When a limb needs to be amputated, it can be devastating. What can make the situation even worse is when the amputation is required because of somebody else’s negligence. For example, you might lose a limb in a road traffic accident, an accident at work, or following medical negligence, and all through no fault of your own. Importantly, if you’ve suffered an amputation caused by somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make an amputation claim for compensation.
We can help if you’re thinking of starting an amputation claim. Our team of specialist advisors can review your claim and offer advice on a no-obligation basis. If your claim appears to be viable, it could be referred to one of our personal injury solicitors. To make the amputation claims process a little less stressful, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis if your case is taken on. That means you don’t need to pay for their work unless you receive compensation.
To learn more about the amputation claims process, please read on. Otherwise, please get in touch right away if you’re ready to start your claim today.
Table of contents
- What Is An Amputation?
- Am I Eligible To Make An Amputation Compensation Claim?
- Evidence To Support An Amputation Claim
- How Much Compensation Will I Get For An Amputation?
- Amputation Compensation Calculator
- Scenarios That Could Lead To Amputation Claims
- Time Limits For Claiming Amputation Compensation
- Should I Use A Solicitor To File An Amputation Claim?
- How Long Does An Amputation Compensation Claim Take?
- Starting The Amputation Claims Process
Amputation refers to the removal of a limb due to injury, disease, or surgery. When we talk about limb amputation claims, we mean those where an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, or toe has been amputated.
There are two different types of amputation that can occur:
- Traumatic amputation. Where a limb is amputated during an accident.
- Surgical amputation. Where a surgeon amputates the limb because it cannot be treated or saved.
As well as suffering physically from an amputation, it can also have a psychological impact too. However it happened, if the incident or accident that caused you to suffer was not your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Regardless of the reason for your amputation, a solicitor will need to check a few things before they can take your amputation compensation claim on. Therefore, when your case is reviewed, the following will be checked:
- Were you owed a duty of care by the defendant?
- Did they act negligently towards you?
- As a direct result of that negligence, it led to your amputation.
If you can answer yes to all three questions, you could have grounds to claim. Now let’s take a look at how you could collect evidence to support your case.
If your amputation claim is related to an accident, you could provide evidence to support a compensation claim such as:
- Medical records. This will always be a good starting point in any amputation compensation claim. Records can be requested from the hospital that treated you.
- Photographs of the accident scene. It is a lot easier to explain what happened with photographs. Ideally, the pictures/video should capture the root cause of the accident that lead to the amputation and be taken as soon as possible.
- Accident reports. If the accident was at work, in a public place, or on a business’s premises, an accident report form should be filled in. You can use a copy to help prove the date, location and time of the incident.
- Witness details. Initially, a personal injury solicitor will ask the defendant whether they admit liability for your amputation injury. If they don’t, witnesses could be asked for a statement of what they saw happen.
- CCTV or dashcam recordings. If the accident was captured on camera, you have the right to ask the owner for a copy. Providing footage can give a clear representation of how the accident occurred. Try to act quickly, though, as footage can be wiped in a matter of days or weeks.
When making an amputation claim, the items listed above could improve your chances of proving what happened, and our solicitors can help you to obtain them if required. If you’d like one of our advisors to check any evidence you’ve gathered so far, please call our team on 0800 6524 881.
Claiming amputation compensation unfortunately doesn’t mean you ask for a lump sum from the defendant. Instead, any claim needs evidence and must be fully justified. When calculating compensation for an amputation claim, solicitors will split it into two different elements:
- General damages. This will cover the pain and suffering that your amputation has caused. Importantly, this covers psychological suffering as well as any physical pain. To prove the extent of your injuries, you will need to have them assessed by an independent medical expert.
- Special damages. Amputation injuries can result in financial problems too. Therefore, it’s important they are considered in your claim. For example, claims could include lost income, private medical costs, travel costs, care costs, and home and vehicle modifications.
If you call for a free review of your case, we’ll consider any financial losses that could be claimed by you.
