I act for quite a few people who have suffered leg amputations after a serious medical accident. Some are young and were highly active before.
Before dealing with injuries of this type I had no idea of quite how difficult life can be after an amputation.Among the things I do for these people is to obtain reports from specialists in various areas. We look at their housing – whether their homes are accessible, whether doorways are wide enough for a wheelchair, the layouts of their bathrooms and other issues. We look at what equipment could assist them to manage at home, carry out their leisure interests and keep them working. We consider whether they would benefit of professional help by carers, therapists and doctors.
Quite often I am surprised by some of the issues my experts highlight. I visited one client at home and hardly noticed that his driveway sloped slightly. But for him it was a major problem. Even with a good prosthetic limb, slopes, stairs and rough ground make for difficult terrain.
Most of us do not imagine that using a toothbrush could be difficult but when you have to find a way of sitting safely over the bath with the toothbrush and toothpaste laid out for you, you realise that even apparently simple tasks can be hazardous.
Carry out adaptations and providing assistance with daily living is not just expensive but the expense goes on for life.The awards of damages for someone who has been left seriously disabled as a result of medical negligence can be very high.
I suspect that many people reading headline figures for damages in the newspaper have little idea of what very heavy costs these awards are designed to meet.
Paul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.