Why claim compensation after a back injury at work?
Employees who suffer back injuries at work are often left in a considerable amount of pain, unable to move freely or sleep comfortably, or to work and earn their regular salary. Recovering from a back injury can take many months, and it is often the case that people never feel like they have fully recovered.
Claiming personal injury compensation will help ease some of the problems caused to you by your injuries, and ensure you are in a better position to move on with your life. All employers must have insurance to protect both you and them should you have an accident at work. Therefore, any settlement will be paid by the insurance company, not your employer, and you can make a claim in the knowledge that you are not jeopardising any colleagues’ employment.
As well as a financial settlement if you have injured your back at work, claiming compensation can also help you in other ways.
- Making a claim is your legal right, and fairly compensates you for injuries that were not your fault.
- It can pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
- It can make up for lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again.
Specialist rehabilitation therapies
Once your claim is active and your solicitor has obtained an admission of liability from your employer, your claim will succeed. At this point, your solicitor can look to help you recover quicker by obtaining specialist rehabilitation therapies. In the case of a back injury claim, this would most likely involve osteopathic, chiropractic, physio or massage therapies. Any such treatments will be provided at the expense of the liable third party.
In most cases, back injury compensation claims involve injuries to soft tissue – the muscles and ligaments. However, in more severe cases it can include fractures and spinal cord injuries, paralysis and even psychological trauma. Depending on the specifics of your back injury, your solicitor may be able to look to obtain further treatments – unavailable in usual circumstances – to help you recover more quickly from your injuries. Further information on this will be available from your solicitor once your claim has been started.
How much you can claim
The level of compensation for back injuries varies case by case. It depends on whether the injury affects your ability to earn money, do your job, perform your usual activities outside work and how long you are likely to experience such problems. We’ll be able to give you an idea once your case has been assessed, but the table below provides a guide to average compensation amounts for back injuries suffered at work.
|Severity of back injury||Compensation amount|
|Recovering within a few months||up to £1,860|
|Recovering within a few years||£1,860 – £6,000|
|Recovering within 2-5 years||£6,000 – £9,500|
|Permanent symptoms||£9,500 – £21,100|
|Serious permanent symptoms||£21,100 – £29,475|
|Chronic permanent symptoms||£29,475 – £53,000|
|Significant permanent impact||£53,000 – £67,200|
How do you know if you have a valid claim?
The majority of back injury compensation claims arise as a direct result of employer negligence. Just having an accident at work is not enough to guarantee compensation – the injured employee must be able to demonstrate that the employer was liable and exposed the staff to risk of injury, rather than it being their own fault.
Employers are legally obliged to provide a safe and secure environment for workers (including temporary staff) and visitors. A lack of training, failure to provide the correct equipment or a safe working environment is known as employer negligence, and claims will succeed if it can be shown that the employer has been negligent.
Whilst back injuries caused at work are usually associated with jobs that include repeated lifting, such as in warehouses, factories, construction sites and shops, they can happen in any workplace. Even jobs that most people would see as very safe, like an office job, have their risks.
If you’ve injured your back at work through no fault of your own then you’ll likely be entitled to claim compensation. The most common types of claim we handle involving back injuries in the workplace are as a result of lifting or moving things, slips, trips or falls, and falling objects.
If you are unsure whether or not you have a valid claim, contact us for free advice and usually we can give you a good idea.
Back injuries after lifting
There are strict guidelines regarding safe manual handling and lifting. Employers must ensure that workers are not asked to lift items that are heavier than the maximum allowed, that they know how to lift safely and what equipment they can use to lift heavier items.
Often, employers fail to provide the correct lifting training to staff. Some employers go as far as providing training, but fail to provide lifting equipment or make working conditions such that it is impossible to lift items safely in accordance with any training that has been given.
Your employer’s legal responsibilities
- That staff are adequately trained in how to lift items safely, identify heavy items and be provided with the correct equipment and working environment to follow such training.
- That any equipment provided to staff to enable them to lift heavier items are regularly maintained and repaired, and that any items reported or found to be faulty or dangerous are removed from use and only returned to active service once fully repaired.
In many cases, claims are down to an employer having no – or an inadequate – safe lifting and moving in the workplace policy. It doesn’t matter what weight the items are, employers must ensure that the staff member is correctly trained and provided with the right know how and tools to work safely, whether it is how to use a lifting device, access a trolley, or knowing when to get a second person to help. Further, the employer is responsible for the maintenance and safety of anything used to lift heavy items, for example hoists, platforms, forklifts or any other such equipment.
Common scenarios leading to successful lifting injury claims
- Employers failing to provide manual handling guidance or training
- Not advising staff of the risks of lifting incorrectly
- Forcing people to lift weights heavier than they should
- Refusing or failing to provide lifting equipment
- A working environment that prevents people from working and lifting safely
For more information, read our article on claims related to manual lifting at work.
Back injuries after a slip, trip or fall
As for lifting above, when employers fail to provide a safe working environment there will be an increased risk of hazards that could lead to a slip, trip or fall. Employers must be aware of the risks of injury to their staff. Whether such accidents at work are caused through defective machinery, a lack of the provision of the correct protective equipment or safety guards, insufficient training and guidance of staff, or a failure to identify hazards and erect warning signs, employers will be liable should someone sustain back injuries severe enough to warrant a compensation claim.
Employers, contractors and site management providers must ensure:
- That staff are given a safety induction relating to the workplace. That staff and contractors are made aware of the likely risks of a slipping or tripping accident and know how to minimise those risks through hazard signage etc, and that staff are made aware as to how to deal with accidents and seek first aid.
- That health and safety signage is properly and prominently displayed and that all workers are made aware of their obligations to work safely.
- That all staff are provided with, or obliged to wear the correct personal protective equipment.
- That staff are adequately qualified to use any tools or machinery that they are asked to use.
- That cleaning contractors erect hazard warning signs when making floors wet during and after cleaning.
- That any hazards found that may cause the risk of slipping or tripping accidents are identified and fully repaired.
Employers that fail to ensure full training, guidance and health and safety policies will be liable should any related injuries happen to staff under their leadership. Any person injured in this way at work is entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. For more information, check out our article on claims involving slips and trips at work.
If you believe that the cause of your back injury was because of the negligence of an employer or other organisation, you should contact Direct2Compensation today to see if you can claim.
How Direct2Compensation can help with your claim
Being injured at work presents a difficult situation for both parties, and it’s in everyone’s interest to get the claim resolved quickly. Direct2Compensation are experts in managing compensation claims, we know your rights and can help you to understand whether you are likely to be able to hold your employer liable for your injuries.
As with all accidents, if you have injured your back at work it is important to make sure that the details have been recorded properly within an accident book or elsewhere, and that medical attention is sought for any injuries that you have sustained. If you haven’t recorded the accident, or your employer won’t let you, we can help you to do so.
As all claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, you will never be charged if your claim does not succeed. A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you, with the value of the claim including any lost income and incurred costs as well as a settlement value for the injuries you have suffered and medical treatment that you have required.
Direct2Compensation work with some of the best accident at work solicitors in the UK. With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice when it comes to starting your compensation claim for a back injury.
To start your claim today, or even to find out a little bit more about the claims process and how we can help, fill out our claims form and we’ll call you back, or if you prefer, you can call us on 01225 430285.
Direct2Compensation are regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities. Our authorisation number is: CRM33541.