Hernia injuries may cause significant pain and discomfort and affect your ability to work or engage in daily activities. The treatment for hernias may involve surgery and lifestyle modifications, which may also lead to stress, anxiety and mental anguish.
Hernias can be caused by various accidents, such as falls, criminal assaults, accidents at work, heavy lifting and other traumatic injuries. If you suffered a hernia because of somebody else’s negligence, you might be able to make a claim. You could recover compensation for pain and suffering, psychological distress and related financial losses.
To find out if you can start a hernia claim, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back. An experienced solicitor will offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.
What is a hernia injury?
A hernia injury refers to a medical condition where an internal part of the body, such as fatty tissue, bulges through a weak spot or opening in the adjacent muscle or connective tissue. The most common types of hernias involve the abdominal wall, where the intestines or other abdominal contents push through a weakened area. Hernias can occur in various body parts and are often named based on location. Common types include:
- Inguinal hernia. This happens in the groin when a portion of the abdominal tissue or intestine protrudes through a weakened area in the inguinal canal.
- Umbilical hernia. This develops when there is a protruding through a weak spot in the abdominal wall near the navel.
- Femoral hernia. This is similar to an inguinal hernia but occurs lower in the groin, where abdominal contents push into the femoral canal.
- Hiatus hernia. It occurs when the upper part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. It may cause symptoms such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Incisional hernia. It can occur at the site of a previous abdominal surgery where the muscles have weakened, allowing abdominal contents to protrude through the scar tissue.
- Strangulated hernia. This is a severe and potentially life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to a herniated organ or tissue becomes compromised. Strangulated hernias often occur in the inguinal or femoral region.
Hernias often result from a combination of muscle weakness and increased pressure on the affected area. Contributing factors include:
- Heavy lifting without using proper techniques
- Persistent coughing or sneezing
- Straining during bowel movements
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Obesity or excess weight
- Previous abdominal surgery
If you suffered any type of hernia due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a hernia injury claim.
Hernia symptoms and treatment
The symptoms of a hernia can vary depending on its type and location. The most common ones include:
- A visible bulge or lump, often more prominent when standing or during activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure;
- Pain or discomfort at the site of the bulge, especially when lifting, coughing, or straining, which may range from a dull ache to sharp and intense;
- Heaviness or pressure or a burning sensation in the affected area;
- The herniated area may be swollen or red, and the overlying skin may appear stretched;
- In case of a strangulated hernia, you may experience nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort;
- A tugging sensation of the scrotum around the testicles;
A healthcare provider will take into account your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and may order imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI to diagnose your injury. The treatment for a hernia depends on the type and severity of the injury and may include:
- Making lifestyle changes such as avoiding heavy lifting;
- Using a hernia truss or support garment to help keep it in place and alleviate symptoms;
- Pain medication or against acid reflux in case of hiatus hernias;
- You may need hernia surgery to return the protruding tissue or organ to its normal position and strengthen the weakened area with stitches or a mesh. Poorly positioned meshes or substandard hygiene can cause further complications that may lead to a hernia mesh claim.
Am I eligible to make a hernia claim?
You might be able to start a hernia injury compensation claim if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence. A solicitor will verify whether your case has merit during a free initial consultation. They will ask you a few questions to determine whether:
- Another party owed you a duty of care;
- They breached this duty by acting negligently;
- You suffered a hernia injury as a result of an accident caused by their negligence.
You could be entitled to compensation even if you were partially at fault for your injury. In this case, the amount of compensation paid to you will be reduced to reflect your part of the blame. Also, you may be able to claim on behalf of a loved one if they are a child under 18 or lack mental capacity.
What evidence do I need to claim hernia compensation?
You will need various types of evidence to claim compensation for a hernia injury. Your solicitor will review all the documents you have and help you gather anything else relevant to your case, which could be:
- Photos or videos that show how the accident occurred before anything is removed or replaced and pictures of your hernia;
- If available, you should ask for recordings from CCTV or dashcams as soon as possible;
- Statements from anyone who saw how the events unfolded can be essential if the other side denies liability or it is not obvious who was at fault;
- Medical notes from your GP or the hospital are essential to prove the type and extent of the injury you suffered and what treatments you received;
- If your accident happened at work or on a company’s premises, you should also report it to the responsible party and make sure it is recorded in their accident book. You can request a signed copy of the entry to prove the time, date and location of your accident;
- Your notes about how the accident occurred and how it has affected various aspects of your life;
- Financial records showing any expenses you incurred due to the hernia in the form of receipts, invoices and payslips.
Your solicitor will calculate how much compensation for a hernia injury you could claim based on the evidence you can provide to support your case.
Common causes of hernia injuries
A claim for a hernia injury can arise from many situations and accidents, including:
- Repetitive strain. Activities with repetitive movements that put a strain on the abdominal muscles can weaken this area and lead to the gradual development of hernias.
