Our Legal Expert Paul Judkins - email: email@example.com - is one of the UK's leading firms in serious injury cases and has been specially selected by Limbcare, for his experience and reputation for success. Paul is an amputee himself and can offer personal advice along with his professional help.
When can I approach a lawyer for advice? Can I do this before my medical treatment has finished?
We would advise you to contact a legal expert as soon after an injury as possible. You can approach a lawyer before the actual amputation surgery takes place or soon afterwards, but certainly before you complete your period of rehabilitation if possible. The sooner you seek help, the sooner a legal expert can examine the particulars of your claim, which may affect the type and level of treatment they are able to obtain for you.
How long will it take for my claim to be settled?
This depends on the difficulty of your claim and the prognosis for your recovery. Straightforward claims where liability is determined very early on in the proceedings could take less time to resolve than complex cases where the issue of responsibility requires further investigation.
In cases involving amputations or limb loss, the need for absolute certainty over your future prognosis may determine the length of your claim and prolong the final resolution.
Most cases are settled on what is known as a 'full and final' basis.' This means that should your condition happen to worsen, you cannot then return to court seeking further damages in the future. As a result, when finalising the damages claimed it is vital that the medical and other evidence is clear in regard to what the future may hold.
A lengthy period of hospitalization is expected, followed by extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation as well as the provision of prostheses. Determining the level of activity a person can achieve using prosthesis often takes time. Activities undertaken or planned before an accident need to be considered, as is a person's ability to return to previous employment.
A serious injury may also have effects on an individual's psychological wellbeing, requiring psychotherapy or counseling. These are all factors that could influence the amount of time it takes for a claim to be settled. If you have instructed us shortly after an accident, it is unlikely your case will be resolved within two years due to the fact that your injuries need to have consolidated to allow a 'full and final' prognosis.
What kind of expertise will lawyers call on to help my case?
In order to progress your case as quickly as possible, lawyers can rely on several experts for specialist advice. These can include prosthetics experts to advise on the latest in technology to ensure you have the most advanced and suitable prosthetics available; architects who will advise you on accommodation requirements and any specialist adaptations you may need to make; accountants to help with financial matters such as a loss of earnings; and occupational therapists and consultants to aid you through your rehabilitation.
Can I claim for prosthetics?
The law allows amputees to claim for prosthetics that are available on a private basis as well as those available on the NHS. These can include a wide range of prosthetics for a variety of purposes such as different legs for different sports including running, cycling and swimming. It is even possible to make a claim for the most advanced silicone cosmetic coverings for prosthetic limbs.
What kind of damages can I claim?
There are generally three types of damages that you can claim. Firstly, general damages for any pain or suffering as well as a loss of ability to pursue any activities you may have enjoyed before an accident. Secondly, special damages account for any financial losses you may have accrued due to a loss of earnings, cost of prosthetics or specialist medical treatment. Finally, future losses cover any ongoing treatment costs, the size of which will depend on the likely prognosis regarding future recovery or deterioration.