Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Claims
Our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Claims information is provided by Slater and Gordon, Edinburgh
How to make a claim for compensation – amputation injuries
As all of the FYF Troopers and their families know, when someone suffers an amputation injury the impact can dramatically change their life. Deciding whether to pursue a claim is a very important decision and advice from a specialist who is extremely experienced in this area of law is vital.
Personal injury claims
There are several types of traumatic incidents which can cause amputation injuries, such as:
• Road traffic collisions (drivers, passengers and pedestrians)
• Cycling and motorcycling accidents
• Travel accidents / accidents abroad
• Slipping / tripping / falling
• Military incidents
• Criminal assaults
If the incident was caused as a result of someone else’s negligence, whether they were fully or only partially to blame, you can make a personal injury compensation claim for your amputation injury.
Medical negligence claims
In most cases when you visit medical professionals, either at your GP surgery, in hospital, or private health facility, you can expect an exceptional standard of care. Unfortunately however, mistakes do happen and amputation injuries which could have been avoided do occur. These mistakes can include:
• Failure to diagnose and properly treat an infection
• Failure to diagnose conditions such as sepsis, meningitis or encephalitis
• Failure or delays in diagnosing or treating cancer
• Surgical errors
• Clinical errors
Where a medical professional’s error has resulted in you suffering an amputation injury, you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence.
The benefits of making a claim
Although making a claim will often be the last thing on your mind if you’ve just suffered an amputation injury, it’s important to consider making a claim as soon as you’re able to. Not only can it provide you with a sense of justice but can also assist with the financial burden many people find when they’re suffered such a serious injury, such as loss of earnings.
When someone has suffered an amputation injury, it’s extremely important to have access to good quality rehabilitation and treatment. Compensation can help pay for treatment and rehabilitation so the additional cost doesn’t become an additional concern.
Compensation can also cover the cost prostheses. These days there are constant developments in prosthetic limbs and they can be extremely expensive, for example, a prosthetic leg can cost more than £50,000. If your claim is successful, the compensation can include the cost of prostheses, on a privately funded basis, for your lifetime. It can also include the cost of maintenance, repairs, cosmetic covers and prosthetics for swimming and other sporting activities.
What’s involved in making a claim
If you think you may have a personal injury or medical negligence claim as a result of an amputation injury, it’s important that you chose lawyers who have expert knowledge in amputation injury cases to enable you to get the absolute best result possible. Instructing an amputation injury specialist will also ensure that the burden of pursuing a claim doesn’t fall upon you.
Your specialist lawyer will visit you and discuss the details of your case, your current medical condition and your amputation injury. They’ll also take details of any evidence or witnesses. Once they have this, they can begin building the evidence of your case. You’ll also be asked to attend a medical expert who specialises in cases of amputation. They’ll prepare a medical report which will also support your case as evidence.
Once your lawyer has gathered the evidence, they will notify the negligent party of your claim and negotiations will begin. If negligence can be established, the majority of amputation injury cases reach a satisfactory conclusion before it’s necessary to attend court.
Time limits for making a claim
Importantly, in Scotland the law states that make a claim within three years of either (a) the date of the negligence or (b) the date upon which you became aware of the negligence and resultant injury. If you are thinking about making a claim it is therefore extremely important for you to contact a solicitor within three years.
We strongly recommend that you contact a solicitor as soon as possible and do not wait until the three year deadline is approaching. This is because the investigations which your solicitor will require to make can take some time.
What you should do next
If you think you ’ve suffered an amputation injury as a result of personal injury or medical negligence, you should contact a lawyer who specialises in these cases to not only ensure you get the best possible outcome to your case, but also to ensure you get the best treatment and rehabilitation available.