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Amputation negligence claims

If you or a loved one is dealing with the consequences of an amputation caused by medical negligence or an accident that wasn’t your fault, we completely understand how much distress this can cause. Losing a limb is a life-changing event and doesn’t just affect you physically – there can be mental and emotional consequences too. 


A different kind of law firm

The serious injury team at Shoosmiths has extensive experience helping clients who have had to undergo an amputation as a result of either an accident that was not their fault or negligent treatment from a health professional. We can investigate your circumstances to established whether you can make a claim for compensation.  We understand that amputation claims need to be handled with care and precision to identify the support you will need during rehabilitation and recovery and the ongoing care, treatment, specialist equipment and other things you may need to maintain quality of life in the future.  Our specialist team of lawyers can help you get the compensation you need, while handling your claim with compassion and understanding.

What is an amputation?

An amputation is the surgical removal of a part of the body – for example an arm or leg. Most amputations involve the removal of part of a limb, such as the section of leg below the knee or arm below the elbow. Amputations can, however, be performed to remove an entire limb too. 

What are the common causes of amputation?

There are a variety of reasons why you might need an amputation – including serious injury, infection or severe trauma. Unfortunately, amputations can also be caused by sub-standard medical care or when an illness is misdiagnosed. 

Some of the most common causes of amputation are: 

Skeleton man

  • Inadequate care of diabetes

    Diabetes is a common condition that currently affects around 1 in 15 people in the UK ( It is caused by having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood because the body is not producing enough insulin or is not using the insulin properly which affects the absorption of glucose into the body’s cells. 

    Diabetes can cause many complications – including damage to blood vessels and nerves. This can mean that you lose feeling in parts of your body, usually extremities such as your feet or hands. It can also mean that blood is unable to travel to parts of the body. 

    These complications can increase the risk of undetected ulcers, blisters and other wounds that may lead to infection. If this happens, adequate and prompt care is essential to reduce further complications such as amputation. 

    April 2019 figures from Public Health England showed that 7,545 (still the most up to date statistics) people needed amputations because of diabetes between 2015 and 2018 – up 8.5% on the previous three years. For those with diabetes, amputation is a serious risk and adequate care must be provided to prevent it. 

  • Delayed treatment or misdiagnosis

    This is any situation where a medical professional has failed to diagnose your illness correctly – or caused a delay in diagnosis. If certain conditions are not diagnosed in the early stages, further complications can arise – including amputation. Some of the most common illnesses that are misdiagnosed include:

    • Cancer – if doctors fail to spot cancer in initial tests, treatment can be delayed and make the disease harder to treat. If cancer is located within bone, blood vessels or nerves, amputation may be necessary to stop the disease from spreading. 
    • Meningitis – this infection of membranes around the brain and spine can cause septicaemia and permanent brain damage. Meningitis is a very serious condition that must be treated quickly to reduce the risk of further complications. Amputation of limbs, fingers or toes may be needed in the most severe cases. 
    • Other infections – some people require an amputation due to infection when it isn’t treated properly or fast enough – leading to life-threatening illnesses such as sepsis. Identifying the warning signs of a bacterial infection and quick treatment is necessary to minimise the risk of further complications.
    • Sepsis– this life-threatening condition occurs when your body tries to fight an infection. The immune system goes into overdrive sending chemicals into the bloodstream, which causes inflammation throughout the body. This can lead to septic shock. If not treated quickly, tissue can be damaged by a sepsis infection and amputation may be necessary.
    • Vascular Compromise - is a blockage in a major vessel where there is a failure to diagnose or treat such as a stroke

     If you’ve had a condition that has been misdiagnosed or mistreated and it has caused you to have a limb amputated, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. 

