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Ankle Ligament Injury Claims

This article is designed to provide potential claimants with information about making ankle ligament injury claims (as well as some types of ligament claims). As ligaments are present in every joint in the body this guide can serve as a general guideline only; it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Potential claimants should speak with a solicitor about their individual claim for compensation in order to pursue a settlement.

Typical Damage to a Ligament

Ankle ligament injury claims can be made for a variety of reasons and sustaining damage to a ligament can often be an extremely painful experience. Ankle ligament injuries are not however the most common kind of ligament injury: damage to the ligaments in the neck, shoulders and upper back are the most prevalent type of ligament injuries and are frequently experienced by drivers whose vehicle has been rear-ended by that of another motorist. Widely known as whiplash, this type of ligament injury can mean the head has to be immobilised by way of a neck brace, which will limit the victim’s movement until the ligaments have had time to heal.

Other Common Ligament Injuries Include:-

Manual Handling Injuries

Neck, elbow, shoulder and ankle ligament injury claims are among the types of action that can arise from injuries sustained during manual handling accidents. Indeed, damage to a ligament is often caused by more than one instance of incorrect manual handling – repetitive straining can also lead to a ligament being pulled or torn.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Ligaments in the hand, wrist or thumb can be caused by someone trying to prevent themselves from being injured by putting their hands out in front of them whilst falling; but an ankle or knee ligament injury is often caused by it being stretched too far to the point of tearing. These injuries can then subsequently be the basis on which a claim for compensation is made.

Whether the damage to a ligament is a tear, sprain or rupture, the injury is often extremely painful and can require a long period of time to heal. Doctors have been known to recommend physiotherapy after a ligament injury, and in some cases – with the anterior cruciate or posterior cruciate for example – surgery may be required.

Procedure Following Damage to a Ligament

In order for ankle ligament injury claims to be successful, it is key for a claimant to prove that the injury was sustained in an accident which was caused by the carelessness of someone who had a responsibility for your health and safety at the time it occurred.

Persons who sustain damage to a ligament should undergo a full medical examination immediately after the injury is suffered. This will allow for a medical record of the injury to be created – a document which can then be used by your solicitor when making a claim for compensation. After you have gone through an examination, you should allow the ligament to heal by resting as much as possible.

In order to pursue an injury settlement you should speak with a solicitor at the first available opportunity. It can often be difficult to prove that your injury was caused by the negligence of someone else and the mobility restrictions that often accompany ligament injuries can often compound the difficulty.

A solicitor will able to help you to pursue an injury settlement by assisting you in gathering together the necessary documentation – accident reports, a medical report, photographic evidence and if needed, witness statements. CCTV footage may also be available depending on where the injury happened.

Pursue an Injury Settlement

The first step in initiating ankle ligament injury claims is to send a “Letter of Claim” to the person whose negligence you believe led to your injuries. This step will be undertaken by your solicitor and will advise the negligent party that you intend to take action against them.

Once the Letter of Claim has been dispatched the negligent party has 21 days in which to acknowledge receipt and a further 90 days in which to decide whether or not to accept liability for your injuries.

If the negligent part admits that the damage to a ligament is their fault – and the full extent of your injuries are known – your solicitor will open negotiations with the aim of securing the largest possible settlement.

If the negligent party denies liability, you should discuss whether to take your claim for compensation to court and pursue an injury settlement there. It is important to note that even at this stage a court appearance might not be necessary as the negligent party – or insurance company as the case may be – may balk at the prospect of having to pay out legal fees. At this point an out-of-court settlement may be negotiated.

How Much Compensation for an Injury to a Ligament?

The amount of compensation you are likely to receive from ankle ligament injury claims depends on a number of factors, the nature and extent of the injury being the most pertinent. In respect to damage to a ligament in another part of the body, values can often vary. All ligament damage injury values are assessed based on the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for General Damages in Personal Injury Cases and subsequently adjusted taking factors like age, gender and prior state of heath into account.

* Women who claim for compensation tend to receive a larger award than men who pursue an injury settlement as they have weaker muscles and as a result, often suffer more debilitating injuries as a result.

Ligament compensation settlements can also factor in any quantifiable psychological injuries sustained during or as a result of the accident. If a claimant is suffering from stress, anxiety or depression as a direct result of a ligament injury caused by someone else’s negligence they may be entitled to be compensated for it.

You may be reimbursed for any justifiable expenses which you incurred as a result of your injury – alternative transport costs if needed, any loss of earnings you experienced while incapacitated and even funding for home alterations can be sought as part of a claim for compensation.

One of the most misunderstood elements of a compensation claim is “loss of amenity”, an area of that allows a claimant to be awarded compensation for their inability to perform everyday tasks and participate in hobbies and activities. Loss of amenity compensates accident victims for a debilitating deterioration in their condition. As a wide variety of ligament injuries can lead to a deterioration in an accident victim’s quality of life, here are a few examples of the different implications some ligament injuries can have on a person’s lifestyle:-

Claims for Ankle Ligament Injuries

Ankle ligament injury claims are often made by claimants who have pursue an injury settlement after experiencing a substantial loss of amenity. An injury to the ankle – or to any ligament in the foot for that matter – has the potential to prevent a claimant from enjoying activities such as playing with their children, swimming, gardening and field sports. It can also greatly hinder mobility and make everyday tasks like driving or going shopping more cumbersome.

