Amputation is the removal of a part, or part of a part, of the body by surgery or trauma. Although traumatic amputations are rare (30,000 traumatic amputations occur in the USA every year), they can occur in high-speed road traffic accidents or industrial accidents. If you have sustained severe limb injuries in an accident, then emergency surgical amputation may be needed.
Accident Advice Helpline has been in business for over 16 years and during that time, ‘I lost my leg above the knee, how much compensation could I get?’ is a common question we are asked. The amount of compensation you could be entitled to after an amputation of this kind will depend on a number of things including the level of physical and psychological trauma you have sustained.
Generally though, upper leg amputations could lead to a settlement in the range of £56,000 to £81,000. Between 2003 and 2009, there were 25,312 amputations in England, although a high percentage of these were caused by things other than accidents, such as diabetes.
Why did you need an amputation?
If you are asking, ‘I lost my leg above the knee, how much compensation could I get?’ it may be because an amputation was needed urgently if an injury, such as a laceration or other wound, became severely infected, or if you sustained serious trauma after a crushing injury or explosion. A thorough assessment will always be carried out by medical professionals before an amputation takes place. Removing part of a limb can place additional strain on the remaining limb, so it is important to ensure that it is healthy.
A psychological assessment is just as important as a physical assessment, to determine how well you will cope after an amputation and provide any additional support that you may need. Before surgery you’ll also normally be introduced to a prosthetist (a prosthetic limb specialist) who can offer advice on prosthetic limbs, and a physiotherapist who will help you with your rehabilitation after your surgery.
How long does it take to recover after losing a limb?
If you have lost your leg above the knee, how much compensation you could get may be the least of your worries. Physical rehabilitation can be a long, difficult and frustrating process for you and your loved ones. You’ll work closely with occupational therapists, physiotherapists and other medical professionals.
Rehabilitation usually begins a few days after your surgery, and if you have had an amputation above the knee, you will normally use a wheelchair after your operation to move around. When asking, ‘I lost my leg above the knee, how much compensation could I get?’ the length of time you spent in hospital may affect the final award value. You may also need to spend money making adaptations to your home to make it more accessible before you can be discharged – for example you may need to install hand rails or a wheelchair ramp.
What are the possible complications after an amputation?
Although serious complications are thankfully quite rare after an amputation, phantom limb pain is fairly common and is estimated to affect around 50 to 80% of amputation victims. Symptoms of phantom limb pain can affect your quality of life and can range from brief, sharp bursts of pain to constant extreme pain. Other complications possible after an amputation include:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Heart complications
- Wound infection or slow wound healing
These complications can slow down your recovery process, which means you may need to take more time off work or stay in hospital longer for treatment, so you could find you’re eligible to claim more personal injury compensation for your loss of earnings.
How much compensation could you get?
You could be entitled to more compensation if you participate in sports either competitively or in your leisure time – for example if you play football and you suffer crush injuries in a car accident that leads to amputation then you could be entitled to a substantial sum as settlement for your injuries. The psychological impact of your injuries will be taken into account too. Your body image will change after your accident, and you will also have to deal with the loss of function and sensation from your amputated limb.
This can be tough to handle and lead to negative thoughts, anxiety and depression. So when you ask, ‘I lost my leg above the knee, how much compensation could I get?’ remember that we will take these factors into account.
Who’s to blame for your accident?
If you have needed to have part of your leg amputated after a road traffic accident then you may be wondering who is to blame. By far the most common cause of car accidents is careless/reckless driving, with being distracted at the wheel also playing a major part. If somebody else’s dangerous driving caused your accident and you have undergone an amputation because of their negligence, you could make a claim for compensation within three years of your accident. If you have lost your leg above the knee, how much compensation you could get may not be the first thing you think about.
But as you are going through the rehabilitation process, things could be difficult for you and your family financially, and a personal injury settlement could help you out at a difficult time. You can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline at any point after your accident, but don’t wait too long as there is a three-year time limit in place to make a claim.
How much compensation can I get?
Since 2000, Accident Advice Helpline has helped hundreds of people to claim compensation after a wide range of accidents. We have years of experience helping people who have undergone amputations to get the compensation they deserve, and our helpful, friendly advisors won’t judge you or push you into making a claim. You can call our freephone helpline for advice at any time on 0800 689 5659 and rest assured that all advice is provided on a no-obligation basis.
Should you have a viable claim and decide you want to proceed, you’ll find that our personal injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis. So even if you are struggling financially after your accident, it’s easy to make a claim as there are no expensive legal fees to budget for. This means you can focus fully on your rehabilitation and recovering from your injuries.