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Knee Injury Claims

Getting compensation for a knee injury

Experiencing knee injuries can be far more than a nuisance, they can be painful, distressing and debilitating – and take months, sometimes years, to heal. Whether you’ve hurt your knee in a car accident, at work, while playing sport, or as result of medical negligence, the effects can be long lasting and costly.

This is because the knee is a large and complex joint which bears all our weight – often for prolonged periods of time. So when your knee suffers an injury, such as ligament damage, the impact is not only physical but can have wider implications for everyday life.

Thankfully, if your injury was caused through no fault of your own, you may well be entitled to make a knee injury claim on a no win no fee basis.

Knee injuries can seriously impact your ability to work, drive, walk and climb stairs, undertake your usual hobbies and do the normal daily activities that we all do without a second thought. The physical recovery after a knee injury often involves lengthy periods of physiotherapy to get you back to normal. In serious cases, the injury may lead to permanent disability and serious mobility issues.

If someone else was negligent or breached their duty of care towards you, and you’ve sustained a knee injury as a direct result, get in touch with a trained legal adviser to find out more about making a no win no fee knee injury claim.

Getting started with a knee injury claim is straightforward – simply call an adviser on 0800 234 6438 for free or submit the online claim form to request a call back. A legal adviser will talk you through the accident, explain the no win no fee claims process and partner you with the right personal injury solicitor for your claim.

Your personal injury claim will be taken on a no win no fee basis which means you will not have to pay out anything if you do not win.

DID YOU KNOW: The knee is one of the biggest and most complex joints in the human body, joining the femur to the shin bone.
SOURCE: WebMD

What is a personal injury claim for a knee injury?

If you need to claim compensation after suffering personal injury, this is known as a claim for injury or an injury claim. However, it is important to understand that not every injured person can make personal injury claims for their injuries.

When someone is hurt, it may simply be bad luck or carelessness – ie ‘an accident’. For example, you didn’t do your shoelaces up because you were in a hurry and then you tripped over and broke an arm. In this type of scenario, you would probably have no one to blame but yourself and can’t make a no win no fee compensation claim.

However, if someone is injured in an accident caused because of someone else’s fault – they can make claim compensation. The level of financial compensation awarded when someone successfully claims knee injury compensation should rightly reflect the nature and extent of the injuries and the impact on their life.

Your knee injury claim will be taken on a no win no fee basis which removes the financial risk to you in making a claim as you’ll have no legal fees to pay if you don’t win. For free advice, call an experienced adviser for free on 0800 234 6438 or, if you prefer, you can request a call back using the form at the bottom of this page.

Knee injuries can be complex

The knee may seem a relatively small part of your body but if you’ve suffered knee injuries, you will certainly know about it. The knee is a major joint, bearing your body weight while you walk, run and stand.

The knee is a ‘hinge’ joint in the leg and is made up of the bones, cartilage, knee ligaments and tendons. There is also the patella (commonly called the knee cap) which is the bony part that sits over the front of the knee. When you bend and straighten your leg, the patella glides smoothly over a groove in the knee joint.

All these parts are prone to the risk of injury of some sort in certain circumstances or environments, causing pain and affecting how the knee works. A knee injury can be minor – a simple sprain and bruising; or it can be a significant injury such as ligament damage, causing long term pain and disability.

The reality too is that the older we get, the more wear and tear our joints suffer – which means we can become more susceptible to a severe knee injury in the event of an accident. While you can’t make injury claims for wear and tear, successful no win no fee knee injury claims should take that into account.

Knee injuries come within the definition of a lower limb injuries, which include leg injuries – but can also affect the hip and thigh, calf, ankle or foot. However, knee injuries can be particularly serious because of the amount of weight they carry and the risk of overuse and twisting in the course of normal everyday activities.

Often, the issue is – what exactly is the damage to your knee? If you’ve hurt your knee, the most important step to take straightaway is to get medical advice so that the right treatment and investigations can begin. Sometimes, a simple physical examination by a doctor will identify the damage and recommend the most effective knee injury treatment for a speedy recovery.

In other cases, knee x-rays and/or MRI scans may be necessary to determine what damage has been done and the extent of it. Other diagnostic tools used by doctors include joint aspiration and a surgical procedure called ‘arthroscopy’ to examine the knee. Once you have a diagnosis, you can then be treated.

What are the most common types of knee injuries?

