Manual Handling Injury Compensation Claims

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

If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.

We can help you make a work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Manual handling refers to the lifting, lowering, raising, pushing and carrying of items.

Almost all workers carry out these tasks as part of their job, although only some workers will be required to perform manual handling daily. Most workers lift and carry items without incident. Others are not so lucky and will suffer muscle or joint injuries to the arms, legs or back. In severe cases, manual handling accidents may cause internal injuries and even death.

Back injury compensation claims frequently relate to manual handling.

According to the Labour Force Survey, musculoskeletal injuries, including those caused by manual handling, account for more than 40% of all work-related illnesses. It is thought that many manual handling accidents are not reported to the enforcing health and safety authorities, so these figures may represent only a fraction of the actual number of people injured each year.

How we have helped others

Every year Quittance's network of solicitors help employees seek financial compensation and rehabilitation support when injured in the workplace through no fault of their own.

Our network of expert personal injury solicitors have advised clients who have suffered a range of manual handling injuries, including:

  • back injuries
  • muscular injuries to upper/lower limbs
  • breaks and fractures
  • worsening of existing medical conditions, aggravated by a manual handling accident
  • severe internal injury.

Our clients include workers employed at building sites, factories, warehouses, farms, hospitals and offices.

Who can make a claim?

If an employee is injured in the last 3 years as a result of manual handling, he or she may be eligible to make a compensation claim.

To win a claim, the claimant's solicitor will need to establish 'causation', meaning that their client's injuries result from the manual handling accident.

The solicitor will also need to establish that the defendant (the employer) was legally responsible for the manual handling accident.

Who can I claim against?

Manual handling claims may be brought against the claimant's employer or former employer.

Employers are required by law to carry valid Employer's Liability insurance to cover employees if they are involved in a workplace accident. Typically, the insurance company will pay the compensation award.

In most cases, a claim may still be brought against the insurance company even if the employer or former employer has ceased trading.

Is my employer liable?

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 were created to protect workers from injury caused by lifting and other manual handling activities. They impose a duty of care on employers to prevent harm, suffering and injury to employees while manually handling goods and equipment.

Specifically, an employer must:

  • fully assess the work task
  • eliminate any manual handling that is not necessary
  • carry out a risk assessment on any hazardous manual handling task that cannot be avoided
  • reduce the risk of injury as much as possible, for example, by providing suitable lifting equipment such as a sack trolley or hoist, and providing proper training.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.

This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

Suitable manual handling PPE might include gloves, foot protection, non-slip footwear.

If you are injured in a manual handling accident at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.

Do I have an injury claim?

It should be possible to make an injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last 3 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 376 1001.

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

What if I can't prove who caused the manual handling injury?

Your solicitor will work on your behalf to assess your manual handling injury claim and gather evidence. They will identify the party responsible for your accident.

Do I need a diagnosis to make a manual handling injury claim?

If you have been injured and are awaiting the results, you should still seek legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner you start a manual handling injury claim after an accident, the more likely your claim is to succeed.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

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

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

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 an 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 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 back injury can be £30,000

For a less serious arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.

However, if you have a serious back injury and a less serious arm injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.

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 an 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 an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

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

Will I have to pay tax on my manual handling injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a manual handling injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate my claim

How long does a manual handling injury claim take?

The length of time needed to settle a manual handling accident claim can vary considerably.

If liability is accepted by your employer, a claim might be concluded in a couple of months. If the employer denies liability, the process might take considerably longer. On average a work accident claim takes between 6 and 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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 pays for this specialist help?

The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Around 2% 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

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

No win, no fee, no risk

No win, no fee takes all of the risk out of making an injury claim. If you don't win your claim, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

No win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my 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 injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and 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
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

Call me back
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

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:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

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?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor