What is a Soft Tissue Injury?
A soft tissue injury is one that affects skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves, or an injury to any other part of the body which doesn’t involve broken bones and so on. If you’ve suffered such an injury through the negligence of someone else, you could be in line for a compensation payment of at least £1,000 for minor cases, although this can rise significantly depending on the seriousness of the injury and the effects it’s had on your life.
Examples of soft tissue injuries can include:
– Torn ligaments or tendons
– Severe bruising
– Cuts to the skin
– Bursitis (a painful swelling within a joint)
Why You Might Make a Claim?
The most basic reason to claim for this kind of injury is simply to compensate you for the pain and distress you were caused through no fault of your own. However, if your injury led to you needing to take time off work, or it otherwise disrupted your financial life, then any loss of money that results may also be compensated for.
What’s Needed to Claim
In order to make a successful claim, you need to show that the injury was avoidable, and was a direct result of someone else’s actions, or the lack of actions required to prevent it. Example situations can include:
- A whiplash injury was caused in a car accident when another driver was at fault.
- An injury caused by a work accident, when the employer hadn’t properly followed health and safety requirements.
- Harm sustained during an accident at a leisure facility, where proper safety measures weren’t in place.
How Much Compensation Can You Get?
Shortly after your accident, you may be offered an early settlement by the potentially liable party, in a bid to avoid court action. This no-fuss settlement is known as ‘third party capture’. While this may be tempting as it avoids legal fuss, guaranteeing a quick payment without the stress and hassle of legal action, it’s best to wait a while before accepting the offer – you could be missing out on the proper compensation amount.
To get the full amount of compensation your injury deserves, it’s often best to reject an early offer and employ the services of a solicitor. Your usual solicitor may not consider the potential compensation to be enough to make the case worth taking on, and they may in any event not have the experience to properly prosecute the case, so arrange a consultation with a properly qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer. They will ask you to sign a contract setting out payment terms, including what percentage of the compensation award they will charge as a fee.
Once the defendant knows you’ve hired a lawyer, you may at this point be offered another, better, early settlement offer. Consider this carefully, and ask your lawyer if it’s realistic to seek more, or if it’s better to avoid hassle and further stress by settling. However, if it goes to court, as a rough guide you can expect the following amounts:
Whiplash injury – between £2,000 and £6,000, or more if the damage is permanent
Shoulder soft tissue injury – around £6,000
Damage to thumb tendons requiring surgery – up to £9,000
Facial Scarring – up to £81,000
However, if you can show that the injury caused you financial loss, then you can be compensated for this as well, and so the final amount can work out to be much higher. This is another reason why it’s often best to reject any early settlement offer – you will have up to three years to lodge a claim, so it’s wise to wait and see what the full financial effects are before seeking a compensation figure.
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