Bladder injuries can be painful and debilitating, both physically and emotionally. They can be due to penetrating wounds, blunt trauma, mistakes during surgery and infections. If you have suffered any damage to the bladder due to someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to make an injury compensation claim.
If you want to start a bladder injury claim, the first thing you should do is get in touch with an experienced solicitor. They can help secure compensation whether you had an accident at work, a road traffic accident, you were the victim of medical negligence or any other no-fault accident. The compensation for a bladder injury covers both the pain and suffering you endured, as well as any related financial expenses.
What is a bladder injury?
The bladder is a muscular, balloon-shaped organ located in the pelvic cavity. It is part of the urinary system and is crucial in storing and releasing urine. It is connected to the kidney through two tubes called ureters, which transport the urine from them to the bladder.
The bladder can expand significantly and hold approximately 400-600 millilitres of urine at a time. However, we usually feel the need to urinate when the amount of urine reaches 200-250 ml, and its weight triggers the nerves in the bladder. When the bladder is injured, it can no longer perform its normal function, and it may lead to various problems.
There are several types of bladder problems and injuries that could lead to a bladder injury compensation claim, such as:
Traumatic bladder injuries. These injuries result from physical trauma to the bladder, often due to accidents, falls, or direct blows to the lower abdomen or pelvis. They can vary in severity and include:
- Bruising or damage to the blood vessels within the bladder;
- Partial or full-thickness tears and lacerations in the bladder wall;
- Bladder perforation, where there is a hole or rupture in the bladder wall;
- A ruptured bladder is a severe and potentially life-threatening injury where the bladder wall is torn, leading to the leakage of urine into the abdominal cavity.
Prolapsed bladder. A prolapsed bladder, also known as cystocele, is a common condition in women. It occurs when the muscles and tissues between the vaginal wall and the bladder weaken and stretch, causing it to sag into the vagina. Common causes include childbirth, menopause and lifting heavy objects.
Signs and symptoms of bladder damage
If you have suffered bladder damage, it can manifest with various signs and symptoms. These will depend on the nature and severity of the injury and may include:
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, back or pelvic region
- The presence of blood in urine, which may give it a pink, red, or brownish colour
- Difficulty urinating or a sensation of pain during urination due to inflammation or obstruction
- A feeling that the bladder is not empty immediately after urinating
- The leakage of urine when sneezing, coughing or during exertion
- An increase in the frequency of urination, even if the bladder is not full
- A sense of urgency to urinate or inability to begin urination
- More frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Painful intercourse
- Bruising in the groin or abdomen
In severe cases, a bladder injury can cause internal bleeding and shock, which needs urgent medical care and can cause symptoms such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased alertness or coma
- Pale or cold skin
- A decrease in blood pressure
If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of an injured bladder, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider will conduct a physical exam to assess for signs of injury. They may also order a series of imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to obtain detailed images of the bladder for an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment and possible long-term consequences
The treatment for bladder injuries varies depending on the type and severity of the damage you sustained. The extent of any treatment you have needed will be considered if you make a claim and will determine the amount of compensation you should receive. Common types of treatments for bladder injuries include:
- Pain medication to alleviate discomfort
- Antibiotics, if there is a risk or evidence of infection
- A urinary catheter may be inserted to drain urine from the bladder and allow it to rest and heal
- Surgical repair for severe injuries such as bladder ruptures, deep lacerations or prolapses
- Physical therapy, such as electrical stimulation and biofeedback, to help strengthen the muscles in the pelvis
Depending on the severity and promptness of treatment, an injured bladder may have various long-term consequences, such as:
- Urinary incontinence
- Formation of scar tissue, which may affect its function and lead to decreased capacity
- Chronic pain in the pelvic or abdominal region
- Recurring infections if the protective lining of the bladder is impaired
- Persistent or intermittent blood in urine
- Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
- A psychological impact, such as anxiety, depression or PTSD
Your solicitor will consider all the pain and suffering caused by the damaged bladder and include them in your personal injury claim.
Can I make a bladder injury claim?
If you’ve suffered a bladder injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to start a claim for compensation. The easiest way to find out if you have a valid claim is to contact us and speak to one of the experienced solicitors we partner with. Before taking on your case, they will ask you a few questions to verify whether:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- You suffered a bladder injury as a result
Your solicitor will refer to the relevant legislation to prove a duty of care. This could be the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 if you were injured at work or the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 if you suffered an injury in a public place like a shop or restaurant. Once a duty of care is established, your personal injury lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence to start your claim and carry out all communication with the liable party to reach the best compensation settlement for you.
What evidence do I need to claim compensation?
You will need various types of evidence to make a successful bladder injury compensation claim. This should be able to show how your injury occurred, who was to blame, and how it affected you. It could include the following:
- A copy of your medical records, diagnostic tests and doctor’s notes to prove the type and severity of the bladder damage and treatments required;
- A medical report from an independent specialist about the long-term effects of the injury and your care needs;
- Photographs of the accident scene before anything is moved or repaired to show what contributed to your injury;
- Pictures of any visible injuries, such as bruising and stab wounds, to help piece together the events that led to your injury and its extent;
- Video recordings, if the accident was captured on CCTV, a dash cam or mobile phone;
- Statements from witnesses to your injury about how the accident occurred. So, it is beneficial to ask for the names and contact details of anyone who saw what happened;
- A copy of an accident report if you were injured at work or in a public place will help clarify the date, time and location of the incident;
- You should also keep proof of any financial losses and expenses incurred due to the injury, such as receipts, invoices or wage slips.
Don’t worry if you want to make a bladder injury claim, but you do not have all the proof listed here. Your solicitor will help you gather everything you need to secure the best compensation amount for the harm and losses you have suffered.
Common accidents that lead to bladder injury claims
There are many causes of bladder damage, some of which occur naturally because of illness and are nobody’s fault. However, many others are due to negligence and could lead to a successful claim for bladder injury compensation. These include:
- Road traffic accidents. High-impact collisions or sudden stops can cause significant trauma to the lower abdomen and bladder. Road accidents occur frequently and can involve various road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and car passengers. You could claim compensation for bladder damage if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence.
- Accidents at work. Workplace accidents, particularly in industries involving heavy machinery or physical labour, can pose a risk of bladder injuries. Falls from heights, crush injuries, or excessive heavy lifting can result in trauma to the lower abdomen. If your employer has failed to protect your health and safety, they may be liable for compensation.
- Accidents in public. Accidents in public spaces, such as slips, trips, and falls, can also lead to bladder damage. Such accidents are usually due to poor lighting, uneven surfaces, wet floors and poorly maintained areas. If the local council or a private business owner has failed to keep their premises safe, you could claim compensation for your injury.
- Clinical negligence. Medical negligence can contribute to bladder injuries in various ways. These may include mistakes during surgery, failure to diagnose bladder cancer, poor treatment of infections or carelessness during childbirth. If you suffered bladder damage due to a medical error, you could claim against the NHS or a private clinic.
- Criminal assaults. Blunt force trauma during assaults, such as kicks or punches to the lower abdomen, may result in contusions, lacerations, or even bladder ruptures. If you were injured due to a violent crime which you did not provoke, you may be able to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). To be eligible for a CICA claim, you must report the incident to the police as soon as possible.
Even if your accident was not listed here, you may still be entitled to claim compensation for a bladder injury.
Time limits to start a compensation claim for a bladder injury
If you have suffered a bladder injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have three years to start a claim under the Limitation Act 1980. The three years will begin from the date you suffered an accident or when you became aware of your injury (the date of knowledge). If you miss the claim limitation date, your case will be statute-barred and no longer valid. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule:
- For child accident claims, the three-year time limit begins on their 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian could claim for them at any time before that.
- If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to handle a claim, the time limit is suspended. That could be due to a brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another condition, such as Down syndrome. In this case, a litigation friend could claim for them anytime.
- You have two years to claim for a bladder injury through the CICA if you were the victim of a criminal assault.
Other time limits may apply to your case, particularly if you were injured abroad. No matter your circumstances, you should always seek legal advice as soon as possible to maximise your chances of receiving personal injury compensation.
How much is a bladder injury compensation claim worth?
Each case is unique, and how much compensation you could receive if you make a bladder injury claim will depend on your circumstances. These include the type and severity of your injury, its long-term effects, how it has affected your life and any related financial losses. Your solicitor will make sure you recover two types of damages related to your injury:
General damages are awarded for your pain and suffering and take into account the following:
- Physical and mental pain
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of amenities, such as the ability to engage in activities you used to enjoy
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Special damages are awarded for the financial expenses related to your injury, such as:
- Medical bills for private treatments and prescriptions
- Loss of earnings during recovery
- Costs of care and assistance, even if offered by a friend or family member
- Travel costs for medical appointments, such as fuel and parking
The award for general damages is based on the guidelines from the Judicial College, according to which you could receive:
- £5,000 to £15,000 for temporary but severe bladder injuries
- £18,660 to £24,950 for severe injuries with almost complete recovery
- £51,000 to £63,720 for severe impairment of the bladder function with pain and incontinence
- Up to £112,100 for total loss of bladder function and control
- Up to £146,840 for double incontinence (loss of bladder and bowel function and control)
Do personal injury solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis?
Yes. If you have a valid claim for bladder injury compensation, your solicitor will offer you a 100% no win no fee agreement. That means you do not have to pay them anything upfront and can start legal proceedings regardless of your financial situation. Your solicitor will only get a success fee of up to 25% if they win your case. Otherwise, you do not have to pay them anything.
You will also have After the Event (ATE) insurance against legal expenses as part of your no win on fee arrangement. If you lose the case, the ATE policy will cover all the litigation costs, such as court fees, medical and police reports, travel expenses and the defendant’s legal costs.
To start a bladder injury claim today, call us free on 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form. An experienced legal adviser will let you know if you may be entitled to compensation and answer any questions you have about the claims process.