Soft tissue injury compensation claims
The following article sets out what you should know about making a soft tissue injury compensation claim.
Soft tissue injury statistics
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 may cases, these injuries are sustained in preventable accidents caused by third party negligence. If you have suffered a soft tissue injury that was not your fault you may be entitled to compensation.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
A compensation claim should be possible if you were injured:
- in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and
- someone else was to blame and
- that person owed you a duty of care .
Even if you qualify, however, some solicitors may not take on your claim for other reasons.
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 types of claim
Probably the most common example of a soft tissue injury is whiplash, usually sustained in a road traffic accident. 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.
In this case, employers are 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.
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 liability, 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
- CCTV footage
Although the recovery period of soft tissue injuries is relatively short, British law recognises that all unnecessary suffering deserves to be compensated.
Some solicitors may suggest that a potential soft tissue injury award is too small to be worth the trouble of making a claim. However but even fairly minor injuries can result in reasonable compensation settlements, especially if you have incurred expenses or taken 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.
Unless you are self-funding, claims solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
No Win No Fee is an agreement (technically known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') which is entered into between the injured person and the personal injury solicitor.
No Win No Fee means that if your soft tissue injury claim is not successful then you would pay no legal fees at all.
If you do win your case, a success fee will be deducted from the compensation award and paid to the solicitor.
Your compensation settlement will be based on:
- General damages are awarded for “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”. General damages will be calculated based on the severity of your injury, and the specific impact that your injuries have had on your life.
- Special damages are awarded for any other costs or losses. These could include lost wages, the cost of medical treatment (e.g. physiotherapy or osteopathy) and any financial losses or expenses incurred.
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim soft tissue injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Road traffic accident claims
Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.
Find out more about claiming soft tissue injury compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims
*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)
How can Quittance help?
Quittance is a panel of personal injury solicitors. The panel takes on all types of claim and offers specific expertise in personal injury and medical negligence.
Our solicitors have an excellent track record of winning claims and will fight for the best possible compensation settlement.
To speak to us about your finger injury claim, without obligation, call 0800 612 7456.
Meet the team
Quittance's nationwide panel of solicitors take on all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and catastrophic injury claims. Chosen for their track record in winning cases, our solicitors have years of dedicated experience.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert