A Guide to Claiming Amputation Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an amputation we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an amputation and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

Improvements in the speed and quality of treatment for catastrophic injuries has meant that amputees can expect a better prognosis following their injury. Ongoing 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
  • Co-ordination 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 jobseekers 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.

Do I have an amputation injury claim?

It should be possible to make an amputation injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years and,
  • someone else was at fault.

If these two points don't apply to you, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.

To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, you can speak to an amputation injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. You will never be pressured into making a claim.

Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an amputation injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I claim if the amputation injury made an existing injury worse?

Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.

Check my claim

How are amputation injuries defined?

Traumatic amputation

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

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 body has been badly injured in an accident, or there is a serious infection which cannot be treated otherwise. 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 amputation injury will depend on:

  • the extent 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 amputation injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an amputation injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Amputation Injury compensation amounts

The following amputation injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fourteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

Injury Example Amount
Loss of both arms Arm amputation £191,950 to £239,140
Loss of one arm below the elbow Arm amputation £76,650 to £87,410
Loss of one arm above the elbow Arm amputation £87,410 to £104,370
Loss of one arm at the shoulder Arm amputation Over £109,330
Serious Finger injury Loss of part of the little finger £3,150 to £4,670
Serious Finger injury Loss of the terminal phalanx of the ring or middle finger £3,150 to £6,260
Severe Finger injury Amputation of the terminal phalanges of the index finger Around £19,920
Very Severe Finger injury Amputation of several fingers £49,350 to £72,330
Serious Finger injury Partial loss of index finger £9,700 to £14,930
Severe Finger injury Total loss of index finger Around £14,930
Serious Finger injury Amputation of little finger £6,890 to £9,760
Severe Finger injury Total loss of middle finger Up to £12,460
Severe Finger injury Amputation of ring or little finger injury Around £17,380
Severe Foot injury Loss of one foot £66,930 to £87,410
Very Severe Foot injury Loss of both feet £135,030 to £160,600
Very Severe Hand injury Loss of both hands £112,100 to £160,600
Severe Hand injury Loss of one hand £76,650 to £87,410
Severe Leg injury Loss of one leg above the knee £78,100 to £106,010
Severe Leg injury Loss of one leg below the knee £83,550 to £109,570
Very Severe Leg injury Loss of both legs below the knee £160,600 to £215,310
Severe Thumb injury Amputation of thumb £28,310 to £43,710
Loss of several toes Toe injury Around £24,950
Loss of all toes Toe injury £29,110 to £44,710
Show more results

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple amputation injury injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a life-altering arm injury can be £80,000

For a less severe scarring, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,500.

However, if you have a life-altering arm injury and a less severe scarring, you would typically receive £80,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,500.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for an amputation injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an amputation injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your amputation injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Find out what your amputation injury claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

Calculate my claim

How long do I have to make an amputation injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the amputation injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your amputation injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an amputation injury after 3 years?

For adults, the general rule is no, you cannot start a claim more than three years after an amputation injury.

However, if you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an amputation injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Will I still be able to claim for an amputation injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your amputation injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I get financial advice?

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your amputation injury claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.

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.

Rehabilitation

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 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

At work

If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Work Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a road accident

If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Road Accident Claims - What you need to know

In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)

If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:

Public Place Claims - What you need to know

Medical negligence

According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.

If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:

Clinical Negligence Claims - What you need to know

Other claim types

Find details on another type of claim:

See list of other claims

How does no win, no fee work?

No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make an amputation injury claim with:

  • no upfront legal fees
  • no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
  • a success fee payable only if your claim is successful

No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.

No win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making an amputation injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my amputation injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my amputation injury claim?

If your amputation injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all.

Read more about how no win, no fee works

Please note, under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Amputation Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert