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Hernia Injury Claims

A hernia injury occurs when a body tissue or organ pushes through a weakened muscle or the cavity wall in which it resides. There are various hernia types, but they commonly occur in the abdomen, specifically the groin.

The most common hernia symptoms are pain at the site, swelling, a lump under the skin and a feeling of weakness in the area. They could cause ongoing pain and restrict a person’s mobility and ability to carry out daily or work tasks.

In the UK, there are around 100,000 hernia repairs performed annually, 75% of which require the application of a mesh. The hernia mesh can also cause long-term complications like bowel obstruction or perforation, infection, chronic pain or mobility issues.

If you suffered a hernia injury because of somebody else’s negligence, you might be entitled to make a hernia claim and receive compensation for your pain, suffering and financial expenses.

To find out if you can claim hernia compensation, speak to a legal adviser by calling 0800 032 3660 for a free consultation. Alternatively, enter your details into our online claim form, and you will receive a call back with no further obligations.

Can I make a hernia injury claim?

You could make a hernia claim provided that your injury:

  • happened in the last three years
  • another person owed you a duty of care
  • they acted negligently, causing you to get a hernia

There are some exceptions to the three-year rule:

  • You can pursue a claim on behalf of a minor at any time before they turn 18. After becoming a legal adult, they have another three years to claim in their name.
  • There is no time limitation to make a hernia claim for somebody who lacks mental capacity. The three-year countdown will begin after the victim regains their intellectual ability.

Situations in which somebody else might be liable for your injury include:

To have a valid and successful hernia compensation claim, you must be able to collect enough evidence to prove the extent of your injury, another party’s liability and the financial losses you incurred. This could include:

  • medical reports, stating the treatments you received and your recovery prospects
  • proof of lost wages and any other financial expenses
  • photographs of what caused your injury (e.g. if you were required to move a heavy object)
  • get the contact details of any witnesses that saw you get hurt
  • file an accident report with your manager or supervisor

A solicitor can help gather the evidence you need to build a strong hernia injury claim and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 032 3660 or fill out our online form to receive a call back.

What is a hernia?

A hernia is the abnormal exit of a tissue or organ through the muscle or cavity wall that usually holds it in place. One of the most common types of hernia occurs when the intestines break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall, particularly in the groin area.

Risk factors for developing a hernia include smoking, obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pregnancy and collagen vascular disease. There’s also a genetic predisposition to hernias, which occur more often in certain families.

Diagnosis is often based on signs and symptoms, but sometimes medical imaging or endoscopy are needed to confirm it. Symptoms of a groin hernia include pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen that gets worse with exercise and often improves when lying down.

Most hernias are not life-threatening, but they don’t go away on their own and might require surgery. In men, groin hernias that do not cause symptoms do not need treatment. Some injuries, like umbilical and hiatus hernias, may not need an intervention or are treated with medication.

What are the different types of hernia injuries?

Hernias are serious injuries that might substantially impact a person’s day-to-day life. There are many different types of hernias, some of which require prompt surgical intervention:

  • Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia and occur when fatty tissue or part of the intestines push through a weak spot or tear, often in the inguinal canal. It typically affects men and is associated with ageing and repeated muscle strain. If left untreated, it might cause peritonitis, which can be life-threatening.
  • Femoral hernias are a lot less common than inguinal hernias and happen when fatty tissue appears as a lump in the inner upper part of the thigh. It usually affects women and is associated with age and repeated abdominal strain.
  • Hiatus hernias occur when part of the stomach pushes into the chest cavity through an opening in the diaphragm. It usually causes no symptoms, although it may lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn.
  • Umbilical hernias are caused by fatty tissue or part of the bowel poking through the abdominal wall near the belly button. In adults, they are more common in obese or pregnant women. Babies can be born with this type of hernia, which can go away on its own by the age of two as the abdominal wall muscles get stronger.
  • Spinal hernias affect the spinal discs and typically cause pain in the lumbar region, arms, neck and legs. They are usually caused by heavy lifting but can also result from sports or road traffic accidents. Herniated discs can heal on their own over time, but some might require surgery.
  • Incisional hernias happen when tissue pokes through a surgical wound in the abdomen that has not fully healed. They occur in about 13% of people within two years of surgery and are some of the most difficult to treat.

There are many other less common types of hernias and visceral hernias, including:

  • Diaphragmatic hernia: when part of the stomach or intestine moves up into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm
  • Muscle hernia: when part of a muscle pokes up through the abdomen; it can also occur in leg muscles after a sports injury
  • Epigastric hernia: when fatty tissue pokes through the abdomen between the navel and sternum
  • Spigelian hernia: if part of the bowel pokes through the side of the abdomen, at the bottom of the navel

What are the symptoms of a hernia?

One of the most common hernia symptoms is a lump or bulge in the affected area that will disappear when lying down.

You might also feel discomfort or pain in the area, especially when coughing, exercising, standing up, urinating or defecating. The pain also improves when lying down.

Some types of hernia, like hiatus or diaphragmatic hernia, might have more specific symptoms like GERD, heartburn, chest pain or trouble swallowing.

Symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:

  • a swelling or bulge in the groin, more visible when you stand up
  • burning or aching sensation in the affected area
  • pain or discomfort in the groin
  • a heavy feeling in the groin
  • weakness or pressure
  • occasionally, pain and swelling around the testicles

You should seek medical advice right away if you develop any of the symptoms below:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • fever
  • a sudden, growing pain
  • inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas
  • the hernia changes colour or cannot be pushed back in
  • the bulge becomes firm or tender

These could be the symptoms of strangulation (there is no more blood flow to the trapped tissue) or obstruction (a piece of bowel became blocked in the hernia). Both conditions are medical emergencies and require immediate treatment.

