Valuing an amputation claim - prosthetic provision

At Boyes Turner, we understand that you cannot put a price on the loss of a limb. However, as experts in medical negligence and personal injury amputation claims, we also understand that it is imperative that any award of compensation fully takes into account the cost of the amputee’s current and future prosthetic needs.

How are personal injury damages calculated?

Under English Law, there are two main elements which make up the value of a personal injury compensation award. The first part of the compensation reflects pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced by the injured person as a result of the defendant’s negligence, and is known as ‘general damages’. These awards generally follow set guidelines and are based on what the court has previously ruled as an appropriate level of compensation for that particular injury. The second part of the compensation reflects the individual’s additional past and future needs and financial losses arising from the negligence, set out as ‘heads of damage’ such as the cost of care, adapted housing and loss of earnings.

Can I claim for a bespoke prosthesis?

One category of damage that is unique to amputation claims is the cost of prosthetic (artificial) limbs. The NHS provides basic prosthetics for those who have suffered limb loss, however the law accepts that the amputee claimant is entitled to recover the reasonable cost of a bespoke prosthesis. Privately funded prosthetics come in a wider range than the NHS is able to provide and can be tailored to the individual’s particular pre-accident interests, including aquatic and sporting limbs. Finding the right prosthesis, which often means a privately funded prosthesis, can make a huge difference to the amputee’s independence and mobility, enabling them to return to work and sporting activities that would not otherwise be possible.

Each step of the process of choosing, fitting and ultimately using a bespoke prosthesis has associated costs which we can include and recover in our clients’ claims, so long as these are reasonable.

Where liability for the injury has been established, we can obtain interim payments to help meet the amputee’s urgent needs and to get their rehabilitation and trial of prosthetics underway as soon as possible, restoring independence, mobility and self-esteem, without them having to wait until the conclusion of the claim.

The sooner we are involved in our client’s journey towards restored mobility, the more thoroughly we can assess their needs and support them through the prosthetics process. Having established that the prosthetic trial has been a success and meets our client’s needs, we can then ensure that provision for ongoing costs, such as for servicing and renewal/replacement is included in the final settlement of the claim.

We also recognise, however, that no matter how good the prosthesis, there will be times when the individual will need additional mobility support. A claim for prosthetic limbs does not replace the claim for additional adapted vehicles and other mobility aids. We work with our medical experts to ensure that our clients’ needs for specialist equipment, such as wheelchairs, now and in the future, are also included in the claim.

If you have suffered amputation as a result of medical negligence or a traumatic injury caused by someone else, contact us by email at claimsadvice@boyesturner.com.

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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