developments. Claims for compensation may include state of the art prosthetics, including skin matching cosmetic covers, and specialist limbs for activities such as sports.
For further information about compensation we have secured for clients with limb loss, see cases we have acted in.
LIMB AMPUTATION FAQS
How long do I have to bring the claim?
There are strict time limits for bringing a negligence claim for injury in England and Wales. This is called the limitation period.
For adults, the usual rule is that a claim must be formally started at Court within three years of the date the negligence occurred, or the date on which the injured person should reasonably have been aware that there might be grounds to bring a claim (if that date is later).
If a child is injured by negligence, they usually have until their 21st birthday to formally start their claim at Court.
There are circumstances in which the rules differ; for example, where the claim is for someone who does not have mental capacity to bring a legal claim.
It takes time to investigate a claim, so you should contact us as soon as possible.
Can I bring a claim on behalf of a child or a family member who is not able to do it themselves?
If a claim relates to injuries suffered by a child or an adult who does not have ‘mental capacity’; a family member (or other trusted person) can act as a ‘Litigation Friend’ and bring the claim on their behalf
If you are unsure about whether you can bring a claim on someone else’s behalf, we will be able to advise you.
What is the process for bringing a claim?
We start by obtaining evidence such as medical records, accident reports, witness statements and expert evidence to prove that your injury was caused by negligence.
We also calculate the amount of compensation that can be claimed. Typically this involves instructing experienced experts to advise on your needs, in order to maximise the level of compensation. We then try to reach a financial settlement with the Defendant (the individual or organisation legally responsible for the injury) or their insurer.
In some cases, settlement is agreed at an early stage. In other circumstances, it may be necessary to begin Court proceedings.
For further information on this process, read our Guide to Making a Claim.
Will my case be decided by the Court?
Probably not. The vast majority of personal injury and medical negligence claims are not decided by the Court.
Successful claims are usually resolved by agreement of a settlement either before or during formal Court proceedings.
Occasionally, the Court will decide a case, if it cannot be resolved any other way.
How is the amount of compensation decided?
We will tailor the compensation claim to meet your needs.
The first step is to consider how the amputation has affected your life and whether those effects will change in the future. We then calculate the amount of funds required to meet your additional needs and compensate you. Depending upon your circumstances, this may include funds for:
- Private care
- Private therapies and medical treatment
- Specialist equipment and vehicles
- Adapted accommodation
- Support with education or work (if that is possible for you)
- Compensation for loss of earnings and pension
- Compensation for losses in self-employment
We regularly use leading experts and barristers to assist in identifying all aspects of an injured person’s needs.
I am struggling with the effect of limb loss. Will it take a long time before my case is concluded?
Medical negligence and personal injury claims typically involve detailed investigation and expert evidence. They often take several years to resolve.
Our approach is to seek an admission of liability (i.e. confirmation that negligence occurred and caused injury) as early as possible in the process.
When liability is established, the Defendant usually has to pay part of the compensation immediately. This allows your needs to begin to be met while the work to quantify the full amount of compensation continues.
How do I access medical records?
Medical records are usually the starting point for our investigation of a claim. With your permission, we request these records directly from the treatment provider(s).
Our clients sometimes wish to obtain copies of the records themselves before deciding whether to begin a claim. Please see our Guide to Accessing Medical Records for further information on how to request records.
Other organisations and resources that may help
- The Limbless Association
- DEMAND (Design and Manufacture for Disability)
- AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents)
- APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
- Serious Injury Guide
Eurydice Cote (Français)
Partner and Head of Department
"The ‘confident and efficient’ team is ‘extremely experienced in handling high-value and complex cases’"
Legal 500 UK
Latest blogs & news
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Much has been said about the 2020 Court of Appeal judgment in Swift dealing with the disputed method by which claims for the cost of special accommodation following severe injuries are calculated, and rightly so; it was a privilege for one of the authors of this article to work on a case of such wide application and with such benefit for so many Claimants.
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