Soft tissue injury compensation claims

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Jenny Jones

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A guide to making a No Win No Fee soft tissue injury claim

In the UK, soft tissue injuries and conditions have been estimated to account annually for around 300,000 inpatient hospital visits, one million outpatient visits and three million A&E visits, according to British Orthopaedic Foundation data.

In some cases, these injuries are sustained in preventable accidents caused by third party negligence. An individual affected in such circumstances is entitled to make a claim for compensation, even where the recovery period is short and the injuries are minor.

What is classified as a soft tissue injury?

Soft tissues injuries affect ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, and cartilage. They include sprains, strains, contusions, tendonopathy, bursitis, lacerations, ruptures, crushing, and compression injuries. They can occur as a result of nearly any type of physical trauma, including:

Common soft tissue injury claims

A claim can be made for a soft tissue injury if the injury was result of third-party negligence, and that third-party owed you a duty of care.

One example would be whiplash sustained in a motor vehicle crash where the actions of the other driver were at fault. All road users owe a duty of care to all other road users.

A further example would be a laceration affecting soft tissue caused by defective machinery in the workplace. The employer is responsible for providing a safe workplace, including regular checks on work machinery. Whilst employers are required, under a range of health and safety legislation but primarily the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, to safeguard their employees. Employers therefore owe a duty of care to their employees.

Other injuries often seen in work-related claims include: sprains to the lower back, knee and upper arm; and cumulative trauma disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sports injuries

In addition, a sporting injury, such as a torn ligament, could be claimed for if another person was responsible for ensuring a player's safety at the time the player was injured, such as a referee or umpire, and the player was injured as the result of the official's negligence.

Similarly, if an individual sprained their ankle after tripping on an unidentified hazard in a public place, such as a supermarket, they could claim against the owner or occupier of the premises.

Liability and negligence

In order to establish negligence, it must be proven on the balance of probabilities that the Defendant was responsible for your injuries.

For soft tissue injury claims, examples of evidence could include a combination of:

  • the medical report
  • accident book records
  • witness statements
  • photographs
  • CCTV footage

Many potentially liable parties will have insurance in place to cover accidents resulting in personal injury, including soft tissue injury. When pursuing a claim, communication will usually occur through the Defendant's insurers and their solicitors.

For criminal acts, claims can be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Is claiming compensation for a soft tissue injury worth it?

Although the recovery period of soft tissue injuries is usually short-term, UK law recognises that all unnecessary suffering deserves to be compensated.

Your solicitor may suggest that the potential compensation award is too small to be worth the trouble of making a claim, but even fairly minor injuries can result in reasonable compensation settlements if you have incurred expenses or time off work as a result of the accident.

It is also often argued that, by bringing a case, the likelihood of similar accidents occurring in the future is reduced.

Accepting an early offer

Due to the short-term nature of soft tissue injuries, taking compensation at the earliest opportunity can be tempting. However, in the early days after an accident it is difficult to accurately assess the full extent of injuries and how they might develop.

By accepting an early, no fuss offer - known as 'third party capture' - the Claimant may be settling for less than they may have been entitled to.

For this reason, it is always best to wait and seek advice from an expert personal injury solicitor to ensure the best outcome.

No Win, No Fee soft tissue injury compensation claims

A soft tissue injury No Win, No Fee compensation claim begins with the injured Claimant signing up to, with a injury lawyer, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

The CFA is, in essence, the contract between you and your injury lawyer.

It details the service the solicitor handling your case provides, and crucially, a percentage success fee. This is the percentage that will be taken from your compensation award once they win the claim.

You will be able to prioritise your rest and recovery, knowing that you will never be out of pocket. You have absolutely no hidden costs when working with a Quittance solicitor.

What should happen next?

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