Spleen Injury Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a spleen 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 spleen injury compensation:

Introduction

Blunt trauma is the most common cause of spleen injury claims. The trauma can occur during a road traffic accident, a fall from height or through a criminal act. According to the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) up to 45% of patients with blunt abdominal trauma will have a splenic injury.

If the trauma was caused by third party negligence, compensation can be sought. Criminal compensation claims can be made through the CICA.

A spleen can also be damaged during surgery. This is known as an iatrogenic injury and can lead to a claim for medical negligence.

Common spleen injuries

A diagnosis of a spleen injury is one of the first steps in a claim. This often occurs in hospital during an A&E visit. There are three main types of spleen injury that can occur, which vary in severity. These are:

Spleen contusion

A spleen contusion is bruising of the spleen and is the least serious condition. However, it can still have unpleasant side effects. This type of injury usually recovers well on its own, provided there are not any complications. However, a hospital stay is generally required for monitoring.

Ruptured spleen

A surface tear or laceration, a ruptured spleen is the most serious type of spleen injury. As well as pain, bruising and swelling of the abdomen, a person can go into shock, suffering internal blood loss, rapid breathing and low blood pressure. It is considered a medical emergency requiring surgical intervention.

Enlarged spleen

An enlarged or swelling of the spleen is usually the result of an illness, although it can occur through injury. It does not always produce symptoms but when it does these can include feeling full quickly after eating and pain in upper left side of the abdomen.

For the person affected, a spleen injury can have a significant impact and this will be taken into account during a claim.

Besides the initial pain and suffering, the affected individual may be unable to work or carry out normal every day activities for a period of time. This can lead, not only to financial strain, but also to psychological distress.

In addition, other health complications such as sepsis and infection can occur. And in cases of severe spleen injury, in particular rupture, the spleen may have to be removed. Removal of can mean the individual has to manage a life-long weakened immune system.

Establishing liability

Liability depends on the context in which the spleen injury occurred. After a condition has been diagnosed, it must be demonstrated that the injury was the result of third party negligence - that a third party had a legal ‘duty of care' towards the person injured and did not meet it.

For blunt trauma injury

The majority of cases of blunt trauma to the abdomen are caused by road traffic accidents. In these cases another road user would be liable if their actions were at fault. By not acting in a safe manner, failing to adhere to the Highway Code or driving dangerously, a road user could be deemed negligent for causing injury to the person affected.

If blunt trauma occurred in the workplace, for example during a fall or from faulty or misuse of work equipment, an employer would be liable if their actions or inactions were the cause.

This failure to safeguard an employee comes under a range of legislation, but primarily the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

For iatrogenic injury

Although less common, spleen injuries due to medical interventions do occur. Most frequently these are tears and lacerations during abdominal surgery, such as a gastrectomy or open hernia repair. For injuries sustained during surgery, a claim would likely be made against the NHS or a private hospital.

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 win, no fee' means that if you do not win your spleen injury claim, you will not have to pay any legal fees at all. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract entered into between you and the solicitor.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your spleen injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

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

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

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

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

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your spleen injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. spleen injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

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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Spleen 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 spleen injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a spleen 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 spleen injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a spleen 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