Amputation Due To Medical Negligence

Affected by an amputation? Here’s what you need to know

An amputation due to medical negligence should lead to legal action in order to ensure that you recoup damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of earnings and pain and suffering.

The loss of a limb is a devastating and life-changing event which can lead to long-lasting and monumental physical and psychological health issues.

Amputations are essential in certain life-threatening situations and are often the only viable option left if a limb has been severely damaged through trauma, diabetes, infection or vascular disease. 

However, a small percentage of amputations are the result of medical negligence.

If you suspect medical negligence may have played a role, the experienced lawyers at Gert Nel Inc. can help. We have a thorough understanding of complex medical cases and have the required knowledge, skill and resources to successfully pursue the justice you deserve.

Malpractice by a healthcare provider occurs when a negligent medical action results in an unnecessary and preventable injury to a patient. This can lead to a medical negligence claim.

Due to the complexity and high costs involved in litigating a medical negligence claim, the utmost care is taken to establish the true facts of each matter before any formal steps are taken.

This is done to protect the clients’ rights and to avoid spiralling costs and the undue prolonging of an already unpleasant experience.

To succeed with a medical negligence claim, and to recover compensation, the plaintiff must bring a negligence claim against the medical provider. 

The test for medical negligence is the “reasonable doctor test” which is: 

  1. How would a reasonable doctor have acted in a similar situation to that described by the Plaintiff;
  2. Would a reasonable doctor have foreseen the likelihood of harm and taken steps to guard against such harm occurring?

In deciding what is reasonable, the court will have regard to the general level of skill possessed at the time of the occurrence by members of that particular branch of the profession.

It is not sufficient to only prove that the doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose and commence appropriate treatment timeously, but the plaintiff must also establish the causal link between the doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat the plaintiff, and the subsequent harm (limb loss).

Finally, and once the plaintiff has proved both negligence and causation i.e. that he is indeed liable for the plaintiff’s claim, the defendant will be liable for the medical costs associated with the amputation such as orthopaedic and plastic surgery, physical and occupational therapy, orthotic care, psychological care and follow-up, and general damages for pain and suffering.

In addition, and as expected, amputations have an effect on the plaintiff’s ability to return to his or her former occupation. The plaintiff may also claim compensation for his or her loss of income and loss of further earning capacity as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

Gert Nel Incorporated has an excellent track record with medical negligence claims. Contact us today to assess the possibility of a potential medical negligence claim.