Knee Injury Compensation Claims



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Knee injuries fall into two broad categories. Firstly injuries occur following sudden trauma in an accident, which normally causes damage to the knee ligaments. Secondly knee injuries may occur over a longer period of time, normally as a result of excessive movement and small but continuous strains being placed on the joint. These conditions are normally degenerative and irreversible. The knee is a robust and complicated joint that facilitates rotation of the body and sharp turning movements. It also provides stability to the leg and lower body. If the knee is forced outside its normal axis of movement however it can prove highly susceptible to injury. The knee is held together by four major ligaments, two internal (cruciate) ligaments and two external (medial) ligaments. Injuries to the former are by the far the more serious, and normally involve a period of incapacity and rehabilitation. Injuries to the latter ligaments on the other hand can normally be resolved by physiotherapy.

Types Of Knee Injury


Knee injuries normally occur when the ligaments are suddenly and forcefully stretched, twisted or moved in an abnormal direction. The most common injuries caused are strains and sprains, though more serious injuries involve tearing in the ligament, and associated bleeding in the joint. The ligament may also break totally, an injury that is most often accompanied by a snapping sound. Normal symptoms of knee injuries will include pain and swelling, followed by stiffness and bruising. More seriously the knee may become subject to instability or 'locking'. Bones in the knee may also become broken or dislocated, especially the patella. Given the complexity and crucial role played by the knee, every injury to this joint is different, and will require correspondingly differing medical treatment.

Compensation For A Knee Injury From A Supermarket Or Public Premises


Commercials premises such as shops, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels owe a duty of care to their visitors under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957. They must take all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of accidents on their premises and injuries to their visitors to the lowest possible level. Where they negligently fail in this respect, they may be liable to pay compensation to an injured person. Typical accidents include slips, trips and falls, on wet floors and uneven surfaces for example. In supermarkets, dairy products may be spilt and not cleared up sufficiently quickly, or product packaging materials may be discarded in aisles creating a tripping hazard. Store car parks and entrances can become particularly dangerous for visitors in freezing conditions. Commercial premises must store adequate supplies of salt or grit with this in mind, and must use it promptly, and in sufficient quantities when conditions become treacherous. Broken bones are common when a person falls heavily, or at an awkward angle. Where the blame for the injury lies with the occupier, owner, or a member of their staff, compensation may be claimed under the terms of their compulsory public liability insurance policy. Claims also have the added benefit of driving up standards, and preventing similar accidents occurring in the future.

Knee Injuries At Work


In the working environment knee injuries often result from slips, trips and falls. Every workplace presents its own set of risks. Construction workers may fall from a faulty ladder or scaffolding, while an office worker may trip over computer cabling or files left on the floor. Wet floors are the most common cause of slips and falls at work, though uneven surfaces, steps and worn or frayed carpeting also pose a risk. Employers are under a statutory obligation to ensure that floors are in good condition, suitably maintained and kept free from potentially dangerous obstacles and substances.

Long Term Knee Conditions


There are various types of repetitive strain injury that can affect the knee over the medium and long term. The most common of these is Bursitis, also known as 'Miner's Knee', 'Beat Knee' or 'Housemaid's Knee'. These names derive from the fact that the condition often develops in those whose jobs involve excessive kneeling, crawling or squatting on hard surfaces. Bursistis is a form of osteoarthritis, whereby the knee joint becomes inflamed and is subject to progressive deterioration in terms of range of movement. Apart from miners, Bursistis also commonly affects other occupations, such as electricians, plumbers, engineers, gardeners and carpet fitters.

How Much Can I Claim For A Knee Injury?


The most serious knee injuries will involve severe disruption to the joint, loss of function and lengthy treatment. Compensation awards in this category will range between £44,500 and £61,500. Where movement is limited by an injury to the knee and the injured person is exposed to the risk of osteoarthritis developing, knee injury compensation will start at £33,250 and rise to £44,500. Where the level of disability is less severe, but the risk of degenerative changes over the long term is still present, awards will range from £17,000 to £27,500. Moderate knee injuries may involve dislocation, torn cartilage and ongoing minor instability. Compensation awards for these types of knee injury will be between £9,500 and £17,000. Knee injury compensation for less serious injuries such as lacerations, strains and sprains will depend on the injured person's recovery time. Where a complete recovery is made relatively quickly awards will seldom exceed £3,750, but may scale up to £8,750 where there is ongoing discomfort or occasional pain. It is important to remember that these compensation award estimates reflect compensation for the actual injury itself, and do not include other factors for which an injured person may be compensated, including loss of earnings and the cost of medical treatment.