Knee Injury Compensation Claims

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If you’ve experienced a knee injury in Queensland through no fault of your own – perhaps due to a car accident, work incident or mishap in a public space – you may be entitled to compensation.

In this guide, we’ll explore your rights to compensation, common causes and types of knee injuries, the process for lodging a claim, frequently asked questions and time limits for claiming in 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 Knee Injury in Queensland

If you've suffered a knee injury due to someone else's negligence, you should know your legal rights. Knee injury compensation may be available to aid your recovery and help with things like loss of income. 

In Queensland, there are a few different schemes that you can use:

  • Car and Road Accidents: In such events, the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Claims Scheme can be used. This ensures compensation for injured people when someone else is at fault. 
  • Work Accidents: You can make a statutory workers compensation claim via WorkCover Queensland or your employer’s private insurer, even if the work-related injury was not the employer's fault. In cases where employer negligence caused the injury, common law claims can also be made.
  • Public Place Accidents: If you suffer an injury in a public place, common law claims can be filed against the public liability insurer of the area.

Knowing that you have rights in these situations can help you take your first steps in the claims process. However, each claim has its own circumstances and can be complex. Speaking to a personal injury solicitor can help you through this process. 

What is a Knee Injury?

A knee injury can be described as any kind of damage that impacts the structure of the knee, causing pain, discomfort, or restricted mobility. This might involve harm to the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or bones within the knee joint. Injuries may vary in severity, from slight sprains and strains to more serious conditions like fractures and dislocations.

These injuries are common in Queensland, often resulting from road, work, or public accidents and may require long-term treatment and rehabilitation. If you've suffered from a mild or serious knee injury due to someone else's negligence, you have the right to make a knee injury compensation claim.

Common Causes of Knee Injuries

A Safe Work Australia report found that in 2019-20, 20 percent of serious claims for trips and falls were a result of an injury to the knee. 

Understanding some of the different ways your knee can get injured can help you recognise when you might need to seek medical attention.  

Some of the common causes include: 

  • Car Accidents: In collisions, the sudden impact can cause severe trauma to the knee, often resulting in sprains, fractures or ligament damage. Road accidents account for approximately 45 percent of serious knee injuries in Queensland.
  • Workplace Incidents: Jobs involving heavy lifting, repetitive movements or high physical activity can put pressure on the knee. Slips and falls from wet floors or misplaced machinery are also widespread in workplaces.
  • Sports Injuries: Active people may suffer from knee injuries due to overuse, improper form or sudden movements.
  • Trips: Uneven footpaths or an unsecured rug can cause unexpected falls leading to knee injuries, particularly in the elderly.
  • Poor Lighting: Not being able to see where you are going could lead to an accident that injures your knee.
Common Types of Knee Injuries

The knee is complex and extremely sensitive. A severe impact can lead to various types of injuries.

Some of the most common knee injuries are: 

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries: ACL tears or sprains are among the most common work, road and public place accidents. They happen when the knee is bent the wrong way or from a sudden change in direction. This causes the ligament to either partially or fully come away from the shinbone (tibia). Recovery can involve reconstruction surgery and potentially limit your ability to continue certain sports or activities. 
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injuries: Like the ACL, the PCL involves the ligament tearing or fully breaking away from the tibia. 
  • Meniscus Tears: The meniscus acts like a cushion between your thighbone and shinbone. A hard fall or twist of the knee can lead to it tearing.
  • Tendon Tears: Most common in falls or when someone is playing sports, you will likely have felt (and possibly heard) a pop. They usually occur when there is a sudden impact or excessive strain that causes the tendons in the knee to tear.
  • Fractures: The kneecap, lower thigh or upper shin bone can fracture during a car accident or a bad fall. This type of injury is usually serious and may require surgery.
  • Dislocation: This is when the knee either partially or fully comes out of place. It will likely result in swelling and look misshapen. 

Minor knee injuries might heal on their own, but others could require medical treatment and, in the worst-case scenarios, result in long-term health problems and possibly require knee replacement surgery

It's important to get professional medical advice if you suspect you've suffered an injury. If your accident was due to someone else's negligence, you should speak to a lawyer who can advise you of the compensation claims process.

Workers Most at Risk of Knee Injuries

Accidents can happen to anyone, no matter where they are. However, some occupations in the Sunshine State are more at risk than others. 

