Although hardly ever intentional, it is an unfortunate reality that negligence by medical personnel, in the treatment of many diseases, conditions and injuries can result in the amputation of a limb that may have been otherwise avoidable. It may not be the fault of the medical personnel, but that of the facility such as hospital or clinic and its operational personnel. It is a fair statement that medical negligence in especially governmental institutions is increasing due to lack of resources, protocols and systems and often inadequately qualified staff.
The following are some basic examples of conditions that may result in amputation:
- Onset of infection in hospital (non-sterile IV equipment, infection after artificial joint replacement)
- Miss-management of infection once present
- Miss-diagnosis of vascular disease or vascular damage (in case of trauma)
- Compartment syndrome (swelling occurring within a plaster-of-paris cast or brace that was applied)
If a case of negligence is suspected against a medical facility or it’s personnel, it is advised that the services of a medical negligence attorney is obtained. The attorney, with assistance of the relevant medical experts that will be appointed, will investigate the specific case and give a professional view on whether negligence was potentially the cause for the amputation.
It should be noted that a relatively small percentage of medical negligence cases are successful as it is often difficult to prove that the alleged negligence itself caused the relevant aggravation (which in this case would be amputation) and that it would not have occurred in any case as a result of the condition, disease or injury itself.
General Personal Injury(Gunshot, Dog Bites, Assault such as stabbing etc.)
The three examples mentioned are the most common causes of severe injury that can result in eventual amputation, very often as a result of vascular damage or later onset of serious infection.
A personal injury claim would be instigated against insurance of the individual/individuals/group or organisation that are represented. As a practical example, a security guard at a shopping mall accidentally fires off a firearm and injures a bystander in the leg, there would be an insurance claim against the security company for whom the security guard works or the shopping mall itself.
In case of a dog bite, a claim would be against the owner of the dog (or the owner’s personal liability insurance).
It is recommended that an experienced personal injury attorney/firm is consulted to determine if indeed such a claim would be viable and likely successful.
There is a high incidence of serious injuries and amputation in the South African passenger rail network. Due to overcrowding at peak times and poor safety protocols and systems, many passengers are injured by being pushed out of trains when overfull and doors not being able to close.
Such accidents are directly a result of negligence, due to poor implementation of safety and security systems on the trains and stations.
If you have been injured while using the South African rail network, you may have a claim against Metrorail or Transnet and should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to assess viability of such a claim.