Knee Injury Claims
Guide to Knee Injury Claims
To sustain a knee injury in an accident for which you were not to blame can be a frustrating experience. Not only might you have to put your life on hold temporarily while you recover from your knee injury, but you are likely to receive conflicting advice from well-meaning friends about your eligibility to make knee injury claims for compensation.
This guide to knee injury claims provides basic information about qualifying for compensation for a knee injury and how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with claims for a knee injury. However, as no two claims for knee injury compensation are identical, you are advised to speak directly with a UK claims solicitor after reading this article and discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident to ensure that you have a claim for knee injury compensation which is worth your while to pursue.
Establishing Your Eligibility to Make Knee Injury Claims
Your eligibility to make knee injury claims for compensation will depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident. Legally, in order to make claims for a knee injury, your injury must have been sustained in an accident which was caused by somebody who owed you a “duty of care”. In layman´s terms this means that somebody who had a responsibility for your health and safety failed in their obligation, and you suffered a knee injury as a result of their negligent actions – or lack of actions. Some examples of how a breach in a “duty of care” might result in a knee injury include:-
- A motorist who pulls out from a road junction without due care and attention and collides with a motorcyclist they have not seen – injuring the motorcyclist´s knee in the accident.
- An employer who fails to replace a worn carpet in the office, over which an employee trips and injures their knee when he or she falls
- A shopkeeper who is negligent in keeping the aisles in his shop clean, and a shopper slips on an item of food on the floor and suffers a injured knee as a result
- A local council who neglect to keep the roads in a good condition, resulting in a cyclist sustaining a knee injury when he or she hit a pothole in the road
Not all duties of care are “absolute” and, even though you may have sustained an injured knee in an accident for which you were not to blame, you may not be entitled to make knee injury claims for compensation in every event. An example of this would be if the shopkeeper in the above illustration generally kept a clean and tidy shop, but you injured your knee after slipping on an item of food which had just fallen from another shopper´s trolley and which the shopkeeper did not have a reasonable period of time to remove.
A solicitor would use the shop´s CCTV security footage to determine whether the item of food had presented the risk of a knee injury for an unreasonable period of time when compiling a claim for knee injury compensation, and also use the testimony of other shoppers to support a knee injury claim. There may be circumstances in which police reports or investigations by the Health and Safety Executive can also establish your eligibility to make knee injury claims and your solicitor will use every option available to assemble the strongest possible knee injury compensation claim on your behalf.
Avoiding Contributory Negligence in Knee Injury Claims
There are some scenarios where the victim of a knee injury has contributed to the cause of their accident – for example if the cyclist who hit the pothole in the road did not use a front light on their bike when cycling at night – and although the cyclist may not be disqualified from making knee injury claims, how much compensation for an injured knee they receive will be reduced to reflect their own lack of care.
Even if you have not contributed to the cause of the accident in which you suffered an injured knee, if you failed to seek immediate medical attention or neglected to keep follow-up hospital appointments once you had received primary treatment for your knee injury, it could be alleged by the negligent party´s insurance company – the people who ultimately pay knee injury compensation settlements – that you contributed to the severity of your injury and, if proven, your compensation for a knee injury would also be reduced.
Making Claims for Knee Injury Compensation
When your solicitor has compiled the strongest possible knee injury compensation claim, he or she will send a Letter of Claim to the negligent party, advising that you are making a claim for knee injury compensation against them. In most cases, the negligent party will forward the Letter of Claim to their insurers, who have 28 days to acknowledge your claim for knee injury compensation and up to ninety days to inform your solicitor whether their client accepts liability for your knee injury.
No mention is made in the Letter of Claim of how much compensation for a knee injury you are claiming – indeed it may be too early to identify all the consequences of your accident and the impact that your knee injury has on your quality of life. Should liability for your accident be accepted, the calculation of how much knee injury compensation you will be entitled to will be made when a full assessment of your claim has been completed. Should liability for your knee injury be declined, your solicitor will issue court proceedings against the negligent party.
Out of Court Settlements for Knee Injury Claims
When your solicitor issues court proceedings in support of a knee injury claim, it often has the effect of eliciting an approach by the negligent party´s insurance company with an offer of knee injury compensation in settlement of your claim. The potential costs of defending a knee injury claim for compensation, without a guarantee that a court will find in their client´s favour, means that it is often cheaper for the insurance company to settle out of court without admitting liability for your knee injury than it is to continue denying their client´s negligence.
