Ligaments are fibrous connective tissue bands that are essential to joint stability and movement. Ligament injuries can be painful and significantly affect your ability to work and carry out daily tasks. Common accidents that cause ligament damage include road accidents, accidents at work, sports injuries and slips, trips and falls.
If your injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to make a ligament damage claim. The compensation for ligament injuries covers damages such as pain, suffering and related financial losses.
To find out if you can start a ligament damage compensation claim, call 0800 678 1410 today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. You can also enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back.
What are ligaments?
Ligaments are a type of soft tissue that plays an essential role in the musculoskeletal system. Ligaments connect bone to bone within joints and have limited elasticity, which helps maintain joint stability. While they can stretch to a certain extent, they are not as elastic as muscles or tendons. They are primarily made of collagen fibres that give them strength and resilience, allowing them to withstand tension and support joint movements.
Ligaments can be prone to injuries such as sprains, which occur when they are stretched or torn. Some of the most common ligament injuries seen in compensation claims affect the following:
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) located in the knee joint
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), also located in the knee
- Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) found in the elbow
- Ligaments of the ankle, such as the Anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL) and Calcaneofibular Ligament (CFL)
If you have suffered a ligament injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you could be able to claim ligament damage compensation.
Signs and symptoms of ligament damage
The signs of ligament damage can vary depending on the type of injury you suffered and the affected body part. Soft tissue injuries affecting ligaments or tendons can cause symptoms such as:
- Pain, which is often intense and immediate
- Swelling and bruising
- A feeling of weakness in the joint and inability to bear weight
- Decreased range of motion
- Tenderness to the touch
- A popping or snapping sensation, typically if you suffered a torn ligament injury
If you suffered a ligament damage injury, seeking medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential. If you feel somebody else was to blame for your injury, you could then begin an accident claim for compensation using an experienced personal injury solicitor.
Treatment and long-term effects of ligament injuries
The treatment for tendon or ligament injuries can vary based on the severity of the damage and the specific soft tissues affected. It could include:
- The R.I.C.E. protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) can help manage pain and swelling;
- Immobilisation through the use of braces, splints, or casts to protect the injured ligament and allow for healing;
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage pain and reduce inflammation;
- Surgical intervention in cases of severe injuries or complete tears;
- Physical therapy is often crucial to restore joint function, improve strength, and regain flexibility.
The recovery period for a ligament injury can range from a few days to several months. In some cases, the ligament may never completely heal and cause long-term effects such as:
- Joint instability and increased risk of further injuries
- Chronic pain
- Reduced range of motion and flexibility
- The development of arthritis in the affected joint
- Anxiety, depression, and other types of psychological damage
These long-term consequences can impact work, daily activities and sports. If you claim compensation for ligament damage, your solicitor will consider all the long-term effects of your injury to ensure you are fully compensated.
Can I make a ligament damage claim?
If you sustained ligament damage due to someone else’s negligence, you could start a ligament injury compensation claim. You could be eligible to claim compensation even if you were partially at fault for your injury, for example, by not wearing your seatbelt during a car accident. In such circumstances, you may receive a reduced payment to account for your contributory negligence.
The easiest way to find out if you have a valid claim for compensation is through a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will ask you a few simple questions about your accident to verify whether:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- You suffered ligament damage as a result
- The accident happened within the relevant timeframe (usually three years)
Your solicitor will refer to relevant legislation to prove a legal duty of care and liability. Once this has been established, they will contact the other side to inform them of your intention to claim for ligament damage. They will then work hard to negotiate the best compensation amount on your behalf.
What evidence do I need to claim compensation for ligament damage?
You will need various types of evidence to support your claim and secure the compensation you deserve, such as:
- Medical notes and diagnostic tests that show the type and severity of the injury you suffered, treatments received and your recovery prospects;
- Photographs or a video of the accident scene and any hazards that contributed to your injury before anything is moved or replaced;
- Witness statements about how the events occurred, so it is essential to ask for the names and contact details of any bystanders;
- Camera footage from CCTV or dash cams, if available;
- When an accident happens at work or in a public place, you should also report it to the responsible party and make sure they record it in the accident report book. You can use a copy of the form to prove the date, time and location of your accident;
- Your notes detailing how your injury took place, who you think was at fault, and how it has affected your life;
- You should also keep evidence of related financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses, such as receipts, payslips and invoices.
What circumstances may lead to a ligament injury claim?
Ligament injuries and a subsequent compensation claim can result from various situations, such as:
- Slip and trip accidents. A sudden, unexpected slip or trip can lead to tendon and ligament injuries. When you lose balance or footing on a slippery or uneven surface, the impact force upon landing can result in sprains or tears, especially in the ankles, knees, or wrists.
- Falls from heights. Falling from a height poses a significant risk of ligament damage upon landing. Ligaments may stretch or tear due to the sudden and forceful impact.
- Road traffic accidents. Whiplash is a common injury in road traffic accidents, especially in rear-end collisions. The abrupt deceleration of the vehicle causes the head to snap forward and then backwards, which can strain or damage the ligaments in the cervical spine. You may also suffer other ligament injuries due to impact with the vehicle, ground or other objects.