Damage to Thumb Ligament

A damaged thumb ligament may hinder an accident victim’s dexterity, reducing their grip and making it more difficult for them to perform a wide range of everyday tasks. Damage to a ligament as important as the thumb ligament can adversely affect a person’s ability to perform a multitude of tasks – a musician may be prevented from playing their favourite instrument for example; or a keen golfer may be unable to properly handle his club, impacting his performance or preventing him from playing altogether. Claimants who experience thumb ligament injury damage can also be prevented from engaging in more idle pursuits such as surfing the internet or playing video games.

Torn Anterior Longitudinal Ligament Compensation

Claimants who suffer a torn anterior longitudinal ligament – the soft tissue surrounding the spine, supporting the head – can be prevented from sleeping comfortably or even feeding themselves. A claim for compensation for a torn anterior longitudinal ligament is usually made by a person suffering from whiplash, perhaps after having their car rear-ended by that of another driver.

Medial Collateral Ligament Tears Compensation

Persons who pursue an injury settlement for medial collateral ligament tears are usually rendered immobile for a significant period of time. This can affect their ability to pursue a wide range of leisure activities such as taking holidays, attending social events or supporting their children in school activities. Although a person can recover any financial costs associated with missing these events, they cannot be compensated for the disappointment of missing their child’s play or a family trip to Spain.

Offers of Ankle Ligament Injury Claims Compensation

In some circumstances, such as when pursuing ankle ligament injury claims, or compensation for an injury of a similar nature, you may be approached directly by an insurance company at which the negligent party is a policyholder with an unsolicited offer of compensation. Although it may be tempting to immediately accept an offer of quick compensation, you should always refer these offers to a solicitor first, no matter how precarious your short-term financial situation is.

Insurance companies offer claimants these unsolicited offers do so because it allows them to quickly settle a case, controlling the amount of compensation they pay out and bypassing the need to pay legal costs. Because the insurance companies’ main objective is to save on costs it is unlikely that their offer matches up to what you are entitled to for the damage to a ligament you sustained or what you could be awarded if you were to pursue an injury settlement in court. If you do inadvertently accept an offer of unsolicited compensation you take the risk of being undercompensated – if this happens, there is no scope to renegotiate for extra compensation as all settlements are final.

Although it may seem as if an insurance company is conceding liability in offering an unsolicited offer of compensation, this is not the case, and negligence must still be proven if a claim for compensation is pursued in court. It will however be sufficient for your solicitor to engage in negotiations with the insurance company.

If your short-term finances are a concern, your solicitor may be able to apply for interim payments to be received until negotiations are finished.

Other Issues Which Affect Ligament Injury Claims

Complicating factors are known to arise in some cases, making ankle ligament injury claims and claims of a similar nature more laborious to resolve. Damage to a ligament claims where a child is the accident victim can become more complicated than those of where an adult is the claimant as a child cannot pursue a claim on their own behalf and must have a parent/guardian, known as a “Litigation Friend” stand in for them. Another is when a person contributes to their own injury by exacerbating it or not seeking medical assistance immediately after the accident in which it was sustained.

Claims for compensation can also become more complex when the person against whom you are claiming is a friend or family member, or if you were injured in work, a colleague or employer.

Damage to a ligament can often take as long as a fracture to heal, and physiotherapy is often required in the meantime. Although claimants are allowed to claim for compensation for up to three years to after the injury has been discovered, it may take months or in some cases years, to fully establish the extent of an injury. This can make it difficult to pursue an injury settlement in the allotted time and makes contacting an injury claims solicitor as soon as possible aftert the incident even more vital.

No Win, No Win Ligament Injury Claims for Compensation

Ankle ligament injury claims are sometimes pursued through No Win No Fee compensation arrangements. A No Win No Fee claim for compensation is made on the understanding that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if the claim is not successful. Your solicitor will offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis if they believe that the claim has a high chance of succeeding – usually above 75 percent.

While a claimant will not be responsible for their legal fees if their claim for damage to a ligament is unsuccessful, they may still have to bear some costs from the case. You may be responsible for the defendant’s legal costs if your claim is turned down; your solicitor may also charge you for any extra expenses they incurred while representing you – travel costs, fees for obtaining medical reports for example.

Most solicitors in the UK now offer a free initial consultation to prospective claimants. This is your opportunity to evaluate whether or not it is worth your time to pursue an injury settlement and what your chances of success are. You can also have any more questions you have about the claims process or award valuations answered.

A Ligament Injury Claim for Compensation

No two claims for ligament injury compensation are identical – normally because most involve different injuries – such as ankle ligament injury claims – but also because of the claimant’s personal circumstances

A claim for compensation is more likely to be successful if a set list of procedures is completed beforehand

Issues which may affect your claim for damage to a ligament include contributory negligence, if the child is a minor, and if the person who you are taking action against a family member, friend, employer or work colleague

The unique circumstances surrounding your injury, the impact it has had on your quality of life and its financial cost can all have a bearing on the value of your settlement

Any unsolicited offers of compensation you receive should immediately be referred to a solicitor who can appraise it and tell you whether it is represents your full entitlement or whether it would be better to pursue an injury settlement in court

In order to maximise your chances of receiving compensation, always speak to a solicitor at the first possible opportunity, even if it is before the full extent of your injury is known.