If you’ve sustained a torn cartilage in an accident that was not your fault, you might be entitled to claim compensation. Torn cartilage injuries are quite common following a road traffic accident, workplace accidents and slips, trips and falls. In this article about torn cartilage compensation claims, we’ll review when damages might be paid if someone else’s negligence has caused you to suffer. We’ll also explain the claims process in detail.
You don’t need to go it alone though as one of our advisors could help you start the claims process. During a no-obligation telephone consultation, they’ll examine how you were injured and explain your legal options. If they believe that compensation should be awarded, they’ll ask one of our personal injury lawyers to speak with you. If they agree to represent you, your claim will be dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis so your financial risks will be greatly reduced.
There’s plenty more information about torn cartilage compensation claims throughout this guide so please read on. Alternatively, you can speak to us straight away by calling 0800 652 1345.
What are torn cartilage injuries?
A torn cartilage refers to a condition where the cartilage tissue in the body gets damaged or disrupted.
Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that is found in various parts of the body, including joints, ears, nose, and ribs and has three main functions:
- Shock-absorbing: Cartilage absorbs a lot of the force and stress involved when you use your joints and bones. It acts similarly to the soft cushion found at the bottom of a pair of trainers.
- Reducing friction: Cartilage in the joints like your knees, elbows, wrist and ankles acts to reduce wear and tear on your bones. It allows bones to slide across or past each other without rubbing.
- Support: The shape of your joints is held together when moving by cartilage. Your ligaments, tendons and muscles are connected to bones and other structures by cartilage.
As you can see, a torn cartilage injury can have a massive impact on your ability to function normally. Any type of suffering related to a torn cartilage could lead to a compensation claim if the accident was someone else’s fault.
Types of torn cartilage injuries you could claim compensation for
There are three main types of cartilage. Elastic cartilage is found in the trachea, nose and ears while fibro cartilage is located in the pelvis, hips and spinal vertebrae. Hyaline cartilage is the type of cartilage found at the end of bones and allows joints to function painlessly.
Some of the most common types of torn cartilage injuries that compensation could be claimed for include:
- Torn meniscus – where one of two pieces of cartilage in the knee is torn when twisted.
- Cauliflower ear – when the cartilage in the ear is broken and leads to an ear deformity.
- Torn cartilage in the shoulder, elbow or wrist joints.
- Torn cartilage in the pelvis, leg or ankle joints.
- Costochondral separation – where a rib tears away from its cartilage.
You could claim for these and any other types of torn cartilage injuries if they were sustained in an accident that was someone else’s fault. To clarify if you might have a valid claim, speak with us today.
Torn cartilage symptoms
The symptoms of a torn cartilage can vary depending on which joint or body part is affected. In general, though, the symptoms of a torn cartilage include:
- Severe pain particularly when weight is put on the joint.
- Stiffness and discomfort.
- Swelling in the affected area.
- A joint that locks, gives way or catches.
- A clicking noise or feeling when a joint is used.
The severity of your injury is a significant factor when calculating compensation. As such, as part of the torn cartilage compensation claims process, your solicitor will likely ask you to attend an independent medical assessment so that a specialist can report back on how your torn cartilage injury has affected you.
Can I claim compensation for a torn cartilage?
If you ask a personal injury solicitor to help you to claim compensation for a torn cartilage, they’ll check various key questions before accepting your claim including:
- Can a legal duty of care be established between the defendant and you?
- Did the defendant cause an accident through an act of negligence?
- Did you sustain a torn cartilage injury because of the accident?
Proving a duty of care is not actually that difficult in many scenarios. Laws like the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 mean that you are protected whilst in many public places and while you’re at work.
As such, it’s better to concentrate on proving how your accident occurred and how your cartilage was torn. To help with this process, we’ll review what proof you could use to substantiate your torn cartilage compensation claim shortly.
What accidents could I claim torn cartilage compensation for?
Let’s now look at some example scenarios that could allow you to claim compensation for a torn cartilage.
- You fell on a broken pavement and tore the cartilage in your elbow when you landed because the council had neglected to repair it.
- Where you suffered a torn cartilage injury after being crushed by falling objects in an accident at work.
- If your meniscus was torn in a sporting incident caused by a damaged or unsafe playing area.
- Where you sustained a torn cartilage injury in your back because you were hit from behind in a road traffic accident.
- If one of your ribs pulled away from its cartilage after slipping and falling on a wet floor where no warning signs were used.
- Where you’ve suffered a repetitive strain injury that’s resulted in a torn cartilage in your wrist joint because your employer ignored your concerns.
There are many more ways in which you could tear a cartilage in an accident so please feel free to contact us if your scenario is not included here. An advisor will review how you were injured and offer free legal advice on what to do next.
How much compensation for torn cartilage can I claim?
When calculating personal injury compensation for torn cartilage, your claim will typically be split into two parts:
- General damages to cover pain suffering and loss of amenity; and
- Special damages for any financial expenses linked to your injuries.
That means for a torn cartilage compensation claim you could be entitled to claim for:
- Physical discomfort, pain and suffering.
- Depression or other psychiatric injuries linked to your torn cartilage.
- Private physiotherapy and other medical expenses.
- Loss of enjoyment of any usual activities that are stopped because of your torn cartilage.
- Travel costs.
- Care costs.
- Any loss of earnings (both now and in the future).
- Mobility aids.
- Accessibility modifications at home or in your vehicle to improve your quality of life (for more serious injuries).
Your solicitor will review all of the above with you before starting the claims process to try and ensure that you don’t miss out on any compensation for a cartilage tear that you might be entitled to.
Providing proof for torn cartilage compensation claims
The importance of substantiating proof for torn cartilage compensation claims cannot be understated. Without it, you could end up in a ‘your word versus theirs’ situation and any compensation you deserve might be refused. As such, your solicitor will try to provide as much proof as is needed to explain why you were injured, why the defendant was to blame and how seriously you’ve been affected.
In practice, the type of proof that is often used includes:
- Accident report forms. If you tore your cartilage at work or in an accident in a public place, you should report the incident. Legally, you can ask for a copy of the accident report form as it could make it easier to prove when and where the accident occurred.
- Photographic proof. Taking pictures at the scene of your accident is a good way to demonstrate how it happened. If possible, try to include the cause of your cartilage tear before it’s removed, repaired or replaced.
- Medical proof. You should seek medical attention for torn cartilage as it’ll mean it is diagnosed properly and the correct treatment will be prescribed. Also, if you go on to claim compensation, your medical notes could be obtained to prove the severity of the injury.
- Witness statements. Where liability for your accident cannot be proven or is not accepted by the defendant, your solicitor may contact anyone else who saw your accident occur. So, ask any colleagues, friends or bystanders for their contact details if they’re ok with giving a statement if necessary.
- Video footage. One of the easiest ways to prove how an accident happened is to provide footage from a security camera, mobile phone or dashcam recorder. As such, if your accident was recorded, ask the owner for any relevant footage as soon as possible and before it’s deleted.
If your torn cartilage compensation claim proceeds, your solicitor will work hard to try and find any proof needed to show what happened. So, don’t be too concerned about calling us if you don’t yet have everything we’ve listed above.
No Win, No Fee claims
The prospect of losing a personal injury claim but still having to pay legal fees is obviously a big worry for most potential claimants. However, that’s not the case if your claim is accepted by a personal injury solicitor from our panel. That’s because your torn cartilage compensation claim will be managed on a No Win, No Fee basis.
So you have everything in black and white, you’ll be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign before your solicitor starts working on your case. It will explain that:
- No Win, No Fee claims do not need to be paid for upfront.
- If the claim is lost, you don’t pay legal fees.
- When compensation is paid, a success fee will be deducted from it to cover your solicitor’s time, effort and expenses.
Legally, the most you’ll pay as a success fee is 25 per cent of your settlement figure.
After you’ve dealt with the paperwork, your solicitor will begin working on your claim. This will involve:
- Evidence and medical record gathering.
- Sending details about the torn cartilage claim to the defendant.
- Negotiating with the defendant’s lawyers or insurers on your behalf.
- Updating you regularly about any progress in your case.
- Discussing any compensation offers with you to check that they reflect the full extent of your suffering.
In all cases, your solicitor will aim to ensure that you are paid the maximum amount of compensation for torn cartilage possible.
Torn cartilage compensation claim time limits
Legally, you have 3 years to begin any type of personal injury claim. For torn cartilage claims, the limitation period will generally start from the date you were injured.
We believe it’s best to get started with your claim as soon as you can. That’s because it’ll mean you’re compensated sooner (if the case is successful) and finding proof to support your case should be much easier. If you wait too long to begin the claims process, your solicitor might not have enough time to complete all of the necessary groundwork to support your claim.
One exception to the 3-year rule is if a child suffers a torn cartilage injury. In this scenario, their time limit starts on their 18th birthday. However, a responsible adult could claim compensation on a child’s behalf before then.
Start a torn cartilage compensation claim today
If you’re suffering from a torn cartilage injury and believe you should be compensated, call us on 0800 652 1345 to discuss your options with a specialist. As well as providing free advice, your advisor will answer any questions you think of.
While there’s no obligation to go ahead with a personal injury claim, you could be referred to one of our lawyers if your claim appears to be suitable. They’ll manage the whole claim from start to finish on a No Win, No Fee basis if it’s accepted.
Please use live chat to connect with us if you’ve any other questions on torn cartilage compensation claims, or claim your free consultation here.