If an injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Amputation is a life-altering event that can cause significant physical, emotional, and financial strain. If your life, or the life of a loved one, has undergone amputation, as a result of medical negligence or an accident, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim amputation compensation.
We understand that recovery and rehabilitation after an amputation injury is a difficult and challenging time. In this article, we will discuss the amputation compensation claim process, including the steps involved in pursuing a claim, and the losses and financial support you can claim for.
You can make an amputation compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist solicitor. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process and understand your rights, and your solicitor will work with diligence and compassion to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
In this article
You are not alone
Improvements in the speed and quality of treatment for catastrophic injuries has meant that amputees can expect a better prognosis following their injury. Advancements in medical and prosthetics technology also means that injured people can expect to return to a better quality of life and work.
Securing the best possible outcome
Making a claim for compensation provides the funding needed to adapt your life and continue to benefit from these advancements. Securing the best possible financial settlement is only part of what a good solicitor will do for you.
If you have suffered a serious injury that led to the amputation of a limb, you will need legal assistance that supports your overall physical and psychological rehabilitation. This can include:
- A thorough and independent needs assessment
- Access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS
- Early financial assistance with treatment, support, home modifications etc.
- Help in finding state-of-the-art prostheses
- Coordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and wheelchair providers
- Arranging for a Blue Badge where appropriate
- Ensuring that your compensation is ring-fenced by a Personal Injury Trust to protect it from tax and means testing
- Organising welfare benefits advice
Help with bills, mortgage payments and financial admin
A specialist solicitor will also act to protect your home and your family's finances, and will liaise with your bank or building society concerning mortgage payments and other loans, direct debits and standing orders. They can also contact credit card companies, credit hire providers and also utility companies regarding household bills.
Our expert amputation claim solicitors
Amputation compensation is a highly specialised area of the law. These claims should not be handled by a general personal injury solicitor.
Working with a lawyer with specific experience in handling amputation claims is critical in ensuring the best possible outcome for the claimant.
Kevin Walker is the most experienced lawyer on our amputation solicitor panel and heads up a team of highly experienced amputation claim solicitors.
Over the last 20 years, Kevin has successfully achieved numerous amputee settlements in excess of £1m for his clients. He has a particular expertise in active prosthetics and assistive technology. Through this interest and his experience, Kevin has been able to help many clients overcome a range of mobility, dexterity and confidence issues following amputation.
A recent amputation settlement achieved by Kevin was for a 56-year-old male transtibial amputee at £1.4m.
Protecting your compensation sum with a Personal Injury Trust
Compensation awards for amputation injuries will frequently exceed £100,000s. The amount is carefully assessed to ensure that the claimant can afford the treatment, support and prosthetics they need, both immediately and on an ongoing basis.
Although awards are sometimes paid out in the form of regular payments, it is common for claimants to receive a single large, lump sum. This sum must be handled properly and with the benefit of independent financial advice.
Setting up a personal injury trust ensures that the funds are not depleted too soon and are not counted against means-tested state benefits, such as jobseeker's allowance and housing benefit.
The overall award calculation will also factor in the rate of return that the claimant can expect to make by investing their money conservatively. Without specialist advice, it can be difficult to safely achieve the return required to ensure that the money goes as far as it needs to.
Going beyond legal advice with a bespoke 'Care Package'
Your solicitor should also be able to help provide you with a care package tailored to your needs.
The care package will follow the independent assessment and can include a wide range of treatments like physiotherapy and psychotherapy. Packages can also include treatments like mirror box therapy to retrain the brain and electrical stimulation and advanced pain management treatments.
The care package will assess the suitability of your home and car and ensure that suitable mobility modifications are carried out.
Ensuring that you are able to get around, both in the short and long term, will also be considered. Wheelchair technology has made quantum leaps over recent years and your solicitor will ensure you have access to the latest improvements.
Am I eligible for amputation injury compensation?
You will be able to claim compensation if you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Is a claim still possible if I am partly liable?
Ascertaining who is liable for an accident is not always straightforward and can often involve blame on both sides.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents said they either were unsure of which party was responsible, or believed they were partially responsible for their injuries.
You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident. Claims where there is fault on both sides (contributory negligence) are often resolved with a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to make an amputation injury claim?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.
How are amputation injuries defined?
Traumatic amputation is the term used to describe circumstances where an amputation occurred directly as the result of an accident. Work accidents involving heavy machinery and serious road accidents causing crush injuries may result in a traumatic amputation.
Unexpected, traumatic amputations can involve more physical and emotional strain than a planned-for surgical amputation, and this additional pain and suffering may be taken into account when calculating a higher total compensation award.
Surgical amputation describes cases where a serious accident ultimately requires an amputation after other treatment has been unsuccessful, or where other illness or injury has led to an amputation being necessary.
Most surgical amputations are carried out on people with severely reduced blood circulation in the legs or feet as a result of PAD or through complications of diabetes.
Surgical amputation may also be necessary if part of the has been badly injured in an accident, or there is a serious infection which cannot be treated otherwise. For example, a fingertip or toe injured in a crush accident may require amputation if reconstruction is unsuccessful.
Less commonly, surgical amputation may be recommended where cancer is affecting the skin or bone of a limb.
Illnesses and medical conditions are not often cause for a claim in and of themselves, but if misdiagnosis has lead to the condition not being treated appropriately at an earlier stage, it may be possible to claim compensation for the harm caused by the delay.
Recovery is often more straightforward following surgical amputation, relative to traumatic injury, but will still require a range of long-term, specialist support.
How much compensation can I claim for an amputation injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your amputation injury or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include hemorrhage control, pain relief, surgical amputation or revision and prosthesis fitting.
Average amputation injury general damages compensation
The following amputation injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Arm amputation||Loss of both arms||£218,900 to £272,730|
|Arm amputation||Loss of one arm below the elbow||£99,680 to £119,030|
|Arm amputation||Loss of one arm above the elbow||£87,420 to £99,680|
|Arm amputation||Loss of one arm at the shoulder||Over £124,690|
|Finger injury||Serious||Loss of part of the little finger||£3,590 to £5,330|
|Finger injury||Serious||Loss of the terminal phalanx of the ring or middle finger||£3,590 to £7,150|
|Finger injury||Severe||Amputation of the terminal phalanges of the index finger||Around £22,720|
|Finger injury||Very Severe||Amputation of several fingers||£56,280 to £82,500|
|Finger injury||Serious||Partial loss of index finger||£11,060 to £17,040|
|Finger injury||Severe||Total loss of index finger||Around £17,040|
|Finger injury||Serious||Amputation of little finger||£7,850 to £11,130|
|Finger injury||Severe||Total loss of middle finger||Up to £14,850|
|Finger injury||Severe||Amputation of ring or little finger injury||Around £19,830|
|Foot injury||Severe||Loss of one foot||£76,330 to £99,680|
|Foot injury||Very Severe||Loss of both feet||£154,000 to £183,170|
|Hand injury||Very Severe||Loss of both hands||Up to £127,870|
|Hand injury||Severe||Loss of one hand||£87,420 to £99,680|
|Leg injury||Severe||Loss of one leg above the knee||£95,300 to £124,970|
|Leg injury||Severe||Loss of one leg below the knee||£89,070 to £120,900|
|Leg injury||Very Severe||Loss of both legs below the knee||£183,170 to £245,550|
|Thumb injury||Severe||Amputation of thumb||£32,290 to £49,850|
|Toe injury||Loss of several toes||Around £28,460|
|Toe injury||Loss of all toes||£33,200 to £50,980|
Amputation claim case study 1
Compensation of £287,000 was awarded to a 36 year-old woman for crush injuries to her finger. The claimant was injured after her finger was trapped in the door of a beauty salon.
The claimant was leaving premises operated by the defendant. The front door slammed shut quickly behind her. Her right index finger was trapped and crushed.
The injuries were severe. She was taken to hospital and admitted. Reconstructive surgery was attempted. After three days the finger had to be amputated. It had developed necrosis that could not be treated. Amputation was in the middle of her finger at the mid phalanx.
An orthopaedic consultant examined the claimant. Three main problems were diagnosed. She could not use a keyboard as before in her work. Elbow pain developed likely due to repetitive strain caused by losing her finger.
