Hernia Injury Compensation

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If you, or someone close to you, has suffered a hernia injury in Queensland due to the negligence or fault of another party, you might wonder if you're entitled to hernia injury compensation.

This straightforward guide aims to help you understand the intricacies of claiming compensation, including your rights to compensation, common causes of such injuries, an overview of the claims process, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a claim specific to Queensland. 

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offers free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in the hospital, in-office, or via phone. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights After a Hernia Injury in Queensland

If you've suffered a hernia injury in Queensland, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim. This is especially true if the injury happened because of someone else's negligence. As well as making a common law claim, the state has several compensation schemes you might be eligible for. These include: 

  • Car and Road Accidents: You might qualify for a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claim if you sustained a hernia injury in an accident that wasn't your fault. This scheme covers injuries inflicted by insured Queensland vehicles, including pedestrians, passengers, drivers and cyclists.
  • Workplace Accident: If the hernia injury occurred at your workplace, you could lodge a statutory claim via WorkCover Queensland or your employer's workers' compensation scheme (if they're a self-insurer). These claims can be made regardless of fault. If your employer was negligent, you could also make a common law claim.
  • Public place Accident: If your hernia injury happened in a public place, you could bring a common law claim against the public liability insurer of the party responsible for the site.

Personal injury solicitors, such as Smith's Lawyers, can help you understand your options and how your case for hernia compensation might look.

Common Causes of Hernia Injuries

Hernia injuries, especially those of a work-related nature, often stem from certain strenuous activities or conditions. Understanding these causes can be crucial in making a successful hernia compensation claim.

Here are several common causes: 

  • Heavy lifting: One of the most common causes of work-related hernias is frequent heavy lifting. This can strain the abdominal muscles and possibly lead to herniation. 
  • Coughing persistently: Consistent and forceful coughing can exert significant pressure on the weak areas of the abdominal wall, paving the way for a hernia.
  • Post-surgery complications: Complications following a surgical procedure can also lead to a hernia. For instance, ilioinguinal nerve damage or abdominal induration at the surgical site are potential precursors to herniation.
  • Sudden physical trauma: In rare instances, physical trauma to the abdomen area may result in a hernia. In some severe cases, hernia surgery may be required.
Common Types of Hernia Injuries

Did you know that there are actually lots of different types of hernias? Where and how you get one can depend on a variety of circumstances. Here are some of the most common types of hernia injuries:

  • Incisional Hernia: These often occur after an abdominal surgery when the tissue doesn't heal entirely and weakens, causing a gap. Incisional hernias are common in victims of road accidents who have had to undergo emergency surgery.
  • Inguinal Hernia: This happens in the lower abdomen, where a weakness in the muscles leads to some of the contents being pushed through the opening into the groin.
  • Femoral Hernia: Most common in women, the bowel or other abdominal tissue pushes through the abdominal wall near where the leg joins the body. 
  • Groin Disruption Injury: Also referred to as a sportsman's hernia, this injury is commonly seen in physically demanding workplaces. It's usually the result of a weakness in the groin muscle, which can be exaggerated by a sudden, forceful movement.
  • Residual Excessive Induration: This occurs at the site of a previous abdominal wall hernia repair, which can happen if the repair is not successful or suffers further trauma. These are often seen in road accident victims or individuals who have required multiple surgical interventions.
  • Post Hernia Groin Pain Syndrome: This often happens after a hernia operation. Workers who have an inadequate recovery time after surgery before returning to their physical roles are at particular risk, as ongoing strain can lead to nerve damage and chronic pain.

If you think you developed a hernia because of an accident that wasn't your fault, then you could be entitled to a hernia injury compensation claim. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer will help you understand your options.

Workers Most at Risk of Hernia Injuries

In 2019, there were over 1,000 claims for hernia injuries in Queensland workplaces. Although you could develop a hernia anywhere, there are some fields of work that carry a higher risk than others. 

Some of the most at-risk workers include: 

  • Construction: Workers often lift heavy building materials, making them prone to abdominal strain, leading to hernias. Employers who fail to provide proper training or equipment could be liable for a worker's compensation claim.
  • Warehousing and Logistics: Manual handling tasks such as pulling, pushing and bending are a major part of the day-to-day for these workers. Consistent lifting without the right technique can easily lead to a hernia.
  • Nursing and Caregiving: Nurses and caregivers are continually required to lift and move patients – often in urgent, stressful situations. This importance of speed can result in inadequate lifting tactics, one of the main culprits for hernia development.
  • Agriculture: Farming involves activities like lifting, bending and twisting, all of which can cause strain and hernia injuries. The use of heavy machinery without correct technique or physical readiness can also lead to hernias.

If you think you have a hernia claim, then you should speak to a solicitor who can help you understand your options, as you may be entitled to injury compensation.

The team at Smith's Lawyers can advise you on the entire claims process.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

Embarking on the compensation claims process can seem complicated and even a little daunting. To ease your journey, we've broken down the process into easy-to-understand steps that you can follow. Remember, the most important thing is to seek immediate medical attention after you've sustained an injury.

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek Free Initial Legal Advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options, including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage A Personal Injury Lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather Evidence To Build Your Case

Once your compensation matter is opened, you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track, when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long-term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File Your Claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives), such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

Learn what does CTP insurance cover in Queensland.

