Coming to terms with the loss of a limb
I am currently acting for a client who was seriously injured in a road traffic collision. He sustained a complex musculoskeletal injury and has undergone several surgical procedures. Unfortunately, he has been advised by doctors that they are unable to save his leg and he now requires a below the knee amputation.
This is an extremely stressful process for my client. The loss of a limb, is understandably, one of the most difficult injuries to come to terms with. There is a huge adjustment process to consider, both mentally and physically.
There will be many aspects of my client’s life which will need consideration. One of them being the need for suitable prostheses to allow him to return, so far as is possible, to his pre-accident lifestyle.
Adjusting to a life with a prosthetic limb can be an extremely challenging process. Not only will my client have to compensate for the loss of a limb, but considerable lifestyle choices will also need to be made. Adaptations to his existing home, or even finding alternative suitable accommodation, will almost certainly be necessary. All these additional financial expenses will be included in his claim. An important part of the legal claim is obtaining interim payments along the way to ensure my client can cover any financial losses following his injury.
It is also important to consider the psychological impact of such an injury. My client has understandably found the experience incredibly overwhelming. Common emotions experienced following an amputation include; anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it is extremely important to seek medical assistance to help cope with the loss and come to terms with the significant changes to his life.
The NHS website notes that having an amputation can have a considerable psychological impact for three main reasons:
- you have to cope with the loss of sensation from your amputated limb
- you have to cope with the loss of function from your amputated limb
- your sense of body image, and other people’s perception of your body image, has changed
There are several charities and support groups offering guidance and advice to help those living with amputations adjust to a new life. We are able to direct our clients to organisations offering support outside the legal process.
It can be frustrating having to re-learn how to do everyday jobs, that were once taken for granted. However, rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process. This can be a long, difficult and trying process. However, with the right help, there is no reason why my client should not be able to return to many of the activities he enjoyed before his amputation.
If you or your family have suffered an amputation due to an accident or medical negligence, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Anthony Gold, we are committed to achieving the best possible results for our clients to enable them to rebuild their lives.