These include:

  • Construction Workers: This job often involves heavy lifting, climbing and kneeling, all of which strain the knee substantially over time. There is also a greater risk of something heavy, either falling on or hitting the knee.
  • Gardeners and Landscapers: They routinely kneel and squat, which can lead to wear and tear of the knee joints over time.
  • Nurses and Health Care Workers: Responding to emergencies often requires swift physical response. A misplaced step could result in an injured knee. Regular kneeling and lifting could also cause a knee injury to develop over time.
  • Professional Athletes: High-intensity physical activity and the pressure to perform often see people take risks raising the chances of sustaining a major knee injury. 
  • Warehouse Workers: Constant lifting, bending and carrying heavy items pose a significant risk to workers' knees. In Queensland, the most common cause of knee injuries is manual handling, accounting for 40 percent of all claims.

No matter what you do for a living, if you have injured your knee at work, you could be entitled to knee injury workers compensation. Our expert team at Smith's Lawyers can help guide you through the process.

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

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

The claims process can prove to be complex. It's critical to first seek advice from a medical professional who can diagnose and document your knee injury. You can then get in touch with a solicitor. 

Here, we'll try to break down the general steps involved when seeking compensation for a knee injury caused by someone else's negligence in Queensland. 

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 knee injury to help assess your case 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 knee 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. 

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 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 help you on the path to claim compensation.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Knee Injury Claim?

To comprehensively support your knee injury claim, gathering evidence is fundamental.

Here is a list of the typical evidence types needed: 

  • Proof of Accident: This includes photographs, CCTV footage if available, police reports, or any other evidence that can prove the accident occurred and that it caused the injury.
  • Medical Reports: These are crucial as they act as proof of your injury and its severity. It should be detailed and prepared by a medical professional.
  • Witness Testimonies: Statements from anyone who saw the incident can fortify your case. Their accounts offer an external perspective of the accident, which can validate your claims.
  • Details of Expense: This pertains to any incurred expenses related to the injury, such as medical treatment costs, medication expenses, travel costs to hospital appointments etc. Keep detailed records and receipts of these expenses.
  • Proof of Lost Earnings: If the knee injury led to an inability to work, either temporarily or permanently, you’ll need to prove these lost earnings. This is typically done through wage slips, bank statements, or a letter from your employer detailing the losses.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

There are lots of factors that come into play when compensation for knee injuries is calculated. 

The main factors include: 

  • Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity: This accounts for physical pain, psychological trauma and the reduced quality of life you may experience as a result of the knee injury. Medical records, a pain diary and evidence of emotional trauma may all help in maximising your potential payout.
  • Loss of Earnings: If your injury has kept you off work or limited your working capacity, this will be taken into account. Pay slips, tax returns and proof of loss of income can support your claim.
  • Medical Expenses: Any costs you've incurred for medical treatments, medications or aids related to your knee injury can be included in the compensation calculation.
  • Future Care: If your knee injury will require ongoing medical care or support, estimated future costs will also be considered in your claim.

These are just some of the factors that will be taken into account, but each knee injury claim is unique. The amount you receive in compensation is tailored to reflect your circumstances and the impact on your life. 

For instance, imagine Person A and Person B both suffer from the same type of knee injury.

Person A, a young professional football player, can no longer play and has not only lost years of income but the ability to potentially become highly successful. Person B, now retired, does not have the same financial loss, but the injury has a significant impact on their quality of life and requires extensive home care.

Even with the same knee injury, they will very likely receive different compensation settlements due to how different their circumstances are.

This is why it's important to speak to a lawyer who can take account of how your knee injury affects your life.

Time Limits for Knee Injury Claims

The general rule in Queensland is that you have three years from the date of injury to make a compensation claim. This includes cases involved in road, workplace or public liability incidents. More details are provided below.

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 9 months from the date of the motor vehicle 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 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 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 (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 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 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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I injured myself at work, but I'm worried that my employer won't be happy if I make a claim. What should I do?

Your rights as an employee are protected under the law, and this includes the right to seek compensation for an injury suffered at work. It's illegal for an employer to victimise or dismiss an employee because they've made a claim. If you think your injury occurred at work, you should seek legal advice to understand what options you have. 

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What evidence do I need to make a claim for my knee injury?

To maximise your chances of success in your knee injury claim, you should try to collect as much relevant evidence as possible. This includes medical records, photos of the accident scene and injuries, witness statements and incident reports.

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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.

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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 Knee Injury 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:
March 7, 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.