Laceration Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a laceration injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a laceration injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming laceration injury compensation:

Introduction

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 body. 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.

Workplace accidents

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.

Do I have a laceration injury claim?

A laceration injury claim should be possible if your injury occurred:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

Do I have a claim? - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a laceration injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I still claim if I didn't report the laceration injury?

If you did not report the accident it can make it more difficult to pursue a laceration injury claim, but a claim may still be possible. This will depend on the circumstances of your case and on the other evidence available.

What if I was diagnosed months after the laceration injury?

Depending on how your laceration injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee, no risk

Under a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a laceration injury claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your laceration injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a laceration injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my laceration injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my laceration injury claim?

If your laceration injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How can Quittance help?

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.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Laceration injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a laceration injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the laceration injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your laceration injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a laceration injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim laceration injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a laceration injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor