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Losing a limb or digit in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence is undoubtedly a life-changing incident that will have both a physical and psychological effect on the amputee. You have a legal right to make a claim if the accident that led to your amputation was caused by another party’s negligence; something JMW Solicitors are able to provide expert assistance with.
We will work with you closely every step of the way, professionally and sensitively, to deliver the very best outcome for your circumstances.
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation and you feel it could have been avoided, call JMW’s personal injury team today. We are here to provide legal advice and expert representation for those looking to make a claim. Simply call 0800 054 6078 or complete our online enquiry form and a solicitor will be in touch.
What Our Clients Say
How JMW Can Help
The team of solicitors at JMW are experts in personal injury, and we pride ourselves on our proven record of winning cases for victims of serious accidents. We have undertaken many claims for individuals who have undergone an amputation, whether a terminalisation, a single-limb amputation or multiple-limb amputation, so we understand the issues that these complex claims present and the needs you will have in the future.
JMW is committed to providing comprehensive, superior quality and practical legal advice, whatever your circumstances are. When making a claim for compensation we will take into consideration every detail of your injury, how it will impact on you and your family throughout your lives, and ensure you receive compensation to reflect this.
We have been praised by independent legal guides, the Chambers and Partners Guide to the UK Legal Profession and The Legal 500, for our personable attitude and expertise in serious injuries.
Case Study: Mr B: £1.6 million settlement after a below the shoulder amputation
I worked on the conveyor belt at a local recycling centre, as well as sorting and separating the waste that came into the centre. I hadn’t been offered any formal training and so followed the example set by others, which is what led to my accident. I had seen a colleague removing any material that got stuck on the conveyor belt or roller drum on numerous occasions, without turning it off, and only doing so if a particularly large item, such as a brick, got caught. It was never pointed out to me that the machinery should be turned off if something got caught in it. On the morning of the incident, I noted an item had become stuck, but when I went to remove the item, my glove also got stuck.
I couldn’t take my glove off, or remove it from the machine. My hand was pulled in and I started screaming in pain before one of my colleagues was able to turn everything off. My arm was trapped between a half ton roller, and whilst I couldn’t see everything, I could see enough to know that my hand had been sheared off. When the paramedics got to me, despite trying everything they could to save the rest of my arm, they had to make a decision to amputate it below the shoulder.
I was completely gutted; my focus had been on finding a job that would help me to start building my life and allow me to make plans for my future, and now it felt like that had been taken away from me. I was also reeling from the shock and I thought that I’d never be able to ride a motorbike again; biking had been my life before the accident and I now faced a life where I couldn’t enjoy something that meant the world to me.
A relative of mine worked at JMW Solicitors and suggested I make a claim. They put me in touch with Gordon Cartwright, a Partner in the firm’s catastrophic injuries department, and I can honestly say that since meeting with Gordon, his and the firm’s involvement has changed my life beyond compare.
Immediately, Gordon put me in touch with a host of experts who he thought would be important to my recovery – pain experts, a plastic surgeon, a prosthetics expert, a psychologist and a consultant in rehabilitation medicine, to name but a few. He also put me in touch with people who’d help with managing my finances after my claim was successful. All of this meant that I could put a plan in place, a structure for how I could get better and get my life back on track.
It was around this time that I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant and I was going to be a Dad. Knowing that I’d have someone else to provide for meant that focusing on my recovery had to become more important than ever before. The team Gordon had put in place helped me to look at the various aspects of my life and focus in on developing and strengthening me physically and mentally.
One of the most important things Gordon did was to help me properly understand what prosthetics I was going to need throughout the course of my life. Gordon also arranged for experts to prepare reports on what motorbikes would be suitable for me to use including what adaptations and equipment could be used so that I could safely ride a motorbike again. He built those into the claim he was making on my behalf, so that I could afford to finance new prosthetics and ride a motorbike again in the future, and live the quality of life I deserved to. Gordon’s help in understanding more about my practical needs also helped me to heal emotionally and come to terms with the impact this injury had had on my life. In some of my darkest moments, I could turn to Gordon and know that I’d be supported and that he could steer a way forward for me, which is something I’ll be forever grateful for.
Gordon was always there for me throughout the course of my claim. At the outset of the claim he gave me his mobile number and said that I could call him anytime so I knew I could pick up the phone and he’d be at the end of the line, willing, keen and happy to help me. He kept me up to date and informed with the progress in my case, so that I knew exactly what was going on, what the plan was and where we were going. It was clear to me that Gordon’s knowledge was extensive and that his strategies were insightful. When you have someone like Gordon on your case, you know that it’s in good hands and that all that’s left for you to do is focus on your recovery. Having the peace of mind Gordon gave me was so important, because it gave me the freedom to get on with rebuilding my life and taking care of my family.
During the course of my claim, I was also introduced to Paul Gotch, in JMW’s Private Client department. Gordon had been clear to me early on, that the money he would secure for me needed to be appropriately handled; it took a while for things to sink in, that Gordon would secure me a life-changing sum of money and that it would be critical for my new life, for this to be properly managed.
