Full team rehabilitation programme needed for amputees.
Ever since the Para-Olympics in London 2012, the World of prosthetic limbs has become far more mainstream. Public figures such as Jonnie Peacock, Para-Olympic Champion and star of Strictly Come Dancing, have shown the world that being an amputee need not define you.
Working as a personal injury lawyer, specialising in representing injured motorcyclists and cyclists following road traffic incidents, means that I have experience and an understanding of how an amputation can affect an individual and the procedures they must go through to understand and process their ‘new life.’
It's not until an individual loses a limb that you begin to understand just how remarkable the human body is. How your ankle and knee joints move to allow you to ascend and descend stairs is not something we tend to think about, but it is something an amputee must consider when looking at the available prosthetic limbs on the market.
I recently attended Dorset Orthopaedic's Dynamic Rehabilitation conference in Daventry near Birmingham. This was my third year at their annual conference and every year I leave inspired by the people I have met over the two days. Although I can never begin to fully understand how it feels to lose a limb and really get my head around life as an amputee, speaking to Dorset’s ambassadors, all of whom have their own story and background, does allow me to expand my own knowledge.
Clearly, not every amputee wishes or is able to become a sportsperson and for many of my clients, they simply want to return to normality, get back to work and enjoy family life. The starting point is understanding what the ‘new normal’ will entail and having a discussion as to what they want to achieve out of life.
The US Military have invested a great deal of money into the provision of prosthetic limbs since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which in turn has allowed civilian amputees access to new technology. Arguably, the most significant being micro processing limbs. In the instance of a knee or ankle joint, these provide propulsion for the user to make everyday tasks such as walking up a slope or steps easier and have less of a detrimental impact on the user’s ‘good leg.’
A good fitting prosthetic can allow an amputee to return to the work place, their hobbies and their livelihood which is imperative to their mental as well as physical health, but it is not just as simple as providing a limb and allowing them to get on with the rest. The requirement for total rehabilitation cannot be overstated.
It can be extremely isolating for our clients going through the journey of an amputee. Therefore, we take the view that a full team rehab programme needs to be established. Having access to physiotherapists, prosthetists, occupational therapists and even a ‘buddy’ who can provide moral support can ease the pressure on the individual and their loved ones.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ and no two people’s journey will be the same. That can be said for all of us. However, when it comes to an amputee there also needs to be an understanding that the ‘superhero’ sportsperson also has their down days where the socket is causing sores and a wheelchair may be their only option. Once again, it is that team of support that will get you through.
Jodi Gordon - Partner
Specialist Law Firm, Road Traffic Accident Law (Scotland) LLP (RTALS), which provides legal services as Motorcycle Law Scotland, Cycle Law Scotland and Pedestrian Law Scotland has further consolidated its operations in the West of Scotland with a key new hire and a new office in Glasgow. The company, whose head office is based in the Scottish Borders, has appointed David Adams to set up the new office at 1 West Regent Street, Glasgow.
The new office strengthens RTALS’ Scotland-wide coverage adding to its existing offices in Peebles, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. David Adams has been a Civil Litigator for over 10 years and brings with him particular specialism in representing those injured as a consequence of road traffic collisions. David has vast experience representing pedestrians with serious and complex injury and has a wealth of experience acting for those who are particularly vulnerable to serious injury including young children and the elderly.
RTALS’ founder and Senior Partner, Brenda Mitchell, said: “I am delighted to offer our extended services more directly, and more conveniently, to our West Coast clients. Personal service and expertise are so important given our clients are at the heart of all that we do to both protect and represent vulnerable road users. Motorcycle Law Scotland and Cycle law Scotland are well recognised and consistently reviewed as providing a first class legal service. David now brings his considerable experience to Pedestrian Law Scotland as we further develop our bespoke, progressive and dynamic company representing the most vulnerable road users. He is a great asset to our firm and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”
David added: “I am very pleased to be joining RTALS, who I have watched develop over the past few years and always admired as a specialist law firm representing vulnerable road users. I look forward to helping injured pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists here in Glasgow and the West.”
Road Traffic Accident Law (Scotland) LLP (RTALS) has further strengthened its reputation as one of Scotland’s leading specialist personal injury firms with the promotion of Jodi Gordon to Partner.
Jodi joined the firm in 2011 and is based in RTAL(s) LLP’s Edinburgh Office, where she’s made a name for herself representing cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians injured on Scotland’s roads.
