A Guide to Claiming Digger Accident Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a digger accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a digger accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

Working in close proximity to diggers, bulldozers, JCBs and other large machinery comes with inherent risks. Not only is this machinery extremely heavy, it is often used when handling other objects like rubble and construction materials which also have the potential to cause harm.

However, the risks do not reduce the duty imposed on employers to protect the safety of their staff and of the public. Where this duty has been breached, causing injury, a claim may be made.

Digger accidents are a common cause of building site injury claims, including cases where the injury results from dangerous work practices or inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Digger accident

Do I have a digger accident injury claim?

It should be possible to make a digger accident injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

How much compensation can I claim for a digger accident injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your digger accident injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your digger accident injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a digger accident injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple digger accident injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious leg injury can be £40,000

For a more minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.

However, if you have a serious leg injury and a more minor arm injury, you would typically receive £40,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for a digger accident injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a digger accident injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your digger accident injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Will a work injury claim affect my benefits?

It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?

Digger accident injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a digger accident injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your digger accident injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a digger injury claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for a digger accident can vary considerably.

For instance, if your employer or their insurance company accepts liability, a claim can settle in a matter of weeks. However, if liability is denied it could take significantly longer. Usually, a work accident claim should take 6 to 9 months. Read more:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a digger accident injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your digger accident injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Who can make a claim?

Employees of construction companies, contractors, and individuals, can all make a claim against the person or company found to be responsible. This is frequently the worker's employer, who has a duty to ensure the employee's work environment is safe, or the owner or occupier of the site.

The most common digger accidents are crush injuries, including broken bones, head injuries and internal damage.

The 'general damages' portion of compensation is calculated based on the nature of the injury sustained, not where it occurred, or who is responsible.

Was my employer negligent?

Every employer has a duty of care to their employees to ensure that they are safe. If they fail to fully ensure the safety of their employees, this may amount to negligence.

If the employer is found to have been negligent, there may be a case for a claim. Examples of negligence that could lead to digger accidents include:

  • Failure to fully train digger operatives on safe usage of machinery
  • Overloading of diggers
  • The operative using the digger in an unsafe way, for example by not following signage on site, or manoeuvring dangerously
  • Untrained operatives claiming to have the necessary training
  • The JCB in use not having been inspected fully, and failure to spot dangerous faults

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee - the facts

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your digger accident injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a digger accident injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my digger accident injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my digger accident injury claim?

If your digger accident injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.

Read more about how no win, no fee works

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. digger accident injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. In some cases our solicitors can work on a reduced success fee. Call us for more information.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Digger accident injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a digger accident injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the digger accident injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your digger accident injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a digger accident injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim digger accident injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a digger accident injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert