There is no doubt that an amputation can have a massive impact on your life. Even with modern prosthetic limbs, an amputation may restrict you physically and have psychological consequences. If your amputation resulted from somebody else’s negligence, you would be well within your rights to seek damages from them for your suffering. This article on amputation compensation claims will show you how to begin your claim and we’ll also look at what you could be entitled to claim compensation for.
If you would like to discuss an amputation claim with our team right away, please get in touch on 0800 652 1345 today. Otherwise, please read on to learn more about how amputation compensation claims work.
Can I claim compensation for an amputation?
Before we move on to look at the types of accidents that could lead to amputation injuries, let’s look at the general criteria for amputation compensation claims. Before one of our personal injury lawyers takes on a personal injury claim, they will always check whether:
- A duty of care was owed to the claimant (you) by the defendant (the party you’re suing); and
- The defendant’s negligence led to an accident; and
- An amputation occurred as a direct result of that accident.
Amputations can be traumatic i.e. a limb is amputated during the accident or surgical where a limb has to be removed surgically. Surgical amputations may be required to prevent infection of other parts of the body or where injuries are so severe, amputation is the only option.
Types of amputation you could claim compensation for
As per the criteria set out above, any form of suffering caused by somebody else’s negligence could lead to a compensation claim. That means you could be entitled to seek damages for:
- Arm amputations.
- Hand amputations.
- Finger or thumb amputations.
- Leg amputations.
- Foot amputations.
- Toe amputations.
Compensation guidelines from the Judicial College show that the severity of your injury will determine how much compensation for amputation is awarded. As such, an arm amputated at the shoulder could be paid a higher amount than a below the elbow amputation because the chances of a prosthetic limb improving the claimant’s quality of life might be lower.
Any phantom pain is another consideration when determining settlement amounts in amputation compensation claims.
When claiming compensation for an amputation injury, it’s important to take into account exactly how you have been affected. General damages may be awarded to help you deal with any pain, suffering or loss of amenity whereas special damages could help with any financial implications of your injuries. If you make a successful amputation compensation claim, it could include damages to cover:
- The physical pain and suffering caused by your amputation.
- Loss of amenity because of the amputation.
- Mental trauma resulting from your injuries and disabilities including depression, stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD compensation).
- The time a friend, relative, loved one or professional carer spent supporting you with your usual activities.
- Medical costs including the cost of private remedial treatment.
- The cost of prosthetic limbs if it can be shown that a private purchase would give you a better quality of life compared to a prosthetic provided by the NHS.
- Travel costs linked to your amputation such as for treatment.
- Loss of earnings for any time taken off work while you were injured.
- Future loss of earnings where your amputation reduces your ability to work.
- Disability aids and modifications to your home or vehicle to help improve your quality of life.
It is important to note that you cannot ask for additional compensation after you have settled your amputation claim. For this reason, you must include everything in your initial claim. If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll work closely with you to get a full understanding of how your amputation injury has affected your life. They’ll then use this information to try and secure the maximum level of compensation possible for you.
Compensation amounts for amputation
There is no doubt that compensation guidelines for amputation often dwarf more common personal injury claims. However, there is also no doubt that amputation can have a massive impact on a person’s physical and mental well-being – issues that are often reflected in claims guidelines. The basic guidelines for amputation compensation amounts issued by the Judicial College are as follows:
- Amputation of both arms – £240,790 up to £300,000.
- Amputation of one arm (at the shoulder) – no less than £137,160.
- Amputation above the elbow – £109,650 up to £130,930.
- Amputation below the elbow – £96,160 up to £109,650.
- Amputation of both hands – £140,660 up to £201,490.
- Amputation of one hand by amputation at the wrist – £96,160 up to £109,650.
- Amputation of finger or thumb – £8,640 up to £54,830.
- Amputation of both legs – £240,790 up to £282,010.
- Amputation of both legs below the knee – £201,490 up to £270,100.
- Amputation of one leg below the knee – £97,980 up to £132,990.
- Amputation of one leg above the knee – £104,830 up to £137,470.
- Amputation of both feet – £69,400 up to £201,490.
- Amputation of one foot/ankle – £83,960 up to £109,650.
The above payments are referred to as general damages which are paid to compensate for pain and suffering caused as a consequence of the accident.
Assessing the impact of amputation injuries
To determine how your injuries have affected you, an independent medical assessment will be needed as part of the amputation claims process.
Your solicitor will arrange an appointment with a medical expert who’ll examine you. They’ll also review your medical notes and spend some time discussing the impact of your amputation with you. Once they have completed their assessment, a prognosis will be recorded in a report that will be filed with all parties involved in your claim.
