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Wrong Amputation?

26th February 2009
By Nick Jervis in Legal
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Unfortunately a common type of medical negligence claim is for compensation when a wrong limb is amputated. How does this still happen and what action can be taken if you are the victim of a wrong limb or other body part amputation?

Types of Wrong Amputations
Whilst there are some obvious and common horror stories of the wrong arm or leg being marked up for removal, there are also many more types of removals which do not usually make the news headlines. Removal of the wrong testicle, removal of a wrong back disc leaving a victim still in pain, and even removal of the wrong hip are all common claims under this area of medical negligence compensation.

Often the problem is not even discovered until the patient awakes from the anaesthetic and realises what a dreadful mistake has been made. In the case of the removal of a disc, the patient might not know for some months when they are still experiencing severe back pain. Once the error is discovered, what action should be taken?

Make A Formal Complaint

If you realise the error whilst you are still in hospital, ensure that you formally complain to the doctor that carried out the treatment and ensure that the complaint is entered onto the medical records.

The next stage is to immediately seek advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor. 1stClaims can of course help you with wrong amputations and all initial enquiries are free of charge.

Your solicitor will discuss all of the circumstances of the wrong amputation, and take you through the action you need to take. They will guide you through a complaints procedure if you have not yet complained, and will then take over the handling of the claim for you to ensure that you receive the compensation that is rightfully yours.

What Will Your Claim Include?
The most significant part of the claim will no doubt be for your pain and suffering for removal of the wrong body part. The claim for this compensation element is called General Damages. It may also include a claim for care and attention if you need caring for by family or friends, or professional nursing care if required.

There may also be other significant aspects to your claim. If the wrong leg or arm has been amputated, and the other limb still has to be removed, your previous living accommodation may no longer be suitable. Removal costs or adaptation costs of your current home can be claimed. In addition, other losses and expenses can include lost earnings, career retraining, private medical treatment and travel expenses. A wrong amputation claim normally attracts higher levels of compensation than many other claims

If you are the victim of a wrong amputation, you should take prompt action to protect your entitlement to compensation. A claim must be made within three years (normally of the date of the operation although this can be longer in some circumstances so you should always ask) so delaying is not an option. A solicitor will obtain your medical records and collect the evidence needed to secure your claim for compensation. Take early action to protect your rights.

We deal in a range of claims, including medical negligence and compensation.

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