In this section, we’ve included an amputation compensation calculator to demonstrate how much can be awarded for various different types of amputation. The settlement amounts shown are based on figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. The same figures are used by courts and legal professionals when deciding upon compensation levels.
As mentioned previously, the compensation paid for your injuries is just one part of your claim, so these figures won’t form the complete picture. Also, as every amputation compensation claim is unique, even if you win your case, you could be paid less or more than the figures quoted here.
Amputation Compensation Amounts
|Type Of Amputation||Compensation Amount||Comments|
|Amputation of both arms||£240,790 - £300,000||Being fully aware of the injury and reduced to a state of helplessness.|
|Amputation of one arm at the shoulder||Not less than £137,160|
|Amputation of one arm above the elbow||£109,650 - £130,930||The shorter the stump of the arm is will tend to produce an amount towards the higher end of this range.|
|Amputation of one arm below the elbow||£96,160 - £109,650||Amputation leaving severe pain and phantom pains tend to be awarded the higher end of this range.|
|Index, middle, and ring finger amputation||£61,910 - £90,750||The hand has been left almost useless with very little grip capability.|
|Amputation severely affecting the hand||£29,000 - £61,910||Where the hand has been left with around 50% capacity.|
|Little finger amputation||£8,640 - £12,240||Being fully aware of the injury and reduced to a state of helplessness.|
|Amputation of little and ring fingers||Around £21,810|
|Removal of the terminal phalanges from the middle and index fingers||Around £24,990||Leaving impaired grip, restricted movement, scarring.|
|Thumb amputation||£35,520 - £54,830|
|Severe thumb injury||£12,590 - £16,760||Amputation of the tip of the thumb that may cause loss of grip and dexterity.|
|Both legs amputated||£240,790 - £282,010||Amputation of both legs above the knee. This range of compensation is also appropriate where one leg is high above the knee and the other is below the knee.|
|Amputation of both legs below the knee||£201,490 - £270,100||Will be dependent on the level of amputation. Also taken into account are the severity of issues such as pain, prosthetic use and other potential side effects.|
|Amputation of one leg above the knee||£104,830 - £137,470||Factors taken into account are the level of amputation, how severe any pain is, side effects such as backache, associated psychological issues.|
|Amputation of one leg below the knee||£97,980 - £132,990||A straightforward amputation would be at the lower end of this range. A traumatic amputation would receive higher. Factors as mentioned previously are also factored in.|
|Both feet amputated||£169,400 - £201,490||The severity of any associated issues such as pain, phantom pains, side effects, prosthetic use etc can effect the level of compensation in this range.|
|One foot amputated||£83,960 - £109,650||The level of compensation you receive in this range will also be determined by taking into account factors like how severe any pain/ phantom pain is, prosthetics usability, associated side effects.|
|Amputation of all the toes||£36,520 - £56,080||The level of compensation you receive can depend on whether the amputation was traumatic, how much forefoot was lost, mobility issues.|
|Amputation of the big toe||Around £31,310|
|Other toe amputations||£13,740 - £21,070||Amputation of a toe (not including the big toe) or two toes would expect to receive compensation in this range.|
The severity of your injuries is the main factor used to determine compensation amounts. Therefore, if you’ve suffered an amputated finger, you would be compensated but realistically you’d receive less than somebody who’d suffered an amputated leg and needs a prosthetic limb fitting.
Some examples of negligence that could result in an amputation claim include:
- Where fingers have been severed by workplace machinery in a factory accident because the safety guard has been removed.
- If a motorcyclist loses a leg because they were struck by a lorry that failed to spot them when pulling out of a junction.
- Where toes are amputated when an item is dropped in a building site accident and the employee was never provided with protective boots by their employer.
- If a doctor fails to diagnose diabetes correctly and the patient loses circulation to their foot and requires amputation.
- Where a child loses a finger after it is trapped by damaged equipment in an accident on a school playground.
As you can imagine, there are many more reasons why amputation compensation claims might be necessary. Therefore, don’t worry if we’ve not included a scenario similar to yours above. If you would like us to check if you have the grounds to start a claim, call our advice line today.
