Due to people using their hands for most tasks and activities, it shouldn't come as a surprise that most commonly the fingers, hands and arms are most at risk of injury and possible amputation in the workplace. Additionally, motor vehicle accidents can be the cause of leg and lower limb crush injuries that result in amputations also.
A little less common are amputations due to medical negligence, although rare, they do occur. Medical causes of amputation can include disease and illness, usually due to misdiagnosis. If you have had a limb or body part amputated as a result of medical negligence - characterised by misdiagnosis or failure to act in accordance with good medical treatment, then you may be able to raise a claim for medical negligence. Due to the complicated nature of medical negligence claims, it is important to seek legal advice from our experienced team of personal injury lawyers.
All limbs can be injured as a results of accidents, whether they are amputated, crushed or severely maimed.
The following list outlines some common causes of amputations:
Amputated fingers are a relatively common workplace amputation injury. Due to the nature of some jobs, the use of hands is frequent. Injuries can result from crush injuries, accidents with tools, knives and saws, burning or degloving injuries.
You may suffer an amputated arm injury in either a workplace accident or motor vehicle accident. You may suffer a full arm or partial arm amputation depending on the specifics of your accident. In the workplace, loose clothing or hair can get stuck in moving machinery or conveyor belts and cause your arm to be crushed, resulting in amputation.
Leg amputation injuries usually occur in a crushing incident, which can occur in road accidents or workplace accidents. A crushing accident may result in either full leg, above the knee, knee, below-knee, ankle or partial foot amputation.
Similar to leg amputation injury, amputated toe injuries are often a result of an accident where crushing occurs. Amputated toes can also occur when the foot is impacted by heavy materials, like a heavy or sharp object being dropped on the foot and toes, or being driven over by a vehicle.
In the workplace, your hand may become trapped in moving machinery and become crushed or a mis-strike with a tool can cause significant injury, as well as a number of other situations, resulting in serious injury and the hand needing to be amputated. A hand amputation may also occur as the result of serious motor vehicle accident.
Accidents that result in a loss of a limb/s can be very traumatic for all involved and occur in the workplace due to many reasons. Amputation accidents can occur due to employees failing to take proper precautions and paying full attention to the job at hand. However, at oftentimes employers do not provide a safe work environment and are found to be negligent.
In situations where the employer has not been negligent, a statutory 'WorkCover' (or a claim with your employer's insurer) claim can be made and benefits such as a portion of wages being paid, and covering medical treatment required. However, where the employer has been negligent, in addition to a statutory claim, a common law claim can be lodged, which will seek additional compensation including:
For the purposes of personal injury claims, negligent actions may include:
There are some occupations that are more susceptible to amputation injuries and these include:
Talk with an experienced WorkCover lawyer to learn more.
Serious motor vehicle accidents can result in amputation of a limb, mainly due to the crushing nature and the impact of the vehicles crashing into each other, particularly when the car rolls or is crushed under impact.
Common amputation injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents can include:
Passengers can sustain an amputation in serious motor vehicle accidents also. If you are a passenger of a car involved in an accident, you are able to make amputation compensation claims for your injuries also.
Find out more about making a car accident compensation claim.
If you have suffered a loss of limb due to a road or workplace accident you may be able to claim compensation through an statutory and/or common law amputation claim. How much compensation you may get is dependant on a number of factors and which limb has been amputated.
For more specific and actionable advice specific situation, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. As strict time limits apply, it is advisable to do so as quickly as possible after taking care of all your immediate medical needs.
Losing a limb can be a significant and traumatic event, and may result in changes to your pre-accident lifestyle. An amputation injury may also impact your ability to work at the same capacity or work at all, this will impact your ability to earn an income, and you may need additional care and help living your life with an amputation.
Once it is practical and you are able to, you will need to lodge an application for WorkCover (or your workplace's insurer) to start your amputation claim. This process will commence the statutory section of your claim, and does not consider liability (who is at fault).
Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in order to best understand your rights and entitlements. Primarily, what a lawyer will be able to advise you on will be your eligibility to run a common law claim (resulting in additional compensation). A lawyer will discuss your situation and if you or they can see that negligence (someone failing in their duty of care to you) maybe involved in your injury, can advise you of your prospects of running a common law claim. A common law claim can be run as well as a statutory WorkCover claim.
Should you choose to run a common law claim, your lawyer will begin to collect evidence on your behalf, and will secure funding for medical treatment on your behalf. Your focus should be on recovering as much as is possible, whilst your lawyer is working in the background, on your behalf. This will continue until you are deemed to have reached MMI (maximum medical improvement), and then the next part of your claim can commence.
When your treating practitioners suggest that you have reached MMI, your lawyer will book in medico-legal assessments, where you will visit with a medical professional who will assess you and provide important medical evidence to your solicitor. The insurer 'the other side' may also request that you attend an assessment at the practitioner of their choice.
In most instances, settlement is reached informally in the pre-court stage of the claim, meaning you will most likely not need to attend court. After your lawyer has received the the medico-legal reports, and sought advice from a barrister, they will finalise their work on the claim and collate all of the evidence and advice received, and then will attend (in some occasions the client will also attend), and in a 'compulsory conference' where a negotiation will take place in order to settle the claim.
There are strict time limits which apply when making an amputation claim. You must commence your claim for compensation within three years of suffering the injury. There are some situations in which this time limit can be altered and you can claim compensation outside of this time limit, however these are exceptions only. We strongly advise to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Each claim is unique and it would not be helpful for any firm to provide a fee estimate earlier on in a claim, or without knowing even the initial details of a claim. What we can share is that we offer a ‘No Win. No Fee. No Catch’® promise, which means there are no upfront costs and you will never be left out of pocket, regardless of the outcome. Fees are calculated on the amount of work completed and will be explained to you before we proceed with your case.
It is often not understood that with standard 'no win. no fee,' lawyers, in situations where their client's claims end up in court, and are not successful, and the judge subjects their client to an adverse cost order (an order to contribute to the insurer's costs), the client is responsible for these costs personally, which can easily run over $100,000, whereas with Smith's, we would pay any cost order against you, and not charge you, meaning you would not be left out of pocket whatsoever, in the same circumstance.
If you suffer injuries whilst at work, and you are looking for further information in terms of making a claim. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer a free consultation for injured people looking to seek compensation. As mentioned before, we also have a "No Win. No Fee. No Catch." policy, which means you will never be out of pocket.
Get in touch with us today to give yourself the best opportunity to understand your rights.
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