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Amputation is not something new in Personal Injury or Clinical negligence cases, but eliminating some myths on prosthetics and amputation can ensure that clients receive a substantial win for them to continue living fulfilled lives!
Below Abdo Haidar, Consultant Prosthetist at The London Prosthetics Centre covers the 3 main myths.
With an average prosthetic use of 10 hours per day, the most frequent problems occurring in residual limbs are discomfort, skin breakdown and pain. Comfort has been stated as the most important factor among prosthetic limb users.
When a limb has been amputated, the stump or residual limb is different from one person to the next. The most fundamental element in the creation of a prosthetic is the socket; the crucial interface that connects these sophisticated prosthetics to peoples’ residual limbs.
The prosthetic limb may be fitted with the most technological advancements but the socket remains the real point of contact.
Different measuring techniques are used in the industry at present to capture the size and shape of residual limbs. These techniques remain limited and are unable to identify the infrastructure of residual limbs and pressure tolerance of individual amputees.
It can be a time-consuming process, involving the production of multiple diagnostic sockets before a well-fitted socket can be achieved, during which each diagnostic socket is modified according to the feedback of the patient and the clinical assessment of the prosthetist. As a result, the design of a prosthetic socket is still basically an art, which is highly dependent on the experiences and skills of the prosthetist.
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The residual limb changes constantly in an amputee’s life, some of these factors include growth, ageing, muscle atrophy, weight addition or loss e.g. from teenager to adulthood to elderly. Therefore a prosthesis must be constantly adapted or changed to ensure comfort and mobility is achieved on a daily basis.
Even the most expensive prosthetic limbs are built to withstand only three to six years of mechanical wear and tear, meaning they will need to be replaced many times over the course of a lifetime, and they're not a one-time cost.
The prosthetist works in close partnership with the patient to establish the right prosthetic for them and their lifestyle. Sport, day to day walking or waterproof prosthetic legs are required for most amputees to complement their activity and mobility levels.
An amputee will need to visit their prosthetist for the rest of their lives. From the first consultation, they will be required to visit the prosthetist once a month to ensure the comfort of the new socket and learn to adjust to the limb properly. Thereafter, it may be once every 6 months to ensure the prosthesis is in good working order and most importantly as their lifestyle changes so does the residual limb, so does the socket.
An important part of an amputee’s care is rehabilitation, this can range from psychological counselling if needed, occupational therapy to physiotherapy. Rehabilitation is vital for the amputee to learn to cope with the changes in their life, be it from a psychological aspect to learning how to walk with their new limb and to prevent additional muscular damage for overcompensation.
There is no definitive timescale for rehabilitation, this depends entirely on the level of amputation and how soon they can learn to become mobile. With the right support and care, the client will be equipped with the tools they need to continue living life to the full.
We hope this article has helped to clear up some of the myths surrounding prosthetics and given you some fresh new insight.
LPC are leading experts in cutting edge upper and lower limb prosthetics, including custom silicone cosmesis products.
Our ultimate purpose is to create the turning points that enhance the lives of our patients – helping them to take back control of their world and achieve new and amazing things with their new custom-made prosthetics.
The team is led by Director/ Consultant Prosthetist, Abdo Haidar who specialises in upper and lower limb prosthetics, with over 20 years of NHS and private experience. A member of The Expert Witness Institute and has prepared many expert witness reports following amputations.
If you have any questions regarding prosthetics then please get in touch at email@example.com.
Medical negligence is when a medical professional, such as a doctor, midwife, or nurse, or other healthcare practitioner is negligent if they act in a way that falls below any acceptable standard of care.
If someone is injured as a result of medical negligence, they are entitled to compensation for any injury that was caused and for the financial consequences of that injury.
Medical negligence claims that involve severe injury and disability should always be handled by specialist medical negligence solicitors. It takes experience and skill to successfully prove that medical negligence has caused a patient’s injuries, and to secure the highest levels of compensation.
Anyone who has suffered serious injury or disability as a result of negligent NHS or private medical care can make a medical negligence claim for compensation. Special rules apply to children, adults with mental incapacity, and claims arising from a fatal injury/someone’s death.
Children and teenagers under the age of 18, or anyone with mental incapacity, must make their claim via a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian in the case of a child, or a partner or other adult family member in the case of an adult with mental incapacity. The solicitor handling the claim takes instructions and works closely with the litigation friend whilst ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of the child or mentally incapable adult who is making the claim. You can find out more about making a claim for a child.
