Manual handling injury claims

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Jonathan Speight

Panel Senior Litigator

A guide to making a No Win No Fee manual handling accident claim

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 on a daily basis. 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.

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How Quittance help people injured in lifting accidents

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 a claim be made 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 in the event that 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

How do you know if your employer is liable?

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 were created with the intention of protecting 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 absolutely 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, providing adequate manpower and providing proper training.

How much can you claim for a manual handling accident?

The compensation awarded in a manual handling accident compensation claim is intended to put people back in the situation they would have been in if the injury had not happened. This is known as  'restitution'.

Personal injury compensation may be awarded:

  • for general damages, to cover the pain and suffering the injury has caused
  • to cover present and future loss of earnings 
  • to reimburse travel expenses, for example, to and from the hospital
  • to cover property damage, such as broken jewellery or ripped clothing
  • to cover medical and other expenses, such as the cost of installing a stair lift or otherwise adapting the Claimant's home.

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidance for personal injury awards. Awards reflect the nature and seriousness of the injury and, for any given injury, are set out in the form of minimum and maximum amounts.

Minor back injuries such as soft tissue sprains can be awarded compensation from £1,705 to £6,380 if recovery occurs within two years and without surgery. Severe back injuries such as fractures that compromise the Claimant's agility and ability to work can be awarded compensation between £31,350 and £56,375.  

Higher awards may reach £130,130 for serious, long-term injuries that do not involve paralysis. 

The Judicial College guidelines are not legally binding. However, their use is widely adopted by most solicitors, insurance companies and the Court.

Quittance work hard to obtain the maximum payout within Judicial College guidelines.

No Win, No Fee manual handling injury compensation claims explained

A No Win, No Fee injury claim gets underway once a Claimant signs, with a injury lawyer, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA sets out the service delivered by your solicitor and, most significantly, the success fee. This success fee will be the amount to be taken from your compensation award when your case is won.

You can prioritise your recovery, with the knowledge that that you will never be out of pocket and there will be nothing whatsoever to pay at the outset. You have absolutely no hidden charges when working with a Quittance solicitor.

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