The claimant became intolerant to cold. She could not work outside and daily activities were hampered. Her grip was reduced. She required aid in some circumstances.
Psychological symptoms occurred and the claimant was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder. The claimant was generally anxious and socially withdrawn.
A prosthetic finger was recommended to improve her physical and psychological problems. a clinical prosthetist recommended a functional and cosmetic prosthetic be used.
It was alleged the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to have an effective door mechanism to regulate the speed the door closed.
Liability was admitted by the defendant, and the matter did not proceed to a court hearing.
Compensation of £287,000 was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement. £20,634 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity." Future prosthetic costs were accepted in the sum of £179,457.
£62,651 was awarded for the negative effect on her ability to work. Past sundry losses of £6,916 were accepted. Future sundry expenses including travel and equipment of £17,342 were accepted.
Amputation claim case study 2
Solicitors secured compensation of £172,500 for a 68 year-old market trader with serious leg injuries following an accident with a refuse lorry.
The claimant was setting up a market stall when the slow-moving vehicle ran over his left foot.
The injuries were severe and immediately very painful. The claimant was taken to hospital. His foot could not be saved and he required an amputation below the knee of his left leg.
After being discharged, the claimant was unable to return home because he could not manage the stairs. He required crutches and a wheelchair initially and received intensive physiotherapy.
The man received care and assistance from his family. He could not return to work on the market stall and was unable to pursue active hobbies he enjoyed before the accident.
The claimant also experienced flashbacks of the accident and had psychological therapy to treat his post-traumatic stress. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, and experienced a prolonged depressive reaction.
It was alleged the refuse company was negligent insofar as the vehicle was too wide to pass through the street when the market was in operation.
The defendant maintained that as the front wheels had passed safely the claimant must have moved placing himself in danger as the vehicle passed.
The claimant was injured severely by the crushing injury. The damage led to his leg being amputated below the knee.
The claimant would be unable to return to work on the market stall. His life would be severely affected.
Although liability was not admitted, the defendant agreed to an out of court compensation settlement of £172,500, broken down as follows:
- £90,000 for 'pain, suffering and loss of amenity.'
- £40,000 for care costs
- £45,000 for loss of earnings
- £49,000 for a prosthetic limb
- £26,000 for aids and equipment
- The remainder for sundry expenses and interest.
Should you choose your insurance company's recommended solicitor?
Under European legislation you are free to choose your own personal injury solicitor, even if your insurance company tries to persuade you otherwise.
If you are covered by BTE insurance as part of your car or household policy, then in theory your policy should cover the cost of your legal claim. Your insurer will automatically pass you over to a firm of solicitors they have an agreement with. These are known as 'insurance panel' solicitors.
The panel solicitor may not be the best person to handle your claim. If you are not happy with your insurer's choice of solicitor, you do not have to agree. The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 allow you to choose which solicitor will be appointed in respect of any proceedings conducted on your behalf. You are free to switch to a 'freedom of choice' solicitor at any time - even if your insurer is unwilling to pass the claim over to someone else.
By selecting an independent solicitor's firm, you know you are getting independent advice and an accurate assessment of how much compensation your case should be worth.
Given the importance of securing the best possible compensation award, you should ultimately choose a personal injury solicitor with the most experience and best track record in handling amputation claims.
Don't be afraid to shop around and contact several solicitors before choosing the one that is right for you.
For many amputees, the total value of a compensation award itself may be less important than access to physical therapy and support.
Who we work with
Your solicitor will help you make contact with the right specialists to help guide and support you through your rehabilitation. These experts include:
- specialist medical consultants,
- prostheses companies such as Pace Rehabilitation, Dorset Orthopaedic and Ability Matters
- wheelchair providers
- rehabilitation providers
- occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and
- independent financial advisers
Your life after an amputation
We understand that making a claim is just one part of an ongoing rehabilitation process. Quittance's network of solicitors have helped people return to work and active lifestyles.
Through handling your claim, your solicitor will also build a lasting relationship with you and your family. They will provide access to ongoing support as you need it, gaining access to advancements in science and technology, including microprocessor prostheses and PLP therapy.
Claiming compensation for an amputation injury is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.