How Much Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb Do You Get In The UK?

This article discusses the subject of how much compensation for the loss of a limb you could be awarded. Were you in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence? If so, you could be entitled to compensation.

How Much Could You Claim For The Loss Of A Limb?

How much compensation for loss of limb

A guide on compensation for loss of a limb

We’ll cover many areas of this topic, including providing answers to questions such as:

  • How do you prove who is to blame?
  • Can I get an interim payment to help pay for aids or prosthetics?

Proving liability is a very important part of making a personal injury claim. We can talk you through the steps of doing this. If you have any questions regarding the process of making a claim for compensation due to limb loss, then get in touch with us today. Our advisors are available to help you at any time of the day or night.

The more information we have about your claim, the better we will be able to help. So, make sure you answer any questions we have for you as honestly and accurately as possible. If we think you have a valid claim, we could connect you with a lawyer on our panel.

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Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb
  2. What Is The Loss Of A Limb?
  3. Types Of Amputation And Limb Loss
  4. What Could Cause Limb Loss Injuries?
  5. Calculate Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb In The UK
  6. Traumatic Amputation Accidents At Work
  7. Traumatic Amputations Caused By Road Traffic Accidents
  8. Clinical Negligence In Amputation And Limb Loss Cases
  9. Limb Loss And Diabetes
  10. Phantom Pain Caused By The Loss Of A Limb
  11. How Long Do You Have To Claim Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb?
  12. I Lost A Limb In An Accident, What Should I Do?
  13. Claim Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb On A No Win No Fee Basis
  14. Other Information
  15. FAQs

Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb

Adapting to life without a limb can be physically and emotionally difficult. Whilst it’s possible to make use of a prosthetic limb, some people choose not to. Even if you do opt to use a prosthetic, their dexterity is often much less than an organic limb. So, replacing a lost limb in this way is not necessarily the answer for those who used their arms or legs in a very specific way.

Because of the wide array of difficulties that can arise from the loss of a limb, the amounts awarded to claimants can be very different depending on individual circumstances.

What Is The Loss Of A Limb?

The loss of an arm or leg could be partial, or you could lose the entire limb. There’s more than one scenario in which you could lose a limb. For example:

Where you lose your limb doesn’t always mean you’re more or less likely to receive compensation. What’s important is that the accident that resulted in the loss of your arm or leg was not your fault. If you can back this up with evidence, then your chances of receiving a settlement are increased.

Types Of Amputation And Limb Loss

Whilst there are a few different scenarios in which you could lose your limb, it can happen in two main ways.

Traumatic Limb Loss

This is when a high-impact accident takes place, resulting in the limb being severed from the body. For example, a factory worker could be working with faulty heavy machinery because they were told to by their employer. Alternatively, they may not have received any training regarding how to safely use it. In either of these cases, the responsibility of these injuries could fall at the feet of the employer.

Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that every employer has a legal duty of care to reasonably make sure all of their employees are safe at work. This includes a number of eventualities that must be planned for, and failing to train employees properly or maintain equipment are both examples of a potential breach of this duty.

Surgical Limb Loss

This is when the amputation is carried out during a surgical procedure. However, having a limb amputated does not necessarily constitute medical negligence. Sometimes a limb needs to be removed for legitimate medical reasons, such as in extreme cases of diabetes.

However, there are such instances of surgical never events. These are occurrences that are so avoidable that they should never happen. Unfortunately, they still do.

An example of a surgical never event is ‘wrong-site surgery’. This is when an operation is carried out on the wrong part of the body. For example, a patient may be scheduled to have their left arm surgically amputated, but they have their right arm amputated by mistake. This could be an instance of medical or surgical negligence if staff were given the correct information beforehand and made the mistake anyway.

What Could Cause Limb Loss Injuries?

As mentioned above, there are two main ways a limb can be lost. Although traumatic injuries and loss via mistakes during surgery can both be legitimate reasons to make a claim, misdiagnosis of a condition could also lead to the need for amputation.

For example, a medical professional could tell you that you don’t have diabetes when your symptoms clearly indicate you do. This could lead to the condition getting worse and eventually lead to a limb being amputated. 

Diabetes footcare statistics from the government show the number of minor foot amputations in England in recent years. Whilst these figures do not relate directly to cases of medical negligence, they show how prevalent the condition is in the UK.

As you can see from the graph below, cases have been gradually on the rise.

How much compensation for the loss of a limb statistics graph

How much compensation for the loss of a limb statistics graph

Calculate Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb In The UK

You probably want to know how much compensation for the loss of a limb you could be awarded. However, the answer to this question is too varied to give just one example figure. To give you a better understanding of how the final amount is calculated, we have broken down the various figures.

