How Do You Calculate Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb?

    Welcome to our guide on calculating compensation for the loss of a limb. We understand that losing a limb can be both physically and psychologically challenging. It may be especially frustrating if the injury resulted from someone breaching the duty of care they owed you. However, our guide will look at the steps you could take to seek the compensation you deserve.

    Compensation for the loss of a limb

    Compensation for the loss of a limb guide

    Additionally, this guide will look at incidents where someone else’s failings caused you to unnecessarily suffer the loss of a limb. For instance, you may have suffered a road traffic accident, workplace accident or an incident where a medical professional failed to provide the standard level of care. 

    Furthermore, we’ll look at the role a solicitor could play in helping you move forward with your claim.  

    However, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert advisors on the following:

    • Call us on 0161 696 9685
    • Speak to an advisor live using the chat feature below
    • Fill out the callback request form

    Jump To A Section

    1. A Guide On Claiming Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb
    2. What Is The Loss Of A Limb?
    3. Surgical Amputation Vs Traumatic Limb Loss
    4. Phantom Limb Pain Compensation Claims
    5. What Injuries Cause Amputation And Limb Loss?
    6. Limb Loss From Workplace Accidents
    7. Limb Loss From Road Traffic Accidents
    8. Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb Due To Medical Negligence
    9. Diabetes And The Loss Of A Limb
    10. Who Was Responsible?
    11. Calculate Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb
    12. What Else Could I Claim?
    13. What Steps Should I Take If I Lost A Limb?
    14. Solicitors Handling No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For The Loss Of A Limb
    15. Contact Legal Helpline
    16. Useful Links
    17. FAQs About Calculating Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb

    A Guide On Claiming Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb

    We understand you may feel overwhelmed by the complex process of making a claim. However, our guide aims to provide you with the information you need to build a strong case. For instance, we’ll explore the evidence you may need to prove that someone acted negligently. 

    Additionally, we’ll look at examples of how someone could have either breached the duty of care they owed you or failed to provide you with the correct level of care when seeking medical treatment. 

    Importantly, we’ll explore the compensation you may receive for your amputation injury. Also, we’ll look at what your overall settlement figure may comprise and how it works. 

    It’s important to note that there are time limits to be aware of. However, generally, you will have three years to put forward your claim. This may either be from the date of the incident or the date you learned that someone else’s failings caused or contributed to the incident. 

    However, there may be exceptions. Please get in touch with our advisors using the number above for more information on whether any of these exceptions apply to you. 

    Alternatively, continue reading for further guidance on putting forward a loss of limb claim. 

    What Is The Loss Of A Limb?

    Amputation involves the removal or loss of a body part, such as an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger or toe.

    There are many ways this type of injury could occur. For instance, a surgical amputation could be carried out as a result of a severe infection that was left untreated despite clear symptoms brought to a medical professional’s attention. In this instance, a medical professional provided substandard care and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent you from suffering further harm.

    Alternatively, the loss of a limb could happen as a result of a traumatic injury, such as:

    • A head-on collision between two cars where the leg is crushed
    • Getting trapped in a piece of faulty equipment at work

    However, to seek compensation, someone must have acted negligently. For more information on the different ways someone could have caused you to suffer avoidable harm, see below.

    Surgical Amputation Vs Traumatic Limb Loss

    Traumatic amputation is usually where someone has lost their limb through a traumatic injury. For instance, a piece of equipment crushing your arm at work could result in the arm needing to be removed from the body.

    In comparison, a surgical amputation is where a surgeon operates to remove the limb. This is often needed due to a condition where the limb causes potential harm to the rest of the body (such as an infection).

    For any injuries sustained in an accident, such as on the road, in public or at work due to someone failing to fulfil the duty of care they owed you, you may wish to make a personal injury claim.

    However, in cases where your injury was made worse by a substandard level of medical care, you may be entitled to seek compensation for any further harm suffered by making a medical negligence claim.

    Phantom Limb Pain Compensation Claims

    Phantom limb pain is when someone may experience sensations that feel like they’re coming from the amputated limb. Although the name suggests they’re imaginary, they have been confirmed as real sensations through scans that show nerve signals transmitted to the brain.

    The pain can range from mild to severe and can be both physically and psychologically debilitating. However, there are treatments available to help manage the pain. For more information on these, visit the NHS website on amputation.

    Similar issues that may arise because of your amputation will be considered when valuing your claim. For more information on this, see our section on calculating compensation for the loss of a limb further down in our guide.

    What Injuries Cause Amputation And Limb Loss?

    Various types of traumatic injuries could lead to an amputation, such as:

    • Crush injuries: In 2019/2020, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) recorded 74 non-fatal crush injuries to employees that led to internal organ damage. However, this type of injury could also result in amputation if it has severely damaged the limb.
    • Burns: Employers reported a total of 1,679 non-fatal burn injuries through RIDDOR in 2019/2020. However, if burns are left untreated or develop an infection that spreads, it can result in the limb needing to be amputated.
    • Lacerations or open wounds: If open wounds aren’t cleaned or looked after correctly, they have a chance of developing a severe infection. In these cases, an amputation may be needed if it’s the only way to prevent the infection from spreading further.
    • Severe fractures: Fractures often heal without requiring further treatment. However, if they are not treated properly, an infection (osteomyelitis) can lead to amputation.

