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Amputation and Loss of Limb Claims

Serious injuries sustained at work, in a car crash, due to a natural disaster or any other type of accident can sometimes sadly result in the amputation of a limb. Whatever the cause, you will find that limb loss is one of the most difficult injuries to come to terms with.

There were 27,465 amputations made in England between 2015 and 2018. While some of these were related to diabetes and other medical issues, many were due to personal injury and accidents at  work or public places. Common body parts amputated include fingers and toes, hands, arms and legs.
 
It can be a devastating and traumatic experience and you may be owed amputation compensation to help support your rehabilitation and changes to your livelihood as an amputee.  
 
Our specialist amputation legal team offers expertise with a human touch. We have a wide range of experience acting for amputees, knowledge of experts working in the field and an understanding of what needs to be done to maximise our clients' rehabilitation and damages awarded.
 
Ready to talk? Speak to one of our expert amputation lawyers about your claim. Call 020 7650 1200 or 





Amputation injuries at  work

Amputation injuries often take place in the most dangerous work settings such as factories, mines, farms, construction sites and in workplaces that use heavy machinery or forklift trucks to move heavy loads. They can also occur in offices and more sedate environments in accidents. 

If you’ve undergone an amputation following an accident at work due to negligence, then you may be able to bring a successful amputation compensation claim. Examples of negligence could include a failure to:
 
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Maintain and protect workers from dangerous machinery
  • Offer sufficient training in the use of dangerous machinery

If your work colleagues acted in a dangerous way that resulted in your injury, you may also have a loss of limb claim against your employer.
 
Common workplace accidents that can result in amputations include:
 
  • Crush injuries – Ranging from seriously crushing your fingers in a door to losing a limb in unguarded farm or factory machinery.
  • Construction accidents – Building sites are a common location for serious workplace accidents. Incidents with machinery, vehicles, falling objects, heights and more can lead to severe injury and amputation.
  • Work vehicle accidents – Injuries sustained by being knocked down or run over by a fork lift truck, tractor, van, lorry or any other vehicle while at work can result in loss of limb(s). These are more common in factories, warehouses, farms and construction sites.

Amputation injuries in public places

Severe accidents can happen outside of work in a public place and lead to you losing a limb. These may be the fault of someone else or a natural disaster. Successful amputation compensation claims rely on the incident and subsequent amputation being due to negligence on behalf of an individual or organisation. 

For example, you could be hit by a heavy falling object in your local park, crush your hand in the door of a public building or be knocked down by a vehicle when crossing the road. The organisation responsible for safety in the park and building, and usually the driver of the vehicle, may have acted negligently, resulting in your amputation. 

Amputation injuries can arise in other public places:
 
  • Car, coach and motorbike crashes – Victims of road crashes - whether a pedestrian, passenger or driver - may sustain injuries that require an amputation.
  • Disasters – Terrorist attacks, train crashes, explosions and building fires are just some of the horrific disasters that can cause traumatic injuries and the loss of limbs.

Amputation injuries after a road traffic accident

Leigh Day’s specialist personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in handling amputation compensation claims following road traffic crashes.  Several hundred people every year suffer amputation injuries after being involved in car, coach, bus or cycle crashes.  We have also represented pedestrians who have been left as amputees after being hit by vehicles mounting the pavement.

Recovering from a traumatic injury such as amputation can take many months and access to early rehabilitation and the best possible prosthetic limbs will make the transition to life post-amputation easier for the injured person. Amputation claims specialists at Leigh Day are highly experienced in securing substantial sums of compensation for amputees who were injured in road traffic accidents. We have built up an extensive network of professional contacts with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, prosthetic limb suppliers, case managers, and user groups who will be able to support you after your amputation, while our lawyers support you throughout the legal process.

Amputation compensation claims case studies

Examples of our amputations claims work following road traffic collisions include:
 
  • Partner Sally Moore securing a seven figure sum for a young man who suffered an above the knee amputation when he sustained a severe crush injury in a road traffic accident.  This included the costs of his prosthetic needs for life, future loss of earnings, care, support and the need for level access accommodation plus damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
  • Securing a seven figure sum for a motorbike rider who had to undergo a below the knee amputation of his left leg after being knocked from his bike by a car carrying out a U-turn.
  • Securing a substantial sum of compensation for Evan Reynolds who lost his hand and part of his arm when his arm became trapped between a car and a gatepost.
  • Obtaining compensation for a woman who suffered the amputation of her lower leg following an horrific car crash. The woman was standing outside her front door when a speeding car hit her when the driver lost control.  She received £700,000 which she used for care and the supply of high quality prosthetic limbs.

