Compensation for Knee Ligament Injury Claims

Introduction to Knee Ligament Injury Claims

Knee ligament injury claims follow a process similar to other ligament injuries. This article will use the example of a knee injury in order to provide information on the compensation process for ligament injuries, in order to maximise the compensation to which you may be entitled. However as each injury is different and can affect an individual in a unique manner, this article is a guide only, and should you believe you have grounds for compensation for a ligament injury you are advised to contact a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.

Types of Ligament Injuries

While people may seek knee ligament injury claims for numerous reasons, the most common ligament injuries occur to the soft tissues of the neck, shoulders and upper back following a rear-end car accident. Known as whiplash, this can affect the victim to the extent that the head has to be rendered motionless in a neck brace in order to confine the head’s movement and heal the injured ligaments.

Ligament damage to the knee can occur due to:-

Manual Handling Injuries

Injuries to various ligaments – including the shoulder, elbow and hand – can occur due to accidents while performing manual handling duties in the workplace. It is possible that the damage was not caused by a single incident, and may have developed over a period of time as a result of repetitive strain injury.

Injuries Caused by Slips, Trips and Falls

An accident in which you fell due to a slip or trip can result in an injury to your knee or ankle ligament if it was stretched too far, causing it to tear. You may also sustain an injury to the hand, wrist or thumb ligaments if you have put out your hand in order to break your fall.

Regardless of whether your knee ligament has sustained a tear, sprain or rupture, this can be a highly painful injury which may require a substantial recovery period – during which the victim may experience a decrease in the quality of his/her life. Certain ligaments may require surgery, as will those which have been worn down by repetitive strain. In order to ensure that the body can move properly again following a ligament injury, a doctor may recommend physiotherapy.

The Compensation Process for Ligament Injuries

When initiating knee ligament injury claims, it must first be established that the injury has occurred due to the negligence of a person who was responsible for the health and safety of the claimant.

For this reason, while the best method to treat ligament damage is to rest and allow your injured knee to heal, you should receive medical attention from a doctor who will then take note of your injury in your medical history. This can then be used by your solicitor in order to support your claim of compensation for a ligament injury.

Acquiring proof your injury was caused by somebody who owed you a duty of care can become difficult in the situation that your knee ligament injury limits your movement. In this case, to ease the compensation process for ligament injuries, you are advised to contact a personal injury solicitor in order to ensure that evidence to support your claim can be gathered in an effective manner.

Your solicitor can help you with the submission and collection of accident reports, acquiring the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed your accident, recording photographic evidence of a danger which caused your accident or obtaining CCTV footage of your accident occurring if available.

Initiating Knee Ligament Injury Claims

When enough evidence has been gathered in order to support your knee ligament injury claims, the next stage in the process for ligament injuries claims will begin. A “Letter of Claim” will be written from your solicitor to the insurance company of the negligent party, informing them that compensation will be sought for injuries to knee ligaments which were caused by the carelessness of their client.

Twenty-one days will be given to the insurance company in order to reply to the letter, after which they have ninety days in order to accept or reject liability for the ligament injury.

If the insurers accept responsibility for your injuries – and if the full extent of your injuries is known – the amount of compensation to which you are entitled will be determined by your solicitor who will present his or her calculations to the insurance company.

In the situation where the insurers reject liability, you should consult with your solicitor to determine if the process for ligament injuries claims should proceed to court action in order to receive compensation. If court proceedings are issued, there is the possibility that a court appearance is not a certainty; as some insurance companies may determine that the cost of defending against your claim is not worth the value of the claim itself.

Amount of Compensation for a Ligament Injury

The amount of compensation rewarded for knee ligament injury claims will depend upon the injury itself, its location and its magnitude. The Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages will be used to determine the financial sum which will be assigned to your injury, which will then be altered according to your age, gender* and general health before the accident took place.

*Women and children may be entitled to higher compensation amounts, as their muscles are generally weaker and are likely to receive a more serious injury as a result

If a psychological trauma has been suffered due to the nature of your accident, or your injury has caused anxiety while you recovered, this can be included in your claim for compensation. You will also be able to recover the costs of any expenses which have been incurred as a direct result of your injuries, as well as claim for any income you have lost if you were unable to work as a result of your injury.

A significant aspect of ligament injury compensation is “loss of amenity”. This aspect of compensation for a ligament injury will allow you to claim for any deterioration in your lifestyle you have suffered due to the negligence of the person who caused your injury. As your ligament injury may have different repercussions depending on a number of factors, the following examples will show the manner in which “loss of amenity” can be measured.