    If you’ve lost a limb in a similar accident, please get in touch with our advisors, and they can determine whether you’re eligible to make a claim.

    Limb Loss From Workplace Accidents

    According to RIDDOR, employers reported 562 non-fatal amputations to employees in 2019/2020. Although the cause was not recorded, there may be certain industries where employees are more likely to suffer amputation injuries.

    For instance, employees working in the construction, forestry and farming industry could be injured by equipment their employer provides.

    As the employer often provides the equipment, they may be negligent if they fail to carry out risk assessments to check it’s safe and fit for purpose. For instance, if their failure to take reasonable steps to keep you safe leads to you suffering harm that could have otherwise been avoided, you could claim.

    If you require further information on seeking compensation for an accident at work, call our advisors.

    Limb Loss From Road Traffic Accidents

    As per the Road Traffic Act 1988, all road users have a duty of care to do everything reasonably possible to keep each other safe from harm. If another road user failed to do so, it may have resulted in you suffering serious harm.

    We have provided examples below of how another road user could have been liable for the accident that caused you to sustain an injury:

    • A driver failed to adhere to the speed limits and crashed into a cyclist. As a result, the cyclist suffered the traumatic loss of their arm.
    • A motorcyclist who reversed into a pedestrian when they failed to check their mirrors caused the pedestrian to sustain a severe, complicated injury where the limb needed amputating.

    For more information on making a road traffic accident claim, please get in touch with our advisors.

    Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb Due To Medical Negligence

    Every medical professional is expected to provide their patients with the correct level of care. If you have evidence that they failed to do so and you suffered further harm as a result, you may have grounds to claim.

    Please find below examples of how a medical professional may have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent you from suffering further harm:

    • A doctor failing to treat a clear infection you developed from an open wound in your leg that resulted in an amputation.
    • The surgeon leaving a surgical instrument in your arm when operating on the limb, leading to an infection developing that resulted in you losing your arm.
    • Substandard hospital aftercare after surgical amputation, resulting in you developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and suffering a severe blood clot.

    For further details on medical negligence claims, speak to an advisor using the number above.

    Diabetes And The Loss Of A Limb

    When you have diabetes, you may be at higher risk of developing a condition called Peripheral Neuropathy or nerve damage. According to the NHS, diabetes can cause a reduction of the blood supply to your feet making you more at risk of developing this condition.

    As a result, you may not notice if your foot has been injured. Furthermore, foot injuries such as cuts or ulcers may be slow to heal. Additionally, it can mean infections go unnoticed and lead to further complications such as amputation.

    Therefore, patients with diabetes should have their feet checked as part of their regular or annual diabetes check-up to help prevent any complications from developing.

    If a medical professional has failed to offer you this check-up and you suffered unnecessary, avoidable harm as a result, speak to our advisors to see whether you may be entitled to seek compensation.

    Who Was Responsible?

    The duty of care someone owed you may depend on the accident you sustained your injury in. For instance, you may have been injured on the road, at work or in public.

    However, the following legislation states that employers, controllers of a public place, road users and medical professionals should take reasonable steps to prevent you from suffering further or avoidable harm:

    Additionally, all medical professionals have a duty to provide patients with the correct level of care.

    Furthermore, the General Medical Council (GMC) maintains the register of doctors in the UK and provides guidance on the good medical practice they should act in accordance with. For instance, they should put their patient’s interests first.

    However, as medical negligence claims may be complex, the Bolam test may be used alongside other evidence to help determine negligence. This involves a panel of similarly trained medical professionals assessing the incident.

    They will look at whether the correct standard of care was provided. If the panel of medical professionals believe that the doctor didn’t act in an acceptable way, the doctor could have been negligent.

    For more information, contact our advisors on the number above.

    Calculate Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb

    Compensation often comprises general and special damages. Under general damages, you are entitled to seek compensation for your physical or psychological pain and suffering caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault.

    In order to accurately value your claim, different factors will be taken into consideration when looking at any evidence you’ve provided. For instance:

    • How severe your injury is
    • The long term impact of your injury
    • How the injury impacts your quality of life

    Due to the unique nature of individual claims, there are no typical payouts for personal injury in the UK. 

    However, we have created a compensation table below to provide examples of what your claim could be worth, using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document that is often used to help value claims alongside other evidence of your injury.

