The knee is a complex structure and the largest joint in the body. It is vital for weight bearing and movement and is one of the most stressed and vulnerable joints in the body. As a result, knee injuries are common and can have long term impacts.
You may be able to claim compensation for a knee injury if it resulted from someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Negligence may arise in a variety of settings. Call us anytime on 1800 266 801 for expert free initial advice on your specific question.
If you are injured at work, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer. Employers must provide proper and adequate means for employees to carry out their work. This includes:
If you are injured because your employer neglects to provide safe systems of work, equipment or a safe environment, you may be able to sue for personal injury compensation. This includes injuries incurred over a long period of time, late onset injuries, and aggravations of pre-existing injuries.
Examples: Jeff is carrying a large pile of files from one end of the office to the other, when his foot gets caught in a bundle of electrical extension cable that was left on the ground by a co-worker. Jeff can claim compensation from his employer for the injuries he sustains to his knee.
Rick has been provided with a ladder by his employer to get down from an elevated platform in the warehouse, and has been instructed to use it for his own safety. The phone rings and Rick jumps down from the elevated platform to get to the phone. The impact causes injuries to both of his knees. Rick may not be able to claim compensation for his injuries as they were due to his own negligence. However, he could apply for Workers Compensation payments while he is off work.
See also: WorkCover Claims
If you sustain a knee injury due to a car accident and it was totally or partially due to the fault of another driver or vehicle owner you can claim compensation from the owner of the vehicle that caused the accident through their Compulsory Third Party insurer.
Examples: A speeding vehicle changes lanes and crashes into Jeff while he is riding his motorcycle. He sustains a severe tibial fracture in his knee from the crash. Jeff can claim compensation from the owner of the speeding car through their CTP insurer.
Rick is texting while driving and fails to notice that all of the cars in front of him are stopped. He collides with the rear of a car in front of him at speed and sustains knee injuries when his legs hit the dashboard of his car. Rick is unable to claim compensation for his injuries because the accident was totally his fault (although exceptions may apply for catastrophic accidents). If the accident occurred after July 1, 2016 he may be able to seek necessary and reasonable medical and rehabilitation services through the National Injury Insurance Scheme of Queensland (NIISQ).
See also: Road accident injury compensation
Occupiers (including owners of private property and public authorities), have a duty of care toward people coming onto their land. They must take reasonable care to make sure entrants are not exposed to risks that are likely to cause injury. This means if there is something that is potentially dangerous on their property they must rectify it or warn people of the danger.
Common scenarios include someone slipping on a floor surface, tripping over an unexpected obstacle on the ground, falling into an unmarked hole in the pavement, or being hit by falling debris from a building site.
Jeff dislocates his knee when he slips over at a shopping centre where cleaners have left a large pool of detergent on the tiled floor. There are no signs set up to warn of the spill. Jeff may be able to claim compensation for his injuries.
Rachel tears ligaments in her knee when she slips at a shopping centre while running down an outdoor staircase in the rain in high heels to catch her movie. Rachel may not be able to claim compensation since her injury resulted largely from her own failure to take care for her safety.
A gym, personal trainer or class instructor may be liable to compensate clients injured while working out if they have been negligent in the way they have provided their services. This can include giving wrong advice or information or supplying faulty or bad equipment.
Gyms usually have comprehensive waivers and exclusions in their contracts which limit their liability. However an exclusion of liability that is too vague or too one-sided may be considered null and void by a court. In cases where there is “gross negligence” a gym or fitness professional will be liable despite anything in their contract.
Example: Jeff attends a personal training session at his gym. The trainer instructs him to perform a lunge movement, but as Jeff attempts to do it he dislocates his knee. Before the exercise session, Jeff had filled out a health questionnaire, in which he described a previous knee injury he incurred in a fall 4 years prior. Jeff advised his personal trainer that he had had not had any subsequent issues with the knee, but said he wanted to be certain that the exercises would not hurt his knee. Jeff may be able to claim compensation from the gym and/or trainer for his injury.
