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What can I claim compensation for as an amputee?

View profile for Laura Owen
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Diabetes is one of the leading causes of lower limb amputation

You can claim compensation for the loss of a limb if it was caused through medical negligence.

The compensation you can recover is split into two different elements:

1. General damages

This is an award of compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The includes any psychological injury as well as the physical injury itself as a result of the amputation.

2. Special damages

This covers all other losses that flow from the amputation. These may be losses already incurred such as the cost of treatment, loss of earnings, equipment and aids that have been purchased. It also covers care and assistance that may have been provided whilst you have been recovering from the amputation, even if this care has been provided free of charge by family members or friends. In addition, you can recover not just for the losses that have been incurred but for the future losses associated with the amputation so for example, continued loss of earnings, continued care and assistance, future private treatment and rehabilitation costs, the cost of protheses and other aids and equipment. It may also be the case that you require more suitable accommodation or adaptations to a property as a result of an amputation. All of this will be assessed based on your personal circumstances taking into the account the injury you have suffered.

How are loss of earnings calculated?

Evidence is required to calculate loss of earnings suffered as a result of medical negligence. Your solicitor will advise what evidence they need from you. However it’s likely they will need information from you about your job, career prospects and intentions regarding employment for the future. Documentary evidence will also be needed to support the amount of lost earnings being claimed, such as wage slips and contracts if you are employed or accounts/self-assessments if you’re self-employed. Working with you, your solicitor will be able to use this information to calculate the loss of earnings you’ve sustained and take into account lost opportunities for pay rises, promotions, career progression as well as the impact of any pension loss.

Can I sue for loss of earnings?

If the loss of earnings is as a result of the negligence, then this loss can be included as part of your amputation claim. The claim would be made against the negligent person/hospital known legally as the defendant. Evidence would be required to prove the loss you have suffered such as wage slips and contracts if you are employed or accounts/self-assessments if you’re self-employed. 

Can I sue a company for loss of earnings?

If the loss of earnings has arisen from an amputation caused through medical negligence, then the appropriate entity to recover the loss from is the negligent person/party. This would be the medical practitioner responsible for the medical treatment in question. This would ordinarily be a GP or a particular hospital. More often than not, particularly where the treatment in question has been provided under the NHS, there will be insurance in place to pay the compensation claim. 

What is past loss of earnings?

Past loss of earnings is the lost income you have sustained either from not being able to work at all or to the extent you would have been able to, as a result of the negligence. It is calculated from the date of the negligence up to and including the date your claim settles. From thereon and if the loss of earnings continues, (including lost promotion/career opportunities etc), this would be considered to be a future loss of earnings claim.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a medical or health professional , including amputation as result of medical negligence, then we may be able to help you pursue a claim for compensation. Our leading team of experts are on hand to offer advice, so please get in touch with us on 0161 696 6165 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.