Examples of negligent medical treatment that may result in an amputation injury include:
- Delay in diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot problems or ulcers
- Delayed diagnosis and treatment of infection
- Delayed diagnosis and treatment of vascular or circulatory problems such as deep vein thrombosis or peripheral vascular disease
- Delay in diagnosis and treatment of bone cancer or sarcoma (an aggressive malignant disease which often affects bones or connective tissues)
- Delay in diagnosis or failure to diagnose Acute Compartment Syndrome (a condition often resulting from trauma)
- Delayed or inappropriate treatment of fractures
- Surgical error or substandard surgical technique
- Amputation of the wrong limb.
Amputation or limb loss can have extensive psychological, physical and financial consequences for both the individual and their family. For example, whilst loss of a lower limb will often have a catastrophic effect on mobility and independence, the loss of a finger or fingers can also have a significant impact on your quality of life.
Amputees often have substantial and complex needs. You may require care and assistance as well as specialist equipment and prosthetics to help you stay mobile. We work closely with other professionals including prosthetics experts, occupational therapists, care experts, psychiatrists, physiotherapists and case managers and can arrange practical advice, treatment and support for our clients from the very outset of the claim.
Why should I instruct Bolt Burdon Kemp?
Our expert medical negligence solicitors have extensive experience in recovering compensation for those who have suffered amputation injuries due to medical negligence and can provide you with the best possible legal advice and practical support. We pride ourselves on handling claims effectively and sympathetically. We understand that every amputation claim is unique and we tailor our approach to meet the needs and priorities of each individual client.
We appreciate the difficulties you may experience when bringing a clinical negligence claim and can guide you through this very difficult and potentially stressful process.
As specialists in amputation compensation claims, we recognise that the success of your claim will depend on the knowledge and experience of the medical experts involved. It is important to ensure the appropriate experts are instructed to achieve the best possible outcome. We have established relationships with many renowned medical experts in relevant areas such as vascular surgery, orthopaedics, prosthetics, and psychiatry. We will ensure that the medical evidence available in your case is of the highest standard and that the experts instructed have the experience and expertise necessary to support your claim effectively.
In addition to high quality legal advice and representation, we are able to provide our clients with access to professional support services including an ‘immediate needs assessment’ service designed to identify any additional help and support you may need to minimise your problems in the immediate, medium and longer term. In cases where liability is resolved we will seek interim payments at an early stage to facilitate early access to the treatment, high quality prosthetics, support and assistance you need to restore your quality of life.
Why should I make a claim?
Every claimant has their own individual reasons for making a clinical negligence claim. For example, you may want justice or wish to draw the healthcare provider’s attention to the treatment you received in the hope it will not be repeated. However, the main reason to make a claim is to obtain compensation for your injuries and financial losses.
Whilst we understand that in many cases no amount of compensation can fully address the impact of your injuries or restore the losses you have suffered, a successful claim for compensation can help to fund or recover the costs associated with your rehabilitation. Compensation can also offer financial security and peace of mind by providing you with funds to cover costs and financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries in future.
Negligent medical treatment can result in serious and life-changing disabilities. Further operations may be needed to treat your injuries or to reduce the extent of the damage caused. You may require private medical treatment, therapies or aids and equipment to facilitate your recovery. If your recovery is prolonged, you may not be able to return to work for some time which will result in loss of earnings. You may also need the support of others to assist you with daily activities such as shopping, cleaning, and childcare. Whatever your specific needs and priorities, the aim of compensation is to restore you as closely as possible to the position you were in prior to the negligence and to enable you to rebuild your quality of life.
Success stories for amputation claims
Settlement of £550,000 for delay in diagnosis of vascular condition
In 2016, Mr Evans presented to an Accident & Emergency department complaining of severe pain and discolouring in his leg, worsening over a couple of days. Unfortunately, the examination of Mr Evans’ leg was undertaken negligently and it was wrongly recorded that there were pulses present in his leg. As such, he was deemed suitable for discharge and he was allowed home.
However, Mr Evans’ condition deteriorated throughout the day and he presented again at A&E late that evening. Despite his second attendance, Mr Evans was triaged at an inappropriately low level and there was a further delay before the seriousness of his condition was established. Mr Evans was later transferred to a neighbouring hospital under the care of specialist vascular surgeons but it was too late and Mr Evans had to undergo an above knee leg amputation.
With access to some of the nation’s best experts, it was soon established that the decision to discharge Mr Evans was negligent. Had the examination in A&E been carried out to a reasonable standard of care, Mr Evans’ serious ischaemic leg condition (an impairment of blood flow to his lower limb) would have been diagnosed and he would have been treated far sooner. The vascular experts advised that had this occurred, the blood flow to Mr Evans’ leg could have been restored negating the need for amputation. In addition to the amputation, Mr Evans sustained vascular injuries to his pelvis which in turn impacted on his urological and sexual function.
By working cooperatively with the solicitors for the Defendant NHS Trust throughout, an early admission of liability was made and a substantial interim payment secured to allow us implement measures to improve his quality of life. Settlement in the sum of £550,0000 shortly followed before the need to issue Court Proceedings, allowing Mr Evans the opportunity to move on with his life in the comfort of knowing his future needs would be provided for.