Would it be better for my son to wait until structured payments are introduced before making a claim for a wrong leg amputation?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
It is assumed by the nature of your question that your son is under the legal age to claim for a wrong leg amputation in his own right, and that you have the option of waiting several years for structured payments to be introduced or making a claim for amputating the wrong leg now with you (his parent) acting as a “next friend”.
Although the settlement of compensation for having the wrong leg amputated is likely to be substantial, and it is understandable that you would want your son to have a guarantee of financial security under a structured payments system, you should not delay in initiating a claim for amputating the wrong leg.
The benefits of making a claim for a wrong leg amputation sooner rather than later are that:-
- an investigation can be made into why the medical error occurred while it is still a recent event. Even though it is obvious that negligence has occurred, it still has to be determined where in the procedural chain a mistake was made before a claim can be made.
- psychologists can assess the emotional injury that your son has sustained to make sure that the final settlement of compensation is accurate – they may also be able to help him adjust to the trauma he has experienced.
- you will receive answers as to how such a life-changing error could have been made. Even though you could not possibly be to blame for this terrible error, parents will always be worried that there was something else that they should have done to protect their child.
Furthermore, if an admission of liability is received from the HSE before structured payments are introduced, a solicitor acting on your behalf would be able to apply for an interim payment of compensation for having the wrong leg amputated until such time as a more suitable arrangement is available.
Therefore, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor as soon as you practically can. You should voice your concerns about your son´s future financial security and discuss with the solicitor the best options for claiming compensation for having the wrong leg amputated.
It is likely that the solicitor will echo the advice issued here about making a claim for amputating the wrong leg, but ultimately the decision is yours to make on behalf of your son and might even be influenced by your own personal circumstances or those of your partner.