Statistics published by the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) for the 2013 to 2014 show that around 12,500 amputations were performed in the UK which were the result of people having been involved in catastrophic incidents both in the workplace and in road accidents. High on the list of accidents at work that result in a loss of limb is being crushed by something. If you were involved in any sort of serious accident in the workplace, you could be entitled to compensation for a loss of limb if your injuries were so catastrophic that you had to undergo an amputation, to find out more about this type of personal injury claim against an employer, please read on.
Working Environments That Put You More at Risk of Suffering a Loss of Limb
Accidents at work that lead to the loss of a limb are life changing, traumatic experiences with some working environments putting you more at risk of suffering this type of injury than others. The most reported industries where workers have been involved in a workplace accident that resulted in a loss of limb include the following:
With this said, you could be crushed by a falling object or moving vehicle in any working environment that could result in you suffering extensive damage to a limb which then requires amputation.
The Consequences of Suffering a Loss of Limb at Work
If you sustained a serious injury in the workplace because of employer negligence and as a result you suffered a loss of limb, you would be entitled to make a personal injury claim against them. However, you would need to provide as much evidence as you can that the incident occurred through employer negligence whether they failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment or they failed to provide the correct level of training to carry out a job you were tasked to do.
Having a big toe, finger, thumb, hand, arm or other limb amputated can result in tremendous physical pain and mental anguish both for you and your loved ones. It could mean that you would be unable to carry out your job or work again. If you suffered a life-changing injury as a result of employer negligence, you should contact a lawyer who specialises in accident at work claims. The solicitor would provide essential advice on how best to proceed in filing a case against your employer.
As previously mentioned, suffering a loss of limb can be life-changing and if the injury was so catastrophic that you would need to undergo long-term therapy and rehabilitation, your life may be changed forever. Modifications to your home being necessary and you may have to adapt to wearing a prosthetic limb which can be extremely stressful. Even having a thumb amputated means you lose your ability to grasp and grip things which could mean you are unable to carry out a job you used to do prior to being injured.
If you suffered a loss of limb at work in an accident that occurred through employer negligence, the best course of action is to contact a specialist lawyer who boasts extensive experience in handling this type of catastrophic accident at work claim.
How to Start Your Loss of Limb at Work Claim
Having suffered such a severe injury, it is important to focus on your health and well-being both physical and mental. However, as soon as you are able, you should seek legal advice from an experienced, specialist lawyer who would assess your case by offering a no obligation consultation which does not carry a fee. Once the lawyer is satisfied that your case against an employer is strong and that you are entitled to seek compensation from them by filing a loss of limb claim, the firm of solicitors would typically offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, taking all the worry of how to pay for legal advice when you need it the most.
The initial consultation may have to be a face-to-face meeting or if your case is less complex, this could be carried out over the phone. Either way, there would be nothing to pay for the advice you receive from the lawyer you contact when thinking about filing a loss of limb at work claim against your employer.
You would need to provide as much evidence as you can both of the workplace accident, the extent of your injuries and the circumstances leading up to the incident. The solicitor who represents you on a No Win No Fee basis would also need to have the following:
- The official report of the incident as recorded in the workplace Accident Report Book and RIDDOR
- An official medical report detailing the extent of the injury you sustained in the workplace
- Witness statements
- Witness contact details
- CCTV footage of the incident if available
- Photos of where the incident occurred
- Photos of your injuries prior to having received any treatment
- Details of your employer’s liability insurance providers
The more evidence you can provide the solicitor, the better because it would strengthen your case against your employer.
The Process Of Filing a Loss of Limb at Work Claim
Once the lawyer has all the relevant information relating to your loss of limb claim and a No Win No Fee agreement has been signed between you and the firm of solicitors, your employer and their insurance providers would be contacted on your behalf. This is to inform them of your intentions to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained in the workplace accident. It is worth noting that “pre-action protocol” applies to all personal injury claims and this includes those that involve workplace injuries.
This procedure is set in place as a way of encouraging the “exchange of information” between both parties, namely the “claimant” and the “defendant”. The process is also designed to settle claims as quickly as possible and in many instances a case never goes before a judge with 95% of personal injury claims being “settled” out of court.
There is a strict time limit attached to the “pre-action protocol” and both the Defendant which in this instance would be your employer and you, the Claimant, must respond and acknowledge all written communication in a timely manner. Should an employer or their insurance providers fail to respond to any correspondence that is sent to them regarding your claim, the solicitor who represents you would advise on whether court proceedings should be issued.
Once a response is received from either your employer or their insurance providers and liability is “admitted”, the solicitor would then commence negotiating a fair and acceptable “settlement” which can only be achieved once all the medical evidence required detailing your injuries is finalised. The solicitor would consider showing your medical evidence to your employer’s insurance provider because this would give them an opportunity to offer you an acceptable settlement figure. It is essential that this be done, prior to issuing any court proceedings against your employer.