What treatments are available for a hernia?

Usually, hernias don’t get better on their own, and the only effective treatment is through surgical repair. Whether or not you may need surgery depends on the size and location of your hernia and the severity of your symptoms.

In some cases, a doctor might prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms or recommend using a supportive undergarment to hold the hernia in place.

In the case of hiatus hernias, you might need medications like antacids, H2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors that reduce stomach acid and improve symptoms. For strangulated hernias, broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy is usually required.

If surgery is required, there are three main ways in which this can be carried out:

  • Open surgery, in which a cut is made at the hernia site. The protruding tissue is set back in place, and the muscle wall is stitched back together. Sometimes a mesh is placed at the hernia location for extra support.
  • Laparoscopic surgery. Instead of a cut, tiny incisions are made at the hernia site. This will allow the insertion of special tools to repair the hernia. It is a less invasive but more complicated technique.
  • Robotic hernia repair is performed similarly to laparoscopic surgery, but the surgeon handles the surgical instruments from a console. This technique can also be employed to rebuild the abdominal wall.

What are the most common causes of hernia injuries?

Hernias are commonly caused by a combination of weak muscles and repeated strains on the abdominal and groin area. Depending on the cause, they can develop quickly or over long periods of time.

Common causes and risk factors for developing a hernia include:

  • congenital conditions
  • ageing
  • damage from injuries or surgery
  • strenuous exercises or heavy lifting
  • chronic coughing
  • pregnancy
  • constipation
  • being overweight
  • smoking
  • a family history of hernias

The most common cause leading to a hernia injury claim is physical stress, most often due to incorrect manual handling of objects at the workplace.

You can also make a hernia claim due to medical negligence if:

  • you sustained organ damage during hernia surgery
  • you received poor treatment, and your hernia returned
  • you sustained nerve damage due to surgery errors
  • a misdiagnosed hernia caused you to suffer organ damage
  • you developed complications following a mesh implant

An experienced solicitor can help you establish if another person might be liable for your hernia injury. You can speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 032 3660 for a free consultation. Alternatively, leave your details, and you will receive a call back.

Can I make a hernia claim against my employer?

You can make a hernia injury claim if you sustained an injury at the workplace. Nonetheless, you need to have enough evidence to prove that a work-related activity caused your hernia, and your employer failed to provide proper training and equipment to keep you safe.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 is the primary legislation that deals with manual handling at the workplace and sets out the duties of employers. First of all, manual handling should be avoided whenever possible.

When manual handling is unavoidable, employers must assess the risk of injury and reduce it to the lowest reasonable level. The risk for injury can be reduced by:

  • using mechanical aids to lift and move loads
  • provide frequent breaks so that muscles can rest
  • make sure the load is stable
  • reduce the size or weight of loads
  • reduce the need for lifting from floor level
  • reduce the distance travelled with the load to a minimum
  • provide manual handling training and good lifting technique
  • provide handling aids
  • take into consideration the employee’s physical capacity

If your employer made you carry heavy weights without proper training or equipment and you consequently developed a hernia, you are entitled to claim hernia compensation. A solicitor can help you gather the proof you need to build a strong case and will arrange a medical visit to assess the extent of your injuries.

How much compensation can you claim for a hernia injury?

The amount of compensation you could ask for in a hernia claim depends on the extent of your injury and the related financial losses. You are entitled to receive compensation for:

  • General damages: physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of amenity
  • Special damages: medical fees, lost earnings, ongoing care and other financial expenses.

When calculating a suitable compensation amount, your solicitor will take into consideration all the general and special damages you incurred because of your hernia injury. When calculating compensation, solicitors and courts refer to the guidelines published by the Judicial College. Based on their guidelines, you could receive:

  • £10,040 to £19,520 for a penetrating bowel injury with some permanent damage
  • Up to £119,650 for the total loss of bowel function
  • £5,590 to £13,080 for moderate hernia mesh complications
  • £5,500 to £17,900 for mild psychological injuries due to stress caused by the hernia
  • £26,300 to £49,270 for mild chronic pain
  • £2,220 to £7,350 for superficial body scarring
  • Around £139,210 for damage to the reproductive system

A legal adviser can let you know how much compensation you might receive based on your unique situation. For a free consultation, call 0800 032 3660 or leave your details to receive a call back.

How much does it cost to make a claim?

After suffering a personal injury, you might want to focus on your treatment and recovery process. Claiming compensation may require a lot of time and energy and could be a stressful process. Hiring a solicitor can save you a lot of time and effort without taking any financial risks.

Before taking on your case, the solicitor will evaluate the validity of your claim and your chances of success. If they believe you can build a strong hernia injury claim, they will offer you a no win no fee agreement*.

Under a no win no fee agreement, you will not have to pay any legal fees or other hidden charges. Your solicitor will take out After the Event insurance on your behalf, which provides coverage for all legal costs, even if you end up losing your claim.

If you receive hernia compensation, you will only be expected to pay your solicitor’s success fee. You will agree on the success fee at the beginning of the claiming process; nonetheless, it cannot exceed 25% of the compensation amount. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay a penny.

To start a no win no fee hernia claim, call 0800 032 3660 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will let you know if you have a valid claim and will answer any questions you might have.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.