During her time as Associate, Jodi has predominantly represented cyclists involved in road traffic collisions and specialises in representing those who have suffered very serious and complex injury.
In addition, Jodi delivers training and educational talks to the cycling community and she appears regularly in the media as one of Scotland’s leading Cycle Law experts.
As a seasoned cyclist and Breeze Ambassador for British Cycling, Jodi is able to call on her vast cycling experience to provide a first-class service to her clients.
Brenda Mitchell, Senior Partner at RTAL(S) LLP said, “I’m delighted to announce Jodi’s assumption to Partner. As a firm, we have always valued the highly specialist service we provide to vulnerable road users. Jodi is a very skilled and passionate lawyer. She joined the firm 7 years ago as a trainee and thoroughly deserves this promotion.”
No fun comes out of staying in your comfort zone…so as a team we always like to challenge ourselves. Whether that be cycling 100 miles on the tandem through the night for Ride to the Sun, running 10km in the rain as part of the Great Scottish Run or taking on the 4.8 miles 12% climb on the Loch Ness Etape; we will find a way and challenge to take on in order to raise money for a worthy cause.
This Saturday is no different. Eight of our team are taking on the mud, rivers and forest of the Lanrick Estate for the Lanrick Challenge. We have one team of four completing the 6km course and a second team of four taking on the might of the 12km route all in aid of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance and The Sandpiper Trust.
Think Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or the Mighty Deerstalker. These events might be a little better known but the concept is the same; pushing yourself and, in some cases, overcoming fears to complete the course. What drew us to this challenge in particular was the team element and the two fantastic charities that benefit.
We have been supporting Scotland Charity Air Ambulance for over three years and have seen first-hand the amazing work they do. Some of our clients owe their lives to the air ambulance. We have had the honour and opportunity to visit their base in Perth and speak with the paramedics and pilots.
RTALS recently opened our Aberdeen office and the Sandpiper Trust do fantastic lifesaving work in the Grampian area through their Wildcat campaign.
With only five days until we have to get down and dirty (literally), we would be grateful for any donation to help reach our target of £500. It will certainly make the pain and cold much more bearable.
You can follow this link to sponsor the team.
If you want to see just what we have signed up to then watch last year’s Lanrick Challenge video.
Lanrick Challenge Team
Jodi, Zara, Carrie, Andrew, Ellie, Josh, Chris and Malcolm
Roz Boynton has been appointed Associate Solicitor with Road Traffic Accident Law (Scotland) LLP (RTALS) to extend the firm’s specialist motorcycle, cycle and pedestrian legal services in Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. Roz will be heading up the new Aberdeen Office to provide further local support to injured motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians in the North and North-east of Scotland.
A civil litigation lawyer with over ten years’ experience, Roz’s credentials for the role also include her own enthusiasm to participate in both social and extreme cycling events. She is a member of the Aberdeen Wheelers Cycling Club, the VeloDees Cycling Group and the Fleet Feet Triathletes. This year she took part in the Red Bull Neptune Steps extreme swimming event and in June will be trying to improve her time in Ironman Edinburgh 70.3 which she completed in 2017. Roz also hopes to undertake her Motorcycle CBT in the Summer.
Taking up the post on May 1, Roz said:
“I have both worked and cycled with the RTALS team on many occasions, so greatly admire their approach and philosophy for championing vulnerable road users. I am looking forward to both supporting and promoting their mission for greater awareness of the vulnerability of two-wheeled road users and pedestrians.
“Our commitment to all our clients is to provide a first class service offering continued support through the legal process with skill, expertise and compassion. The Aberdeen Office will allow us to provide more local support to the many motorcyclists and cyclists we currently represent improving our commitment to a very personal service from lawyers who both cycle and ride motorcycles.
Road traffic accidents annually involving motorcyclists and cyclists across the Northern, Grampian and Tayside regions add up to nearly 1,500 based on the 2016 figures, with 638 casualties in the Northern police region, 766 casualties in Grampian and 572 casualties in Tayside. More needs to be done to improve road safety for those on two wheels who are particularly vulnerable to serious injury.
Brenda Mitchell, Senior Partner and founder of RTALS added:
“We are delighted to have Roz on board. Her specialist knowledge and experience as both a solicitor and cyclist make her a natural choice to join our highly specialised team.
The sad fact is that our roads can present a disproportionate danger to motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians and it is important that those injured get the legal expertise and support they deserve.”