Making an amputation claim

Speak to an amputation solicitor in our personal injury team about your case to begin your claim. With a free initial consultation, one of our amputation lawyers will listen to your story and advise on whether you have a claim. They may ask questions to gather more details about the accident and injuries sustained, before advising you on the best next steps.  
 
With all amputation claims, you need to prove the loss of limb was related to the negligence of an individual or group (the defendant in the case). To do this, you may need to collect evidence to support your claim. 
 
This could include:
 
  • Medical records and documents that detail your injuries and reasons for the amputation
  • Witness statements from medical professionals and those at the scene of the accident 
  • Financial records and documents to show any loss of earnings
  • Photographs of your injuries, the accident location, any equipment, vehicles or items related to the cause of amputation 
 
Learn more about making amputation compensation claims with Leigh Day. Or to discuss your case today:
 
  • Call 020 7650 1200 and speak to one of our amputation solicitors
 




Amputation compensation

We understand the process of readjustment will be a tough one - not only for the amputee, but also for their family. Amputation compensation is designed to help make this easier and ensure you can live as normal a life as possible. 
 
The amount awarded will vary depending on the loss of limb(s), severity of the injuries and impact on the amputee’s life.
 
A key part of an amputee’s life is the need for suitable prostheses to allow them to enjoy - so far as is possible - a return to their pre-accident activities and lifestyle. As well as state of the art day-to-day prostheses, our clients have had the benefit of water and activity limbs to allow them to return to sports such as skiing, rowing, playing rugby and swimming.
 
One of our clients also trialled the first "bionic" hand with great success. We will obtain specialist reports that consider the prosthetic needs of the individual client, both in the immediate and long-term future. We also take into consideration your individual needs and aspirations.
 
Amputation compensation can also be used for:
 
  • Loss of earnings – Whether for a set amount of time off work to recover or being unable to return to work full-time due to a loss of limb.
  • Re-training – To facilitate a new career or for assistance to ensure your existing employer makes the appropriate adaptions to support your return to work.
  • Rehabilitation – Costs of physical therapy and medical assistance.
  • Accommodation changes – The expenses of adaptions to your home or moving to more suitable housing will be included in the claim.
  • Travel expenses – To any therapy and rehabilitation sessions.
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
 
Learn more about some successful examples of amputation compensation claims our team have settled.

Why choose Leigh Day?

Our amputation claims lawyers have built up an extensive network of professional contacts, such as: 
 
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Prosthetic limb suppliers
  • Case managers
  • Financial advisers 

They will all help you get your life on track following your amputation, while our lawyers will support you throughout the legal process. 
 
Our amputation lawyers are dedicated to achieving the best result for you in terms of compensation. They seek interim payments along the way to enable you to meet the costs of private prosthetic services, counselling and private care, and to cover any losses following injury.
 
As a member of the Associate Parliamentary Limb Loss Group and working with various charities, this has enabled us to develop a keen understanding of the issues surrounding amputees. We pride ourselves in being able to ‘think outside the box’. 

Amputation case studies

Below knee amputation after accident at work

Associate solicitor Laura Murphy acted for John* who underwent a below knee amputation following an incident at work in September 2014. 
 
John was 26 at the time of the incident and working as a delivery driver. He was loading his van at a warehouse when a forklift truck reversed into him crushing his lower leg. He suffered severe fractures and degloving injuries. After six months involiving multiple surgeries his doctors advised that their attempts to save his limb had failed and advised amputation. In February 2015, he underwent a below knee amputation. 
 
John initially instructed local solicitors.  The defendant made an early offer to settle his claim for £500,000 which his solicitors advised he accept.  He pushed for an opinion from a barrister who advised the offer was too low and should be rejected.   By now John did not feel that his solicitor had sufficient expertise to deal with his case.  Both the barrister and a private prosthetic clinic recommended he discuss his case with Leigh Day. 
 
