A Guide to Claiming Laceration Injury Compensation
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.
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.
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.
However, if these two points don't apply, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.
It costs nothing to find out - you can speak to a laceration injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.
A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. You will never be pressured into making a claim.
Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.
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.
What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?
A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.
The amount of money you could claim for your laceration injury will depend on:
- the extent 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 laceration injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a laceration injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Laceration Injury compensation amounts
The following laceration injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fourteenth Edition by the Judicial College.
|Arm injury||Serious||Serious Arm injury||Serious injury with permanent and substantial effects||£31,220 to £47,720|
|Finger injury||Serious||Serious Finger injury||Loss of part of the little finger||£3,150 to £4,670|
|Hand injury||Serious||Serious Hand injury||Serious hand injury||£11,520 to £23,110|
|Leg injury||Moderate||Moderate Leg injury||Crush injury||£22,130 to £31,250|
|Thumb injury||Serious||Serious Thumb injury||Serious thumb injury||£10,040 to £13,360|
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple laceration injury injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a serious wounding injury can be £75,000
For a less serious arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.
However, if you have a serious wounding injury and a less serious arm injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.
What is the average injury compensation for a laceration injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a laceration injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your laceration injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Find out what your laceration injury claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
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?
For adults, the general rule is no, you cannot start a claim more than three years after a laceration injury.
However, if you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a laceration injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I still be able to claim for a laceration injury after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your laceration injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I get advice on treatment options?
As part of the laceration injury claims process, your solicitor can arrange a thorough and independent needs assessment. The assessment may offer advice on treatment, access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS and co-ordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc
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.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a road accident
If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)
If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:
According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.
If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
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.
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 .
Please note, under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
if you can claim
to start a claim
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.
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.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert