Bowel Injury doesn't have to be the end of the line


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By Crispin Bateman

on Friday 12 October 2018


Small intestine

A perforated bowel can be serious, leading to potentially life-threatening infections. If you have suffered from a bowel injury you may be entitled to compensation.

Compensation related to bowel problems is not limited to physical injuries either. If you have contracted a bowel disease or cancer that has come about due to circumstances outside of your control and due to the fault of negligence of another, you may be able to make a claim against them.

Types of Bowel Problems

Bowel injury due to an accident

If you have been involved in a road accident, or perhaps an incident at work due to a fall that has caused damage to your bowel, you are likely to be able to claim compensation.

A bowel injury means that part of your intestine has been torn or damaged. This can cause a leakage of the contents of the intestines and a potential for a serious infection as a consequence.

Bowel injuries can occur from both blunt trauma (where the skin isn’t broken but damage is done internally), or a penetrating trauma (where a sharp object has cut into the body). In both cases, medical care is needed immediately and any delays can cause complications and even become life-threatening.

Car accidents in the UK are one of the greatest reasons for blunt trauma related bowel injuries and account for a high percentage of bowel injury compensation claims.

Bowel injury due to assault

If you have been the victim of an assault that has led to a bowel injury, you will be able to claim compensation from your attacker.

Like bowel injury that occurs due to an accident, assault injuries are either blunt or penetrating trauma and must be dealt with as soon as possible.

Bowel injury due to medical neglect

Doctors and nurses involved in your medical care must take appropriate care if there is a risk of damage to your bowel during any time you are in their care. Examples of negligent bowel injuries include:

  • Nicked bowel during surgery – complications during surgery that may be completely unrelated to the bowel can mean that damage is done to the bowel while you were under medical care. Worse, the resulting corrective surgery can lead to additional problems, including blood poisoning (septicaemia) and delays in your recovery.
  • Childbirth-related bowel damage – difficulties can come up during the birth of a child, and some of those can involve unexpected bowel damage. If this happens as a consequence of NHS failings, then a compensation claim is possible.
  • Damage from radiotherapy – sometimes pelvic radiotherapy can cause the smaller blood vessels in the bowel to become more fragile, and the procedure can also cause bacteria to grow in undesirable places leading to bowel issues. It may be possible to claim in these cases if it can be proven that the appropriate level of care and precautions were not undertaken.
  • Failure to properly respond – bowel issues can very quickly lead to serious infection, and thus the accurate immediate diagnosis and appropriate response is incredibly important. If medical staff have not properly caught the problem in time and further complications arise consequently, then they may be held liable for any ongoing issues.

Bowel disease

While it is very difficult to nail down the causes for many bowel-related issues, it may be possible to make an occupational health claim if the source of your bowel disease can be connected to your working environment.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure that all workplaces are safe and that any specialist clothing that may be required is provided.

Bowel disease claims in the UK are not uncommon and it is possible for a successful case to be made in the right circumstances.

Bowel cancer

Unfortunately, most causes of bowel cancer are due to age and common health reasons, such as obesity or a poor diet. If you have contracted bowel cancer due to an issue at work or other situation where it is not your fault, then you may have cause to make a compensation case.

Misdiagnosis

A common reason for claiming compensation when you have a bowel related issue can be due to medical misdiagnosis. If your doctor has failed to accurately assess the symptoms of any bowel-related disease, you may be entitled to a financial settlement.

The Compensation Award for a Bowel Injury

When determining the size of a compensation award, the court will take many things into account, including the level of suffering, pain and inconvenience that the injury has inflicted both at the time and during any recovery time.

Unfortunately, it is common with bowel-related issues that the impact can be permanently life-changing, with the victim forced to go about the rest of their life with a long-term adjustment. This may include a colostomy or ileostomy and reliance upon a stoma bag to deal with bodily waste. Compensation relating to permanent life-changes.

The following table shows the guide amounts that are followed when making an award in relation to bowel injury:

Severity Compensation
Penetrating injuries causing some permanent damage but with an eventual return to natural function and control£10,040 to £19,520
Severe abdominal injury causing impairment of function and often necessitating temporary colostomy£35,540 to £55,590
Total loss of natural function and dependence on colostomy, depending on ageUp to £119,650
In cases involving double incontinence namely total loss of natural bowel functionUp to £146,840

A compensation claim will also cover you for any medical and related expenses that have occurred due to your treatment – for example, any travel costs or parking fees you have had to pay. You will need to show records of these transactions to make a claim and should always keep copies of any paperwork that is related to your case.

Making a Compensation Claim

At Accident Line Direct we believe that everyone has the right to make a compensation claim when something has happened to them which is not their fault. To help this, we work under a No Win No Fee basis – meaning you need pay nothing for your legal help if your compensation claim is unsuccessful. There are no hidden fees or small print that can catch you out. When the claim is won, we take a small percentage of the award for our work and everyone wins.

There is no need to feel any guilt about making a compensation claim. If you are claiming against a business, or due to a car accident or similar, then insurance will be in place to pay any compensation award due to you and any associated costs. You will not be damaging any person directly or putting a company out of business – the worst that happens is their annual insurance premiums have a slight increase.

If something has happened to you that has resulted in a bowel injury, or if you have had a bowel disease misdiagnosed or missed, you are entitled to compensation to financially help you in your life going forward. You should not have to shoulder the expense, pain or discomfort of any treatments or ongoing situation without help.

If you believe you have grounds for a claim, give us a call at Accident Line Direct today. We will assign an expert solicitor to you with experience in similar claims and they will work with you to bring you a successful outcome.

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