By participating in contact sports you accept an inherent risk of injury. However if you are injured because of someone else’s negligent act, inadequate supervision, unexpected violence or unsafe facilities, you may be able to claim for compensation.
If you play sport for a club, at school or university you may be able to claim compensation under their insurance policy. If you have been injured because of unsafe sporting facilities or equipment you may be able to claim against the occupier or organiser of the event.
Example: Jeff plays university football. He attends training one afternoon and trips on a piece of astroturf that has torn away from the base, falling and injuring his knee. The grounds keeper and coach knew of the damaged astroturf but allowed the players to train on it and had failed to warn Jeff and his team mates about the risk of tripping. Jeff may be able to claim compensation from the university
General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you have experienced as well as any permanent loss of enjoyment of life as a result of your injuries. They are calculated by reference to the ISV Scale which rates the seriousness of any injury between 1 and 100 and accords a monetary value range to that rating.
For example, a severe spinal injury like quadriplegia has a rating of 75 to 100 and a monetary range of $232,600 to $349,400 whereas a minor soft tissue injury is rated 0 to 4 with a monetary range of $0 to $5,560.
To diagnose and treat a injury you may need to consult your general practitioner, consult a specialist, obtain x-rays or MRIs, take pain medications and wear medical supports or apparatus. The expenses you incur to obtain medical treatment including costs of consultations, diagnostic scans, travel costs, medication and medical equipment may be claimed as compensation. You can also claim for medical costs you will incur in the future as a result of your injury.
Some injuries require surgery to stabilise or repair injured bones or soft tissue. Surgical or hospital costs paid by you can be claimed as compensation as long as the surgery was necessary to treat your condition.
Rehabilitating after an injury may involve physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, home and vehicle modifications and ergonomic aids. Your reasonable costs of rehabilitation can be claimed back as compensation.
If you sustain serious injuries you may need time off work for several weeks or months immediately after the incident. You can claim compensation for this lost income.
If your injury prevents you from working to the same extent as you did prior to the injury you may also be able to claim loss of future income earning capacity.
Compensation can be claimed for superannuation that would have been paid on lost income.
Serious injuries may prevent you from being able to perform tasks such as personal care, cleaning, laundry, mowing your lawns, caring for the garden or other domestic chores. If you formerly performed these duties but are now unable to due to an injury you can claim compensation for care and assistance provided to you by friends, relatives or paid contractors.
In Queensland there is a minimum threshold for this type of compensation.
A variety of injuries might be sustained in a fall. Those most commonly suffered include:
Injuries sustained in a fall may have a permanent impact on your activities of daily life and your ability to perform your usual occupation.
In general terms, the amount of compensation is gauged by comparing what your life was like before the injury and what it is like now as a result of the injury. Someone whose injury has had a greater impact on their life will be entitled to more compensation than someone whose injury has had only minimal impact.
The amount of compensation payable for your injuries will vary greatly from case to case, depending on a variety of variables such as:
For most personal injury claims, a
. If you miss this deadline, your claim will be statute barred and you will lose all rights to claim compensation.
However, depending on where your injury occurred or who you are suing, specific pre-court procedures may apply. Pre-court procedures have their own time limits which are much sooner. If you miss these time limits you may lose your right to claim unless you can provide good reasons for why you delayed and why you should be allowed to proceed with your claim.
For minors, the obligation to serve the other party with a Notice of Claim begins when the child turns 18, however a parent or guardian may do this on behalf of the minor before they turn 18.
Depending on the nature of your injuries and the circumstances that caused them, compensation may or may not be available. You should always seek expert legal help to see if you are able to make a claim.
Smith's Lawyers are Queensland injury compensation experts and run all claims on a truly risk-free basis, 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch.®'. Unlike the vast majority our competitors, this means no upfront costs or risks.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
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