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.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a manual handling accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
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 three 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.
The amount of money you could claim for your 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 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 an 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 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 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?
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:
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?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your 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.
Will I get advice on treatment options?
As part of the manual handling injury claims process, your solicitor can arrange a thorough and independent needs assessment. The assessment may offer advice on treatment, access to treatments and therapies not always available on the NHS and co-ordination with rehabilitation providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc
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.
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. manual handling 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.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
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 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.
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.
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.