Claim compensation for soft tissue injuries
If you've suffered soft tissue damage in an accident that was somebody else's fault, you could make a no win no fee soft tissue injury claim
How Much Could You Claim?

Soft Tissue Injury Claims

The range of injuries that can affect the soft tissues in your body is vast. Strains, sprains, and bruising can occur from various accidents, such as slips, trips and falls. Sprains in the limbs happen when the ligaments are overstretched, torn or ruptured. In the work environment, soft tissue injuries to the lower back, ankles and knees are unfortunately quite common.

Various musculoskeletal disorders caused by excessive repetition of some physical activities can result in permanent soft tissue damage. These disorders fall under the repetitive strain injury category, including carpal tunnel syndrome, vibration white finger, bursitis and tendonitis.

Whether your injury was due to a road traffic accident, an accident at work or from slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket, you should be eligible to claim compensation if somebody else was at fault. If you have suffered damage within the past three years due to an accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to start a soft tissue injury claim.

To find out if you have a valid claim, speak to a legal adviser for a free consultation by calling 0800 032 3660 or requesting a call back. This service is free, confidential and provided with no obligation to proceed. If you are entitled to make a claim and want to proceed, you will be offered a no win no fee* service.

Can I claim compensation for soft tissue damage?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, it may be possible for you to make a soft tissue injury claim if:

  • The accident and injury happened less than three years ago
  • Somebody else was at fault for the accident
  • The person at fault owed you a duty of care, which they breached

If each of the above statements is true, you should be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. A personal injury solicitor will be able to determine if your case has merit during a free consultation over the phone.

What is a soft tissue injury?

The term soft tissue injury can describe a range of different injuries that affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and nerves in various parts of the body. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries are sprains, strains, bursitis, tendinopathy, contusions, lacerations, compression injuries, and ruptures.

Each year there are around 3 million hospital visits in the UK for soft tissue injuries, according to statistics produced by the British Orthopaedic Foundation (BOA).

The four main types of tissues that may get damaged due to an accident include the epithelial, nervous, muscular, and connective tissues. Based on their severity, soft tissue injuries are categorised into three grades:

  • Grade I (Mild). The soft tissue is slightly stretched or mildly torn. There might be some pain, swelling, and limited mobility, but the injury usually heals relatively quickly with rest and home care.
  • Grade II (Moderate). This grade involves a partial tear of the soft tissue. The pain, swelling, and bruising are more pronounced, and there might be some loss of function. Recovery takes longer and may need medical intervention.
  • Grade III (Severe). A complete tear or rupture of the soft tissue. The pain, swelling, and bruising can be severe, and there is often a significant loss of function. You may need surgery or other advanced treatments for proper healing.

Whatever type of injury you have sustained, you could be entitled to claim compensation for soft tissue damage if somebody else was to blame. To discuss your accident and injury with an experienced legal adviser, call free on 0800 032 3660 or request a call back using our online claim form.

Signs and symptoms of soft tissue injuries

The signs and symptoms of soft tissue injuries can vary depending on their type and severity. These can range from minor to severe and may become immediately apparent after an accident or develop gradually over the next day or two. The most common indicators include the following:

  • Pain is a primary symptom of soft tissue injuries. It can range from mild discomfort to severe and sharp, often increasing with movement or pressure.
  • Swelling, also known as oedema, occurs due to an accumulation of fluid around the injured area. That can cause the area to feel tender and warm and appear visibly swollen.
  • Discoloration of the skin, or bruising, is a result of damaged blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface. Bruises can appear red, purple, or black and typically develop within hours of the injury.
  • Stiffness around the affected area which makes it difficult to move the joint or muscle freely.
  • The inability to move a joint or muscle through its full range of motion is a common symptom. That can be due to pain, swelling, or muscle guarding.
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area might become noticeable. That can impact your ability to perform daily activities.
  • Muscle spasms or cramping may occur as the body’s natural response to protect the injured area.
  • The injured area may feel tender to the touch or when pressure is applied.
  • Injuries to the lower extremities can lead to difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg or foot.
  • Some injuries can cause sensations of numbness, tingling, or even pins and needles.
  • Depending on the location and severity of the injury, you might experience a loss of function in the affected part of the body.
  • In more severe cases, there might be a visible deformity or abnormal shape at the site of injury.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, you should visit your GP, or if severe, go to the hospital as soon as possible. A doctor will perform a thorough physical examination of the injured area to assess the type and severity of the damage. They may also order imaging tests like MRIs or ultrasound to see the extent of the injury.

Treatment often involves rest, compression and over-the-counter pain relievers. In more severe cases, you may need prescription drugs to manage pain. In case of tears, you may need surgery. Recovery may take between a few weeks to several months and require physical therapy.

Common types of soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries may affect different tissues, such as the muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments. They can occur in various parts of the body, including the knees, back, neck, wrists and ankles. The most common types seen in soft tissue injury compensation claims include:

Contusions

Contusions, commonly known as bruises, occur when small blood vessels under the skin break due to impact or trauma. They result in visible discolouration and tenderness on the skin’s surface.

Sprains

A sprain is an injury that occurs when the ligaments, which are bands of tissue connecting bones to each other, are stretched or torn. This typically happens due to a sudden force or movement that pushes a joint out of its normal position, causing stress on the ligaments. Sprains commonly affect joints like the ankle, wrist, or knee, and their severity can range from mild stretching to complete tearing of the ligaments. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited movement around the affected joint.

Strains

Strains are injuries to muscles or tendons, often resulting from sudden twisting, pulling, or overstretching. They can cause pain, muscle spasms, and limited movement. Strains frequently occur in the lower back or hamstrings due to improper lifting, sudden movements or overuse of a muscle group.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis involves the inflammation of tendons, which attach muscles to bones. This condition often arises from repetitive motions or overuse of a specific joint. Common examples include tennis elbow, which affects the tendons in the forearm, and Achilles tendonitis, which affects the back of the ankle.

Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that cushions joints. It typically occurs from repetitive movements or pressure on the joint, leading to pain and swelling. For instance, bursitis in the shoulder can cause discomfort when lifting the arm.

Stress injuries

Stress injuries are the result of overuse or repeated impact on a specific area. They can lead to tiny cracks in bones (stress fractures) or strain on muscles and tendons. Athletes and those engaged in repetitive activities are particularly prone to stress injuries.

Lacerations

A laceration is an injury that involves a tear or cut in the skin and underlying tissues. They occur when blunt force trauma or a sharp object causes the skin to split open. Unlike a clean and straight cut, lacerations have irregular and jagged edges and are more prone to bleeding and infections.

Whiplash

One of the most well-known soft tissue injuries is whiplash, commonly sustained by people involved in car accidents. It occurs when the force of an impact causes the neck muscles and ligaments to be suddenly stretched beyond their normal range of motion.

Potential long-term consequences of soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries, even though they may not seem severe initially, can lead to various long-term complications, such as:

  • Chronic pain. Soft tissue injuries can lead to ongoing pain long after the initial injury has healed. This chronic pain can impact daily activities, mobility, and overall quality of life.
  • Reduced range of motion. Scar tissue formation during the healing process can limit the flexibility and range of motion in the affected area. That can lead to stiffness and difficulty performing some movements.
  • Joint problems. Soft tissue injuries can affect the surrounding joints, leading to issues like instability, stiffness, and an increased risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Muscle weakness. These injuries can lead to muscle atrophy and decreased strength in the affected area, which might take time to recover. That can lead to difficulties in performing physical tasks.
  • Recurrent injuries. Once an injury to the soft tissue occurs, there is an increased risk of re-injury to the same area. Weakened tissues are more vulnerable to subsequent trauma.
  • Degenerative changes. Long-term soft tissue injuries can contribute to degenerative changes in the affected area, such as osteoarthritis. This can lead to ongoing pain and joint dysfunction.
  • Psychological impact. Chronic pain and limitations can have a psychological effect, leading to stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Impaired quality of life. The above complications can significantly impact the overall quality of life. Everyday activities, hobbies, and even work can be affected.

Your solicitor will assess the long-term effects of your injury before calculating your compensation for soft tissue damage.

