There are many different types of injuries including leg injury which can lead to significant compensation payments where liability and negligence are proven. While those which impact the appearance of an individual can attract relatively large payments, in many cases it is those which impact a person’s mobility which can lead to even greater compensation awards. A leg injury is one type which comes under this umbrella, an injury which can impact any part of the leg from the upper thigh down to the ankle.
The range of treatment required for a leg injury can be a simple dressing through to surgery and long-term physiotherapy. The most common types of leg injury compensation claims include payouts for simple cuts and bruises, sprains and strains to the more serious dislocations, and torn tendons and ruptured muscles. Unfortunately there are also leg injury claims which involve extremely painful and damaging compound leg fractures which can in extreme cases lead to amputation of the leg.
When Do Leg Injuries Most Commonly Occur?
It will come as no surprise to learn that the vast majority of leg injuries tend to fall into any of the following categories:
- Road traffic accidents involving vehicles.
- Cycling accidents.
- Medical negligence.
- Trips, slips and falls in the workplace or public areas.
While we tend to associate more severe leg injuries with road traffic accident claims, the reality is that you can cause serious damage to your leg by a simple fall in the workplace or even at home. If you have suffered a leg injury, which may have been the consequence of negligence by a third party, there is a relatively simple process to follow.
Assessing A Leg Injury
As with all compensation claims for a leg injury it is vital that you get the injury assessed as soon as possible by a medical professional. They will be able to confirm the extent of the leg injury and address any assistance which may be required from a simple bandage right up to surgery. In many cases your local doctor will be able to assist but when using the services of a personal injury law firm they will have their own specialist medical advisers to hand. The next part of the process is to assess whether there is a potential compensation claim.
Lodging A Leg Injury Claim
In order to lodge a leg injury claim for compensation the following criteria will have to be met:
- The injury to the leg happened in the last three years.
- The incident was a result of an act or omission by a third party.
- The accident caused the leg injury.
In the vast majority of leg injury compensation claims it is often obvious which party can be held legally accountable. There will be instances where an injury has occurred due to negligence by a third party but it might not yet be clear who is legally responsible. As long as it is clear that somebody is legally responsible for your accident then the apportionment of liability amongst different parties is something for the courts to consider.
Leg Injury Compensation Guidelines
There are broad guidelines produced by the Judicial College which cover the subject of particular levels of compensation for different types of leg injury. Each and every leg injury claim will be considered on its own merits because while individuals can have a similar leg injury the impact on their life could be very different. The guidelines published by the Judicial College are not set in law but it is worth noting that both the courts and insurance companies do tend to abide by them and they carry significant weight when awarding compensation.
Once your leg injury compensation claim has been assessed, and your injury proven to be a consequence of the accident and liability proven, the personal injury solicitor dealing with the claim will pursue the appropriate level of compensation. There are many issues to take into consideration when lodging an actual compensation figure which include:
- Impact on your ability to work.
- Loss of earnings.
- Future medical costs.
- Additional travel and other expenses.
- General pain and suffering.
- Damage to personal possessions.
Even though the above list is fairly extensive there may be other factors to take into consideration on a case-by-case basis. These are known as “general damages”, compensation for pain and suffering, and “special damages”, reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
Levels Of Compensation For A Leg Injury
The levels of compensation for leg injuries take in everything from sprains and strains right through to amputation and other serious surgery. The guidelines suggest:
• Up to about £7000 for sprains and strains and other relatively minor injuries.
• Between £7000 and £10,700 for injuries to the femur which will reflect the pain and suffering together with recovery time.
• Up to about £21,100 for soft tissue or fracture injuries which restrict a person’s mobility and ability to walk.
• Multiple fractures and other serious injuries not including leg amputation can attract compensation payments of up to around £103,000.
• Leg amputations as a result of an accident can lead to compensation of anywhere up to £214,000.
While these guidelines are very useful when considering a potential compensation claim, they are not set in stone. Each leg injury claim will be considered on a case-by-case basis and where liability is proven any compensation award will reflect the individual case in question. This is where personal injury solicitors are able to use their experience to ensure the most appropriate compensation claim is submitted. Then there is the subject of special damages which include:
- Actual loss of earnings.
- Future loss of earnings.
- Future medical treatment.
- Travel expenses.
- Exacerbating an existing injury.
As you will see there is much to consider when lodging a compensation claim for leg injuries so as much evidence as possible, both medical and non-medical, is required.
Will My Leg Injury Compensation Claim Be Successful?
There will be instances where the leg injury was quite clearly the result of negligence on behalf a third party. In many of these cases the defendant will accept liability and either settle out of court or negotiate a settlement through the legal system. In this particular situation the very fact that liability has been accepted ensures a very high likelihood of a compensation payment.
The more challenging cases occur where liability is rejected or where perhaps there may be more than one third party liable for the accident which resulted in the leg injury. In the majority of cases everything is settled out of court but where there is dispute about liability the courts will deliver a verdict based upon the evidence. Once liability has been apportioned then the subject of a compensation award will be addressed.
There are a number of actions you can take to strengthen your leg injury compensation claim such as:-
- Gathering physical and photographic evidence from the scene including the leg injury itself.
- Obtaining the contact details of any witnesses.
- Writing a detailed record of the accident.
- Reporting the incident to the relevant authority or person as soon as possible.
These are all fairly straightforward actions but in the immediate aftermath of an accident we do not always think clearly. The longer the time between the initial accident and logging details of the incident the more chance some information will be missed. The greater the amount of evidence lodged with any leg injury compensation claim the greater chance of success. What may seem like a fairly innocuous detail could prove to be extremely important when claiming compensation for a leg injury.