If a cold injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Cold injuries that occur due to inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or exposure to extreme conditions may be compensable.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a cold injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation for medical expenses, loss of function, and other damages resulting from the exposure.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
In an average year, there are around up to 60 cases of frostbite admitted to hospital every winter (nhs.uk).
Certain working environments require employees to work in cold conditions. This could involve working in large refrigerated warehouses, or serving in the armed forces.
All employers, including the Ministry of Defence, have a duty of care to protect employees from injuries or illness at work. This includes protecting them from cold injuries.
If you have suffered a cold injury at work, you may be able to claim compensation for work-related illness. Quittance's panel of lawyers have assisted with cold injury claims, and will be able to advise you on your individual circumstances.
If you need information on frostbite symptoms and treatment, see: frostbite (nhs.uk).
Do I qualify for cold injury compensation?
If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for cold injury.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Who can make a cold injury claim?
If you have a cold injury that happened at work, you may be able to make a claim. Some common areas of work where people sustain cold injuries include:
- The armed forces - Service personnel are often required to operate in freezing and wet conditions for extended periods of time.
- Cold and frozen food packaging - Operatives often work for prolonged periods in cold and even sub-zero temperatures.
- Outdoor workers - People who work outside in cold conditions for long hours such as ski instructors, mountain rescue teams and rangers.
Your employer is required to assess weather conditions and working conditions, and provide employers with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE to prevent cold injury might include boots, socks, gloves and jackets. If you have been provided with inadequate PPE to protect you against a cold injury, you may be able to make a negligence claim against your employer.
Types of cold injury
There are different cold injuries that you may have sustained at work.
- Non Freezing Cold Injury (previously known as trench foot)
- Freezing Cold Injury (Frost Nip and Frost Bite)
How much compensation can I claim for a cold 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.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
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 is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your cold injury or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include rewarming, pain medication, antibiotics and dressing the wound.
Cold injury claim case study
Compensation of £200,000 was awarded to a 27 year-old man for cold injuries to his hands and feet. The injuries were sustained while on active military service five years earlier.
The claimant was a member of the Royal Engineers. While on active service in Bosnia he was stranded in the mountains. There was heavy snow. He did not have any heavy-weather equipment.
The man suffered a non-freezing cold injury to his hands and feet. The nerves in his hands and feet were affected. Blood circulation was restricted by the nerve damage.
The injuries left the claimant with ongoing problems. Small variations in temperature made his symptoms worse. His hands and feet suffered recurring blistering. His condition was diagnosed as pompholyx, a type of eczema.
His hands and feet suffered bouts of pain and parasthesiae. He was unable to use his hands and feet frequently. In warm weather the claimant's feet and hands sweated profusely.
His condition was permanent but would not worsen. The injuries led to the man being discharged from the army. His civilian career was to be a carpenter. He was unable to pursue this to full capacity. The injuries prevented him from working outside or in cold conditions.
The claimant suffered substantial loss of earnings as a result of his condition.
It was alleged the defendant was negligent insofar as the claimant was stranded without sufficient protective equipment. The lack of equipment led to an unsafe working environment.
Liability was admitted and the matter did not progress to a court hearing. Compensation for the cold injury was accepted of £200,000 by way of an out-of-court settlement. £25,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity." Past and future loss of earnings was awarded in the sum of £175,000.
The claims process will vary depending on how your cold injury happened. Click the icons below to learn more:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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 injury claims.
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Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.