- Heavy lifting. Improper lifting techniques or lifting heavy objects without adequate support can strain the abdominal muscles and create openings for organs or tissues to protrude.
- Inadequate workplace ergonomics. Improper ergonomic designs may lead to poor body mechanics and increased strain on the abdominal muscles, increasing the risk of hernias.
- Accidents at work. Traumatic incidents at work involving falls, heavy machinery or other incidents can cause direct abdominal trauma and hernia injuries.
- Road accidents. Hernias from car accidents are common, often due to seatbelt damage to the abdominal wall or blunt force trauma that can weaken the abdominal muscles.
- Slips, trips and falls. Falls from heights or slips and trips on the same level can result in injuries that strain or weaken the abdominal muscles and can contribute to hernias.
- Medical negligence. Medical mistakes like improper surgical procedures or failure to diagnose and treat abdominal injuries can cause or exacerbate hernias. Problems could also arise from complications caused by a damaged or poorly positioned mesh. Medical negligence claims can be complex, but an experienced solicitor can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- Sports injuries. Traumas during sporting activities, especially those that involve a direct impact or excessive strain on the abdominal area, may lead to hernia injuries.
- Criminal assaults. Punches, kicks and hits to the abdomen during physical assaults can cause trauma to the abdominal muscles and hernia-related complications.
If someone else’s negligence caused your hernia, an experienced solicitor could help you claim compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you incurred as a result.
Claiming for a hernia at work
A hernia at work can occur due to various factors and activities, such as:
- Frequent or repetitive heavy lifting without proper training or equipment;
- Movements that put a strain on the abdominal muscles;
- Poorly designed workstations or tools may lead to awkward postures and increased pressure on the abdominal area;
- Exposure to constant vibrations.
Employers have a legal duty to prioritise workplace safety and take all reasonable measures to keep workers safe from different types of hernia. Their responsibilities are set out by legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and include:
- Carry our regular risk assessment to identify potential risks in the workplace that could lead to hernia injuries;
- Offer proper training on manual handling tasks that involve lifting, carrying, or moving heavy objects;
- Provide and encourage the use of mechanical aids such as lifting equipment or trolleys to assist with heavy lifting;
- Design workstations and tasks in a way that promotes good posture and minimises stress on the abdominal area;
- Allow regular and sufficient breaks to prevent fatigue and muscle strain.
If you sustained a hernia injury due to a breach of duty, you may be able to claim hernia compensation. That is your legal right, and your employer cannot sack you or take any other disciplinary action afterwards. If that happens, you can claim further compensation under unfair dismissal laws.
Frequently asked questions
If you suffered a hernia injury caused by someone else’s negligence and want to make a compensation claim, you may have further questions like those we have answered in the section below. However, if you have any other questions or would like more information, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to talk with a personal injury lawyer.
What is the time limit for making a hernia compensation claim?
As a general rule, you have three years to make a claim under the Limitation Act 1980. This time period will begin from the date of your accident or when your injury was diagnosed. After three years, your case will be statute-barred and no longer valid. Several exceptions may apply to your case, such as:
- For accidents involving children, the three-year period begins on their 18th birthday. Before that, a parent or legal guardian can claim on their behalf.
- The time limit is suspended if the claimant lacks mental capacity due to a condition such as PTSD or Down syndrome. A litigation friend could claim hernia injury compensation for them without any time limit.
- If you sustained a hernia from a violent assault, you have two years to make a claim for compensation through the CICA.
How much compensation could I claim for a hernia injury?
If you make a successful hernia injury claim, your compensation amount will largely depend on the type and severity of your injury. Your solicitor will include two types of damages in your personal injury claim:
Special damages are awarded for related financial losses and expenses, such as medical bills, private treatments, travel expenses and lost wages.
General damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and other subjective effects of your injury, such as inability to pursue a hobby or scarring. These are awarded based on the guidelines published by the Judicial College. Examples of potential hernia compensation awards include:
- £3,390 to £7,230 for an indirect inguinal hernia with no additional injury to the abdomen
- £7,010 to £9,110 for a direct inguinal hernia with the risk of future recurrence
- £14,900 to £24,170 for a hernia that causes ongoing pain or limitations on physical activity after repair
- £5,590 to £13,080 for mild complications in a hernia mesh claim
- £2,220 to £7,350 for scarring caused by negligent surgical intervention
- Up to £139,210 for damage to the reproductive system caused by surgical mistakes
Can I claim compensation for a hernia using No Win No Fee?
If you are entitled to compensation, your solicitor will help you claim on a no win no fee basis. That means you will not have to pay them anything upfront for legal representation. Furthermore, your solicitor will only receive a success fee of a maximum of 25% of your settlement if they win your case. Otherwise, you do not pay them a single penny.
If you make a no win no fee claim, you are also protected by the After the Event (ATE) insurance. If your case fails, the ATE will cover all litigation costs, including court and counsel fees, medical and police reports, and the defendant’s expenses.