The most common forms of injury that result in knee injury compensation claims include:

Fractures

If any bone in or around the knee is susceptible to being fractured, it’s the patella (the knee cap). This is the bony area you can feel on the top of your knee and if it receives a trauma, the patella is the most likely part of the knee to take the force. Where the tibia, fibula and femur meet the knee joint there is also the risk of a fracture – particularly if force is applied to the side of the knee when the leg is straightened.

Torn meniscus

The meniscus is the cartilage between the femur and shin bone, cushioning the knee and acting as shock absorbers. A sudden twisting movement, for example if you’re playing a sport, can cause a torn cartilage.

Tears to the meniscus usually need medical treatment as they don’t normally heal on their own. A serious tear can lead to severe pain and lack of mobility and may require surgery.

Strain or tear to the ACL

The anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) play a major part in the stability of your knee, so if a tear or strain happens your knee can give way. Footballers and other types of contact sport players are more prone to knee injury, particularly to the anterior cruciate ligament. These injuries tend to be graded – grade 1 being the least serious. In serious cases, such as a grade 3 tear, surgery may be required to repair the ACL tear.

Strain or tear to the MCL

The medial collateral ligaments (MCL) are the knee ligaments on the inner side of the knee. An injury to the MCL can cause instability as well as pain and immobility.

Bursitis

The knee contains little fluid-filled sacs (bursa) that cushion the joint and allows the smooth functioning of the knee ligaments by reducing friction, but overuse and prolonged pressure can cause them to swell and get inflamed. When this happened (bursitis), it can cause pain and may need medical treatment. Usually, it is a mild condition so long as it is not caused (or accompanied) by infection.

Tendonitis (patellar tendinitis)

This is inflammation to the tendon which connects the kneecap and shinbone. Tendonitis can be extremely painful, particularly if you carry on working out through the pain without letting it recover through rest and ice treatment.  

Injuries involving the knee cap (patellar)

Injury and inflammation to the tendon can cause knee cap problems, such as moving abnormally along the thigh bone. This is sometimes called ‘jumper’s knee’ and can cause significant pain.

Knee dislocation

A dislocation of the knee is extremely painful and happens when the three leg bones come out of place at the knee joint, sometimes as a result of a trauma such as a traffic accident or sports injury. It should be treated as an emergency; even after it has been put back into place, a dislocation can leave ongoing pain and other problems. Thankfully, knee dislocation is relatively rare.

Dislocated kneecap

This is different to a full knee dislocation and quite a common injury. Here, only the patella becomes out of its normal grove, often as a result of external force or sudden twisting motion. It may not be so serious but it can still take six weeks or so for full recovery.

DID YOU KNOW: When you walk on level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. When you go up and down stairs, the force on each knee is 2-3 times your body weight; and when you squat, the force on your knees is 4-5 times your body weight.

What is considered a serious knee injury?

Any knee injury will be considered serious if the pain and damage is anything but mild and short-lived. Sometimes though, it may simply be that you have developed a type of arthritis – but medical tests will need to be done to ensure you have a proper diagnosis.

A knee injury caused by someone else’s negligence is very different to a knee injury resulting from natural degeneration. No win no fee knee injury claims can usually be made by anyone who has experienced knee injuries and it was someone else’s fault.

Knee pain is by no means uncommon but a high level of knee pain, along with swelling and a lack of mobility, for instance, may indicate that you have a serious knee injury. The most common serious knee injuries include:

Serious knee injury compensation claims could be worth a significant compensation payout if your mobility is affected over a long period of time.

What are the common causes of knee injury?

For most of us, life is very busy with work, family and play. Unfortunately, this means there is some risk of experiencing knee injuries in most places in which we find ourselves. However, in many environments that we visit or work in, the person or organisation responsible for the land or premises has a legal duty to protect workers, members of the public and other visitors to minimise the risk of personal injury.

Both serious and minor knee injuries can be caused in accidents in many different scenarios, such as:

Road traffic accident

Whether you’re the driver or passenger, a pedestrian or cyclist, UK roads are usually busy and involve an element of risk. If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident and your knee takes excessive force, you could suffer potentially severe knee injuries.

If a loved one has sadly suffered multiple injuries, you may be considering a personal injury fatal accident compensation claim. An expert lawyer will provide compassionate and plain legal advice about what you can do to recover compensation.

Sports activities

Knee injuries are a particular risk for in contact sports, such as rugby and football. Athletes and runners are also prone to developing knee injuries and conditions through overuse.

Slips, trips and falls

We’ve all fallen over at some point in our lives and banged or grazed a knee. Sometimes, a heavy fall can be more serious and lead to a fracture or an infected cut that may need surgery. If slips and trips happen because of someone else’s carelessness, individuals should be able to make knee injury claims for compensation.

