Seven figure leg amputation settlement

5 Nov 2021 | Rob Aylott

Mr S was walking across the yard at work when he was run over by a forklift truck from behind. He suffered crush injuries to right leg so severe that the limb had to be surgically amputated above the knee.

Mr S needed several more operations including skin grafting to the residual tissues but was left with a very short and badly scarred and deformed stump that was prone to infection and unsuitable for a traditional socket. He was therefore unable to use a prosthetic leg for long periods without skin breakdown and was largely confined to a wheelchair.

The defendants and their insurers argued about liability and rehabilitation funding and Mr S decided to instruct Osbornes’ partner Rob Aylott, an amputation claim specialist, in place of the firm that he had originally instructed to advance his personal injury claim.

Mr S had been advised by his treating doctors about the possibility of undergoing a new type of surgery to allow him to wear an artificial limb. That surgery, called osseointegration, would involve fixing a titanium implant to the residual bone of his femur, allowing bone growth into the implant in order to create a solid connection with the limb so that it could bear a prosthesis.

There were two difficulties here. One was that this was cutting edge surgery, not at that time available for this sort of case in the UK, and the second – related – point was that it would cost over £100,000 to have the surgery carried out privately by the leading expert in this field in Australia.

Rob was able to put together compelling medical expert evidence in support of his application for funding to put before the court, and the defendants then agreed an interim payment to meet the costs.

Mr S duly travelled to Sydney and the operation was successful, allowing him to use a prosthetic leg. Rob was then able to instruct prosthetics experts to calculate the future cost of prosthetics, factoring in a waterproof activity limb, a custom made cosmesis, spares and upkeep and replacement.

Rehabilitation specialists were engaged to maximise the client’s recovery but the severity of his injuries meant that he would not work again and despite the fact that he was known to be a particularly independent and determined individual he would remain very significantly disabled, requiring adapted accommodation, aids and equipment, an adapted car, care and case management, and treatment and therapies for the rest of his life.

The issue then to be decided was how much compensation the defendant should pay him.

If in these cases the parties fail to agree damages between themselves it falls to the court to decide at trial how much compensation to award under the various heads of loss. In this case, the defendants had made early offers to settle the case both on liability and the value of the claim before the expert evidence to establish the full lifetime losses had been gathered but those offers were rejected on Rob’s advice.

Further offers made at a formal settlement meeting between the claimant and defendant and their lawyers were also rejected as too low but the case finally settled after further negotiation and an improved offer shortly before trial.

The agreed amount of £4.75 million was broken down as to future losses in the various categories of loss and a lump sum for the injuries themselves (known as ‘general damages’), as well as past losses, including the full cost of the osseointegration procedure in Australia.

If you would like to speak to Rob Aylott about an amputation claim, please call us, or complete an online enquiry form.

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    • Robert Aylott is one of the most charming and technically astute solicitors out there. He has an unflappable manner that must disarm any opponent quite quickly. A pleasure to work with and an all-round gem.

      Legal 500 2022

    • Pleased to see Robert Aylott promoted to the partnership. He is an excellent lawyer.

      Legal 500 2022

    • “The service and results I received from Robert Aylott and the team at Osbornes was exceptional. Experts in their field and total professionals from start to finish. In 2018 I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and required surgery the other party denied liability and there were few witnesses. After an initial interview Robert assessed my case and advised they were confident in securing me substantial losses. This they did in a reasonably short timescale securing me a six figure sum well above my initial hopes. If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident I recommend this team fantastic 5* Professionals.”

      Legal 500 2021

    • “Literally, putting your future in their hands, Robert Aylott and the team at Osbornes Law took the uncertainty, vulnerability and fear resulting from a catastrophic life event and turned it into a safety net for the rest of my life. Empathy, professionalism and delivering exactly what they say. You’re safe in their hands”.

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Literally, putting your future in their hands, Rob Aylott and the team at Osbornes Law took the uncertainty, vulnerability and fear resulting from a catastrophic life event and turned it into a safety net for the rest of my life. Empathy, professionalism and delivering exactly what they say. You're safe in their hands."

      Neil T

    • "The hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."

      Legal 500 2019

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