Types of amputation claims
We are now going to spend some time reviewing some of the more common reasons for amputation claims. Please don’t worry if we don’t include a scenario that matches your own case, we could still help you to take action. Remember, a compensation claim might be possible for any injury sustained in an accident or incident caused by another party’s negligence.
Amputation from an accident at work
Employers have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to keep staff as safe as possible while at work. While the risk of an amputation injury is quite low in some roles, it is higher in industries including construction, agriculture, manufacturing and mining.
To reduce the risk of any type of injuries including amputations, employers should:
- Ensure all staff receive adequate safety training.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff if necessary. See our PPE injury claims page.
- Ensure all equipment is maintained properly and free from fault.
- Review health and safety procedures regularly.
- Carry out regular risk assessments.
Accidents involving amputations must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Examples of amputations caused by accidents at work
Here are some examples of accidents in the workplace that could lead to an amputation claim:
- If you suffered a partial amputation of your index finger because a cutting machine’s safety guard was missing. See our workplace machinery injury claims page.
- Where your foot was crushed because poorly stacked items fell on you from height and the injuries were so severe that your foot had to be amputated.
- If you lost toes while using a chainsaw because your employer had not provided steel toe-capped footwear.
If you’d like to check if you have a valid claim, please call our team to discuss your options. Importantly, please be aware that it is illegal for your employer to fire you or discipline you for making a legitimate claim against them.
Amputation from a road traffic accident
Even though vehicle safety has improved over the years, amputations can still occur following a road traffic accident. The risk of such injuries is higher for more vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Again, claims could be based on amputations that happen during the accident or amputations that are necessary during surgery for medical reasons.
Examples of negligence that might allow you to claim for an amputation resulting from an RTA include where the other road user was:
- Driving aggressively (including road rage).
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Distracted by a mobile phone, satnav or radio.
- Not following the rules of the Highway Code.
Our solicitors could help you to claim for an amputation sustained in a road accident even if you were partially responsible for the incident. To check your options, please call our team today for a free review of your case.
Amputation from medical negligence
Medical professionals like doctors and surgeons have a duty of care to provide a reasonable standard of care. This is usually the case but mistakes do happen from time to time. If a medical professional’s negligence can be proven to have caused you to require a limb amputation, you could be compensated.
Examples of medical negligence leading to amputation compensation claims include:
- If your doctor failed to read the results of an x-ray properly and a limb had to be amputated as a result.
- Where avoidable damage during surgery meant you needed a limb amputated.
- If a delay in treatment made your condition worse and resulted in an amputation that could’ve been avoided.
- Where a hospital-acquired infection such as MRSA required a limb amputation to prevent the infection from spreading.
See our page on medical negligence claims.
Diabetes can lead to poor blood circulation. If this condition is not managed properly, it can lead to permanent damage, especially in the feet. Conditions such as diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery disease can increase the risk of ulcers and infections which, in turn, may increase the risk of amputation.
If your diabetes has not been managed correctly or symptoms were misdiagnosed as another condition, you could be paid compensation. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about your options.
Time limits apply to amputation compensation claims
If you make any type of personal injury claim in the UK, a 3-year time limit will apply. This will begin from:
- The date of the accident which caused the amputation; or
- When your condition was diagnosed by a medical professional (date of knowledge).
If you’re unsure when your limitation period begins, please get in touch. Our suggestion is that you should start an amputation claim sooner rather than later to allow plenty of time for proof of negligence and medical reports to be collected.
If a child has suffered an injury that resulted in an amputation, you can claim (see our page on the litigation friend process explained) at any time before they turn 18-years old meaning the 3-year time limit might not apply.
No Win, No Fee amputation claims
As mentioned above, some amputation claims can be complex and time-consuming. We understand that the cost of hiring a solicitor to represent you might be off-putting so ours offer a No Win, No Fee service for any claim they take on.
If your case is accepted, you’ll be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will show you what work your solicitor will do and when you’ll need to pay them. Essentially, you won’t need to cover your solicitor’s time or efforts unless the claim is settled in your favour.
To check if you could use one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors, please call to discuss your options today.
Start an amputation compensation claim today
We hope this article has helped you to decide whether you’ll be able to claim compensation for an amputation. The easiest way to find out more about your chances of receiving a settlement is to call our advisors on 0800 652 1345 today.
When you get in touch, we’ll go through your case in detail and provide free legal advice on what you could do next. If your case appears suitable, we’ll pass it to one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors to see if they can represent you.
If you would like to know more about amputation compensation claims, please use our live chat feature or call our team today.