You may have had to undergo an amputation of one or more of your limbs or fingers following a traumatic impact resulting from an accident. This might have been a road traffic accident, accident in the workplace or the unfortunate result of complications arising from seemingly minor injury after an accident.
Our specialist amputation lawyers are here to help guide you through the process of making a compensation claim after you have suffered an amputation due to an accident that was not your fault.
If you have lost a limb as a result of medical negligence, we also have a team of experts to help right here.
When can you bring an amputation compensation claim following a personal injury?
If you have suffered an amputation following an accident that was not your fault it is best to seek legal advice as soon as you can. Whatever your situation, a claim must usually be submitted to court within three years of the date of the accident. This is known as the ‘limitation period’
There are exceptions, such as:
- date of knowledge, or when you became aware of the effects of your injury;
- where a claim involves a child, court proceedings must be started before their 21st birthday
The court has the final say on whether court proceedings can start after the primary limitation period has passed. However it is best not to delay, so seek legal advice as soon after the accident as possible.
What is the process of making a claim for amputation?
We have specialist solicitors who are very experienced in dealing with amputation cases. The first step will be to assess the merits of your claim by discussing your injuries and the circumstances of your accident with you. We will then provide advice on the best way to fund your claim and we offer a “no win no fee” agreement.
There are two main parts to the claims process:
- Determining liability – even if you are partly to blame for the accident, you still may be able to pursue a claim for your personal injuries and losses.
- Valuing the claim – as covered in the following section
We can secure interim payments for you whilst we handle your compensation claim to ensure you are able to enjoy a high-quality rehabilitation package. It is not unusual to suffer psychological difficulties following an amputation, and many clients benefit from psychological therapy or support from a counsellor or amputation nurse. We can request interim payments to pay for therapy which will help with psychological difficulties.
When it comes to reaching a conclusion in your claim, we will consider whether your future needs are better suited to one lump sum compensation payment or annual periodical payments and advise you accordingly.
How long will a claim take?
It is difficult to say exactly how long your claim will take to conclude, as much depends on the treatment you require, the extent to which you make a recovery, and at what stage the medical experts can be sure about your prognosis.
All cases are very different but, regardless of how long a case takes to reach a conclusion, we will be there to guide you throughout the process. Once an agreement has been reached as to the level of compensation you will receive, we can provide you with advice on how to protect your compensation from means-tested benefits and statutory funding.
How much compensation could you receive for an amputation claim?
If you are successful in establishing liability, evidence will be gathered by a team of medical experts and you will be advised upon the value of your claim. It is very difficult to accurately predict at the outset of a claim how much compensation will be recovered.
There are two main types of damages which we would look to recover. The first is referred to as general damages which are for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have suffered from the amputation. The factors to be taken into account in valuing general damages in amputation claims include the following:
- where the amputation was – which limb(s) was amputated, was it above or below a joint, whether the amputation was of a dominant limb etc.
- the effect on work, domestic and social life
- the extent to which prosthetics can restore function
- the intensity of any phantom pains
- the presence of any separately identifiable psychiatric disorder
- the claimant’s age
- side effects
- risk of future degenerative changes
In addition, you are entitled to claim for your special damages which you have incurred as a result of the accident. These refer to your financial losses and might include your loss of earnings, care costs and travel expenses, for example. We will also look at your future losses which might include future loss of earnings, cost of future treatment, aids/equipment, ongoing care needs, etc.
The purpose of the compensation is to put you back into the position you would have been in, but for the accident. We will ensure that all losses are included within your claim to help maximise your compensation and your quality of life.
What makes the Royds Withy King Personal Injury team suited to amputation compensation claims?
We are passionate about representing individuals who have suffered an amputation following an accident. Our specialist amputations team understand the medical aspects of amputation claims and instruct the best experts to assess you for the purposes of your claim, while working closely with you to identify your long-term needs.
We also have extensive experience handling amputation claims and will be able to guide you through the process of making a claim for compensation when you have suffered an amputation caused by an accident.
We have an extensive history of settling amputation claims successfully changing the lives of those who have suffered an amputation. To read some of these cases, click on the links below.
“I really have to say the level of service was great! … I really don’t think I would have had the same result with another firm.”
Royds Withy King client
Frequently Asked Questions
How will bringing a claim help me obtain the right prosthetics?
We will identify and instruct the best expert for your individual needs. The specialist expert will consider your precise needs and will make recommendations for bespoke prosthetics for you. This can mean that you are provided with a functional everyday prosthesis, a cosmetic prosthesis, a work prosthesis or even a prosthesis that can be used in the water. We will request early interim payments to cover the cost of these prosthetics to enable you to test the prosthetics to ensure that they are the best option for you before your claim settles.
How will bringing a claim affect the aids and equipment available to me?
We will instruct a Care and Occupational Therapy Expert to identify what aids and equipment could be provided to you to enable you to return to as many pre-accident activities as possible. We will also ask you whether you would like the support of a specialist rehabilitation service who can support you through your recovery with a multidisciplinary team approach including physiotherapy to help you regain your capabilities and confidence.
Will I receive any psychological support?
Many of our clients suffer from significant psychological effects following an amputation with a period of readjustment which can be a significant hurdle. Many clients benefit from psychological therapy or support from a counsellor or amputation nurse. We can request interim payments to pay for therapy which will help with psychological difficulties. Although some of our clients can be sceptical about such treatment the majority of our clients find it to be very beneficial to them.
How will bringing a claim affect my home life?
We frequently instruct Accommodation Experts to advise upon appropriate accommodation for you. The Accommodation Experts may become involved in identifying a new property for you or they may advise upon adaptations to your home which would assist you. We would include a claim for any change in accommodation needs and adaptations within your claim. Having the funds to pay for the most appropriate accommodation, care, aids and equipment and prosthetics can make a huge difference to the level of independence that you can enjoy.
How will bringing a claim affect my work life?
We will support you with regard to your return to work whether it be returning to your pre-accident job or being retrained to undertake any new job. We can instruct Vocational Experts to work with you in order to identify a new job that you would like to do if appropriate. We would also ensure that consideration is given to any aids and equipment which you could be supplied with to enable a smooth transition back to work.
“What the team is known for:
Somerset-based practice that comes recommended for its focus on spinal cord and brain injuries. Also offers niche expertise in areas such as fatal accidents and animal cases. Demonstrates further skill in the area of asbestos-related diseases.
“I feel there is a strong culture within the firm that fosters excellence delivered in a friendly, approachable way,” reports a source.
Another interviewee states: “They are the best local firm for me to deal with as their whole focus is professional and efficient.”
Represented a claimant who suffered serious brain injury, in a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority case worth £15.8 million.
Stuart Brazington (Band 1) leads the brain injury team and possesses notable expertise in serious spinal cord injury claims. One source highlights: “He’s a brain injury specialist; it’s a tricky area and he’s very good at it. He knows a lot about medicine as well as litigation tactics.”
Senior associate Mark Hambleton (Associate to watch) offers particular strength in severe injury cases arising from accidents involving animals, sports and motorcycles.
Louise Hart is Recognised Practitioner.”
Chambers 2018 Somerset
“What the team is known for:
Outstanding personal injury practice adept at handling an impressive breadth of claims, including industrial disease cases, cycling accidents and equine matters. Notable expertise in chronic pain and fatal accidents as well as catastrophic injuries, with a focus on brain and spinal injuries.
Interviewees praise the lawyers’ involvement in each case: “They are very supportive of clients, you get the feeling that it’s not just business to them. They work well in teams, are responsive and quick to get back to you.”
Others agree, and attest the success of this ethos: “We were never made to feel like a case, we were treated with open communication as we if we were in a partnership. The attention to detail and professionalism of the lawyers led to great results.”
The “tenacious and excellent” Ian Carrier (Band 1) focuses on catastrophic injury work, primarily spinal and brain injuries, as well as fatal accident claims. One client states: “He has strong communication skills, and excellent and far-reaching technical knowledge. We could not have asked for a better partners, it was just superb case management.”
Tracy Norris-Evans (Band 1) is highly reputable in claims of high complexity and severity including paediatric cases as well as those with complex neurological issues. One interviewee states: “She is very thorough and has an exceptionally good manner with clients. She is someone who inspires trust.”
Helen Childs (Band 2) is a specialist in industrial diseases and is especially noted for asbestos litigation. One client attests: “She is an expert in this field, which was paramount. She worked tirelessly and went to the moon and back for us. She was empathetic and genuine, nothing was too much trouble.“”
Chambers 2018 Oxford and Surrounds
“Royds Withy King’s personal injury team has ‘a wealth of experience and a very client-focussed approach’. It is ‘very strong on brain injury claims’ and provides an overall ‘excellent’ level of service. Particular areas of expertise include spinal injuries, chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, amputations, asbestos-related diseases, fatal accidents as well as claims arising from accidents involving animals, in particular horses. The ‘vastly experienced’ team is jointly led by Louise Hart and Stuart Brazington. The ‘tenacious’ and ‘knowledgeable’ Hart has ‘unrivalled’ experience in acting for clients who have sustained a personal injury with subsequent chronic pain’ while the ‘highly competent’ Brazington is ‘a very good strategist’. Senior associate Mark Hambleton, whose specialisms include sports-related injuries, is ‘client-focused’. The practice’s recent caseload includes representing a client who had suffered a severe hypoxic brain injury in a multi-million-pound claim before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) First Tier Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.”
Legal 500 2017 South West
“The ‘excellent and forward-thinking firm’ Royds Withy King in Oxford, which ‘strikes the right balance through quality advice and great client care’, was created through a merger between law firm Royds and the Bath-based Withy King in September 2016. Team lead Tracy Norris-Evans specialises in brain injury and paediatric claims and also acts as a professional deputy, while the ‘experienced practitioner’ Ian Carrier is known for his spinal injuries and fatal accidents work and has ‘impressive attention to detail and case preparation skills’. Other notable individuals are Richard Brooks, who regularly handles animal-related claims and ‘knows equine matters inside out’, and industrial diseases expert Helen Childs. As a result of the merger, James Millar Craig, who gained experience in permanent health insurance cases, was added to the team. The ‘highly organised, knowledgeable and approachable’ associates Jennifer Seavor and Rachel James joined from Boyes Turner and Irwin Mitchell, respectively. Especially recommended in ‘asbestos-related claims’, Seavor represented a client who had developed mesothelioma through his occupation at a railway company from the late sixties to the early seventies; he wanted the claim to settle during his lifetime and accepted an offer of £230,000.”
Legal 500 2017 South East