Hernia Injury Claims*

A hernia is the abnormal exit of tissue through the wall of the cavity in which it normally resides and is usually caused by heavy lifting. Hernia claims are common workplace accidents and usually arise from manual handling.

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Various Circumstances

There are a number of different types of hernia and they can affect a number of different areas. A hernia can result in ongoing pain for the injured person and can leave them with mobility problems if left untreated. They can be caused by a number of different reasons in various circumstances and situations. Common causes of hernia claims are lack or manual handling training or lifting heavy objects at work without the correct tools and machinery to assist you.

Types of Hernia

Hiatal Hernia

This is when the stomach bulges up into the chest through the hiatus, which is an opening in the diaphragm. This is generally caused as a result of another injury which has caused the muscle tissue to weaken. It can also be caused by repeatedly putting too much pressure on the stomach muscles as a result of heavy lifting or coughing.

Inguinal Hernia

This occurs when tissues come out through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. This can cause pain and discomfort when coughing and lifting heavy objects. If left untreated, long-term injuries and illnesses can develop. It is important to note that inguinal hernias do not improve on their own and medical attention should be sought to prevent it from worsening over time.

Femoral Hernia

This type of hernia is not very common and generally affects women more than men. It can cause pain and discomfort inside of the thigh. Common symptoms include nausea and severe stomach pains. Over time, if left untreated, they can block blood flow to the intestines which can cause an illness to develop.

Incisional Hernia

This is when the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall following previous surgery. This is caused as a result of inactivity during the recovery stages of surgery and is very common in elderly people.

Who is Liable?

Although it can be difficult to determine who is liable for a hernia injury this is an important first step in the claims process. This will depend on what you were doing and the time and what situation you were in.

Accident at Work*

Hernias can occur as a result of an accident in the workplace. For those who lift heavy objects in work on a daily basis, it is important that manual handling training has been delivered by your employer to ensure that you are lifting objects in a way that will not injure you.

In some cases, where manual handling training has not been provided hernias can arise. If you have sustained an injury as a result of this then your employer may be found liable for negligent behaviour and failing to show a reasonable level of duty of care. All employers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees while at work. This includes providing them with the correct training. This should be made available to employees throughout the course of their employment. Manual handling accidents can lead to hernias due to the constant pressure that is put on the muscles in the body.

It is not only one heavy lift that can cause a hernia at work, prolonged lifting of lighter objects can also be a factor in how a hernia came to be. Also, it is important to note that for a claim to be successful you need to prove that the hernia happened as a result of your duties and conditions at work. A hernia can also be caused by other factors, such as weight and pre-existing medical conditions.

As part of the claims process, you need to show that you informed your employer immediately after you sustained the injury and that your injury was seen and treated by a doctor. You would then submit these details to the Injuries From this along with the help of a workplace accident solicitor you can then determine where liability lies and if you are in a position to move forward with a claim to the Injuries Board.

Medical Negligence*

This term is used to describe situations where a patient suffers a personal injury as a result of an error made by a medical practitioner. In most cases, medical professionals are dedicated and diligent and ensure that you are receiving treatment at the highest standard, but in some cases, accidents can happen. If you sustained a hernia as a result of clinical negligence then the medical practitioner may be found liable. In order to make a claim against them, you will need to prove that there was, in fact, medical negligence which in turn led to injuries being sustained. These types of injuries are treated differently to other personal injury claims and are not submitted through the Injuries Board, therefore speaking with a medical negligence solicitor will be your first step in making a claim.

Signs of a Hernia:

  • Burning or aching sensation
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Weakness of the injured area
  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen

Hernia Causes

Lack of Training in the Workplace

This is a common cause of hernias due to constant pressure that may be put on the abdominal muscles over time if activities are not carried out correctly. Over time, this can cause great pain and discomfort and can cause a hernia to develop. In order to prevent this, adequate training should be provided to all employees in order to reduce the risk of a workplace accident or injury.

Lack of Lifting Tools

If you are in an environment where lifting is an everyday occurrence and your employer has not provided any tools or the tools provided are inadequate or defective then it may constitute a health and safety breach claim. Your employer is responsible for providing the right tools to do the job and you should not be lifting heavy objects without these tools, for example, lifting or moving a pallet without a pallet truck.

Poor Manual Handling

This is one of the leading causes of a hernia. Lifting a heavy object incorrectly can put pressure on the muscles and weaken the tissue, leading to a hernia. Poor manual handling can also result in various other injuries, so if your employer has provided manual handling training to you, it is important that you follow those guidelines when moving heavy objects. Also, where tools are present for lifting heavy objects use them.

Clinical Negligence*

A medical practitioner may make an error during treatment or surgery which can lead to an injury. Medical negligence can cause a hernia to develop due to errors made during surgery or failing to diagnose an illness or injury that is already there. This can worsen over time and lead to a number of long-term injuries.

Can a Hernia be Caused by an Injury?

Yes, a hernia can be caused by an injury. Traumatic abdominal wall hernia is rare, but can be caused by blunt force trauma to the abdomen. In children, this may occur from a fall off a bike as bike handlebars hit the abdomen. In adults, this can occur in a car accident.

What is the Average Settlement for a Hernia Injury?

The value of a hernia claim will depend on the specifics of your accident and case. To understand the value of your case, you must take into account the following:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The cost of your medical bills
  • How much wages you lost
  • Your future medical bills
  • Your future lost earnings
  • The effect the injury has had on your quality of life

The Judicial Council’s personal injury guidelines categorise hernia claims into the following categories:

  • Hernia resulting in continuing pain and/or limitations on physical activities, sport or employment, after repair: €25,000 – €50,000
  • Direct inguinal hernia with some risk of recurrence after repair: €12,000 – €20,000
  • Uncomplicated indirect inguinal hernia with no other associated abdominal injury or damage: €4,000 – €12,000

For more information on how to value your claim, visit our compensation estimator page or speak to one of our personal injury solicitors.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a personal injury solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare the information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your injury claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • If any emergency services attended the scene and their details
    • Details of your injuries
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the injury claim process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    The most important document needed to prove your injuries is your medical report. The reason a solicitor will ask for your doctor’s details or if you have attended the hospital is so they can obtain all the medical reports required to pursue the case for you.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your injury claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with an injury claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the injury (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages. 

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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