General Damages

There is a publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). It is made up of a list of injuries that can occur as a result of negligence. Alongside each entry is a range of figures that relate to what each injury could be worth in compensation.

Legal professionals will consult the JCG as part of the process of deciding on an appropriate sum to award to the claimant. This figure is known as general damages and is paid to you to account for the physical and psychological damage caused by your injuries.

The table below is made up of some example figures from the latest edition of the JCG. It was last updated in 2019. 

InjuryDescriptionAmount
Arm(a) Both arms will have been amputated£225,960 to £281,520
Arm(b) (i) The loss of just one arm, at the shoulderNot less than £128,710
Arm(b) (ii) When the arm is amputated above the elbow£102,890 to £122,860
Arm(b) (iii) The arm will have been amputated below the elbow£90,250 to £102,890
Leg(a) (i) The loss of both legs £225,960 to £264,650
Leg(a) (ii) A below-the-knee amputation of both legs£189,110 to £253,480
Leg(a) (iii) Just one leg will have been amputated above the knee£98,380 to £129,010
Leg(a) (iv) Below-knee amputation, but only on one leg£91,950 to £124,800
Psychiatric damage(c) Moderate - there will have been severe issues but there will have been a good level of improvement, with a good prognosis£5,500 to £17,900
Post-traumatic stress disorder(c) Moderate - there will have been a very good level of recovery, with any last effects not being grossly disabling£7,680 to £21,730
Mental AnguishWhen you thought your life was about to end, or you expected your lifespan£4,380

Special Damages

Your injuries may result in additional expenses. For example, you may have to pay for a prosthetic limb to replace the one you lost. Additionally, your ability to work may be affected and result in a loss of earnings. It’s possible to reclaim these costs and more. The sum that’s calculated based on your ‘out of pocket’ expenses is referred to as special damages.

This figure can vary depending on how much you have had to spend as a direct result of your injuries. You must have evidence of these outgoings or you will find it very difficult to reclaim them.

Evidence could include:

  • Bills
  • Receipts
  • Payslips

Call us today and we can provide you with more information regarding what else can be considered eligible for reimbursement.

Traumatic Amputation Accidents At Work

Workplace accidents can result in a wide array of injuries. However, some industries can be more dangerous than others. If you work in construction or in a factory, there are often pieces of heavy and potentially dangerous machinery needed for you to carry out your role.

It is the legal duty of your employer to make sure that you, as their employee, are able to carry out your duties safely. This includes being properly trained to use this equipment. The machinery must also be properly maintained.

Getting a limb trapped in one of these pieces of equipment is just one of the ways that could result in the loss of a limb. Heavy objects falling and crushing your arm or leg could also result in an amputation. If the limb is not severed completely during the accident, then it could still require amputation if it is injured to the point where it can’t be saved.

Traumatic Amputations Caused By Road Traffic Accidents

Compensation for the loss of a limb in the UK can also be awarded if your injury took place on the road. It doesn’t matter if you were the driver or passenger. You can even be a pedestrian or cyclist and still suffer due to the negligence of another road user. High-impact collisions can cause a number of serious injuries or even death.

Every driver must follow the rules as laid out in The Highway Code. If these rules are not followed and an injury occurs as a result then this could be an example of negligence. 

Clinical Negligence In Amputation And Limb Loss Cases

As mentioned earlier, surgical never events can still take place, despite many steps being taken to avoid them. As well as surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body, there have even been cases of a procedure being carried out on the wrong patient altogether. 

A missed or incorrect diagnosis (despite clear symptoms) could also lead to an unnecessary loss of a limb. These are all examples of medical negligence.

However, if your amputation was discussed truthfully with you beforehand you were able to make a fully informed decision, then it is unlikely to be considered eligible for compensation as it would not necessarily be a case of negligence.

Limb Loss And Diabetes

Diabetes can affect how limbs recover from cuts and ulcers. If you are not properly informed about the dangers of your condition then this could be interpreted as negligence on the part of the medical professional.

However, there is a certain level of personal responsibility involved. If you are given all the information you require to reduce the risk of your limb requiring amputation then it’s up to you to implement that advice.

Phantom Pain Caused By The Loss Of A Limb

It is possible for some individuals who have had a limb amputated to still experience pain or discomfort in the area of where the limb once was. These are known as phantom pains. It can be difficult to treat these symptoms.

These sensations can continue for years after the amputation. Once thought of as a psychological condition, these real sensations begin in the spinal cord and brain. How long these symptoms last can be reflected in the value of some personal injury amounts.

