Amputation is the removal of all or part of a limb or extremity; with such injuries usually occurring in motorcycle and high-speed vehicle accidents, or accidents at work.
Whilst in the past this could have meant a significant loss of independence and mobility, it is now possible to regain a significant proportion of your pre-accident functioning via the use of prosthetics. The types of prosthetics available vary dramatically and can include state of the art micro-processor controlled knees and osseointegration and with the newest designs mimicking natural anatomical movement, it is possible for you to maintain your independence.
Significant developments have also been made in the field of upper limb prosthetics, with the most advanced models giving amputees the ability to undertake activities that you may think are not possible. In addition the most advanced prosthetics also come with silicon options which can be colour coded to match your skin tone and thus replicate the appearance of your amputated limb/extremity.
Whilst some prosthetics are available via the NHS, if you suffer an injury leading to amputation you will be entitled to seek private funding, treatment and support to complement that which is provided by the NHS, thus ensuring that you receive the best possible chance to regain your independence.
Private provision of prosthetics would also normally be accompanied by extensive rehabilitation and training so that you are able to maximise the use of your prosthetic.
You will also be entitled to substantial support both in planning for your return home and to assist your return to the work environment. Such planning will be undertaken by an Occupational Therapist and a wide array of adaptations can be made to your home to help make you comfortable. In some cases, it may also be appropriate to arrange for you to move into alternative accommodation that is more suited to your needs.
Robert James Solicitors have over 25 years’ experience and an excellent track record of supporting clients in making Amputations claims. If you or your loved ones require legal advice and support on how best to proceed with a Amputations claim, call one of our specialist solicitors on 0151 559 0120 or complete our online claim form and one of our solicitors will call you back.
Good to Know
Frequently asked questions related to Amputations are answered below. If you have any other questions about Serious Injury Claims, contact us for further information and advice.
How long is rehabilitation after an amputated leg?
Each persons recovery from amputation is different and can depend on a number of factors, including health before the accident, walking ability and the extent of the amputation.
Your rehab team will normally include:
- A physiotherapist to look after your physical therapy;
- An occupational therapist to assess your needs and to help you become as independent as possible;
- A podiatrist to help look after your remaining leg;
- A prosthetist to make and fit a prosthetic limb; and
- A counsellor who will offer you support through this difficult period.
The first few weeks will mainly be focussed on keeping you supple and getting you mobile, after which you will normally start practising gait training with a physical therapist, after which it can normally take months before you gain the strength and confidence to use the prosthetic in every day life.
In the interim you may be using crutches or a wheelchair to mobilise. You may require modifications to your home to improve access in to and out of the property, widened doorways to make it easier for you to move around your home and an adapted bathroom/aids to make it easier for you to get in and out of the bath. An assessment of these needs and any other adaptations such as adding hand rails, adjusting the height of appliances or even providing you with perch stools would normally be completed by your occupational therapist.
It may be that there are delays in arranging the care, support and adaptations you need and where this is the case, Robert James Solicitors can appoint a specialist case manager to appoint a private team to ensure that your needs are met without delay.
Who will pay for my prosthetic?
You are entitled to be put back in the position you were prior to the accident; however, since this is not possible, Robert James Solicitors will advocate that you should receive the best and most suitable prosthetic available to help you reach as close to your pre-accident position as possible.
Whilst the NHS may fund a prosthetic for you, the provision can vary geographically and funding barriers can be put in place that may not be present if you are paying privately. If you would benefit from a prostheses we will seek funds from the defendant for the same.
How will I pay my bills after an amputation?
With more and more people living month-to-month, undergoing an unplanned amputation can cause great financial uncertainty, particularly if this necessitates a period of absence from work.
If you have no entitlement to sick pay then this can often mean that families lose their only household income and with bills to pay, this adds additional stress at a time when you will already be under tremendous pressure.
In such circumstances a request for an interim payment should be submitted to the defendant insurer without delay. Such payments are an advance payment against the final settlement awarded at the conclusion of your case.
The court may make an award for an interim payment where the defendant has admitted liability to pay damages to the you and the court is satisfied that you would receive a substantial amount of money from the defendant. Robert James solicitors have significant experience of securing substantial interim payments for clients to fund their immediate financial needs and to cover the cost of case management, support and treatment.
Robert James solicitors also have links with benefits advisers who are able to offer advice regarding available benefits and support for those who are victims of brain injury.