A hernia is a painful injury where a tear or a weakness appears in your abdominal muscle allowing an intestine to poke through. In a lot of cases you may not experience any or very few symptoms but you would see a lump or swelling in your groin or abdomen area. Sometimes the lump can be pushed back into place or it may disappear when you are lying down only to reappear when you cough or attempt to do something strenuous.
If you suffered a hernia in the workplace and feel that the incident could have been avoided, you should discuss the circumstances leading up to when you sustained the injury with a solicitor. You may find that you could be entitled to file a hernia injury claim against your employer providing your case meets specific criteria which are outlined below.
Are There Different Types of Hernia Injuries?
There are several types of hernia injuries you may sustain in the workplace with most being caused because employees do not handle or move heavier items correctly. It could be that you were not sufficiently trained when it comes to manual handling or given the right tools and equipment to carry out the job safely. The different types of hernia injuries you could sustain while you are at work are listed below:
- Inguinal hernia – this type of hernia occurs at the top of the inner thigh and is when part of the bowel or fatty tissue protrudes through a tear in the wall. Inguinal hernias typically happen through repetitive strain on an abdomen and are often seen due to ageing
- Femoral hernia – like an inguinal hernia, this type of hernia occurs at the top of the inner thigh where part of a bowel or fatty pokes through a tear. Femoral hernias are more commonly seen in women and lie an inguinal hernia, they can develop as a result of repetitive strain on the abdomen and are often typically associated with ageing
- Umbilical hernia – this type of hernia occurs near the navel (belly button) when part of a bowel or fatty tissue protrudes through a tear. When an adult develops an umbilical hernia, it is typically due to repetitive strain on an abdomen. In babies, they occur due to the opening in an abdomen not sealing correctly in newborns
- Hiatus hernia – this type of hernia occurs when part of the stomach squeezes through a tear or opening in the diaphragm into the chest. There may not be obvious symptoms with this type of hernia but it can cause heartburn. Although it is not known why a person may suffer a hiatus hernia, it is believed that pressure on an abdomen as well as ageing could be responsible
- Incisional hernia – this type of hernia can occur when tissue protrudes through the abdomen following surgery where a wound has not fully healed
- Epigastric hernia – this type of hernia occurs between a breastbone and the navel where fatty tissue protrudes through the abdomen
- Spigelian hernia – the hernia protrudes through the abdomen (side of an abdominal muscle) just below the navel
- Diaphragmatic hernia – this type of hernia occurs when organs found in the abdomen move through an opening in the diaphragm into the chest
- Muscle hernia – this type of hernia is when part of a muscle protrudes through the abdomen (it an also happen in leg muscles)
If you are involved in a workplace accident and you suspect that you may have suffered a hernia, you should seek medical attention as receive treatment as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Onset of sudden and severe pain
- Constipation or wind
- The protrusion is firm and tender to the touch or you cannot push in back in
The above symptoms could be an indication of following:
- That the supply of blood to tissue or part of an organ that is trapped in the hernia has been cut which is referred to as “strangulation”
- Some bowel has entered into the hernia and as a result has become blood, known as an “obstruction”
When you suffer a strangulated hernia and your bowel may have become obstructed, you must seek medical attention as a matter of urgency so that you can receive necessary treatment as soon as possible.
How Is a Hernia Sustained at Work Diagnosed and Assessed?
If you were involved in a workplace incident and suspect that you have suffered a hernia, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible so that a doctor or other medical professional can examine the affected area. You may need to undergo an ultrasound to determine the extent of the damage and once this has been established, a doctor would then recommend whether surgery would be necessary.
It is worth noting that in some cases a doctor would not recommend surgical intervention when you suffer a hernia more especially if your general health is deemed to be poor. However, although a hernia would not typically get any worse, it would not heal on its own without surgery, but a doctor could deem that the risks associated with hernia surgery greatly outweigh any potential benefits of undergoing this type of invasive treatment.