Accidents at work

Knee injuries in the workplace are most likely to occur in environments involving physical labour, such as construction and building sites; warehouses and factories; and in restaurants and similar establishments.

Whatever your workplace, employers have a general duty of care towards its workers under a raft of health and safety legislation. This means business have strict responsibilities to ensure the workplace is safe and reasonably free from the risk of injury.

Employers are required to carry out risk assessments that promptly identify any risks to worker health and safety; and they must deal with risks identified in a timely way. So if you have suffered a knee injury while at work, you should act quickly and take specialist legal advice about making a compensation claim.

In some cases, you may have developed a knee condition because of your working environment, for example, where your work involves you kneeling for lengthy periods of time. In these types of cases, it’s only right that you should be able to claim knee injury compensation if your employer has failed to protect you from your injuries.

We do understand it is a daunting prospect and you may well be worried about suing your employer. It can be reassuring to know that your knee injury claim will actually be against their insurance company and not the employer directly. Your compensation will then be paid by the insurer and not out of the employer’s own pocket.

DID YOU KNOW: Work-related lower limb disorders, such as knee conditions, are commonly caused by repetitive kneeling or squatting, climbing ladders and stairs, heavy manual handling and prolonged periods of standing.

Medical negligence

Negligence on the part of doctors or other health professionals can lead to serious knee injuries. If, for instance, you suffer a knee injury and there is a delay in the appropriate investigations being carried out and your condition worsens, you could be at greater risk of needing surgery or suffering long lasting damage.

Surgical error during knee or leg surgery can also cause – or exacerbate – a knee injury. However, doctors are held to a high standard and should be held responsible if they are cause your injury.

In these situations, you have the right to bring a medical negligence claim for knee injury claims against the NHS trust or other healthcare provider.

The above are examples of situations in which accidents do happen causing personal injuries. Where such accidents were avoidable and someone has injured their knee, it’s only fair that knee injury compensation claims can be made.

You can also claim for other injuries caused at the time, for example if you’ve sadly suffered multiple injuries. Your injury solicitor will discuss this with you.

Am I eligible to make a knee injury claim?

Anyone who has been injured as a result of an accident that was someone else’s fault is able to make a compensation claim. If you’ve sustained a knee injury or any form of leg injury through no fault of your own, it is really important to start a claim as early as possible because of the likely significant impact on your life.

A lot of accidents happen because of negligence or a breach of duty of care towards another person. If your knee injury happened as a result of negligence or breach of duty, an injury solicitor can help you claim knee injury compensation. So if you were a worker or employee or a member of the public at the time of the incident, you should be able to make a knee injury claim. 

While money can never undo the physical damage done to you, it can go a long way to making your recovery and future life easier for you and your family.

DID YOU KNOW: Common knee conditions caused or worsened by work-related activities include osteoarthritis, bursitis, lesions and tears and stress fractures.

How much could I claim in compensation for a knee injury?

Within your compensation, you can claim for your injury and the pain and suffering it has caused (known as ‘general damages’), plus your actual and future financial loss (known as ‘special damages’).

The fact is, no two accidents or injuries are the same, so knee injury compensation amounts depends on all the circumstances of your case. However, you can be confident your specialist solicitor will work to secure you the maximum amount of compensation possible.

General damages for a knee injury

Your general damages – this is compensation you receive for your knee injury – depend on your specific case. This is because knee injury compensation amounts awarded are based on the different type of injury, the extent of it and the impact on your life.

General damages therefore vary greatly, depending on the seriousness of your injury or condition. The key factors for your personal injury lawyer when considering what is your knee injury worth, include:

This means when building your knee injury compensation claim and proving legal fault against the other party, your personal injury solicitor will examine the full impact of your injury and gather medical and other evidence. They will work hard to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Helpfully, there are formal judicial guidelines which personal injury lawyers and the courts refer to to calculate what a knee injury is worth. For instance, if you want to know how much compensation you will get for a torn ACL (in the UK), it depends on how serious the injury is and what its long-term impact is.

The guidelines (the Judicial College Guidelines – 15th edition) including the Judicial College Injury Tables, provide a useful starting point:

DID YOU KNOW: Approximately 25% of accidents involving injured cyclists result in a leg injury.

As you can see, these ranges of compensation levels illustrate just how difficult it is to estimate how much a knee injury is worth, without knowing more about its nature and impact on you.

But once they have the full picture, your personal injury solicitor will be able to give you a more accurate picture of how much compensation you deserve.