Some important decisions, such as agreements to settle a child or mentally incapable adult’s claim, must be approved by the court. Arrangements must also be made to safeguard the child or mentally incapable adult’s compensation, whether from an interim payment, lump sum settlement or agreed future payments. Depending on the claimant’s circumstances, this may be done by paying the money into a Court Funds Office account until the child is 18, by appointing a Court of Protection deputy or setting up a personal injury trust. You can find out more about Court of Protection deputyship and personal injury trusts.
If the claim is for bereaved family members and dependants after medical negligence caused someone’s death, the claim must be made by the deceased’s personal representative (executor or administrator of their estate) on behalf of all who are entitled to compensation as a result of the death. You can find out more about making a fatal injury medical negligence claim here.
The NHS has a responsibility to provide its patients with a safe and acceptable level of care. If a patient is seriously injured or their condition is made significantly worse as a result of negligent NHS care, the patient may be entitled to claim compensation.
Compensation can help meet the costs of care, therapies, equipment and home adaptations that are needed when an NHS mistake causes injury or disability that permanently affects the patient’s life.
We are experts at helping clients receive the compensation they deserve from the NHS. We understand the concerns that patients and their families sometimes have about claiming against the NHS. You can read our answers to many of the most common questions on our NHS claims page or speak to one of our solicitors about your own claim by contacting us.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on. Our clients’ claims usually settle successfully without the need for a contested trial.
Occasionally, cases can only be concluded by a formal court hearing, such as where:
Where our client’s claim is complicated by any of the above, we may advise our client that for the case to proceed, it must go to a court hearing. Our caring and highly experienced medical negligence solicitors and barristers ensure that our clients are always kept informed and supported.
Even in non-contested cases, there will be occasions when the case is brought for shorter hearings before the court, such as after a settlement for a child or brain injured adult without mental capacity takes place. In these cases, the lawyers for both sides present the agreed settlement to the court for the judge’s approval.
Each claimant’s compensation is calculated in accordance with mandatory rules based on their individual circumstances.
Compensation for medical negligence should put the injured person back in the position that they would have been in if the negligence hadn’t happened, in so far as money can.
In a medical negligence claim, the amount of compensation depends on:
Compensation for medical negligence usually includes a sum for the injury, and sums to compensate for financial losses and the cost of meeting the needs that arise from the disability.
Our medical negligence solicitors ensure clients receive their compensation in the way that is best suited to meet their needs.
Depending on our clients’ injuries, individual circumstances and needs, we can recover compensation to pay for:
Where medical negligence caused someone’s death, compensation may be claimed by the deceased’s dependants and on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Compensation in a fatal injury medical negligence claim can be paid for:
There are three ways to fund a medical negligence claim, legal aid, no win no fee, and legal expense insurance.
A medical examination is usually needed to assess our client’s injury. Where our client has suffered multiple injuries or both physical and psychological injuries, they may need to be examined by specialists in each area. This is important to make sure that our client’s injuries are fully assessed and understood, so that they can be properly compensated.
If a medical examination is needed, we instruct the specialist and make the arrangements. We ensure that they have access to our client’s medical records and are aware of the background to the claim. The hospital or doctor against whom the claim is being made may also ask for our client to be examined by their medical expert.
The law states that, in most cases, someone who has been injured as a result of medical negligence has three years from the date of the negligence which caused the injury to issue court proceedings. If they fail to issue court proceedings within that time, their claim will be statute barred, meaning that they lose their right to bring a claim.
There are the following exceptions to the three-year rule:
Regardless of your time limit, we recommend that you contact our medical negligence solicitors as soon as you can, even if at that stage you are only considering whether to make a claim.
By contacting us early, it avoids later problems with deadlines and allows us to advise you on how to collect and preserve essential evidence. This enables us to ensure you have the best chance of securing your entitlement to full compensation for your claim.
If a baby, child, or teenager under the age of 18 makes a claim for compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence, their claim is made on their behalf by a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian.
As the child’s solicitor, we have a responsibility to make sure that all decisions relating to the claim are made in the best interests of the child. To do this, we work very closely with the child’s family. Some important decisions, such as settlement agreements or the amount of money that is allocated to a child in a claim involving more than one claimant, must be approved by the court.
We are specialists in helping families obtain full compensation for children who have been very severely injured, leaving them with permanent disability and lifelong specialist needs. Our expert children’s claims service includes a dedicated Court of Protection team who help our clients protect, budget and access their compensation via deputyship and trusts, and an SEN team to ensure that their special educational needs are met. Find out more about how we help families, children, and teenagers with children’s claims.
If you think that you or a family member have received negligent medical treatment or have experienced malpractice, we recommend that you speak to one of our friendly, experienced clinical negligence claim solicitors as soon as possible.
You can contact us by telephone or by email. Your enquiry will be handled confidentially and preliminary advice in relation to pursuing a claim will be given free of charge.
Our medical negligence solicitors will ask you to tell us briefly what has happened, advise you about the limitation deadlines (time limits) which apply to your claim and whether we are able to help you investigate your claim.
Once our initial investigations have taken place, we will notify the defendant (hospital or doctor) of your intention to pursue a claim and invite them to respond, giving them an opportunity to admit liability, before court proceedings are issued.
If liability is admitted, we will enter judgment and apply for an interim payment as soon as possible to meet any urgent needs that you may have as a result of the negligently caused injury.
If liability is disputed, we will discuss with you the further steps that we need to take to progress your claim.
Our extensive guide on making a medical negligence claim explains the whole process, if you require any further information.
The duration of a medical negligence claim depends on the individual circumstances of the client’s case. The claim is likely to take less time to conclude where:
Circumstances which make the claim more complex and therefore take longer to resolve include:
Our medical negligence solicitors work hard to secure early admissions of liability and substantial interim payments so that we can begin to alleviate financial hardship and provide essential care, respite, specialist equipment, therapies and home adaptations long before the claim has settled. With liability judgments secured and interim funds in place, the individual and their family are able to focus on rebuilding their lives whilst we concentrate on valuing and negotiating settlement of the claim.
Compensation is carefully structured to ensure the best provision for the injured person’s needs. Our clients often benefit from different types of compensation, including:
Where healthcare is found to be (legally) negligent, then the claimant (the person making the claim) must prove that their injury was caused or significantly worsened by the negligent care.
This is important because the patient may already be very ill when they receive negligent medical care. In those circumstances, they must prove that their injury (and its financial consequences) would have been avoided or greatly reduced if correct treatment had been given. This aspect of the medical negligence claim is known as ‘causation’. Causation must be proven, even if negligence is admitted, for the claim to succeed and compensation to be awarded.
Negligence and causation must be proven by supportive opinions from medical experts. We instruct experts in the same field of medicine as the negligent care to tell us whether the care that was given was of a reasonable standard. If negligence is proven, we ask medical specialists in the type of injury suffered, to confirm whether our client’s injury was caused or made worse by the negligent treatment, or would have been reduced or avoided with correct care.
In a medical negligence claim, compensation will only be paid for injuries and loss that we can prove were caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Once we know what mistakes were made, the next step (causation) is to identify the extent of the injury or disability that was caused by those mistakes.
Proving causation in complex medical negligence cases requires both medical expertise and understanding of the law. We often succeed in claims where NHS Resolution (the NHS’ defence organisation) has denied ‘causation’. You can read more about how we overcome difficulties with causation in complex birth injury cases.
A personal injury is an injury to the body. Sometimes the physical injury or the circumstances in which that injury was suffered also leads to a psychiatric or psychological injury.
When someone is injured as a result of another person or organisation’s breach of their duty of care (negligence), the injured person may be entitled to claim compensation for their injury and its financial consequences. The claim for compensation is made against the person or organisation that was responsible for the injury and is usually met by their insurer. The legal process of claiming compensation for injuries that are caused by negligence is known as a personal injury claim.
Boyes Turner’s personal injury team specialise in claims involving severe or catastrophic injury. Most of our clients have been injured in road traffic accidents (RTAs) and accidents at work.
For compensation claims relating to injuries which occurred in England or Wales the general rule is that court proceedings must be issued (formally started) within three years of the date of the injury. In most cases, before a claim can be issued work must be carried out to investigate the claim, notify the defendant and the insurance company against whom the claim is being made and obtain a medical report to support the claim. The sooner you contact us after an injury has occurred, the sooner we can begin to help you, and the better we can investigate and prepare your claim.
Longer time limits apply to children whose three-year time period only begins to run from the age of 18, meaning that their time limit expires when they reach the age of 21.
Time limits do not apply for those who lack mental capacity. Where an injured person’s mental capacity is uncertain, we work closely with our Court of Protection team to determine whether our client has capacity to bring their own claim. As with other claims, it is always advisable to contact us as soon as possible after the injury, to ensure that evidence can be preserved, rehabilitation started (where needed) and financial help secured via the claim.
