A Guide to Claiming Garage Injury Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a garage accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a garage accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, the motor vehicle repair industry has witnessed 7,000 injuries and 33 fatal accidents over the past five years. These accidents arise in all sorts of circumstances, including:
- Slip, trip and fall accidents
- Pushing, pulling or carrying heavy weights, known as a manual handling accident
- Crush injuries sustained while working under a vehicle
- Injuries caused by faulty tools or equipment.
Given the heavy equipment and power tools used in vehicle repair, the consequences of a garage accident can be serious, with injuries ranging from cuts and broken bones to severe spinal injury and head injury.
Employers are responsible for eliminating hazards in a garage environment and generally providing a safe working environment. Thus, garage and motor repair accidents are usually categorised as accident at work claims. That said, anyone who has suffered an accident or injury in a garage or motor vehicle repair shop, including members of the public, may be eligible to bring a claim against the owner or occupier of the premises.
Do I have a garage injury claim?
It should be possible to make a garage 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.
The amount of money you could claim for your garage 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 garage 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 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a garage injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple 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.
General damages for a severe leg injury can be £75,000
For a more minor hand injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,000.
However, if you have a severe leg injury and a more minor hand injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.Read more about multiple injury claims
What is the average injury compensation for a garage 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 garage injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your garage 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?
Garage injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a garage 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 garage injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a garage injury claim take?
How long it can take to secure compensation for a garage accident can vary significantly.
For instance, if your employer accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a few weeks. However, if liability is denied a claim can take longer. Typically, a work accident claim takes 6 to 9 months. Read more:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a garage 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 garage 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.
What are the employer's duties?
All employers owe a duty of care to their employees. By law, they must take reasonable steps to keep their employees safe from harm. Everyday duties include keeping the floors free from holes, obstructions and other trip hazards and making sure that oil and other spills are cleaned up immediately.
Garages are covered by a number of specific regulations that address the type of risks that may be found in a motor repair setting. These include:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - this piece of legislation requires that employers provide a safe working environment, assess and manage risks and adequately maintain their equipment, tools and materials.
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 - these regulations aim to protect workers from injury caused by lifting activities such as carrying tyres, car body parts and jacks, and other manual handling activities such as using a wrench on a wheel.
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 - these regulations place an obligation on employers to ensure that work machines such as vehicle lifts are safe to use, frequently inspected, well maintained and fit for purpose.
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations - these regulations require an employer to limit exposure to hazardous chemicals such as benzene and to issue personal protective equipment when there is a risk of inhalation or splashing.
In addition to the various pieces of legislation, the Health and Safety Executive frequently issues guidance leaflets to help the owners of garages and motor vehicle repair shops minimise the risks and implement good workplace safety practices.
Is my employer liable?
To make a successful claim, the injury lawyer must show that the employer was legally responsible for the accident (negligence) and that injuries resulted from the accident (causation).
Evidence will be gathered to show that the employer failed to take reasonable steps to eliminate the risks associated with the relevant work process, premises or machinery and thus can be held legally accountable for the accident.
Liability is almost always established if it can be shown that the employer breached a specific health and safety rule. Your solicitor will assist with the gathering of evidence in support of the claim, including witness statements and safety check logbooks.
No win, no fee - the facts
'No win, no fee' means that if your garage injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee promise
If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a garage injury compensation claim.
What do I pay if I win my garage injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my garage injury claim?
If your garage injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
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. garage injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. 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:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Garage 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.
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.
How long do I have to make a garage injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the garage injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your garage injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a garage 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 garage injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a garage injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
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.
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.
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.
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