Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a 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.

We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that nearly 2 million people in the UK are at risk of developing Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome.

The vast majority of industrial disease claims for Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome are caused by the regular use of hand-operated vibrating power tools in the workplace.

Pneumatic drill

Do I have an injury claim?

AN injury claim should be possible if your injury occurred:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Do I need a diagnosis before I can make a hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 hand-arm vibration syndrome claim after an accident, the more likely your claim is to succeed.

Can I make a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim right up to the three-year limit?

Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.

Symptoms of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is the result of damage to the nerves, blood vessels and joints of the hand, wrist and arm.

Compensation is calculated based on the severity of the condition, the likely development of future symptoms. The impact that the symptoms have had (and are likely to have in future) on your life is also taken into account.

Symptoms of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome can include:

  • Intense tingling and numbness in the fingers
  • Loss of feeling sensation in the fingers
  • Loss of strength in the hands
  • Tips of fingers turn white, then red, in cold and wet weather and are painful on recovery (this is also known as Vibration White Finger)

Making a Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome claim

Under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 employers have a responsibility to protect their employees. The Regulations place a duty on employers to minimise the risks associated with hand-operated vibration power tools and machinery.

Under the Regulations, employers should take steps to reduce the risk to employees of developing Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, such as:

  • Giving workers regular breaks from using vibrating tools and machinery
  • Providing protective anti-vibration gloves
  • Maintaining a reasonable workplace temperature
  • Providing the right tools for the task
  • Providing training on the correct use of vibration tools and machinery

HSE figures show that new cases of work-related Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome have fallen since the Regulations came into effect.

If an employer is proven to have breached the Regulations, they may be held liable in a Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome compensation claim.

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

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome compensation amounts

The following Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Example Amount
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
Minor symptoms £2,390 to £6,890
Minor symptoms in cold weather £6,890 to £13,360
Year-round symptoms £13,360 to £25,220
Affecting both sides in a younger person causing a change in job £25,220 to £30,630
Vibration White Finger (VWF)
Minor symptoms £2,390 to £6,890
Minor symptoms in cold weather £6,890 to £13,360
Year-round symptoms £13,360 to £25,220
Affecting both sides in a younger person causing a change in job £25,220 to £30,630

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.

What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?

If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

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:

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How long does a Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome can vary considerably.

A simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 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.

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.

Read more:

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

No win, no fee - the facts

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 promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), 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, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee 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.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

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 injury 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:

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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.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

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