In exceptional circumstances, the court may extend the time limit (or limitation deadline) for those including:
You can make a personal injury claim for:
Court proceedings are issued (started) in many cases but this does not mean that the case will end in a trial. There are many reasons why court proceedings might be issued:
The duration of a serious injury claim depends on the individual circumstances of the client’s case. Claims take less time to conclude if:
Claims are more complex and may take longer to resolve where:
We work hard to secure cooperation with defendant insurers, to provide immediate needs assessments and timely funded rehabilitation for our clients to maximise their recovery in the all-important period immediately following an injury. Wherever possible, we also secure interim payments to ease our clients’ financial hardship long before their claims have concluded.
By taking the time that is needed for the client’s rehabilitation and the careful assessment of their long-term needs, we can be confident that each client receives the full support and the compensation they deserve.
Compensation is carefully structured to make the best provision for the injured person’s needs. There are rules protecting compensation for children or adults who lack mental capacity. Compensation may be paid in one or more of the following ways:
If you, or someone in your family has been seriously injured in an accident that was somebody else’s fault, you may be entitled to make a claim. If this feels daunting, alongside everything else that you are coping with in the aftermath of an accident, it may help to remember that:
If you decide that you want to go ahead with making a claim, we will gather as much evidence as we can to support your claim. This evidence may include:
We will also contact the defendant and their insurers to begin working towards meeting your immediate needs and settlement of the claim.
Our personal injury lawyers are specialists in catastrophic and severe injury compensation claims. Our clients have often suffered life-changing injury resulting in permanent disability, and we aim to assist their recovery by securing funded rehabilitation, whilst supporting them in adjusting to the changes to their lives and securing compensation to meet their needs in the future.
Our clients usually have suffered one or more of the following:
If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of somebody else’s negligence (breach of their duty of care), we may be able to help you make a claim for compensation.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injury, we may also be able to help you claim compensation:
The vast majority of our clients’ serious injury claims are settled without the need for a court hearing (trial). Our clients very rarely need to go to court.
Our personal injury specialists are highly experienced in investigating and assessing the strength of each client’s case. From the outset, and throughout the claim, we advise our clients clearly and honestly about their prospects of success.
We work hard to prove each client’s claim, based on evidence of the circumstances of their accident and the impact of their injury. We encourage cooperation with the defendant’s insurers and negotiate the best possible settlements for our clients. On the rare occasions when a claim cannot be settled without a court hearing, this will be because:
In the following circumstances, the law requires a judge to approve an out-of-court settlement, for the protection of those involved:
In these cases, the approval hearing will be a short hearing at which the lawyers for both parties explain the circumstances of the case and the settlement terms to the judge. In most cases, our client will be expected to be in court during the hearing, accompanied and fully supported by members of our legal team.
The amount of compensation that an injured person receives in a personal injury claim depends on a number of individual factors:
Depending on the client’s injury and the way it affects their life, their claim may include compensation for:
An interim payment is a part-payment of compensation which is paid to the injured person, in advance, whilst the claim is ongoing. We can usually secure an interim payment from the defendant’s insurer where they have admitted liability (accepted fault) for our client’s injury.
We use interim payments to help the injured person and their family, who may be suffering financial hardship as a result of the injury. Where insurers are not willing to provide Rehabilitation Code funding, we sometimes obtain interim payments to ensure that our client receives the rehabilitation, case management and therapies that they need straight away.
Interim payments may be used to meet any genuine need, but it is important that the injured person and their family understand that the sums that they have already received as interim payments are deducted from their final compensation at the end of the claim.
Depending on the client’s injury, an interim payment may help meet their needs for:
By understanding and targeting provision for our clients’ rehabilitation and other essential needs early in the claims process, we help restore our clients’ mobility, independence and ability to participate fully in family and social life, long before the claim has concluded.
When claiming for compensation, Boyes Turner will help you gain:
The easiest way to get started is to talk to one of our friendly, experienced solicitors. You can talk to us free and confidentially about your potential claim, with no obligation, by contacting us by email.
It costs nothing to talk to us to find out about making a claim. Our initial advice is free.
When you first contact us, we advise you whether we can help you make a claim. We discuss how your claim will be funded, and advise, fully and clearly, how that works and what it will mean for you.
We offer a range of funding options, but the majority of our clients’ claims are handled on a conditional fee agreement (CFA) basis, often known as ‘no win no fee’. This means that there is nothing to pay at the outset or until the claim is settled, and you receive compensation. If you win your claim, the defendant’s insurer makes a contribution towards your legal costs. You pay nothing if your claim does not succeed.
Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.