Together with a financial advisor, Paul has been invaluable in helping me to properly manage my money. Following Paul’s advice, I’ve put in place a Personal Injury Trust, which will help me to access my settlement funds, but also means that my entitlement to other sources of income is protected; something I’d have lost otherwise. It’s good to know that I can deal with someone familiar when it comes to financial matters and Paul is adept at providing really astute advice, in an approachable and easy to understand manner.
Paul also created a Will for me. Making a Will was something I found unsettling at first, but Paul’s calm and friendly demeanour put me at ease very early on. Paul talked me through why having a Will in place was important; that it ensures the money I’ve had from my claim goes to the people most important, in the event that something happens to me. Paul understands that this is a very sensitive area and it always seemed to me that he handled me, my feelings and concerns with a delicacy and professionalism that I truly valued.
When my claim finally settled, it was a weight off my shoulders. I know my life will never be the same, but Gordon, Paul and the JMW team have helped me so much. JMW continue to act as a Professional Trustee to assist with the trust administration, and I’m confident that I will get a great level of support from them. Yes, you can measure the help in one respect, because I’ve got a settlement that will support me and my family for the rest of our lives, but there is no measure for the time, effort, dedication, care and compassion that these men and this firm have shown me. I will be so grateful to everyone at JMW and happy that I can put this chapter behind me and move onto a new one.
What are the Consequences of Amputations?
A person’s life can change dramatically after undergoing the amputation of a limb or digit. The amputation of any limb can affect the victim and their loved ones in many ways. Aside from the emotional trauma associated with amputation, many people suffer physical pain, with issues such as phantom limb pain, contracture, necrosis and chronic neuroma all being cited as common problems for amputees.
What’s more, after their accident, an amputee may be unable to carry out their job, or unable to work altogether. An amputee will also require specially adapted items to assist them in their everyday lives, from kitchen implements to automatic cars. The family home may also need to be adapted to ensure that the amputee is able to navigate it properly.
Why You Should Make a Claim
If the amputation was a result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation, which will help you and your family adapt to your new circumstances.
The aim of a compensation claim is to put the injured individual back into the position they were, or as close as possible, prior to the accident. In the case of an amputee, as well as securing recompense for the actual injury and their financial losses, such as the impact it may have had on an individual’s ability to do their job, it also means securing the appropriate medical aides and equipment to enable them to lead a fulfilling life.
Science and medicine are evolving rapidly and there are prosthetic devices and medical equipment available to help an amputee adapt to their situation. The JMW team work with you to find the most suitable medical treatment, regardless of its cost or how readily available it is, and seeking compensation ensures that an individual has the funds to get the very best medical treatment and equipment both now, and in the future.
Ultimately, a compensation award means that the financial toll an amputation may take is removed, ensuring the victim and their family can get on with their lives.
Milestones of Amputation
Recovery and rehabilitation following an amputation is a long process, which at times can be difficult and frustrating, but by understanding the nature of the journey ahead of you, you can be better prepared and ready to face the journey head on.
We take you through the different stages you are likely to experience in your first year following an amputation. It is important to remember that no two amputees have an identical experience; everyone will go through these stages at a different pace, and you should not feel disheartened if you are not hitting these recovery milestones quickly. Click here for more information.
Advice for Amputees
No matter the reason why you had to have an amputation, undergoing an operation of this kind is physically and emotionally challenging. However, if you are able to gain an understanding of what lies ahead of you, you can be better prepared to face the journey head on.
Below, our expert team has provided advice on different aspects of adjusting to life with an amputation. It is important to remember that no two amputees have an identical experience; everyone goes through the stages of recovery at different paces, and you should not feel disheartened if you are not having the same experience as others.
Click the buttons below to find out what to expect in your first year of amputation, as well as advice from amputees themselves to help you on your way:
How Much Can I Claim?
The amount of compensation awarded for an amputation is determined by which limb or digit has been lost, how many you have lost, and the psychological and financial impact the amputation has had on your life. Evidence will be required from various experts including a prosthetics expert to confirm the number of prosthetic devices required, cost for each device and how often each device will need replacing.
A claim for prosthetics in amputation claims is likely to be very significant. For this reason, it is difficult to determine exactly how much compensation you will receive until the expert evidence has been finalised. However, our interactive compensation calculator can be used to determine an estimation of the amount you could be compensated for the personal injury element of your claim. It will not, however, take into account the cost of any financial losses suffered as a result of the accident including prosthetics which may be the most significant part of the claim.
Unhappy With How A Solicitor Has Handled Your Claim? Switch to JMW Solicitors
If you have approached another solicitor regarding your claim and are dissatisfied with the legal advice you have been given, or the lack of communication about your case, we are happy to take on your claim and provide you with the high-quality service you deserve.
We have helped several clients who have experienced poor quality service and inadequate advice from other solicitors. Those who have switched their case to JMW have commented on our personable approach and our willingness to communicate on a regular basis.
Our team is here to discuss your case and the options available to you. We can advise you on what to do next and will handle any necessary arrangements with your current solicitor.