  • Surgical errors

    Unfortunately, mistakes can be made during surgery.  There are a wide variety of errors that can occur such as:

    Performing an incorrect operation.  It should never happen but there have been instances where the wrong limb has been amputated
    • Causing damage to organs, nerves or muscles
    • Sub-standard hygiene after surgery can lead to infection in the amputated stump

    All medical staff have a duty of care to their patients and their work must meet certain standards.  A surgical error is likely to fall below the required standards so you may be able to claim compensation if you’re the victim of such negligence resulting in amputation.

  • Traumatic injuries
    Severe damage to the blood supply, bone and tissue in a limb caused in a road traffic collision or an accident at work can lead to amputation.  These are referred to as traumatic injuries because they are caused by sudden external events and require immediate medical attention.

Who can make a claim?

Usually, the person who suffered the negligent amputation makes the claim, but there are circumstances where you can bring a claim on behalf of someone else:

If you are the parent or legal guardian of a person under the age of 18, you can act as a litigation friend to bring a claim on their behalf,
• You can also act as a litigation friend to bring a claim on behalf of someone who does not have the mental capacity as defined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005,
• Unfortunately, some injuries are fatal.  When this occurs the Executor or Administrator of the deceased’s Estate can bring a claim on behalf of the deceased and any dependants.

If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to claim compensation on behalf of yourself or someone else, call 0808 163 5100 or message us and we’ll advise you of the options available to you.

How do I make an amputation negligence claim?

The first step is an easy one – simply get in touch with our expert team of serious injury lawyers - call 0808 163 5100 or send us a message.

We’ll find out a bit more about you, the impact of your injury and how best we can help you, drawing on our years of experience and legal knowledge. 

Don’t worry, this initial chat is free – on the phone, at our office, at your home, or anywhere else that’s convenient for you - and there’s no obligation. We just want to make sure your claim gets off to the right start.

Our team always put your interests and wellbeing first. It means working to achieve an amount of compensation that best reflects your pain and suffering. But it can also mean being honest if we think your case might not be a success. The best way to find out is to the begin the process.

While the claim process can be unique to each individual case, your claim will likely go through the following stages before it comes to a settlement: After getting in touch with us, the information you provide will help decide whether we think your claim will succeed.

1. Your case will be passed to one of our serious injury experts – your point of contact throughout the process, bringing exceptional claim-handling experience to your case.
2. We will discuss with you how your case will be funded and we will put in place the best funding option for you, which could be a “no win no fee” arrangement.
3. We will start collecting evidence to prove your claim, which will include your medical records and expert evidence.  You’ll be asked to undergo independent medical tests. We know this can be distressing for clients, but it’s necessary to support your claim. It lets us find out the full impact of your injury – including immediate care needs as well as any ongoing considerations.
4. The individual / organisation believed to be at fault for your serious injury is notified of the claim and asked to admit or deny the claim.
5. If fault is accepted by the other party, we’ll request interim compensation to be paid as soon as possible to cover your treatment costs and relieve any financial strain.
6. We’ll work out how much the full compensation amount should be.
7. If fault is denied, we’ll start the court process. It doesn’t mean your claim will go to court – many claims are settled out of court. But it does put in place a deadline for the claim to be settled.

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Why choose Shoosmiths for your amputation negligence claim?

In any personal injury or clinical negligence claim, it’s important to know that you can trust the people you turn to. Rebuilding your life after an injury can be difficult and challenging, and the last thing you need is any additional stress or uncertainty. 

At Shoosmiths, we treat every individual with care and understanding. Our lawyers work hard to get you the compensation to ensure that your needs are provided for now and into the future.

Not only are we with you at each stage of the claims process, but we’ll also stay by your side for years to come – even once your claim is settled and compensation awarded.

You can trust that we have the right expertise – we have specialist accreditations, and we comply with best practice and standards:

Meet the team

Phil Barnes

Phil Barnes


Medical negligence

Phil is national head of medical negligence. It has been said of Phil that he's the kind of guy to pull out all the stops so call Phil today.

Sharine Burgess

Sharine Burgess


Personal injury

Sharine is an award-winning lawyer in the personal injury department, acting on behalf of claimants and their families through a wide range of cases, so give her a call.

