Over and above any other form of injury, injuries involving amputation tend to have huge vocational implications. If there’s any manual aspect to the injured person’s work, ongoing employment may be rendered impossible by the amputation. The cost of a prosthesis is expensive and, of course, the loss of a limb has a huge psychological impact.
Apart from the impact on the ability to work, amputation can have significant impacts on broader quality of life issues, including the ability to participate in sporting activities, DIY, child-rearing, cooking, and many other day-to-day activities that were previously taken for granted. There can be lengthy rehabilitation required to work out how to use prosthetics properly and one is faced with the cost of replacing prosthetics regularly throughout the person’s lifetime.
The loss of a limb seems to have a huge psychological impact on people and they can understandably become very depressed, with some people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological injuries. Again, occupational therapy would be very important in this context, to see what devices and aids may be necessary to enable a person to get back as close as possible to the quality of life that they enjoyed before the injury.
If someone has suffered an injury sufficiently serious that they’ve actually lost a part of their body they’ll almost certainly have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and possibly an adjustment disorder.
There may also be a loss of consortium aspect to the claim, particularly in serious injury, head, and brain or amputation cases. Loss of consortium relates to the loss of intimacy that may occur in a relationship as a result of a serious injury. If someone becomes a different person as a result of their injury either because their personality has changed or they can’t remember their past with their loved one, or they have suffered a physical injury that prevents them in engaging in physical intimacy, that will most certainly have an impact on their intimate relationships with their loved ones, physical and otherwise. And if it’s the case that an injury has robbed a spouse or partner of the enjoyment of a full relationship that they had been used to prior to the accident, then that spouse or partner would certainly have a claim for loss of consortium in their own right. Loss of consortium cases would not necessarily be confined to head and brain injury cases and would also arise in circumstances where some aspect of a physical relationship had been adversely affected by the injuries suffered.
For further information regarding injuries resulting in amputation, and the levels of compensation that can be awarded for such injuries, take a look at section 7 of the Judicial Council’s Personal Injuries guidelines.
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Some links relating to this topic that you may find useful.
- Firstaidforeveryone.ie – Supports to help you
following an amputation
- The Amputation Foundation – Homepage
- PubMed – Lower extremity amputations in Ireland: a registry-based study
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