By the time he instructed Leigh Day in September 2015 he had not received any interim payments to help cover his loss of earnings. Nor had he received any private prosthetic rehabilitation despite the fact that he was really struggling with the prosthetic leg provided by the NHS and hardly left the house.  
 
Soon after taking over the case, the defendant made a further offer to settle the case for £750,000. We advised John to reject that offer and immediately did the following:
 
  • Requested an interim payment to fund private prosthetic treatment
  • Pressed the defendant to resolve liability
  • Instructed experts to assess him and prepare detailed reports

Interim payment and rehabilitation

The defendant agreed a voluntary interim payment and John started to attend Pro-Active Prosthetics for prosthetic rehabilitation.
 
Following extensive rehabilitation, and securing up to date exepert evidence which addressed his needs for life, terms of settlement were agreed at a settlement meeting in January 2019. John's claim settled for £2.5 million. This sum included future treatment including a very significant sum for future prosthetic treatment to include purchase and maintenance of the Empower, microprocessor foot, and future loss of earnings to reflect the fact he would not be able to return to his previous job. 
 
“Thank you Laura and all the team.  I am grateful for your hard work and expertise that resulted in negotiating my settlement. Am delighted to say I’ve had an offer accepted on my first house!” - John

Crushed under a lorry

An NHS midwife, Julie was crushed under the wheels of a lorry as she was cycling in Central London in October 2015.  She suffered a traumatic above the knee amputation of her right leg. 

Julie was an extremely active athlete, participating in marathons and endurance cycling events all over the world and she was highly motivated to return to her former fitness levels and sporting activities despite her injuries.

The team at Leigh Day secured an immediate needs assessment from a specialist case manager and interim compensation payments.

Julie relocated from London to southern California with her partner whilst the legal case was ongoing. The Leigh Day team obtained interim payments for Julie that allowed her to access private treatment with a highly regarded prosthetic clinic in California. These payments also allowed Julie to receive physiotherapy and gait training.

The multi-million-pound settlement included lifelong claims for specialist prostheses for everyday use and sports including running and cycling.  The team at Leigh Day also achieved compensation to cover the costs of adapting her home, loss of earnings, pension claims and private medical treatment.
 
Julie says: “The expertise, guidance and knowledge of Leigh Day made the whole unfortunate incident navigable and ensured early access to prosthetics. These were instrumental in getting me back to the active life I enjoy.  The settlement will ensure I can live a full and happy life.”


*John not his real name

5 things you might not know about making a compensation claims following amputation

If you’ve suffered an injury that was not your fault which has resulted in an amputation, you might consider making a claim for compensation.  Resolving personal injury and medical negligence claims can take months or even years, so here are five things to bear in mind: 
 
  1.  I’ve been injured, but it was not my fault.  What should I do? If your injury was caused by someone else, identifying who was at fault at an early stage will make the process of your claim easier and quicker.
  2. Because of my injury, I’m unable to work and I’m worried about my finances.  Is there anything I can do? If you are in financial difficulty because your injury means you cannot work, your lawyer can request ‘early interim payments’. These payments are an advance on your eventual compensation award and are intended to help you pay household bills, transport expenses, and so on.

  3. When can I start rehabilitation? Rehabilitation is vital part of your recovery and should begin as soon as possible.  Early on in your claim your lawyer can request that the Defendant funds therapies, care, equipment and prosthetic rehabilitation, including private treatment to supplement what is provided by the NHS.  These treatments and therapies will help you to make the best possible recovery and rebuild your life.

  4. I’m not happy with the way my lawyer is dealing with my case, is it too late to change? If you are not satisfied with the way your claim is progressing, you can move your case to a new lawyer.  Ask for a second opinion with no obligation, but always consult a reputable law firm with specialists who have a track record in amputation claims.
  5. How much will a lawyer charge me to deal with my claim?  Most amputation claims are on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.  This means you don’t have to pay any legal fees until your case is concluded.  There may be some deductions from your final compensation payment, but your lawyer will discuss them in detail with you in advance. 

Charities we work with:


Contact Leigh Day to discuss your amputation claim. Call 020 7650 1200 or
  
 
 

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