If a tiredness injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a tiredness injury, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Tiredness, or fatigue, is estimated to cost the UK £115-£240 million per year for work accidents alone.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data suggests tiredness is a factor in 20% of accidents on major roads, with many such accidents involving work-related travel.
If you decide to make a tiredness injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Tiredness at work
Some industries are more susceptible to tiredness and fatigue. These include the emergency services, healthcare, transport, manufacturing (including oil, gas and chemical industries), the utilities, entertainment and retail.
Often work-related tiredness is related to poorly designed shift-working arrangements and long working hours, with a significant lack of breaks. Individuals whose jobs are machine-paced, complex or monotonous, and/or involve a heavy work load, are notably affected.
Night shift-related tiredness
According to the HSE, 3.5 million people are employed as shift workers in the UK. Amongst these, incidents of accident and injury related to tiredness are higher on night shifts and after a succession of shifts.
ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) also identify shift workers, as well as truck drivers and company drivers, as most likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. Most accidents occur on motorways, at night and on journeys home after long shifts.
What are the dangers of fatigue at work?
Tiredness can not only lead to reduced productivity, but also to errors, accidents, injury and ill-health. Physically and mentally, tiredness and fatigue affects the in a number of ways. This includes inducing:
- Slower reaction times
- Reduced ability to process information
- Memory lapses
- Lack of attention
- Decreased awareness
- Underestimation of risk
- Reduced co-ordination
In the workplace, the consequences of this can be extremely dangerous, particularly in certain environments, such as factories with hazardous machinery, hospitals and offshore chemical plants. The HSE has reported tiredness as a root cause of major accidents, including the Chernobyl disaster, the Clapham Junction train crash and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Injuries arising from tiredness
For the individuals involved in accidents induced by tiredness, the injuries can be significant. These can include anything from cuts and lacerations and burns and scalds, to serious head and back injuries. In addition, fatigue can lead to depression and long term sleep problems.
Seeking compensation can be an important step in recovery, and the financial assistance can help with a range of medical, social, psychological and financial losses.
What are the responsibilities of an employer?
Tiredness, like any other hazard, needs to be managed. It must be identified as a potential risk by an employer and controls implemented to ensure it does not become a danger. This legal responsibility falls under a range for UK legislation but primarily The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
All employers, but especially those involved in high-risk industries, should continually consider the implications of existing working practices on tiredness. For example, they should look at working hours, work load and the nature of the work.
If shift work is involved, they should consider all aspects which contribute to the risks, including the shift timing, breaks and the duration of each shift. If there are problems with overtime and shift-swapping they should look to improve allocation and staffing levels.
Employees must also ensure throughout their planning that they adhere to the provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 - irrespective of an employee's desire to work long hours. These stipulate that:
- Employees should not work more than 48 hours a week (with opt out)
- Employees cannot work for more than 6 hours without a break (of 15, 30 or 45 minutes depending on hours)
- An adult employee is entitled to 11 hours rest between working periods
- An adult worker is entitled to no less 1 day off in 7
- Night workers should not work for more than 8 hours in 24
The rules are slightly different for drivers. They have a 9 hour daily driving limit and can work a maximum of 56 hours a week. They require a 45 minute break after 4.5 hours driving (which can be split into two periods).
Do I have a tiredness injury claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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.
How much compensation can I claim for a tiredness injury?
Your potential compensation relies on two key factors:
- The extent of your injury or illness.
- Any financial losses or expenses you've encountered as a result.
As your claim begins, your solicitor will evaluate the various ways your injuries have influenced your life. These considerations will be factored in when determining the appropriate compensation.
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
In personal injury cases, general damages refer to compensation provided for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA). These compensation figures are determined and made public by the Judicial College through their guidelines for personal injury award amounts.
Special damages is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your injury or illness. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your tiredness-related injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover some expenses associated with your medical treatment.
Can I claim for PTS or other psychological trauma?
If you have experienced psychological issues in addition to physical symptoms, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey found that 29.03% of claimants reported a psychological injury, with 70.97% of these relating to a physical injury.
A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
The claims process for a tiredness injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:
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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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.