Kashmir Uppal

Kashmir Uppal


Medical negligence

Award winning medical negligence lawyer Kashmir is tireless in her pursuit of accountability. Contact Kashmir today.

Our client stories

We’ve helped many people achieve the compensation they need – including Leysa Hardy, who was involved in a road traffic accident that led to the amputation of her leg below the knee. To find out more about how we helped to secure compensation worth £1.9m, read Leysa’s story – or watch the video below: 


For more cases where Shoosmiths have helped clients up and down the country, see below:

Clients' stories

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Frequently asked questions

  • Can I make a claim for someone else?

    Absolutely. If your child is under the age of 18 and has been in an accident or experienced medical negligence resulting in amputation, you can make a claim on their behalf. You can submit a claim any time up until their 18th birthday. 

    Once they turn 18, they have three years to make a claim themselves. 

    You may also be able to make a claim for someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves. For instance, this may be a person with severe brain injuries, autism or dementia. 

    In these cases, power of attorney will be required to pursue a claim on behalf of someone else – or you can apply to The Court of Protection (in England and Wales); The Office of the Public Guardian (in Scotland); or The Office of Care and Protection (in Northern Ireland) to do so.

    Any settlement will then be subject to the approval of the relevant court/office before it can be distributed to the claimant.

    Unfortunately, there are times when amputation negligence can be fatal. If a loved one has died, and it was someone else’s fault, you still might be able to make a claim. The financial support you receive can help with any legal expenses, funeral costs or other costs you need to cover.

  • Why should I make an amputation negligence claim?

    We understand that making an amputation negligence claim can’t take away the pain and suffering you’ve been through. However, it may provide financial support to cover the costs of any ongoing medical treatment, loss of earnings and home adaptions. 

    It may also highlight any issues with the standard of care provided by a particular healthcare professional or institution. This could prevent this happening to anyone else in the future. You may also receive an apology for what you’ve been through.

    If you choose Shoosmiths to help you make a claim, we work with third party support networks which could be made available to you in order to ensure that you receive all the emotional and practical support you need – even long after your claim is settled.

  • Is there a time limit for making amputation negligence claims?

    Yes, there is. If you’d like to make an amputation negligence claim, you must do so within three years of the date of the incident. It doesn’t apply if you are claiming on behalf of a child under the age of 18, however. 

    Your case may take months – or even years – to resolve depending on the severity and complexity of your circumstances. For this reason, we recommend you contact us as soon as possible, so you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you need.

  • How do I fund my claim?

    We will discuss with you what the most suitable and appropriate funding is available for you, including pursuing a claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

    Find out more about how making a No Win No Fee claim works.

  • How much compensation will I receive?

    The amount of compensation you’ll receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the impact that it has had on your life. Your serious injury solicitor will gather evidence and obtain expert opinion on the physical impact of your amputation and the effect it has had on your life. They will look into 

    • The severity of your physical injury and the pain and suffering it caused.
    • The financial impact the amputation has had on you. Your solicitor takes into account any medical costs you need to cover – such as equipment, treatment and medication. They also look at any adaptations you need to make to your home, such as enhanced accessibility if you’re in a wheelchair.
    • The effect the accident has had on your ability to work. Your solicitor will establish if you’re able to continue in your job and any income you may have lost.
    • The impact on your life as a whole – including how the amputation has affected your family and if you’re still able to take part in your favourite pastimes.  

What should I do next if I think I have a case?

Get in touch with us on 0370 086 8687 or message us for a free of charge discussion.


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Who we work with

  • Brain Injury Group
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Headway
  • SIA
  • Back Up
  • Macmillan
  • Danielles Flutterbyes
  • Forces
  • Bens Heroes Trust

Our accreditations

  • Accredited Personal Injury
  • Apil
  • Ama
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Legal 500
  • UK Chambers
  • The Society Of Clinical Injury Lawyers