If a laceration injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Laceration injuries can range from superficial to deep cuts, and they often require immediate and possibly ongoing medical treatment. Compensation claims typically cover costs for emergency care, surgical repair, and compensation for any lasting disfigurement or impairment.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a laceration injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
Cuts and lacerations are one of the most common types of injury claim. Where cuts tend to be superficial, affecting only the surface of the skin, lacerations are deeper, often damaging tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones.
Produced by a blow, blunt trauma, a collision, a fall or a sharp object, lacerations can vary in severity and affect any part of the . Contact with broken glass is another common cause.
In addition to the physical pain and tissue damage, a laceration can seriously affect an individual's ability to live a normal life.
What types of laceration can you claim compensation for?
Surface lacerations can cause scarring and minor tissue damage, which can lead to infection if not properly treated. If the laceration is deeper, more extensive damage can occur. This includes:
- Muscle damage
- Nerve damage
- Fractured or broken bones
In some of the most severe cases, surgery, skin grafts and even amputation may be needed. All of these can lead to a much longer rehabilitation period.
Even if you suffered relatively minor laceration injury that was not your fault, a compensation claim may be possible.
Who is liable for your injury?
Who is liable in laceration claims depends on the context in which the accident occurred. But whatever the circumstance, liability can only be apportioned once negligence is proven.
Approximately 30 per cent of all workplace injuries involve cut or lacerations, 70 per cent of which are injuries to the hands or fingers. Unfortunately, in many cases they could have been prevented if the employer had properly managed the risks. Typical causes of lacerations in the workplace include:
- Improper training, lack of safety procedures or employees taking short cuts
- Failure to wear proper, cut-resistant gloves
- Contact with metal items such as nails
- Hand tools with blades such as knives, box cutters, screwdrivers and chisels
- Powered machinery with cutting blades, rotating parts, motors and presses
- Handling sharp objects or material such as glass and sheet metal
- Improper tool for the job or tool used improperly
- Tools in poor condition, for example a cracked or broken handle or dull blade
- Missing or improperly adjusted guarding
- Poor housekeeping, clutter and debris
- Poor lighting leading to reduced visibility
In any of these instances an employer could be held liable under a range of health and safety legislation for failing to protect an employee from avoidable harm. This includes the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Road traffic accidents
Lacerations often occur in road traffic accidents - involving vehicles, motorbikes, and pedestrians - particularly those occurring at high speed. They can happen due to windows being smashed, items being thrown around a vehicle or from collision impact.
Under a range of statutory law, including the Road Traffic Act 1988, all road users have a 'duty of care' to avoid injuring others - as is reasonable. Therefore, in this situation, the at-fault driver (or pedestrian) would be liable if they were negligent.
Accidents in other public places
If a person sustains a laceration injury in another public place, such as a shop, pub, restaurant, park, school or leisure centre, liability would lie with the person responsible for their safety at the time. This would generally be the owner or manager and would usually fall under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984.
Lacerations can also occur as a result of clinical negligence, for example during surgery, or from a defective product. A solicitor can advise on who is liable in these instances.
Whatever the circumstance, a solicitor will also advise on the process and help gather the types of evidence needed to prove negligence. This could include medical reports, witness statements and health and safety records.
Am I entitled to make a laceration injury claim?
In general, you can claim compensation if you were hurt:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- another person or organisation was to blame, and;
- they owed you duty of care.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Can I claim compensation if I was partly at fault?
The law concerning liability (or blame) for an accident is complex, and varies depending on the situation.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents believed they were partly responsible for their injuries, or were uncertain.
The legal term for cases where an injured person was (to some extent) responsible for their injuries is 'contributory negligence'. If there is fault on both sides of a claim, it is possible to pay reduced compensation on a split liability agreement.
How long after a laceration injury do I have to start a claim?
An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.
For injured children, a claim can be started by a parent or guardian at any time before they turn 18. Thereafter, the injured individual has until their 21st birthday to make a claim on their own.
How much compensation can I claim for a laceration injury?
The amount of money you could claim for a laceration, cut or scar will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
General damages encompass compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA). The Judicial College plays a key role by providing guidelines that specify the awarded amounts for general damages in such cases.
Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your laceration injury. Compensation can include loss of earnings, including potential lost commission, bonuses or promotions, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as cleaning the wound, stitches, pain medication and antibiotics.
Average laceration injury general damages compensation
The following laceration injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Arm injury||Serious||Serious injury with permanent and substantial effects||£35,610 to £54,420|
|Finger injury||Serious||Loss of part of the little finger||£3,590 to £5,330|
|Hand injury||Serious||Serious hand injury||£13,140 to £26,360|
|Leg injury||Moderate||Crush injury||£25,240 to £35,640|
|Thumb injury||Serious||Serious thumb injury||£11,450 to £15,240|
Can I claim compensation for a psychological injury?
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
Lacerations can cause anxiety about scarring, wound healing, and fears of similar accidents occurring again. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is also common after an accident.
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
How did your injury happen?
Claiming compensation for a laceration injury is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.