Bladder injury compensation claims
In this article we explain everything you must know about making a bladder injury compensation claim.
Anyone who has sustained a bladder injury after a serious road accident or accident at work that was not their fault, or through medical negligence, may be able to bring a compensation claim. Due to the nature of bladder injuries, surgery is often required and rehabilitation can be a lengthy process.
Compensation has been awarded for a range of bladder injuries and conditions, including ruptured or perforated bladder injury and prolapsed bladder injury. Recognising the severity of these injuries, Court awards can be higher compared to more minor, superficial injuries.
A ruptured or perforated bladder is a serious injury that is caused by trauma to the pelvic region. Ruptured bladder injuries fall into three broad categories:
- Blunt trauma injury, such as a high velocity blow to the body in a road traffic accident, a cycling accident, a pedestrian accident or a fall from a height.
- Penetrating wounds, such as stab wounds caused by criminal injury or dangerous machinery at work.
- Perforation injuries that occur when the bladder is accidentally pierced during surgery as a result of clinical or medical negligence.
The majority of traumatic bladder injuries are successfully remedied by surgery. However, short- or long-term serious complications can occur, including infection (peritonitis), bleeding, urinary retention, blockage of the urethra and scar formation.
When calculating damages for a bladder injury, the Courts do not take into account the nature of the accident that caused the damage. Compensation awards are determined solely by reference to the severity of the bladder injury and the impact it has on the claimant's life.
However, for the purposes of making a compensation claim, the cause of the accident does matter. The injury lawyer must prove that the defendant negligently caused the accident, and that the bladder ruptured as a result.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
The NHS estimate that one in 10 women will have surgery to rectify a prolapsed bladder by the time they are 80 years old.
Common causes of a prolapsed bladder include:
- A manual handling accident or other exertion in the workplace
- Medical negligence, which may occur during forceps delivery, Caesarean section, hysterectomy or other surgery.
A prolapsed bladder is not life-threatening but it can trigger long-term problems such as urinary difficulties, stress incontinence, lower back pain or pain during sexual intercourse.
As an initial step, the injury lawyer will arrange for the claimant to be examined by an independent medical expert who is not the claimant's surgeon or GP. The medical expert acts as an impartial assessor of the bladder injury. He or she will prepare a medical report describing the injuries and the prognosis for recovery, and will make recommendations for further rehabilitation.
The severity of the bladder injury, as stated in the medical report, is used as basis for negotiating the settlement award in the compensation claim.
Anyone who has suffered a rupture, prolapse or other bladder injury may make a claim for compensation if:
- They were involved in an accident that caused the bladder injury
- The accident happened in the previous three years
- The accident occurred as the result of another party's actions or negligence, and crucially that other party owed you a duty of care - common scenarios where this duty exists include an employer to an employee, the owner of a premises to visitors, and a driver to other road users
Determining liability depends on the nature of the accident and the law that applies to accidents of the type the claimant has suffered.
For example, where the accident occurred at work, a claim may be brought against the employer. To make a successful claim, the injury lawyer will gather evidence to show that the employer failed to take reasonable steps to eliminate the risks associated with the relevant work process or machinery and thus can be held legally accountable for the accident.
Where the injury was sustained in a vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian accident, the injury lawyer will consult the Highway Code and other driving legislation to demonstrate that the defendant negligently caused the accident that resulted in the bladder injury.
Clinical negligence claims can be difficult to prove. The injury lawyer must show that:
- The standard of care received fell below that of a reasonably competent medical professional in the specific area of medicine (negligence); and
- The bladder injury arose as a direct result of the negligent action (causation).
For bladder perforations sustained during surgery, a claim cannot usually be brought just because the surgeon did something wrong. The injury lawyer must prove that the perforation was not identified and correctly repaired at the time of the surgery, and that the error caused significant injury. Read more about surgical negligence compensation claims.
Awards for the pain and suffering that a bladder injury has caused are established by the Judicial College and laid out in their guidelines for personal injury awards. The guidelines set out upper and lower limits for bladder injuries by reference their severity, for example, the degree to which bladder function has been lost and the likely duration of the condition.
The Judicial College recommendations are not legally binding. However, the Courts invariably will consult the guidelines when calculating compensation, as will most solicitors and insurance companies.
Under the guidelines:
- Minor interference with bladder function that has fully recovered or will fully recover may receive a compensation payout between £16,000 and £22,000.
- Serious bladder injury that causes persistent incontinence may receive a compensation payout between £22,000 and £57,000.
- Total loss of bladder control may receive a compensation payout between £57,000 and £100,000.
Compensation may also be claimed for the expenses arising from the accident such as loss of earnings, medical treatment costs and travel expenses.
Typically a no win no fee arrangement (also known as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between the claimant and lawyer.
The no win no fee agreement is basically the conditions under which the solicitor is instructed by the client.
It lays out what the solicitor will do as well as how they is remunerated if the case is successful.
If you instruct a Quittance solicitor for your bladder injury claim there are no additional costs in the terms and conditions , no up-front fees and the reassurance that you wont be out of pocket.
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim bladder injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Meet the team
Quittance Legal Services' nationwide panel of solicitors take on all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Selected because of their track record in recovering compensation, our lawyers have years of experience handling injury claims.
About the author
Helen is an award-winning legal researcher and author. She is an experienced court litigation report proofreader and has written extensively on legal matters.
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