Should a doctor recommend that you undergo surgery to repair the damage, there are two types which are listed below:
- Open surgery which involves making a incision which allows a surgeon to push the lump or mass back into your abdomen
- Keyhole surgery which is far less invasive but at the same time more challenging and which is referred to as laparoscopic surgery
It is worth noting that any type of hernia surgery would mean that you would need time off work to fully recover. This could mean that you would not be able to bring in your normal wage for a period of time. Contacting a solicitor to discuss whether you could be entitled to seek compensation by filing a hernia at work claim against an employer, could help resolve any financial concerns.
Would My Hernia at Work Claim Be Valid?
Providing you can prove that you suffered a hernia while you were at work carrying out a job you were tasked to do and that you cannot be held responsible for the injury you sustained, you could have the right to seek compensation from your employer. You would have to prove the following:
- You were not given adequate training to carry out a job in the workplace
- That you were not provided with correct manual handling training
- You were not given the correct equipment to do a job safely
You would also need to provide a detailed medical report of the extent of the hernia injury you sustained at work and it must be signed by a qualified medical professional.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive in a Hernia Injury Claim Against My Employer?
The level of hernia injury at work compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim, would depend on the extent of the damage that has occurred. Other factors that would play a part in how much you may receive includes the following:
- Whether you can continue to work in the future or whether you would have to quit the job that you do because of the injuries you sustained in the workplace
- Whether you would require ongoing treatment
As such, the amounts provided below are given as a guideline only bearing in mind that all personal injury claims against third parties are assessed as unique. As such, the hernia injury at work compensation you may receive, could be more or less than indicated:
- A hernia where there is ongoing, continuous pain and a lack of ability to carry out physical activities, whether social or work-oriented, you could be awarded between £13,080 and £21,190
- Inguinal hernia where there is some risk of suffering another hernia after surgery, you may be awarded between £6,140 and £7,990
- An uncomplicated indirect inguinal hernia, you may be awarded between £2,980 and £6,330
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Hernia Injury at Work Claim Against an Employer?
If you suffered a hernia at work and would like to seek compensation from your employer, you have 3 years from the date you were injured in the workplace. However, if you suffered a hernia prior while you were at work prior to your 18th birthday, the statutory 3 year time limit begins from the date you turn 18. Should you be diagnosed as suffering from a medical condition that can be linked to the fact you suffered a hernia at work, the time limit of 3 years begins from the date of the official diagnosis.
Could I Lose My Job For Filing a Hernia Injury at Work Claim Against My Employer?
Your job would be safe even if you choose to seek compensation for a hernia injury you sustained in the workplace through no fault of your own. Should you be threatened with the sack or redundancy because you file a personal injury claim against your employer, they would be acting illegally because part of your worker’s rights is to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you may have incurred through the negligence of an employer or because a work colleague caused you to suffer a hernia at work.
What Can I Include in My Hernia Injury at Work Claim?
Personal injury compensation is calculated in two parts which cover “general damages” and “special damages”. The general damages you may be awarded in a successful hernia injury claim would reflect the extent of your injuries as well as the pain and suffering you had to go through. Special damages are awarded and calculated on all the out of pocket expenses you had to pay out as a direct result of having suffered a hernia injury at work.
Special damages cover things like travel expenses whether you get to a hospital or other medical facility for treatment by bus, car, taxi, train or other means. They also cover all your medical expenses and any other costs you had to pay out because of your hernia injury. As such, you must provide evidence of your expenditure by way of receipts which would be used to determine the level of special damages compensation you may be awarded.
Should I Sue My Employer For a Hernia Injury At Work?
As an employee, you have many rights which are highly protected in the UK. This includes being able to file a hernia injury at work claim against your employer in order to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and expenses you incurred. You have the right to do this without the fear of being treated detrimentally or unfairly and without the worry of being sacked from your job.
Your employer must also carry valid liability insurance which must be issued by a recognised insurer. The cover must also meet the legal requirement of £5 million and failure to have the necessary insurance in place would result in heavy fines being levied against your employer. When you file a hernia injury at work claim against your employer, they would hand your case over to their insurers and it is the insurer who would deal with all aspects of your claim, this includes the following:
- Investigate the circumstances leading up to the incident that left you suffering with a hernia
- Handle the case should your employer deny liability
- Negotiate a settlement should it be decided for your hernia injury at work claim would not to go to court with the majority of personal injury claims being settled out of court
- Pay out the final hernia injury at work compensation you may be awarded
What are My Rights if I Suffer an Hernia Injury at Work?
