Dermatitis Compensation Claims

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

If your illness were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a work illness compensation claim with the help and support of a work injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your ill health. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your illness, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of illness claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.

We can help you make a work illness claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition characterised by redness, itching, blisters and cracking. The condition commonly occurs among hairdressers, cleaners and chemical workers, whose arms and hands are regularly exposed to dyes, bleaches and other irritant and allergenic chemicals.

If dermatitis is caused or brought on by work or a work-related activity, a work-related illness claim for compensation can usually be made.

Hairdresser applying chemicals

Do I have an injury claim?

It should be possible to make an injury claim if:

  • you were diagnosed in the last 3 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 376 1001.

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

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 dermatitis. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

Understanding dermatitis claims in the UK

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2013 there were 1297 new diagnoses of occupational skin diseases. 907 of those (75%) were contact dermatitis (EPIDERM).

Working with wet hands, and contact with soap and other cleaning materials, are the most common causes. Others include latex, rubber, petroleum, cements, flour and nickel. Dermatitis can also be biological (plant or bacteria), physical (vibration or radiation) or mechanical (abrasion).

It can be caused by prolonged exposure, excessive exposure, splashes, touches or contaminated surfaces. Alternatively, airborne substances can deposit on the skin.

Occupations with the highest rates are florists, hairdressers, cooks, beauticians, and certain manufacturing and health care related occupations (THOR-EPIDERM).

Hands are most at risk, but dermatitis can affect the face and other parts of the body. A difficult condition to live with, it can cause significant pain and discomfort. Some people become permanently sensitised to certain substances. Some have to give up work because of it.

The Quittance panel of solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with work-related skin diseases, such as dermatitis.

When is dermatitis cause for a claim?

If dermatitis is brought on by non-fault exposure to an irritant or allergen, then a claim can be made for compensation. For occupational related dermatitis cases, responsibility would lie with the employer.

All employers have a legal ?duty of care' to ensure employees are kept safe from harm. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers are required to carry out risk assessments of the work environment to identify possible hazards. Once identified, they must remove them or adopt adequate health and safety measures to protect workers.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) more specifically requires employers to identify hazards associated with substances in the workplace, such as chemical agents, assess the extent of exposure and minimise the risks. Whilst The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 describes what they must do to manage the health and safety issues.

This set of regulations is particularly relevant as the substances that cause dermatitis are essential in many industries. For example, health workers are required to frequently wash their hands with soap and wear gloves. Likewise, hairdressers are frequently in contact with soaps and other chemicals and construction workers will need to use cements, plaster and other masonry.

In these instances, the employer must ensure that employees are given training on the risks and offered suitable personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gloves and clothing specifically matched to the substance. In addition skin creams and adequate washing facilities should be provided.

If a person's dermatitis is the result of an employer failing to carry out these legal duties, this would constitute employer negligence, making them liable.

How do I prove my dermatitis is work-related?

The first obstacle in a dermatitis compensation claim is demonstrating that the condition is work related. Even where a dermatologist confirms dermatitis in the claimant, establishing the cause can be difficult. For example, it could be argued that it was triggered by a substance outside of the work environment, or that the claimant already had the condition.

Demonstrating when symptoms occurred and if they correlated with a new job or a change in work conditions, such as the introduction of a new chemical or substance, can be vital.

Any evidence that can be gathered will be important. This includes:

  • Medical diagnosis and prognosis on the condition
  • Company accident records if it was caused by a single incident
  • Physical proof of the suspected causal agent, including insufficient PPE
  • Documented evidence of the companies health and safety procedures
  • Witness accounts from fellow colleagues

An employer could argue in their defence that adequate safety measures were in place, and that the employee caused the condition by not following the correct practices or wearing the specified safety gear. In this case, ?contributory negligence' might be sought which would reduce the sum received.

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

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.

Will I have to pay tax on my dermatitis compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a dermatitis 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.

Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?

The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common dermatitis claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.

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:

How much can I claim?

How long does a dermatitis claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for dermatitis can vary significantly.

A simple liability accepted personal injury claim could be settled in a few weeks. If liability is denied, a compensation claim can take substantially longer. Normally a work-related illness claim will take 6 to 9 months. See more: 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?

How does no win, no fee work?

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if you do not winn your claim .

Our no win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is 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, after your compensation is awarded. 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 . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

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

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

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 workplace illness 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:

Call me back
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

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.

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