A guide to making a No Win No Fee hernia claim
Many people who have sustained a hernia injury experience ongoing pain and problems with mobility. The Courts recognise that the nature of hernia injuries can cause considerable pain and suffering, can restrict an individual's ability to work, and can prevent them from enjoying hobbies and other activities they could perform before the injury.
If a hernia injury was caused by third party negligence, as the result of inadequate training in the workplace, a manual handling accident, or as a result of medical negligence, a claim for compensation can usually be made.
Understanding hernia claims
Although hernias can be brought on by injury, pregnancy or ageing, the most common cause in hernia or double hernia compensation claims is physical stress. Most often this is the result of incorrect manual handling of heavy objects in the workplace - with the groin and abdomen the areas most likely to be affected.
The most common type of abdominal hernia is an inguinal hernia. This occurs when fatty tissue or a part of a bowel pokes through into the groin at the top of the inner thigh. Other types of abdominal hernia linked to physical stress include:
Another familiar type of hernia seen in compensation cases is hernia of the spine or spinal discs (a slipped disc) which can lead to sciatica, resulting in lower back and leg pain. Incisional hernias caused by a weakness or tear at the site of a previous surgical incision are also common claims.
Treatments for hernia vary, with hand manipulation being one. However, if there is concern that it could lead to bowel obstruction or strangulation - where the blood supply is cut off - surgery will be required. This in itself poses further risks, including the possibility of negligent hernia surgery.
Who can claim? Who is accountable? How can liability be proven?
Any person who has suffered a hernia as a result of the negligent actions of a third party is entitled to make a claim for compensation. In order for a claim to successful, it has to be shown that the hernia was the direct result of the actions of another.
A Claimant arguing that the hernia was caused by activities in the workplace must be able to prove that the activity was indeed the cause. In all hernia claims, a medical report by a consultant expert is necessary to confirm this.
If this is established, the employer would be held liable under a range of legislation, but primarily:
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Both of these regulations require employers to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff. This includes carrying out adequate risk assessments and implementing health and safety procedures, such as providing staff training on load weight and risk of hernia.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 makes more specific requirements regarding ergonomics - the fit between the work, workers and the workplace. This includes considering the physical aspects of a person such as weight, build, strength, fitness, posture and any muscle strains or stresses.
A Claimant suffering a hernia attributed to clinical or surgical intervention must be able to prove that the actions of the medical staff were indeed negligent. The same must be proven in cases for hernia surgery - when the procedure to repair a hernia causes further suffering.
Medical staff have a legal ?duty of care' towards their patients and a code of practice to follow. If their patients suffer harm that was the direct result of their actions, they could be held liable. In these cases, a solicitor will consider questions such as: Did avoidable errors occur during surgery? Did the hernia re-occur due to poor application of the repair surgery?
Medical reports and expert professional opinion will be key evidence in providing answers.
How much compensation can be claimed for a hernia injury?
The overall value of a hernia compensation claim varies greatly and is based on the individual facts of the case. This will include:
- The severity of the hernia or double hernia symptoms
- The length of time the Claimant has been affected
- Whether or not they have had to give up work
- Whether they will require ongoing treatment
No Win, No Fee hernia claims explained
A No Win, No Fee agreement, or CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement), is the beginning of almost all claims for personal injury compensation.
The CFA is essentially a contract between you and your injury lawyer. It sets out the service delivered by your solicitor and a success fee to be taken from your compensation once your solicitor wins your case.
Using a Quittance solicitor, you will have peace of mind with the knowledge that that you will never be out of pocket.
How to proceed
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