According to the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty of care towards their workers and are responsible for putting proper precautions in place to ensure that the workplace is safe for all workers in their employ. This includes making sure that all equipment is properly maintained, all employees receive extensive training and supervision on the proper and safe use of machinery, and protective guards are installed where necessary to prevent workers from any kind of work-related injury.
If your employer failed to meet any of the safety requirements as mandated by the Act and if you were injured and had to undergo a surgical amputation, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. More on work accident claims can be read here.
According to UK law, drivers have a legal responsibility to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others on the road. In the case of a car accident, the driver responsible for the accident may be held liable for any injuries caused. Therefore, if you have suffered an amputation as a result of a car accident caused by somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Surgical amputation is sometimes the only option, for example when there is extensive nerve damage in a person suffering from diabetes or when the bone of a limb is affected by cancer cells. In both of the above cases, an amputation is considered a life-saving option.
If you had to have a limb amputated for medical reasons, that by itself is not a cause to claim compensation. However, there are certain circumstances under which you may be entitled to compensation.
In most cases, when diseases such as diabetes or cancer are diagnosed and treated during the early stages, further complications related to these conditions may be prevented. Failure to diagnose these conditions early on can result in the disease becoming more advanced, necessitating amputation of a body part.
If you did not receive the appropriate treatment because of a wrongful diagnosis or a missed diagnosis and you had to have a surgical amputation as a result, the medical professional may be found to be negligent. In this case, you may be legally eligible to file a compensation claim for the damage that the delay caused.
The personal injury claims time limit is 3 years. For amputation claims, this would usually start on the date of the accident which caused your injuries. One exception to this rule is for amputation claims involving children. In this scenario, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf any time before their 18th birthday. If this doesn’t happen, they would have three years to make a claim from their 18th birthday.
Our advice is to start a claim as early as possible. By doing so, you’ll give your solicitor plenty of time to collect the evidence to back up your claim. Also, if you could benefit from private rehabilitation or a prosthetic limb that’s better than those offered by the NHS, your solicitor could ask for an interim payment from the defendant to cover the associated costs.
If you would like to discuss how long you have to claim or if you have any questions about amputation claims, please get in touch. You’ll be under no obligation to proceed but your case will be reviewed and you’ll be given free legal advice on your options.
Generally, any type of compensation claim will end up on the desk of an insurance company. When that happens, the insurer will only pay out if it is evident that their client was responsible for both the accident and your amputation. If either of those can’t be proven, you could be paid a reduced settlement or not receive compensation at all.
We believe that the best way of securing the correct amount of compensation for an amputation is to have a personal injury solicitor on your side. If your claim is accepted, one of our solicitors will ensure they fully understand how your injuries have affected you.
They’ll then collate the evidence to support your claim and handle all communication with the insurer for you. If there are any objections raised, they’ll fight your corner and provide additional evidence where needed. Should the insurer offer to settle the claim, the amount will be reviewed to ensure it fully reflects the amount of suffering you’ve endured.
The length of time it takes to settle an amputation compensation claim can vary depending on several factors, including:
- The complexity of the case. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to settle. For example, if liability is disputed, it may take longer to reach an agreement.
- The severity of the amputation. If the amputation is severe and requires ongoing medical treatment, for example, a hand amputation as opposed to a fingertip, it can take longer to assess the long-term impact on your life and calculate the appropriate level of compensation.
- The cooperation of the parties involved. If all parties involved in the claim cooperate and respond promptly to requests for information, the process can be quicker.
- Court proceedings. If the case has to go to court, it can take longer to resolve.
In general, amputation claims can take several months to several years to settle.
If you would like to find out whether we could help you make an amputation claim, please call us today on 0800 6524 881. Your claim will be checked over and we’ll explain your options for free. If it is suitable, we could appoint one of our experienced solicitors who’ll process your amputation compensation claim for you on a No Win No Fee basis.