Tiredness Injury Compensation Claims

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.

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

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.

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 body in a number of ways. This includes inducing:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Reduced ability to process information
  • Memory lapses
  • Absent-mindedness
  • 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).

On what grounds can a claim for tiredness-related injuries be made?

An individual may have grounds to claim for tiredness-related injury if they believe an employer has failed to adequately manage the risks associated with it, or has breached the legal working hours. In order for an employer to be found liable, negligence must be proven and substantiated with evidence.

Your solicitor can advise on what evidence will be required to give your claim the best chance of success.

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

'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal agreement entered into between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.

No win, no fee - our guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your 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, only after your compensation is awarded. 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 injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your tiredness injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

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. tiredness injury 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 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