Injury to the Knee Ligament

If damage to your knee ligament has left you unable to drive or walk without assistance, the loss of amenity compensation to which you may be eligible can be significant. As the claimant will not be able to partake in pastimes which would put pressure upon the knee – such as gardening, swimming or playing with their children – this can be greatly distressing for some claimants who would be entitled to a significant amount of compensation.

Tears to the Medial Collateral Ligament

A factor which will be taken into account for medial collateral ligament tears is the fact that the victim will have their movements significantly limited for a long period. They may not unable to attend social functions, take a holiday or tend for their children at extra-curricular activities. The financial costs of missing such a trip will be recovered, but a claimant will not receive any compensation for the disappointment of being unable to participate in these events.

Damage to the Thumb Ligament

If a thumb ligament is injured, the dexterity of the hand can be lessened, a victim may be unable to perform domestic tasks and the strength of the grip can be weakened – perhaps permanently. Examples of amenity loss in this situation would be of a musician unable to play an instrument, a sportsperson unable to participate in games or a teenager who will have difficulty in surfing the internet.

Amenity Lost due to a Torn Anterior Longitudinal Ligament

The anterior longitudinal ligament – found surrounding the spine to support the head – will cause great discomfort if injured, often in a whiplash accident. A claimant for a torn anterior longitudinal ligament may suffer loss of amenity if they have trouble sleeping at night. A severe case may also prevent a victim from feeding themselves, which may also be entitled to compensation.

Unsolicited Offers of Compensation

The compensation process for ligament injuries may be disrupted if an unsolicited offer of compensation for a ligament injury claims is made. Regardless of how tempting the offer may be or how much you may need the money, you should always consult a solicitor before accepting such an offer.

When an insurance company makes such an offer following an injury, their primary goal is to reduce their potential legal costs as well as the compensation sum for which they may be liable. It is therefore likely that the compensation which is being offered is inappropriate for the injuries which you have suffered.

While unsolicited offers of ligament injury will not prove that the insurance company will accept responsibility for your injuries, your solicitor will be able to begin negotiations with the insurers. If your financial situation is of concern to you, interim payments may be made until your claim is resolved satisfactorily.

Other Issues which may Impact the Compensation Process for Ligament Injuries

The knee ligament injury claims process can be affected in the situation where the victim is a child, in which case a parent or guardian will have to make a claim on behalf of the child. Other obstacles which may complicate your claim for ligament injury include situations in which you were partially responsible for the accident which caused your injury or when failure to seek immediate medical attention worsened your condition.

If you are seeking compensation for a ligament injury after an accident which occurred in the workplace, this can be complicated depending on your relationship with your employer. If a family member was responsible for the accident in which you were injured, great care will be required in dealing with the case.

Ligaments can require long-term healing and can even require physiotherapy for up to a year following surgery. While you will be given three years from the date of knowledge on which to make a claim for injury compensation – and in some circumstances it can take that long to determine the full effects of an injury – you are advised to consult a solicitor at the earliest opportunity after you have received medical attention for your ligament injuries.

Funding Claims for Ligament Injuries

“No Win, No Fee” is amongst the preferred methods of seeking compensation for knee ligament injury claims. These are conditional fee arrangements which a solicitor will offer to you if they determine that your claim for injury has a high likelihood of success.

A claimant can pursue a claim under a “No Win, No Fee” arrangement with the assurance that should their claim be unsuccessful, they will not be liable for the legal fees of their solicitor. It should be remembered, however, that other costs may arise as a result of pursuing your claim, which your solicitor should explain to you before you agree to a “No Win, No Fee” arrangement.

The majority of solicitors will provide a free initial consultation to those who believe they may have a claim for compensation and in order to determine whether your compensation claim is worth pursuing. A solicitor can also answer any additional questions you may have regarding the process for ligament injuries claims and the amount of compensation for a ligament injury you may receive.

Summary

  • Two separate knee ligament injury claims will never be identical, as the impact which they will have upon the claimant’s lives will be entirely different
  • A certain process for ligament injuries compensation must be followed in order to have a greater likelihood of success in your claim
  • Complications may arise in a claim if the claimant’s age or contributory negligence is an issue and if a claim is made against an employer, friend or family member
  • The amount of compensation for a ligament injury which can be claimed will rely on the unique circumstances of the injury, the impact it has had upon your lifestyle and expenses which you have incurred as a result
  • An unsolicited compensation offer should not be accepted without consulting your solicitor in order to determine whether they represent a fair settlement amount

A solicitor should always be contacted at the earliest opportunity, even if the full extent of your injuries is not yet known


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