The medical report would provide essential information on the extent and the severity of the injury you sustained and the time it could take you to recover, or whether your injuries are such, that they are life-changing. This detailed report of your injuries provides both parties with an idea of how much you may be awarded for the damage you suffered in an accident at work that resulted in a loss of limb.
The solicitor would also put together a draft “schedule of special damages” which is a document that lists the financial losses and other out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the injuries you sustained. The document is also vital as the information it contains would be used as a basis for the loss of limb compensation you would be awarded. It is worth noting that your employer/their insurance provider, may at any time during the process of filing for compensation, offer to make a settlement.
Should your employer or their insurance providers deny liability for the injuries you sustained in the workplace, they are obliged to provide documented reasons which must support the decision they came to. The solicitor who represents you would then begin an investigation into these claims with an end goal being to prove that your employer is, indeed, liable for the injuries you sustained in a workplace accident that resulted in you suffering a loss of limb.
What Can I Include in a Loss of Limb at Work Claim?
Sustaining a traumatic, life-changing injury such as a loss of limb not only causes physical pain but the mental stress involved can be devastating too. You may not be able to work again which means that you lose the chance of bringing in a wage. Losing the possibility of working can itself be traumatic which is why having the experience of a solicitor work with you when filing a loss of limb claim, can make what is a stressful time much easier to cope with.
The solicitor would handle all the negotiations on your behalf and they would make sure you are awarded a fair and acceptable level of loss of limb compensation for the workplace injuries you sustained through no fault of your own. The lawyer would also advise you on how much you may be awarded which they would do as soon as possible.
As previously mentioned, personal injury compensation amounts are calculated in two parts, namely “general damages” which cover the injuries you sustained, and “special damages” which cover the financial losses you incurred having been injured in a workplace accident.
Special damages explained
- Special damages are awarded to compensate you for any loss of earnings you incurred for the time you were unable to work, and should you not be able to work again this would be factored into the amount of special damages you receive in a final settlement. Should you have to undergo ongoing treatment and therapy which means a final settlement would take longer to reach, the solicitor representing you would negotiate interim payments on your behalf to alleviate any financial stress you may have to deal with
- Your medical expenses are also factored into the special damages you receive and this includes all the treatments, therapies and rehabilitation you would need to undergo having suffered a loss of limb in a workplace accident
- Care costs are also awarded in special damages and they cover the fact that you may require a level of care around the home
- Adaptations to your home would also be factored into the special damages you are awarded
- Travel costs and expenses would also be included in the amount of special damages you receive and this includes whether you travel by car, taxi, bus or train to receive necessary treatments, therapies and rehabilitation
General damages explained
- General damages are awarded on the extent and severity of the injuries you sustained in a workplace accident that left you with a loss of limb. General damages cover the pain and suffering you had to endure
It is worth noting that all personal injury claims are treated as unique and as such, the amount of compensation that you could receive in a successful loss of limb at work claim could be more or less than someone else who suffered a similar may be awarded either by a court or in an out of court settlement.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive in an Loss of Limb Settlement?
When it comes to calculating how much you may be awarded in a successful loss of limb at work claim, the solicitor who represents you would assess the severity of the injury you sustained and the mental as well as emotional repercussions that losing a limb may have caused you. In short, the compensation you receive would be proportional to the severity of your injuries and how you are affected by the damage you sustained in a workplace accident.
As a rough guide to the amount you may be awarded for a loss of limb, please see below:
- Amputation of one or both feet, you may be awarded between £96,150 and £176,660
- Amputation of one or both legs, you may receive between £211,150 and £247,280
- Amputation of one or more finger, you may be awarded between £14,930 and £16,420
- Amputation of one or both hands, you could receive between £84,310 and £96,150
- Amputation of one or both arms, you may be awarded between £120,270 and £263,060
Working With a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Loss of Limb Claim
If you suffered a catastrophic injury in a workplace accident that resulted in a loss of limb, by contacting a lawyer who has vast experience in handling this type of case, you would find out whether the firm of solicitors would be prepared to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This is an arrangement by which you would not have to worry about how to pay for legal advice. The agreement is referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement and if the outcome of your loss of limb at work claim is unsuccessful, you would not have to pay the “success fee” that is laid out in the CFA you signed.
The only time that you would have to pay for the legal representation the firm of solicitors provided on your loss of limb at work claim, is when you are awarded the compensation you sought. The amount is then deducted directly by the solicitor from the amount you receive in a final settlement.
It is essential that you provide all the information and evidence surrounding the workplace accident that resulted in a loss of limb to the solicitor because this is the only way that your case can be accurately assessed so that a No Win No Fee agreement can be set in place between the firm of solicitors and yourself. It is also noteworthy that the “success fee” that a No Win No Fee solicitor can request has a limit of 25% attached to it.
If you would like more information on the amount a No Win No Fee solicitor can request, the following link provides essential reading:
To find out more about reportable accidents at work, the following link to RIDDOR provides useful information on which incidents and injuries must be reported: