Being involved in an incident where you lose a limb or as the result of a crash where you require to have an amputation is horrendous. No matter who you are, this is life changing. The consequences have a far-reaching effect on everyday life for you and your family.
When this accident is a result of someone’s else failure - their negligence - then it is extremely hard to come to terms with. Accidents at work or on the roads are the most common reasons for this type of injury. Digby Brown know that cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are more likely to suffer this type of injury because of their vulnerability when confronted with vehicles travelling, even at low speeds. Agriculture, construction or heavy industry are where the bulk of work-related limb loss injuries occur. Despite significant improvements in health and safety, protective clothing and risk assessment, these injuries do keep happening.
Help with an amputation claim
Making a personal injury claim after this type of injury has occurred is in most cases an absolute necessity. The need for expert advice on a raft of issues, not just the law, is essential.
There will be a need for significant medical attention and direction to help physically recover. However, it is the financial aspect which is almost equally as important. Whether it is help paying the rent or mortgage, therefore access to benefits advice, or support with the family, from everyday tasks to home adaptations, all need to be considered.
Whatever the injury we believe the things that can best support a speedy and sustainable recovery is early intervention and access to the best possible care.
And what sets Digby Brown apart from many firms is we do not wait until the end of your claim to help you access the support you need.
Instead, as soon as you become our client we take immediate steps as part of your amputation claim and liaise with:
Healthcare practitioners - to treat and assess your injury while considering your prosthesis options and ongoing rehabilitation.
Case management services - to help with personal goal setting, adapting to a new way of life and reintegrating with the community which will include assessing your daily needs at home, work (if applicable) and beyond.
Interim payments – if your accident has stopped you from working then it’s likely you may be feeling the strain to pay urgent bills like a mortgage, utilities or even food. We can help recover a lump sum of cash (known as an ‘interim payment’) which can go towards urgent expenses.
Benefits support – our Welfare Rights team help clients navigate the complicated government benefits system to access financial support you may be entitled to. We provide this service for clients on a pro bono basis (completely free) as part of our commitment to helping clients with a full and thorough service.
Digby Brown’s expertise in amputation claims
Be assured we are the experts in this highly complicated area of law. We are ranked in both legal who’s who publications, Chambers and Legal 500 under personal injury as Band 1, the only firm in Scotland to be so.
Our serious injury team have won numerous awards both in Scotland and in the UK. We are the 2021 Litigation Team of the Year. Individual solicitors in the department are deemed as the go to people for amputation claims and finally we recover many millions in damages per year. The department alone regularly settles cases between £1 million and £5million on behalf of their clients and that money is important especially when it comes to loss of limb compensation.
Technological advances in medical science have never been so dramatic as those involving prosthesis, however the NHS simply cannot offer ground breaking technologies on a budget.
Common issues that impact amputees are:
- The eligibility criteria for access to enhanced prostheses/treatment
- Lack of ‘partial prosthesis’ available on NHS such as partial hands
- Lack of specialised fittings such as microprocessor knees which are deemed too expensive
- Cosmetic finishes are not available on the NHS
This can lead to some survivors having to live with prosthetic attachments that do not offer the desired level of function or looks.
Alternatively, private healthcare offers accident survivors a wide range of state-of-the-art prostheses. For example, instead of the NHS offering a person can access an electronic hand where robotic fingers can be moved by electrical sensors that pick up nerve signals from muscles in the arm.
Our client Ian McDonald experienced this. His hand was amputated after an injury at work. He was originally fitted with the NHS hook but after coming to Digby Brown he secured £1.5 million in compensation AND access to a modern robotic hand which lets him drive his car, hug his children and live his life.
Ian McDonald tells us how state of the art prosthetics made a real difference
As well as better resources a private healthcare provider even has the ability to communicate directly with prosthetic manufacturers for tailored adjustments to suit the individual.
Private clinicians can also have a closer relationship by engaging more actively with an amputee during their continued therapy and rehabilitation.
The drawback to private healthcare of course is the cost. High tech limbs and bespoke care packages do not come cheap.
But when your accident has been caused by the negligence of someone else – like in a car crash or an accident at work – then you may be eligible for private healthcare.
If so, then we can then recover the costs of this as part of your amputation claim so you do not need to pay anything up front. The other side simply pays the costs at the end of your case. And if you will require ongoing treatment or rehabilitation for the rest of your life then we will make sure the other side pays for this as well.
Remember – the point of amputation compensation is to put you back in a position as if the accident never happened. This is a legal entitlement and we believe the best way to do this is help you access the best possible treatment, prosthetics and support.
When you come to Digby Brown we already know you’re going to be faced with unique, serious and daunting challenges.
But while you may not have been prepared for this we are and so are the experts we consult with.
This means you know you have a team of dedicated amputation solicitors in your corner working tirelessly to ensure you access the best possible care and have the best possible chance at physically recovering then building your life back in a positive, independent and sustainable way.
But whatever challenges are pertinent to your personal situation, there are some key milestones that apply to nearly every legal case:
Initial interviews – one of our specialists amputation solicitors will follow up your query with a personal visit to make sure you have everything you need. This interview can be at your home, one of our seven offices or even at hospital if you are still engaged with rehabilitation work. Whatever is easiest and most comfortable. During this meeting we will also explain how we fund your case with our no win, no fee Compensate funding model.
Sorting additional help – after the interview we’ll be able to consider any immediate or short term needs you may have like those outlined above. We will then start the process of putting these in place for you.
Intimating claims – once we go through the initial investigations of your case we will write to the other party (most commonly an insurance company) and inform that we are acting on your behalf to recover compensation.
Gathering evidence – we then work with leading medical and financial experts to fully value your claim, making sure it takes in all your current and future care needs as well as compensating you for your pain and suffering as well as lost earnings (including pension).
Negotiating with insurers – after gathering the evidence we then present our valuations and arguments to the other party and we negotiate a settlement. If the compensation being offered is fair then we will offer you guidance on acceptance. If we think the other side is offering less than you are entitled to then we would advise you to refuse and instead prepare for court.
Preparing for court – we draft legal documents with the intention of going to court to get you as much compensation as you deserve. It rarely actually goes to court though – it is often the case then simply raising a court action can encourage the other side to increase their compensation offer to what we believe is fair.
The next step
Simply call us. Digby Brown has helped lots of other people in very similar situation to yourself. We have the relevant experience and expertise to help you put your life back together. We know that it can be hard talking about what happened. You might wish to, in the first instance, send us an enquiry, we’ll then ensure we have a specialist solicitor in amputation compensation claims to call you back at your convenience.
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