Introduction: Compensation for Loss of Limb

It may be possible to claim compensation for loss of limb if you have lost the use of an arm, leg, hand or foot, lost functionality in your toes, sustained paraplegic or quadriplegic injuries or have suffered severe damage to a limb and had it amputated because of an accident you were involved which was caused by the negligence of a third party.

An individual who experienced the loss of a limb will face a serious deterioration to their quality of life. Mobility can become difficult, it may not be as easy to complete everyday tasks and activities and the medical costs can be substantial. The loss of a limb may not be as incapacitating an injury as it once was, however, with the advances that have been made in technology and the high functionality of modern prosthetics. That said, the cost of prosthetic limbs would prevent a loss of limb victim in having one fitted – if compensation for a limb loss is not awarded.

The most frequent injuries resulting in successful claims for loss of limb compensation include: amputation of a limb, wrong limb amputations, loss of limb mobility, loss of limb function, spinal cord injuries, paraplegia and tetraplegia, quadriplegic injuries, brain damage and temporary paralysis.

Who can Claim Loss of Limb Compensation?

The victim must have sustained their injuries because of a breach in the duty of care that another party owed to them, in order for a compensation for loss of limb claim to be made, and the accident must be proven to have been preventable if correct care had been taken. You would be recommended to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury solicitor if you have lost a limb – or sustained an injury which has restricted limb mobility or functionality – in an accident for which you were not entirely to blame in order to establish your eligibility for a limb loss compensation claim.

Amount Awarded in a Limb Loss Compensation Claim

It is only possible to be given an accurate figure of compensation for loss of limb claims after a comprehensive medical examination has been performed. Compensation calculators can give an estimation of the amount of compensation that is typically awarded in such claims but it is worth noting that each case is unique and should be measured based on its own individual merits. The maximum entitlement to a limb loss compensation claim may be calculated, however, when a personal injury solicitor is consulted about a claim.

How much compensation an individual can claim is influenced by the type of injury, the degree of pain and suffering, the impact the injury has had on the victim’s quality of life, the victim’s age and – in some cases – their sex. Figures based on such calculations would see a child who loses a limb in an accident receive a greater amount of compensation than an elderly man, for example, as the child will have to live with the injury for a longer length of time and will endure a more significant loss of amenity.

Claims for loss of limbs or loss of limb function or mobility will also be affected by contributory negligence. This means, if the accident victim exacerbated the extent of their injuries through their own lack of care or was partly responsible for the accident occurring, how much compensation awarded will be reduced significantly. Therefore, it is vital that you consult a personal injury solicitor in order to confirm your eligibility for making a loss of limb claim and to discover exactly how much compensation for a limb loss you may receive.

Time Limit for Claiming Compensation for a Limb Loss

If you fit the criteria, claiming compensation for loss of limb will be possible but only if it is initiated within the correct time frame legally permitted. The Irish Statute of Limitations applies a two year time limit on making any sort of claim which generally starts from the date that the injury was sustained. There are exceptions to this general tenet – to find out how the Statute of Limits applies to your personal case, you should consult with your solicitor.

The Irish Statute of Limitations changes in cases where a child is the victim who has lost the use of a limb in an accident where paralysis was sustained due to a medical error. A child under the age of eighteen cannot make a claim on their own – they would have to wait until they reach the age of eighteen (their “majority”) and the clock would start on the two year time limit on the date of their eighteenth birthday.

However, a compensation for a limb loss claim can be made before the child reaches their majority if a responsible adult – usually the child’s parent or guardian – makes the claim on their behalf by acting as their “next friend”. Legal advice should always be sought as to whether such a limb loss compensation claim can be made.

Compensation for Loss of Limb: Conclusion

Along with the considerable hardship that is suffered by the victim of an accident who wishes to make a compensation for loss of limb claim due to the physical injury, emotional problems such as loss of self-esteem, depressions and anxiety may also be experienced. Such an injury will cause a significant loss of amenity and medical treatment expenses and costs for mobility aids may be excessively expensive.

A limb loss compensation claim is, therefore, essential for accident victims to make sure that the best possible treatment can be afforded. If you have lost a limb in an accident or have lost mobility or functionality in an accident for which you were not entirely responsible, it is your legal right to be compensated. While no amount of compensation for a limb loss can ever made up for the injuries suffered, a compensation award will ensure that the victim can live as normal a life as possible and is no worse off financially than they were before the accident.

Legal advice should be sought about ensuring that all aspects of the injury – physical, psychological and financial – are claimed for and to guarantee that a limb loss compensation claim has the best opportunity for being successful.