    Different InjuriesFurther commentsCompensation Example
    Amputation of Arms(a) Where both arms have been lost£225,960 to £281,520
    Amputation of Arms(b) (i) Where one arm has been amputated at the shoulder.Not less than £128,710
    Amputation of Arms(b) (ii) Where one arm has been amputated above the elbow.£102,890 to £122,860
    Amputation of Arms(b) (iii) Where one arm has been amputated below the elbow.£90,250 to £102,890
    HandTotal loss of one hand£90,250 to £102,890
    FingerTotal and partial loss of the index finger£11,420 to £17,590
    ThumbTotal loss of the thumb£33,330 to £51,460
    Leg injuries(a) (ii) Where both legs are amputated below the knee.£189,110 to £253,480
    Leg injuries(a) (iv) Where one leg has been amputated below the knee.£91,950 to £124,800
    Foot injuries(a) Where both feet have been amputated. £158,970 to £189,110
    Foot injuries(b) Where one foot has been amputated.£78,800 to £102,890
    Mental AnguishFear of a reduction in life expectancy £4,380

    Please note, your actual settlement offer may vary, so only use these figures as a guide. If your injury isn’t listed or you need help understanding how injuries are valued, please call to speak to an advisor.

    Alternatively, see below for further information on what else you could claim.

    What Else Could I Claim?

    As losing a limb can be a life-changing injury, we understand that you may have faced financial challenges. If so, you may be able to seek reimbursement of both past and future losses caused by the injury under special damages

    For instance, you may have been unable to work, in which case you could claim loss of earnings. In addition, if you were unable to continue with employment permanently, you could claim for loss of pension. 

    Additionally, you may be able to seek compensation for any of the following:

    • The ongoing cost of care for yourself or someone else that may be dependant on you, such as children 
    • Travel expenses relating to the injury
    • Medical expenses, such as the cost of a prosthetic limb, medication, counselling or physiotherapy

    For more information on the extra costs you could claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the number above. 

    What Steps Should I Take If I Lost A Limb?

    If you’ve lost a limb due to someone failing to fulfil their duty of care to you, you may be looking into making a claim. However, you should ensure you have evidence to support your case. 

    Evidence in the form of medical records from the doctor or hospital can highlight the extent of your condition or injury. In addition, they can show any treatment or diagnosis given. 

    Records of your medical history can be particularly helpful when making a medical negligence claim. They can help prove that a medical professional failed to provide you with the correct level of care.

    Additionally, other evidence may be useful when making a personal injury claim against someone who breached the duty of care they owed you. For instance, the following can help to prove that negligence occurred and caused you to suffer avoidable harm as a result:

    • CCTV or dashcam footage
    • Records of the accident in an accident book
    • Witness contact details (for statements later)
    • Pictures of the injury or accident scene

    Furthermore, seeking legal advice from an expert solicitor who has experience handling claims similar to your own can be helpful. However, if you’re apprehensive about the costs that may be involved in seeking legal representation, see below for details on an alternative option.

    Solicitors Handling No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For The Loss Of A Limb

    Whilst putting forward a claim without a solicitor bears no initial cost, other ongoing costs may build up during your claim. However, a No Win No Fee agreement allows you to avoid upfront solicitor fees and any solicitor fees that may incur while your claim is ongoing.

    Additionally, this type of agreement means that in the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be asked to pay solicitor fees.

    If your claim does succeed, you will be asked to pay a legally capped success fee. However, your solicitor will make you aware of the fee before you agree to start your claim.

    Most importantly, a solicitor can take you through each stage of your claim and guide you through the often complex process. For more information on how you can work with a solicitor, see below.

    Contact Legal Helpline

    Although we’ve aimed to cover the information you need to move forward with your claim, we understand if you have questions. Our advisors are available 24/7 to provide further clarification on anything you may still be unsure of.

    Additionally, an advisor can assess your case. If they feel it has a chance of success, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel. A solicitor can then start to work with you on your claim and help you get compensation for the loss of a limb.

    Alternatively, if you aren’t ready to put forward your claim but require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help:

    • Call us on 0161 696 9685
    • Speak to an advisor live using the chat feature below
    • Fill out the callback request form

    Useful Links

    You can visit the Diabetes UK website for more information on diabetes complications.

    See the Government’s guide on claiming compensation after an accident.

    Read the Government’s advice on amputations and driving.

    Visit our guide on claiming for a nerve injury.

    If you suffered your injury in a cycling accident, our guide could help.

    See our guide on claiming against the council.

    FAQs About Calculating Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb

    We have provided answers to some commonly asked questions regarding compensation.

    Can you get fitted with prosthetics or aids before the claim is settled?

    A trained medical professional will fit any prosthetics or aids in accordance with the treatment plan the doctor has set out for you. If these have come at an additional cost, they may be included in your overall settlement figure.

    Who could pay out your compensation?

    Generally, compensation is paid by the defendant’s insurance. 

    How long do limb-loss claims take?

    This may depend on the complexity of your case. For instance, if the defendant admits liability or you need to provide further evidence it could take longer. 

    How do you prove liability?

    Evidence can help to prove whether someone was liable for the accident that caused you to suffer further or avoidable harm.

    Thank you for reading our guide exploring how you could claim compensation for the loss of a limb.

    Written by MMI 

    Edited by RV