Your solicitor will work hard to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. Importantly, they will also be able to discuss whether you should be able to settle your claim, but your lawyer won’t compromise on how much compensation you deserve when negotiating a fair compensation settlement for you.

Special damages for a knee injury

An important part of almost every knee injury compensation claim is the claim for what is called ‘special damages’. This element of your claim goes towards the aim of securing maximum compensation.

Special damages take into account the financial impact of your injury – the financial losses directly caused by the accident. For example, you may be out of pocket because you’ve had to have time off work sick while you recover, or if your injuries are very serious, you may not be able to return to work. Your special damages claim might also include:

Your solicitor will need pay slips, invoices and receipts and other information to support a claim for your financial losses so be sure to hang onto them and pass them onto you lawyer when requested.

If I want to claim for a knee injury, what is the claim process?

It’s wise to start your knee injury compensation as soon as possible while the accident and the impact on you are freshest in your mind. So long as your injuries were caused because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you can make a no win no fee claim, so get in touch with an expert legal adviser for specialist guidance about the claim process. You can do this by calling for free on 0800 234 6438, or by entering your name and phone number on this page to request a call back.

A legal adviser can put you in touch with personal injury solicitors who will provide you with a free initial consultation. They will give legal advice which will be critical to your decision whether to to go ahead with your knee injury compensation claim.

If you go ahead, your solicitor will discuss the claims process with you, guiding you through the initial steps and advising you of your options, depending on whether the other side accepts responsibility. In the vast majority of cases, the injury claim can be settled without going to court.

The solicitor will ask about the background to the accident including what medical treatment you have received. They will also arrange for your to have an expert medical examination and report carried out to support your claim. This will be done under your no win no fee agreement, so you need not worry about the cost of this – it will be covered by this conditional fee agreement (you won’t be asked for any cash up front).

To ensure you can claim special damages for your financial losses, gather details of any loss of earnings directly related to your knee injury, as well as other costs such as travel costs, physiotherapy and other medical-related expenses.

The more information your solicitor has to support your claim, the greater the chances of securing the maximum amount you deserve – as early as possible.

Can I claim compensation for a knee condition?

Yes, if you developed a knee condition or injury as a result of working for an extended period in an environment that placed ongoing stress on your leg or knee and you believe this caused your injury.

Your solicitor will need to know the background details, particularly what you believe has caused your condition. This will include what your role at work required of you, the physical expectations on you, how it impacted your knee and the pain and discomforted it caused, whether your employer did regular risk assessments and took steps to minimise the risk of injury.

This is crucial because in some cases, the full extent of the physical impact of your injury on your life may not immediately be apparent. Medical evidence is also important for all knee injury claims, so if you’ve not sought medical advice or treatment for your knee condition, you should do so straightaway. The record of early medical advice and treatment will be vital in your injury claim.

What should I do now?

Get in touch with a legal adviser for free advice about making a no win no fee claim and an initial consultation with expert personal injury solicitors.

When you first speak with your solicitor, try to have as much information to hand as possible – including details of witnesses and any photographs or sketches of where the incident happened. This will make it easier for you to answer their initial questions and obtain the best possible early advice.

We strongly suggest you keep a detailed account of what caused the injury or condition and keep it updated as you continue on your road to recovery. If, for instance, you suffered a knee injury during a sporting event – make sure you have details of any witnesses to the incident and make a note of the weather conditions and other relevant factors that you think may have contributed to the accident.

To get started with your knee injury claim, call free now and speak to a trained legal advisor on 0800 234 6438 or by filling in this online form to get free advice.

There’s no pressure to continue with your claim, but it’s important to be reassured that in a no win no fee claim, you’ll have absolutely no legal fees to pay out if your claim does not succeed.

How long after an injury can you claim compensation?

The general rule in personal injury claims is that you have three years from the date of the accident to start legal proceedings for compensation. After three years, anyone who claims knee injury compensation could be ‘time barred’. If you have developed a knee condition over a period time, eg as a result of your working conditions, the three years starts to run from the date you could reasonably have expected to have known that your workplace environment caused it.

If in doubt about whether your compensation claim is time-barred, don’t assume you can’t make a knee injury compensation claim because of the passage of time. We strongly recommend talking things through with a specialist personal injury solicitor so that you’re fully aware of your rights.

We know how painful and distressing knee injuries can be. We also appreciate that knee injury compensation claims can never undo the damage and inconvenience you’ve experienced, but it can go a long way to help you in your recovery.

Example compensation payouts for knee injuries

About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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