- Defective products. Faulty designs or manufacturing defects in various products may cause you to lose stability or protection, increasing the risk of accidents that may lead to ligament damage.
- Workplace accidents. Certain occupations involve physical labour or repetitive motions, increasing the risk of ligament injuries. Employers have a legal duty to keep you safe from injuries, and they may be liable for ligament injury compensation if they fail to comply with the legislation.
- Criminal assaults. Forceful impacts during physical altercations may lead to ligament sprains or tears, particularly in areas vulnerable to injury, such as the head, neck, or limbs.
- Sports accidents. Sudden twists, collisions, or awkward landings during sporting activities can cause ligament sprains or tears, commonly affecting joints like the knees or ankles.
- Medical negligence. Medical errors can contribute to ligament injuries if healthcare professionals fail to meet the standard of care expected in their field. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnosis of an injury, inadequate rehabilitation or medication errors.
- Repetitive strain. Overuse, often associated with specific occupations or activities like manual handling, can also contribute to ligament injuries over time.
If someone else was at least partially at fault for your accident, you could be entitled to make a ligament injury claim. To speak to an experienced and friendly legal adviser, please call 0800 678 1410 or use our online claim form to request a call back.
What are the most common types of ligament damage?
Ligament damage can range from mild stretching, soft tissue damage or partial tearing to severe, completely torn ligaments. When a ligament is damaged, that injury is typically called a sprain. Ligament sprains are classified into three grades based on severity:
- Grade 1 sprains. A grade 1 sprain is a mild injury where the ligament is overstretched but not torn. It involves minimal damage on the microscopic level to the collagen fibres and is often associated with mild pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. Whiplash is a typical example of a grade 1 sprain.
- Grade 2 sprains. This injury involves a partial tear of the ligament. It involves more significant damage to the collagen fibres, and the tearing is visible on an MRI. There will be more significant swelling and pain, and the affected joint may feel loose or unstable. Grade 2 sprains may need physical therapy to recover strength and flexibility.
- Grade 3 sprains. A grade 3 sprain is also called a ligament rupture. It is a severe injury that involves a complete tear, resulting in significant joint instability, inability to bear weight, severe pain and swelling. Torn ligaments often need reconstructive surgery with donor tissue, and recovery may last up to a year.
If a third party caused your injury, you could claim torn ligament compensation. The type and severity of your injury will determine the amount of ligament damage compensation you may be able to claim.
Frequently asked questions
Below, we have answered some of the most common questions about making a ligament injury claim. The personal injury lawyers we work with can offer you more information about the claims process during a free consultation. If you have further inquiries, please call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back.
Can I lose my job if I make a compensation claim against my employer?
Your employer is legally obliged to take all reasonable measures to keep you safe from risks at work. They must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other relevant legislation to protect you from injuries. If they have failed in their duties, you have the right to claim ligament injury compensation.
Your employer cannot legally sack or discipline you as a result of your claim. If you suffer any repercussions, you can take further legal action at an employment tribunal under unfair dismissal laws. The tribunal may order your employer to reinstate you, compensate you, or take any other corrective measures it sees fit.
What is the time limit to claim ligament damage compensation?
According to the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to start a ligament damage claim is typically three years, starting from either:
- The date of your accident
- The date you become aware of the ligament damage if your injury developed over time (date of knowledge)
If you do not start a compensation claim within the relevant timeframe, the court will no longer accept your case, even if it has merit. There are some exceptions to the limitation date:
- If a child is injured in an accident, the three-year time limit only begins on their 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian could start a compensation claim for them at any time before that.
- There is no time limit if the claimant lacks mental capacity due to a brain injury or another condition such as Down syndrome. A litigation friend could claim for them anytime, regardless of when the accident occurred.
- There is a two-year limitation date to start a claim through the CICA after a criminal assault.
How much ligament injury compensation can I claim?
The amount of compensation you could receive if you make a successful personal injury claim will depend on the severity of your injury and how it has affected your life. Your claim will include two types of damages:
- General damages cover the pain, suffering and loss of amenities caused by the ligament injury. These could include physical pain, mental distress, inability to pursue a hobby, reduced quality of life and physical disability.
- Special damages cover the financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury. Examples include medical bills, prescriptions, care costs, travel expenses and lost wages.
According to our compensation calculator, you could receive up to £27,760 in general damages for mild to moderate ligament damage and up to £96,210 for severe ligament injuries with long-term complications.
Will I receive a No Win No Fee service?
Yes. If you have a valid ligament damage claim, your personal injury solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. That means you can start your claim without paying anything upfront. Furthermore, your solicitor will only receive a success fee if your case is successful. If they fail to win your compensation claim, you do not owe them anything.
You will also have After the Event (ATE) insurance included in your no win no fee claim. This type of legal expenses insurance will cover all your costs if you lose the case, such as court fees, medical reports, travel expenses and the defendant’s solicitor costs.