As previously mentioned, all worker’s rights are protected in the United Kingdom which includes when you suffer any sort of injury or suffer harm while you are at work. Your rights include the following:
- You have the right to file an accident at work claim if you are injured in the workplace through no fault of your own and can prove the incident occurred in the last 3 years due to employer negligence
- You have the right to seek compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace without having to worry about losing your job or being treated unfairly
Being sacked, treated unfairly or detrimentally because you make a personal injury claim against your employer is against the law. As such, your employer would be acting illegally and you should contact a solicitor to get legal advice on whether you can sue your employer for behaving in this way towards you.
What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities Towards Me in the Workplace?
Your employer has a responsibility to keep you safe from harm while you are working for them. Failure in their “duty” towards employees that results in an accident at work injury, would mean an employer would be held liable. Your employer’s responsibility towards you includes them doing the following:
- That you are provided with the correct level of training to carry out your job and to take part in ongoing training courses at regular intervals
- That all the tools, equipment and machinery you use in the course of a working day are correctly maintained and kept in good working order
- That regular and frequent risk assessments are carried out to identify dangers and to set in place reasonable measures to reduce the risk of harm and injury occurring
- That you are made aware of all working practices and procedures in the workplace
- That adequate personal protective equipment which must be correctly stored and maintained is made easily available when needed to carry out a task safely
Should an employer fail in any of the above and you suffer a hernia injury in the workplace, you could be entitled to seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim against your employer.
What Are The Benefits of Working With a Solicitor on a Hernia Injury Claim?
The benefits of working with an accident at work lawyer when making a hernia injury claim against an employer are numerous and having the legal expertise of a solicitor working on your case allows you to concentrate on your recovery. Listed below are just some of the advantages of having a lawyer represent you when filing a work-related personal injury claim against an employer:
- The solicitor would offer you an initial, no obligation consultation so they can determine whether you have a strong case against a negligent employer. This initial meeting or telephone conversation is typically free of charge
- A solicitor has vast experience in representing employees who have been injured in the workplace and has access to legal libraries which they can reference when needed
- The solicitor would arrange for you to be seen and examined by an independent medical professional whose report would be crucial when it comes to filing a hernia injury claim and it would be used as a basis for the “general damages” you may be awarded in a successful claim
- A solicitor would agree to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis which allows them to begin their investigations into your hernia injury claim without asking you to pay them an upfront fee and there would be no ongoing payments to find either as your case progresses whether through the court or negotiation with your employer’s liability insurance provider
- A solicitor respects the pre-action protocols and the 3 year statutory time limit that must be respected when making a work-related personal injury claim
- Should your injuries be extremely severe and therefore a final settlement would not be reached for longer than usual, the solicitor would ensure that you receive interim payments to alleviate any financial worries you may have to cope with
- A solicitor would ensure that the hernia injury at work compensation you are awarded is acceptable
- The solicitor would arrange for you to receive ongoing treatment and therapy if needed
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Hernia Injury Claim?
As previously mentioned, an accident at work lawyer would determine whether you have a valid hernia injury at work claim and that your employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained. Once satisfied, the solicitor would agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis taking all the worry of finding the money to pay for the legal representation they provide throughout your case, off the table. The only time you pay a solicitor who works on a No Win No Fee basis is when you are awarded the hernia injury compensation you seek which is deducted from the amount of money you receive.
A Conditional Fee Agreement sets out the T&C’s of the contract between you and the solicitor and it also sets out the “success fee” which is the agreed percentage that would be payable on a successful claim. Should your case not succeed, the “success fee” would be waived which in short, means you would not have to pay for the legal representation you received in your hernia injury at work claim against an employer.
If you would like to know more about how a hernia is treated, please follow the link below which takes you to the NHS official website:
If you would like information on your rights in the workplace, the following link takes you to the Equal Opportunities Commission website where you will find a lot of useful information on the topic: