A Guide to Claiming Spillage Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a spillage accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a spillage accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips and trips are the most common causes of accidents at work.

Members of the public visiting shops, cafes or other commercial premises can also be injured because of slipping on a spillage.

Oil spills are also a cause of road traffic accident claims, particularly motorcycle accident claims. Department of Transport figures suggest that motorcyclists are twice as likely to be seriously hurt by diesel spillages on the road than other road users.

Identifying who is responsible for a spillage

At work

The party responsible for a spillage accident is dependent on the location and circumstances of what has happened. If you have been injured as the result of a spill at work, your employer may be responsible.

This is particularly relevant if the employer has failed to follow health and safety procedures, such as responding promptly to reports of a hazard.

In public

If your injury occurred while you were visiting commercial premises, the organisation responsible for those premises may be to blame for what has happened.

For example, if you slipped in a supermarket, the owner of the shop could be at fault. This is more likely to be the case if the people in charge have failed to erect warning signs around an area that is being cleaned, or to promptly eradicate spillages caused by other factors.

On the road

If you have been in a road accident as the result of an oil spill, another road user could be responsible. If you are not able to identify the road user, compensation can be claimed through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

It is also possible that local authorities can be held responsible for injuries caused by diesel spills, if it can be shown that they failed to clean the area to make it safe for road users.

Do I have a spillage injury claim?

It should be possible to make a spillage injury claim if:

  • you were diagnosed in the last three years and;
  • someone else, such as your employer, was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to injury claims expert on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

Improving your chances of a successful claim

Whether the spill occurred on the road, in a shop or in the workplace, you can improve the likelihood of winning your claim by gathering as much evidence as possible.

  • If you are able, you should take a photograph of the spill at the scene of the accident, noting the time.
  • If you have been hurt because of an oil or diesel spill on the road, you should also report the details to the police.
  • If the incident occurred in a shop, you should ask for a written record to be noted in the accident book. This evidence could support an allegation that either the premises owner or occupier knew of the spill but failed to take prompt action to clean it up, or failed to carry out reasonably regular inspections.

How much compensation can I claim for a spillage injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your spillage injury 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 spillage injury 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 spillage 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

What is the average injury compensation for a spillage 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 a spillage injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your spillage injury 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.

Should I set up a personal injury trust?

If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a spillage injury injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?

Spillage injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a spillage 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 spillage injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a spillage injury claim take?

How long it can take to process a personal injury claim can vary considerably.

For instance, if your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim might be concluded in a matter of weeks. However, if liability is denied a claim can take longer. On average a hazardous substance injury claim takes 6 to 9 months. Read more:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a spillage injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your spillage injury 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee, no risk

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 spillage 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

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a spillage injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my spillage 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 spillage injury claim?

If your spillage injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all.

Read more about No win, no fee

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. spillage injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. In some cases our solicitors can work on a reduced success fee. 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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Spillage 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 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 spillage injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the spillage injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your spillage injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a spillage 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim spillage injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a spillage injury 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