However, offers of out of court settlements for knee injury claims (or “Part 36 offers” to give them their legal title) are not always made to a solicitor, but to the claimant themselves. If you are approached directly by an insurance company with an out of court settlement for your knee injury claim, you should advise your solicitor immediately. Even if you have concerns about your short-term finances – and the insurance company´s offer of knee injury compensation appears inviting – by approaching you directly, the insurance company has effectively admitted their client´s liability for your knee injury and, if short term finances are an issue for you, you solicitor can now apply for interim payments of knee injury compensation until your claim for a knee injury is finally resolved.
How Knee Injury Compensation is Calculated
As mentioned above, when knee injury claims are first notified to a negligent party, no mention is made of how much knee injury compensation you are claiming. This is because there are four main elements of a knee injury claim for compensation – at least two of which will not be known until a period of time has elapsed since the accident in which your knee was injured.
The first element is compensation for the pain you experienced at the time your knee was injured and that you may continue to experience throughout your recovery. Although pain is not tangible, how much compensation for a knee injury you receive will be calculated according to previous awards of knee injury compensation for people of your age, gender and general state of health prior to the accident in which your knee was injured.
If you have suffered any quantifiable psychological injury as a direct result of the accident in which your knee was injured, you will also be entitled to include this in your knee injury claim. Quantifiable psychological injuries include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – if the violence of the accident in which your knee was injured has an emotional effect on you – depression and anxiety throughout your recovery, and a loss of confidence if you knee injury deprives you of the self-assurance to work, drive or socialise.
You will also be able to claim knee injury compensation for the physical consequences of your accident. Therefore, if your injured knee prevents you from completing everyday tasks, enjoying leisure pursuits or participating in social events, this “loss of amenity” should also be considered in knee injury claims. Indeed, it is recommended that you maintain a diary during your recovery from a knee injury to record the times when your injured knee prevents you from leading a full and active life, as some of the inconveniences you experience now may well be forgotten as the condition of your knee injury improves.
The final element of your claim is known as knee injury special damages. Knee injury special damages enable you to recover any financial costs you may have incurred which are directly attributable to your accident. Therefore, if you have paid for medical treatment or medication for your knee, or have had to pay for alternate forms of transport while unable to drive because of your knee injury, these expenses should be included in knee injury claims in order that your financial situation – after your claim for knee injury compensation is resolved – is no worse than if the accident in which your knee was injured had never happened.
Knee injury special damages also enable you to recover any loss of income – both past and in the future – and, if necessary, account for future costs you may encounter such as physical or psychological therapy, rehabilitation and plastic surgery if a visible or unsightly scar develops from your knee injury. Because of the many different variables which combine in knee injury claims for compensation, you can understand why we introduced this article by saying that no two knee injury claims are identical and why you should always seek professional legal advice from a UK claims solicitor at the first possible opportunity.
Free Advice from Knee Injury Claims Solicitors
Therefore, if you have sustained a knee injury in an accident for which you were not totally to blame, you are invited to call and get free advice from an experienced knee injury claims solicitor. You will be able to describe the circumstances of your accident, establish that you may have a claim for knee injury compensation which is worth your while to pursue and ask any questions about claiming compensation for a knee injury which are not covered in the information above.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a knee injury claim for compensation once you have spoken with us, and no pressure will be put upon you to do so. We will provide you with the information you need to decide whether you wish to make a claim for knee injury compensation and, if so, when you would like to make it. We would advise against any delay in seeking professional legal advice regarding knee injury claims, as evidence of negligence may often be inadvertently removed and CCTV video erased or recorded over when it is believed to be no longer of use.
No Win No Fee Knee Injury Claims
After you have spoken with our solicitor, you may be offered legal representation in a claim for knee injury compensation on a conditional fee basis. “No Win, No Fee” knee injury claims – as they are more popularly known – enable you to pursue a claim for knee injury compensation without having to be concerned about your solicitor´s legal fees should you lose your knee injury claim. You will also be assured of retaining 100 percent of your knee injury compensation when your claim is won.
Please note that the offer of a “No Win, No Fee” knee injury claim is not a guarantee of success, and some terms and conditions apply to “No Win, No Fee” knee injury claims which mean it may be necessary to take out protection against financial exposure if you claim is lost – in which event you could be personally liable for the defendant´s legal costs. Our solicitor will explain everything you need to know about “No Fee, No Fee” knee injury claims should this be a route you wish to investigate.