Knee injuries are painful, debilitating, and might significantly impact your daily activities. You might not be able to stand, walk, or drive and may need to take time off work during recovery. This can put extra economic pressure on you and your family. At their worst, knee injuries may change your life forever.
You could suffer a knee injury in a road traffic accident, accident at work, during sports or any other situation that involves forceful trauma or an awkward twisting of the knee. Some knee conditions may also develop over time due to repetitive movements and overuse.
If someone else was responsible for your accident, you might be able to make a knee injury claim. A free consultation with a legal adviser can let you know if you have a valid claim and how much compensation you might receive.
Furthermore, you may be able to reach a no win no fee agreement. This way, you do not have to worry about any upfront fees or hidden charges. Your solicitor will handle your claim while you can focus on your recovery.
Can I make a knee injury claim?
If you suffered a knee injury without being at fault, you might be entitled to claim knee injury compensation. This could cover any pain and suffering, loss of amenity and financial expenses you have endured.
A free consultation with a personal injury solicitor can let you know if you have a valid knee injury claim. Usually, you can take legal action if:
- The individual responsible for your injury owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty and caused an accident by acting negligently
- You sustained a knee injury as a result
- This happened no longer than three years ago
The three-year limitation date to make a claim does not apply to every knee injury. Your solicitor will be able to tell you how long you might have to bring a claim based on your unique circumstances.
In knee injury claims, the defendant will usually be:
- Another driver or road user who caused a road traffic accident
- An employer who did not follow the guidelines dictated by legislation and the Health and Safety Executive
- The local council or a business owner if they failed to maintain a public place properly
- A healthcare professional, if you were harmed due to medical negligence
- A manufacturing company if you were injured due to a faulty product
- A landlord, if they failed to carry out regular maintenance and repairs
Knee injury claims involving a hit and run accident, collision with an uninsured driver or criminal assault are not usually made against the negligent individual. Bodies like the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) offer compensation to victims of such accidents.
What are the most common knee injuries?
Knee injuries can severely impact your quality of life, either temporarily or permanently. An injury may restrict your ability to walk, drive, work, do household chores, play with your children or enjoy your hobbies. Long-term effects of a knee injury include:
- Recurring pain
- Joint stiffness
- Inability to straighten or bend the leg
A knee injury could affect any part of the knee, including ligaments, tendons, the menisci, articular cartilage or bone. The most common knee injuries for which you could claim knee injury compensation include:
- Cuts, lacerations and abrasions are easily sustained in any kind of accident. They are usually minor injuries that may heal without medical intervention.
- Injured muscles in the legs could also affect your ability to move your knee. Torn muscles like the hamstring may cause swelling, bruising, pain and weakness at the knee level. It usually passes with rest but may need some physical therapy.
- Knee dislocations occur when the knee bones move out of their proper placement and alignment. Trauma from a car accident, fall or contact sports are a common cause of dislocations. This may cause severe damage to other knee components like nerves and blood vessels and requires emergency treatment.
- Meniscal tears refer to torn cartilage in the knee caused by awkward twisting of the knee or degenerative changes that happen over time. A sudden meniscus tear may cause a pop in the knee with increasing pain, swelling and tightness over the following days. Based on severity, treatment may involve anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections or surgery.
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries often happen during sports activities that involve a rapid change of direction, cutting and pivoting or landing from a jump. Typical symptoms include pain and swelling, tenderness, loss of full range of motion and discomfort while walking. Treatment may include bracing, physical therapy or surgical repair.
- Other ligament injuries may involve the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL).
- Knee fractures may involve any of the bones in or around the knee. The most commonly fractured bone is the patella, but fractures may also concern the ends of the femur or tibia. Most fractures are due to high impact trauma like falls from a height or road traffic accidents.
- Bursitis is caused by the inflammation of bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee joints. These sacs can swell and become inflamed due to overuse or repeated pressure from constant kneeling. Most cases of bursitis are mild, but some instances may require aspiration or antibiotic treatment.
