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.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered hand arm vibration syndrome 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 hand-arm vibration syndrome compensation:

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 a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim?

A hand-arm vibration syndrome injury claim should be possible if your injury occurred:

  • in the last three 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 a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim on their own behalf.

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

What if the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your hand-arm vibration syndrome. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

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.

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 hand-arm vibration syndrome?

The amount of money you could claim for your hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 hand-arm vibration syndrome 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

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 a hand-arm vibration syndrome? (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, Fourteenth 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 a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a hand-arm vibration syndrome will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your hand-arm vibration syndrome compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Will I have to pay tax on my hand-arm vibration syndrome compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a hand-arm vibration syndrome injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Hand-arm vibration syndrome compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 hand-arm vibration syndrome claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

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, however, 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?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your hand-arm vibration syndrome 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.

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 a hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 a hand-arm vibration syndrome injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 hand-arm vibration syndrome claim?

If your hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 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.

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. hand-arm vibration syndrome 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.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the hand-arm vibration syndrome to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your hand-arm vibration syndrome claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a hand-arm vibration syndrome 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim hand-arm vibration syndrome compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

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

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert