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Amputation negligence claims

If you or a loved one is dealing with the consequences of an amputation caused by medical negligence or an accident that wasn’t your fault, we completely understand how much distress this can cause. Losing a limb is a life-changing event and doesn’t just affect you physically – there can be mental and emotional consequences too. 

 
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At Shoosmiths, we’ve supported thousands of people with their serious injury claims. Our team of expert solicitors are here to help you get the support and compensation you need when dealing with amputation and the impact it’s had – and will continue to have – on your life.

What is an amputation?

An amputation is the surgical removal of a part of the body – for example an arm or leg. Most amputations involve the removal of part of the limb, such as the section of leg below the knee or arm below the elbow. Amputations can, however, be performed on the entire limb too. 

What are the common causes of amputation?

There are a variety of reasons why you might need an amputation – including serious injury, infection or severe trauma. Unfortunately, amputations can also be caused by sub-standard medical care or when an illness is misdiagnosed. 

Some of the most common causes of amputation are: 

Skeleton man

  • Inadequate care of diabetes

    Diabetes is a common condition that currently affects around 4.7 million people in the UK. It is caused by having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood because the body is not producing enough insulin or is not using the insulin properly which affects the absorption of glucose into the body’s cells. 

    Diabetes can cause many complications – including damage to blood vessels and nerves. This can mean that you lose feeling in parts of your body, usually extremities such as your feet or hands. It can also mean that blood is unable to travel to parts of the body. 

    These complications can increase the risk of undetected ulcers, blisters and other wounds that may lead to infection. If this happens, adequate and prompt care is essential to reduce further complications such as amputation. 

    April 2019 figures from Public Health England showed that 7,545 ( still the most up to date statistics)  people needed amputations because of diabetes between 2015 and 2018 – up 8.5% on the previous three years. For those with diabetes, amputation is a serious risk and adequate care must be provided to prevent it. 

     
  • Delayed treatment or misdiagnosis

    This is any situation where a medical professional has failed to diagnose your illness correctly – or caused a delay in diagnosis. If certain conditions are not diagnosed in the early stages, further complications can arise – including amputation. Some of the most common illnesses that are misdiagnosed include:

    • Cancer – if doctors fail to spot cancer in initial tests, treatment can be delayed and make the disease harder to treat. If cancer is located within bone, blood vessels or nerves, amputation may be necessary to stop the disease from spreading. 
    • Meningitis – this infection of membranes around the brain and spine can cause septicaemia and permanent brain damage. Meningitis is a very serious condition that must be treated quickly to reduce the risk of further complications. Amputation of limbs, fingers or toes may be needed in the most severe cases. 
    • Other infections – some people require an amputation due to infection when it isn’t treated properly or fast enough – leading to life-threatening illnesses such as sepsis. Identifying the warning signs of a bacterial infection and quick treatment is necessary to minimise the risk of further complications.
    • Sepsis – this life-threatening condition occurs when your body tries to fight an infection. The immune system goes into overdrive sending chemicals into the bloodstream, which causes inflammation throughout the body. This can lead to septic shock. If not treated quickly, tissue can be damaged by a sepsis infection and amputation may be necessary.
    • Vascular Compromise  - is a blockage in a major vessel where there is a failure to diagnose or treat such as a stroke

     If you’ve had a condition that has been misdiagnosed or mistreated and it has caused you to have a limb amputated, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. 

  • Surgical errors

    Unfortunately, medical professionals can make mistakes during surgery. While all medical staff have a duty of care and must adhere to set standards, there are a wide range of errors that can occur. A doctor could perform the incorrect operation on you, for example – such as a wrong limb amputation. This is called an NHS ‘never event’– one that should never, ever happen. 

    A surgeon could also cause damage to organs, nerves or muscles, while sub-standard hygiene after surgery can lead to an infection in the amputation stump.

    You may be able to claim compensation if you’re the victim of medical negligence resulting in amputation.

  • Traumatic injuries

    Severe damage to the blood supply, bone and tissue in a limb caused in a road traffic collision or an accident at work can lead to amputation.

    While these are some of the most common causes of amputation, our team of personal injury and medical negligence lawyers can still help you make a claim even if none of these apply to your individual situation. 

     

Who can make a claim?

If you believe that the medical treatment/intervention was incorrectly carried out, or that there was a failure to properly diagnose a medical condition which resulted in an amputation, making a claim for compensation can help cover lost income, treatment costs or future care needs. If the negligent treatment is caused to a young person under 18 years old, or to an individual who lacks mental capacity to make decisions, a Litigation Friend can bring a claim for negligent treatment on their behalf.

To make a successful claim, you must be able to prove that your pain and suffering is someone else’s fault. Get in touch with us today on 0370 086 8686 to see if you can claim compensation.

How do I make an amputation negligence claim?

The first step is to get in touch with our friendly team of solicitors on 0370 086 8686

We’re here to listen to what’s happened and understand more about your injury. We will let you know if we think your claim will be successful and discuss how it will be funded. We pursue amputation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. 

If you’d like to make an amputation negligence claim and we accept it, a dedicated serious injury solicitor will take up your case and support you every step of the way.

 

 

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Why choose Shoosmiths for your amputation negligence claim?

Clinical negligence is a highly specialist area of law, so it’s important your solicitor has specific expertise in this field – not just general personal injury experience. Making a successful claim will need input from a range of different experts who can advise on your future needs. 

Apart from medical specialists and providers of rehabilitation services, Shoosmiths’ expert team can liaise with experts dealing with everything from prosthetics, housing, aids and equipment to therapies, nursing care and psychological counselling.

We’ve been providing expert legal advice for more than 165 years – and our team continue to be among the best in this field. Our experts offer the right knowledge and skills to achieve the best possible outcome for you. But we’re also friendly and approachable people who will take the time to listen to you and get to know your unique circumstances. 

Here are some reasons you should choose us for your amputation negligence case: 

Meet the team

Phil Barnes

Phil Barnes

Partner

Medical negligence

Phil is national head of medical negligence. It has been said of Phil that he's the kind of guy to pull out all the stops so call Phil today.

Sharine Burgess

Sharine Burgess

Partner

Personal injury

Sharine is an award-winning lawyer in the personal injury department, acting on behalf of claimants and their families through a wide range of cases, so give her a call.

Kashmir Uppal

Kashmir Uppal

Partner

Medical negligence

Award winning medical negligence lawyer Kashmir is tireless in her pursuit of accountability. Contact Kashmir today.

Our client stories

We’ve helped many people achieve the compensation they need – including Leysa Hardy, who was involved in a road traffic accident that led to the amputation of her leg below the knee. To find out more about how we helped to secure compensation worth £1.9m, read Leysa’s story – or watch the video below: 

 

For more cases where Shoosmiths have helped clients up and down the country, see below:

Clients' stories

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Frequently asked questions

  • Can I make a claim for someone else?

    Absolutely. If your child is under the age of 18 and has been in an accident or experienced medical negligence resulting in amputation, you can make a claim on their behalf. You can submit a claim any time up until their 18th birthday. 

    Once they turn 18, they have three years to make a claim themselves. 

    You may also be able to make a claim for someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves. For instance, this may be a person with severe brain injuries, autism or dementia. 

    In these cases, power of attorney will be required to pursue a claim on behalf of someone else – or you can apply to The Court of Protection (in England and Wales); The Office of the Public Guardian (in Scotland); or The Office of Care and Protection (in Northern Ireland) to do so.

    Any settlement will then be subject to the approval of the relevant court/office before it can be distributed to the claimant.

    Unfortunately, there are times when amputation negligence can be fatal. If a loved one has died, and it was someone else’s fault, you still might be able to make a claim. The financial support you receive can help with any legal expenses, funeral costs or other costs you need to cover.

     
  • Why should I make an amputation negligence claim?

    We understand that making an amputation negligence claim can’t take away the pain and suffering you’ve been through. However, it may provide financial support to cover the costs of any ongoing medical treatment, loss of earnings and home adaptions. 

    It may also highlight any issues with the standard of care provided by a particular healthcare professional or institution. This could prevent this happening to anyone else in the future. You may also receive an apology for what you’ve been through.

    If you choose Shoosmiths to help you make a claim, we work with third party support networks which could be made available to you in order to ensure that you receive all the emotional and practical support you need – even long after your claim is settled.

  • Is there a time limit for making amputation negligence claims?

    Yes, there is. If you’d like to make an amputation negligence claim, you must do so within three years of the date of the incident. It doesn’t apply if you are claiming on behalf of a child under the age of 18, however. 

    Your case may take months – or even years – to resolve depending on the severity and complexity of your circumstances. For this reason, we recommend you contact us as soon as possible, so you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you need.

  • How do I fund my claim?

    We will discuss with you what the most suitable and appropriate funding is available for you, including pursuing a claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

    Find out more about how making a No Win No Fee claim works.

  • How much compensation will I receive?

    The amount of compensation you’ll receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the impact that it has had on your life. Your serious injury solicitor will gather evidence and obtain expert opinion on the physical impact of your amputation and the effect it has had on your life. They will look into 

    • The severity of your physical injury and the pain and suffering it caused.
    • The financial impact the amputation has had on you. Your solicitor takes into account any medical costs you need to cover – such as equipment, treatment and medication. They also look at any adaptations you need to make to your home, such as enhanced accessibility if you’re in a wheelchair.
    • The effect the accident has had on your ability to work. Your solicitor will establish if you’re able to continue in your job and any income you may have lost.
    • The impact on your life as a whole – including how the amputation has affected your family and if you’re still able to take part in your favourite pastimes.  
     
     

What should I do next if I think I have a case?

Get in touch with us on 0370 086 8686 or message us for a free of charge discussion. 

 

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