- Knee tendonitis is caused by inflammation in the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Tendonitis is usually due to repetitive motions that put a lot of strain on a tendon. It is a common injury in runners, cyclists, skiers and athletes involved in jumping sports and activities.
Regardless of how minor or severe your knee injury is, if it was due to another person’s negligence, you might be able to make a knee injury claim. To find out if you have a valid case, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser.
What accidents are most likely to cause a knee injury?
Knee injuries are usually caused by:
- An unnatural twisting or bending of the knee
- Direct blows or forceful trauma such as from falls, sports or other accidents
- Overuse and repetitive motions over long periods
There are many different ways in which you could suffer a knee injury. If someone else was to blame for your accident, you might be able to claim knee injury compensation. The most common accidents leading to a knee injury claim include:
Road traffic accidents
Road traffic accidents can lead to many different types of knee injuries, from cuts and burns to severe fractures or ligament damage. Some minor soft tissue injuries may heal without medical interventions, while others could require surgery and extensive recovery.
Car passengers are prone to knee injuries due to the vulnerable position of the knees inside the vehicle. During a collision, kneecaps can easily shift forward and hit hard surfaces in the car. Due to the limited protection, motorbike riders are particularly exposed to knee injuries.
As they have a lack of protection, pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users. Due to the bumper height of most cars, the knee joint is often damaged in car-to-pedestrian collisions. A collision may cause damage to any of the ligaments, tendons and bones in the knee.
Bicycles are the preferred means of transportation or leisure activity for many people. Besides helmets, cyclists do not enjoy much protection on the road, and the knees are one of the most likely areas to get injured in a bicycle accident.
A rider’s knee may break their fall during an accident, likely causing a minor or severe knee injury. The most common knee injuries in cyclists include road rash and meniscus tear. A meniscus tear can be very painful and may need surgery, physical therapy and an extensive recovery period.
Accidents at work
From slips and trips to falls from a height or machinery accidents, there are many ways in which you could injure your knee at work. If your employer failed to take all reasonable measures to keep you safe, you might be able to make a knee injury claim. Some of your employer’s duties include:
- Provide adequate personal protective equipment
- Provide appropriate training and instructions
- Keep machinery and equipment in good working order
- Carry out regular risk assessments to identify possible hazards
- Post hazard and warning signs when necessary
- Make sure the working environment is clean and safe for all employees
Knee injuries at work may range from minor sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries to fractures and dislocations. Crushing or severing accidents involving vehicles or machinery may even cause amputations at the knee level.
Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls in public places or privately owned businesses often cause knee injuries. The most common causes of a slip or trip include wet floors, spillages, objects left in walkways and uneven surfaces.
A slip or trip will often cause you to land on your knees. This may cause bruising, cuts or lacerations but also dislocations or kneecap fractures. Owners and local councils have a duty to keep all public places safe and free of hazards. If they fail to do so, you could claim knee injury compensation against them.
Repetitive movements during manual handling can strain the muscles, nerves and tendons in the knee. Jobs that require repetitive kneeling, climbing or prolonged standing can also cause osteoarthritis, bursitis, meniscal lesions or stress fractures.
Symptoms of overuse injury include pain, reduced mobility, tenderness, stiffness, swelling and cramps. More severe injuries may need surgery.
Knee injuries are common in sports that involve a lot of high impact and collision, quick starting or stopping or changing direction. Such sports include basketball, football, gymnastics and running.
Almost any sport carries the risk for acute injuries such as sprains, strains, torn ligaments or fractures. Overuse injuries in sports include patellar tendinitis, runner’s knee and IT band syndrome.
Surgical errors, delayed treatment, misdiagnosis and other types of medical negligence can cause severe knee injuries. Never events such as operating on the wrong knee should never happen and may have devastating consequences on patients. Negligence during knee replacement surgery can lead to infections and mobility issues that can cause lifelong pain and difficulty.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an accident without being at fault, you might be able to make a knee injury claim. If you feel you may be entitled to knee injury compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser.
How much compensation can I claim for a knee injury?
It is not easy to say exactly how much compensation you might receive in a knee injury claim. This will depend on various factors, such as:
- The circumstances of your accident
- The type and extent of your knee injury
- Your prognosis and any long-term or permanent effects
- How the injury affected your personal life
- The financial losses you incurred because of the injury
Your solicitor will consider all the ways in which your injury affected your life to calculate your knee injury compensation award. They might also arrange a free consultation with an independent doctor to assess the full extent of your damage and recovery prospects.
The severity of your injury and its long-term effects are essential to calculate compensation for general damages such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and psychological distress
- Loss of a unique career and professional prospects
- Reduced quality of life
- Physical impairment
- Loss of amenities such as the ability to pursue a hobby
- Scarring and disfigurement
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and subjective losses and are difficult to calculate. The Judicial College offers compensation guidelines that solicitors, insurance companies and judges use. According to them, you could get:
- Up to £11,730 for minor knee injuries, soft tissue damage, twisted knee, lacerations or bruising, with complete recovery within a few months
- £11,820 to £20,880 for minor disability caused by damage to the muscles or cartilage
- £20,880 to £34,660 for severe damage to kneecaps, ligaments or meniscus resulting in ongoing discomfort, pain or moderate disability
- £41,550 to £55,590 for long-term, severe disability covering chronic pain and muscle wastage
- £55,590 to £76,690 for very severe injuries such as fractured kneecaps or tears to ligaments. Such injuries may result in permanent limitation or loss of movement or the need for knee replacement surgery.
- £83,550 to £109,570 for loss of one leg below the knee
- Up to £253,480 for amputation of both legs below the knee
- £6,680 to £19,390 for severe laceration scars
- Around £4,380 for mental anguish
- Up to £94,470 for severe post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the accident
You are also entitled to compensation for any financial losses or expenses you incurred because of your knee injury, such as:
- Past and future lost earnings
- Mobility aids, including prostheses or wheelchairs
- Modification to your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability
- Costs of medical expenses like medication, surgery and hospital stays
- Counselling and physical therapy
- Travel expenses
- Costs of care and help, even if provided by a family member
Is there a time limit for making a knee injury claim?
In every personal injury claim, there is an ultimate deadline by which you can start legal proceedings. After the time limit, your case becomes statute-barred, and you can no longer claim knee injury compensation.
The deadline to bring a legal claim is set out by the law. The limitation period aims to prevent claims from being brought too long after an accident occurs, which would make gathering evidence and witness statements much more difficult.
According to the Limitation Act 1980, you must initiate a knee injury claim within three years of an accident. Nonetheless, the three-year limitation date does not apply to every scenario.
Some injuries may not become clear immediately after an accident. According to Section 14 of the Limitation Act 1980, you can bring a claim within three years after the date of knowledge of your injury. The date of knowledge refers to the earliest date you knew or should have known that:
- Your knee injury was significant enough to take legal action
- Your injury was partially or entirely due to another party’s negligence
- The identity of the individual who caused your injury
- Any other essential facts about the accident that caused your injury
The limitation period does not start until the victim reaches 18 years old. Before that, a litigation friend can bring a claim at any point, regardless of when the accident occurred. After turning 18, an individual has another three years to claim knee injury compensation if a claim has not already been made on their behalf.
The limitation period is indefinitely suspended if the claimant is a protected party who lacks the mental capacity due to:
- High levels of stress or severe sleep deprivation
- A learning disability like dyslexia
- An intellectual disability, such as autism
- A neurodegenerative condition
- A severe mental disorder like major depression or schizophrenia
- Having suffered a brain injury or stroke
If the victim regains capacity, the three-year countdown begins from the date of their recovery. Otherwise, a litigation friend can bring a claim on their behalf at any point in time.