Common incidents leading to a soft tissue injury claim

Many types of accidents can cause soft tissue injuries, including:

Soft tissue injuries at work

If you’ve suffered a soft tissue injury at work due to the negligence of your employer or a co-worker, you may be eligible to claim compensation for the damages you have suffered.

All employees are owed a duty of care by their employer. Under health and safety legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers are responsible for providing employees with a safe working environment.

Examples of the type of work accidents that could result in a soft tissue injury claim include:

Slips and trips

Slips, trips and falls are among the most common accidents that result in soft tissue injuries. If you slip on a wet floor in a supermarket or trip over a raised paving slab on the street, you can easily sprain an ankle or suffer other soft tissue damage.

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, all business owners are responsible for safeguarding the welfare of people who visit their premises. That means that shops, supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses must take steps to eliminate avoidable risks that could cause injury.

If you have suffered an injury in a shop, supermarket or another public place, you could be eligible to claim personal injury compensation from the premises owner.

Road traffic accidents

One of the most common causes of soft tissue damage is road traffic accidents, often causing a whiplash injury. In 2022, there were 136,002 casualties of all severities from road accidents, of which 28,100 road users were severely injured.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 covers a wide range of matters related to road safety, vehicle regulations, and penalties for violations. If another road user caused your accident by acting negligently, you are entitled to claim compensation under this Act. Typical circumstances leading to road traffic accidents include:

  • Distracted or reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Driver fatigue

Vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists are most at risk of suffering severe soft tissue injuries such as contusions, nerve damage and muscle or ligament tears. In contrast, car drivers and passengers are most likely to suffer injuries that would entitle them to make a whiplash injury claim.

Sports accidents

Sports can often lead to soft tissue injuries due to the physical and dynamic nature of these activities. Every sport has a risk of injury, and most accidents that happen are part of the game and nobody’s fault. However, there are situations when you may be able to claim compensation for a soft tissue injury, and these include:

  • A lack of adequate supervision or protective equipment
  • Inadequate training or bad advice from a coach
  • Unsafe playing conditions and poorly maintained facilities
  • Failure to adhere to safety regulations and guidelines
  • Lack of proper medical personnel

Soft tissue injuries related to sporting activities may develop over time or be due to a single event. Overuse injuries include tennis elbow and runner’s knee, while common acute injuries include ankle sprains, rotator cuff injuries and contusions.

How much compensation can I claim for a soft tissue injury?

How much compensation you could receive for soft tissue injuries will depend on the impact it has on your life and the financial losses you have incurred.

Compensation for personal injury is broken down into two separate parts:

General damages are an award for the pain and suffering caused by the injury. Solicitors use guidelines published by the Judicial College, which recommends compensation ranges for all different types of injuries of varying severity. General damages take into account:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional and psychological trauma
  • Loss of amenities, such as the ability to take part in sports and recreational activities
  • Reduced quality and enjoyment of life

Some examples of soft tissue injury compensation awards for general damages recommended by the Judicial College Guidelines include:

  • £240 to £4,345 for whiplash
  • Up to £13,740 for a ruptured foot or ankle ligament
  • £5,720 to £13,280 for a moderate injury to the hand with no significant long-term effects
  • Up to £12,510 for mild soft tissue injuries to the back
  • £45,470 to £55,590 for severe damage to the soft tissues in the neck
  • £12,590 to £21,070 for a partial Achilles tendon rupture
  • £38,780 to £69,730 for very severe back injuries causing long-term mobility issues

Special damages are based on calculating all the financial losses you have faced that can be attributed to the accident and your injuries. These can include:

  • Loss of earnings if you have had to take time off work
  • Travel costs if you have had to pay for taxis or public transport to take you to medical appointments
  • Rehabilitation costs, such as physiotherapy
  • Prescriptions and private treatments
  • Costs of care during recovery

The above are just a few examples of the financial losses you could incur due to a soft tissue injury. Your solicitor will aim to recover the maximum compensation amount by considering all aspects of your pain, suffering and financial losses.

How to make a soft tissue injury claim

If you have suffered a soft tissue injury in an accident that was not your fault and would like to find out if you can claim compensation, the first step is to contact a legal adviser for a free consultation. You can arrange this by requesting a call back using our online claim form or by calling free on 0800 032 3660.