How Long Do You Have To Claim Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb?

The Limitation Act 1980 tells us that there is a general 3-year time limit on personal injury claims. This means that you should make a claim within 3 years of the accident that caused your injury. Alternatively, it would be 3 years from the date you gained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury.

If this timeframe applies to your case and you miss it, then you’ll find it much more difficult to have your claim addressed. 

Child Accident Claims

If the injured party is under 18 years old, then they cannot make a claim themselves. Because of this, the time limit is suspended until they reach adulthood. This would be their 18th birthday. Then, they would have 3 years to pursue the claim themselves,

In the meantime, their claim can be made on their behalf by an adult that is affiliated with them. For example, this could be a parent or legal guardian. This elected person would be known as a litigation friend

If the case is successful, the compensation would be paid into a bank account that the child can only access once they turn 18. The settlement is not awarded to the litigation friend. However, some of the compensation can be accessed before the claimant’s 18th birthday if there is a legitimate reason that’s in the child’s best interests. 

Making A Claim On Behalf Of Someone With A Reduced Mental Capacity

If the claimant suffers from a reduced mental capacity, then the time limit is suspended. It doesn’t matter if their mental condition is caused by the injury or not.

If they recover, then the time limit would begin from the day their mental capacity returns. If not, then it would remain suspended indefinitely and the claim would need to be made with the help of a litigation friend.

I Lost A Limb In An Accident, What Should I Do?

As well as considering how much compensation for the loss of a limb you could be awarded, you need to consider which steps you should take. Whilst there are more than the three we have listed below, these are some of the most important ones.

  • Seek medical care. This should always be your initial priority. In cases of extreme injury, this will be an obvious step to take. However, if you display symptoms of diabetes then delaying seeing a medical professional could also be just as damaging to health. Putting it off could lead to your condition getting worse and worse and result in the need for a limb to be amputated.
  • Gather evidence. You must be able to prove that the accident that caused your injuries transpired as you describe it. You can prove this by acquiring evidence such as photographs of your injuries or even CCTV footage. Your medical records will also show evidence of the extent of your injuries along with other helpful information.
  • Seeking legal advice. Whilst this isn’t a legal requirement, having legal assistance can potentially increase your chances of making a successful claim.

Claim Compensation For The Loss Of A Limb On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you have a valid, strong claim for the loss of a limb, UK Law could connect you with a solicitor from our panel who could work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. All of the expert lawyers on our panel operate in this way.

No Win No Fee means that you won’t be responsible for covering the lawyer’s legal fees unless they are successful in helping you win your claim. If you aren’t awarded any compensation, you won’t owe them any lawyer fees.

If your claim is a success, then they would take a small percentage from your settlement amount as a fee. There are no upfront or hidden fees, so get in touch today to get started.

Other Information

We have included some links to other articles and sources that should help you better understand this subject.

  1. Find out what your rights are if you are injured as an agency worker.
  2. Learn about weight limits for manual handling.
  3. You can report a doctor for medical negligence.
  4. An NHS guide to amputation.
  5. You have a right to request CCTV footage of yourself.
  6. More information on amputation of the lower limbs.

FAQs

We’ve included the answers to some of the more common questions we’re asked.

Can I get an interim payout to help pay for aids or prosthetics?

It is sometimes possible to be awarded some of the compensation before the claim is complete. This is only possible if the defendant admits liability. If you need to pay for aids or prosthetics but can only do so with the help of the settlement, then this is a circumstance where you could receive an interim payment.

Who do you claim compensation from?

Compensation usually comes from the defendant’s insurance company. For example, if you were injured at work then your employer must have an insurance policy in case of workplace injuries.

In cases of car accident claims, your payout would come from the car insurance company that the defendant uses.

How much time could it take to process my claims?

Every claim is different, so the timescales can vary quite a bit. Some simple claims could take a relatively short amount of time. However, more complicated cases could take months or even years to reach a conclusion.

Will my claim be settled out of court?

The majority of personal injury claims never reach a courtroom. This can be a costly and lengthy procedure, so it’s often the least desirable option for both parties.

Your claim is more likely to be settled out of court by the defendant’s legal team negotiating an appropriate sum to award you. 

How do you prove who is to blame?

You must gather evidence to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. Some good examples of this are:

  • Photographs
  • CCTV footage
  • Written witness statements
  • Medical reports

Get in touch for more information regarding what can be used as evidence.

Thank you for reading our guide on how much compensation for the loss of a limb you could be awarded.

Writer IB 

Checked by HT