If you suffered a knee injury in an assault or violent attack, you could bring a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years after the incident.
The limitation period to bring a claim for an injury that happened abroad can vary substantially from country to country. To not lose your chance for compensation, you should always seek legal advice as soon as possible. In some foreign countries, you may have less than six months to start a claim.
Military personnel have seven years from the date of a knee injury to file a claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). Alternatively, a knee injury claim could be made under civil law within the standard three-year limit.
The sooner you start your claim, the easier it is to gather evidence and build a strong case. For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know what limitation period might apply to your situation and answer any questions you may have.
What evidence will I need to claim knee injury compensation?
Once you have decided to bring a knee injury claim, your solicitor will help you gather relevant evidence to build a strong case. This includes:
- Medical records attesting to your knee injury. These are an essential part of any compensation claim. You should immediately call an ambulance or visit the A&E or your GP, depending on the severity of your injury.
- Contact details of anyone involved in the accident. If you were injured in a road traffic accident, you should also get the licence plate and insurance details of any drivers involved.
- Witness statements from anyone else who was present at the accident scene.
- Photographs of the accident scene, before anything gets moved, trying to capture the exact cause of your injury.
- Pictures of your injuries and a photographic record of your recovery process.
- A copy of any CCTV or dash cam footage that might have captured the accident.
- An independent medical assessment that your solicitor might arrange on your behalf.
- Accident reports. Employers and business owners are required to keep an accident log book. You should file a report with the responsible party and ask for a signed copy. This will help prove the time, date and location of your accident.
- Police reports. If you were the victim of a hit and run or criminal assault, a police report could make the difference in your knee injury claim.
- Your detailed notes about how the accident occurred and how it affected your life and daily activities.
- Evidence of any financial expenses you incurred because of your injury.
After gathering all the relevant evidence, your solicitor will send a claim notification form to the liable party, informing them of your allegations of negligence. If the defendant admits responsibility for your knee injury, you may start negotiating a compensation award.
Otherwise, your solicitor will issue court proceedings, and you may have to argue your case before a judge. Knee injury claims rarely go to trial, and more than 95% settle out of court.
If you do need to go to a court hearing, you and the defendant will present your evidence to the judge. They will decide liability and compensation based on the presented evidence. You have nothing to worry about, as your solicitor will offer support and advice at every step along the way.
To start your claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
How much will it cost to make a knee injury claim?
A knee injury can be very traumatic and distressing for you and your family. You might need to take time off work during recovery and might not even be able to do basic household chores. Besides pain and suffering, this could cause severe psychological distress and financial expenses.
If another party was responsible for your accident, you might want to claim knee injury compensation. The best chance of winning a claim is to have an expert personal injury solicitor represent you. Still, you might be worried about investing a lot of time and money into a claim without having the certainty of compensation.
If your solicitor believes you have a strong case and a fair chance of success, they will offer you a no win no fee arrangement. This is the preferred way of funding a personal injury claim due to several clear advantages:
- You get professional advice and support without paying any upfront fees
- Your solicitor will handle all the required paperwork, speak to witnesses and help gather evidence
- There are no hidden charges
- You do not have to pay any legal charges
- If you lose the claim, you don’t have to pay anything to anyone
- You can focus on your recovery while your solicitor negotiates the best compensation settlement
At the beginning of your knee injury claim, your solicitor will take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy on your behalf. If you lose the case, the ATE insurance will cover all the legal costs for you and the defendant, and you will not incur any out of pocket expenses.
If you win, some expenses will be deducted from your compensation award:
- Some basic legal fees that cannot be recovered from the defendant
- The cost of the ATE premium
- A success fee representing your solicitor’s fees
The success fee cannot exceed 25% of your compensation for general damages and past economic losses. This will be fully explained to you right from the beginning, and you will agree to it before starting any legal proceedings.
To find out if you can make a no win no fee knee injury claim, call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser. Alternatively, enter your details into our online claim form if you would prefer to receive a call back.