A trained legal adviser will provide a free consultation, during which they will ask you some questions about your accident and the injuries and losses you have sustained. Based on this information, they will let you know if they think you could be entitled to compensation for soft tissue damage.

If you have a valid claim and want to proceed, you will be connected with an experienced personal injury solicitor. They will have experience in the type of accident that caused your injury and will guide you through the claims process.

Your injury solicitor will help build the best case possible by gathering evidence and negotiating on your behalf. They will work hard to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your soft tissue injury, as well as any other losses related to your accident.

What proof do I need to claim soft tissue injury compensation?

If you want to start a soft tissue injury claim, you will need as much evidence as you can gather to support your case. The evidence must show how your accident occurred, who was responsible for it, the injuries you sustained and their impact on your life. Some proof that your solicitor could use in your claim includes:

  • Detailed medical records that show your diagnosis, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects;
  • Expert opinions from medical professionals can help establish the long-term effects and the connection between the injury and the accident;
  • Records of physical therapy sessions or counselling can show the extent of your injury and the efforts you have made to recover;
  • Photographs and videos of the accident scene can help establish the circumstances leading to your soft tissue injuries;
  • Photos of any visible trauma and any personal items damaged in the accident;
  • Statements from witnesses can help establish liability and the cause of injury;
  • You should file an accident report if the accident occurred in a workplace or public place. A copy of the logbook entry will serve as proof of the time, date and location of your accident;
  • If you were injured due to criminal activity such as an assault, report the incident to the police and get a crime reference number;
  • Keep a journal about the pain, discomfort and limitations you experienced due to the accident;
  • If the accident was captured on CCTV cameras, obtaining this footage can provide a clear visual record of the events;
  • Keep records of all the financial losses related to your injuries, such as receipts and invoices.

Your solicitor will consider any evidence you have managed to secure so far and will help you collate anything else you may need to win your no win no fee claim for soft tissue injury compensation.

How long do I have to claim for soft tissue damage?

In the vast majority of cases, you will have up to three years from the accident date to make an injury claim. Once this time limit has passed, your claim would be statute-barred under the Limitation Act 1980.

There are a few notable exceptions to the three year time limit for personal injury claims:

  • The first of these is when the person injured is a child. With child accident claims, instead of beginning on the accident date, the three-year time limit begins to count down once the injured person turns 18 years old.
  • If your soft tissue injury resulted from a criminal assault, you would claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). These claims have a two-year time limit from the date of the assault.
  • There is no time limit if the injured person cannot start a claim due to a lack of mental capacity. In such circumstances, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf anytime.
  • If you suffered soft tissue injuries during military service, you have seven years to claim compensation through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

As a general rule, we suggest you start your claim as soon as possible. Doing so will give you and your solicitor sufficient time to gather the necessary evidence to support your case. They might also be able to arrange private medical treatment for you and an interim payment if you have pressing financial needs.

Can I make a No Win No Fee soft tissue compensation claim?

If your case meets the necessary criteria, your solicitor will take on your soft tissue injury claim on a no win no fee basis. That means there are no upfront costs or hidden fees. Your solicitor will only charge a fee if your claim is successful, which is capped at a maximum of 25% of the compensation awarded.

If your claim for compensation is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay a penny. So, there is no financial risk when making a soft tissue claim using the no win no fee service. Furthermore, you can claim compensation for your injuries regardless of your financial situation.

Even more so, you do not have to worry about the legal fees and disbursements incurred during the claims process. Your agreement includes an After the Event (ATE) legal expenses insurance policy that will cover all your costs if your case fails, such as:

  • The defendant’s solicitor and legal fees
  • Police and medical reports
  • The cost of printing and copying documents
  • Travel expenses
  • Expert witness fees, if necessary
  • Barrister fees if your case reaches trial

If you want to know whether you can claim soft tissue injury compensation on a no win no fee basis, call 0800 032 3660 for a free case assessment. Alternatively, you can fill in our online claim form, and a friendly legal adviser will give you a call back.

* 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.