5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Party's Insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office-based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged in leading the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is unsuccessful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you can not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement Payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax-free compensation settlement. The compensation amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence Do I Need to Support My Hernia Claim?

Hernia injury claims, like all others, require a combination of documents, statements and other reliable sources that validate your condition and link it to the negligent party's actions.

Here's a summary of the types of things you'll need: 

  • Medical Reports: A comprehensive record of your hernia diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. This may include information about any surgeries, particularly in cases where the first hernia repair failed, leading to a re-do surgery or instances of work-related hernia recurrence.
  • Witness Testimonies: Statements from anyone who witnessed the accident can immensely bolster your case. They help establish the scenario's specifics and how the incident impacted on your health.
  • Proof of Accident: This could be photographs of the accident site, incident reports or CCTV footage showing you there or maybe even the incident actually happening.
  • Expense Details: Keep a record of all costs related to your injury, such as medical expenses, prescription costs and rehabilitation expenses. Don’t forget to include travel expenses for medical appointments and any other outlays related to your injury.
  • Proof of Lost Earnings: If your injury has resulted in time off work or has resulted in permanent impairment affecting your capacity to work, you need to provide proof. Documents such as pay slips, tax returns, and a letter from your employer outlining the extent of your absence can substantiate these claims.

Hernia claims are much more likely to succeed where they have plenty of reliable evidence. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer can help you work out what evidence is going to help your case.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Navigating hernia compensation claims and how much you receive involves analysing a lot of moving parts. Here, we'll break down the key components that form the basis of your claim: 

  • Past and Future Loss of Earnings: It's not just about the income you've lost since your accident but also potential earnings that may be compromised due to the injury. This includes the loss of superannuation contributions affecting your retirement funds.
  • Hospital and Medical Expenses: From initial treatment costs to ongoing medical expenses, such costs are accounted for in your compensation claim. These expenses can be extensive, often including medication, diagnostic tests and doctor’s appointments.
  • Rehabilitation Costs: Recovery from a hernia injury may require physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation. These costs, though often overlooked, can leave you significantly out of pocket and hence are factored into your claim.
  • Pain and Suffering: The physical discomfort and emotional distress post-injury significantly impact your quality of life. Hernia injury compensation claims can address these intangible costs, recognising the psychological impact post-injury.

It's crucial to note that compensation values aren't static, and the courts will look at lots of factors, including age, severity of injury, recovery speed and the impact of the injury on your quality of life. 

For example, a severe injury causing permanent impairment or forcing you towards early retirement may result in a higher compensation amount compared to a less severe injury with quicker recovery times. 

How Can a Hernia Injury Impact Your Ability to Work?

When it comes to enduring hernia injuries, the direct impact on your ability to work can be detrimental. Whether it's short-term or long-lasting repercussions, the debilitating factors can affect your income stream.

Short-Term Impact: Immediately after sustaining a hernia, you might experience intense pain, limiting your movement and the ability to perform at work effectively. Everyday work duties, especially those requiring heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity, can become an uphill battle. You may need to take some time off work for rest and recovery, which might result in a loss of income. 

Long-Term Impact: This can be more severe. Repeated hernia incidents or complications from surgery, like residual excessive induration at the site of abdominal wall hernia repair or ilioinguinal nerve damage, can lead to ongoing pain and discomfort. This could result in a persistent inability to fulfil your employment responsibilities, the possibility of job loss and even a total change of career. 

Remember, these consequences directly influence the compensation you may be eligible for. The greater the impact on your capacity to earn an income, the higher the compensation can be.

Time Limits for Hernia Injuries

Immediate attention is your ally when it comes to hernia injury claims in Queensland. The general rule in most cases is to file a claim within three years of the incident. However, be mindful that there are some exceptions.

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment.
    You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have nine months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the nine months but must be within three years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have one month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (one month vs nine months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within one month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have three months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the three-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard nine-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have three years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically, with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can an existing hernia worsened at work qualify for a compensation claim?

Yes. If you have an existing hernia that has been aggravated or worsened due to a workplace incident or conditions, you may still be entitled to injury compensation. It's crucial to prove that your work activities significantly contributed to the worsening of your condition. 

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What if my hernia injury is a result of repetitive heavy lifting at work but did not happen in a single incident?

In these scenarios, making a compensation claim is still possible. Even if there wasn't a single 'accident' that caused the injury, ongoing repetitive strain at work can lead to hernia injuries. Arguably, this is a workplace injury, and you have the right to seek compensation. 

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I'm unsure if my post-surgery groin pain is the result of ilioinguinal nerve damage. How is this assessed for a claim?

Ilioinguinal nerve damage can indeed cause post-surgery pain following hernia repair. Assessment for this specific condition relating to compensation claims often requires a comprehensive medical evaluation, along with any relevant diagnostic tests.

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If I have been diagnosed with a hernia based solely on ultrasound findings, can I still make a claim?

Yes, you can still make a claim. However, generally, hernia diagnosis should not rely only on ultrasound findings. It's best to obtain a thorough medical evaluation to strengthen your claim.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to Hernia Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
July 3, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.