Nightshift Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a night shift 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
Studies show that some work-related accidents are three times more likely to occur on the night shift.
The number of night workers in the UK has been steadily increasing over the last two decades, with around 14% of the working population (3.6 million people) now working shifts that include night work most of the time.
The shift towards a 24-hour society means that many night workers have jobs that are not traditionally associated with round-the-clock operations, such as supermarket assistants and call centre operators.
Typical causes of night shift accidents
During the night, a person's heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature are decreased significantly as the body slows down in preparation for sleep. These changes are set by the body's internal sleep/wake regulator which is highly resistant to change. Most people will never fully adjust their body clock to the point where they are able to operate to their maximum potential at night.
Workers whose jobs involve night work or irregular shift patterns are known to experience several side effects, including:
- Decreased concentration
- Lack of judgement
- Reduced hand-eye coordination
- Poorer reaction time
- Lower overall cognitive performance.
These factors place them at risk of an accident at work. Night shift accidents are especially common in jobs that require extreme focus, such as driving or working with machinery.
Who is most at risk?
The risk of night shift accidents and injuries has been found to increase:
- Where the shift is over eight hours in length
- When a person works consecutive nights
- When periods between breaks on a night shift grow longer.
In other words, poorly designed work schedules can increase the risk of a night shift accident.
What are my employer's obligations?
Employers must meet certain obligations for health and safety in regard to night working arrangements. The primary legislation is the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR). WTR limits the number of night-time hours that may be worked to 8 hours in each 24-hour period, averaged over 17 weeks.
WTR also gives night workers the same rights as daytime workers with regard to days off, rest periods and breaks.
However, complying with WTR may not in itself be enough to prevent tiredness and error. Employers must also comply with their general duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to:
- Protect the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees
- Assess the risks to employees from work activities and take all reasonable steps to eliminate or control these risks.
This includes the number of hours worked and how these hours are scheduled.
If there is strong evidence to show a link between an employee's work schedule, their fatigue levels and the accident, then a claim for compensation may be brought against the employee.
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.
The appropriate PPE will depend on the job you are doing and should be identified as part of comprehensive and regular risk assessments. It would not be acceptable to rely on a risk assessment carried out for the same role carried out in the day.
If you are injured when working on a night shift 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 the nightshift injury happened abroad?
Making a claim for a nightshift injury abroad can be more complicated. Any number of factors can affect the best way to go about making a claim. These include whether it was a package holiday, which country you were in and your insurance position. Please call us for more information.
What if I can't prove who caused the nightshift injury?
Your solicitor will work on your behalf to assess your nightshift injury claim and gather evidence. They will identify the party responsible for your accident.
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 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
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.
Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?
The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common nightshift injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the nightshift injury injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
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:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does a night shift injury claim take?
The length of time needed to process a night shift accident claim can vary considerably.
For example, if your employer accepts liability, a claim could be settled in several weeks. If liability is denied, a claim can take longer. Typically, a work accident claim takes 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, 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.
Will I get financial advice?
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your nightshift injury claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 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.
How does no win, no fee work?
No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make an injury claim with:
- no upfront legal fees
- no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
- a success fee payable only if your claim is successful
No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.
No win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation 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, once 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 will not have to pay any fees. 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:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.