Slipped Disc Injury at Work? See If You Can Claim Compensation

35 questions have been answered below, , why not ask your own?

One of the more serious back injuries arising through an injury at work is that of a slipped disc. Also known as a herniated or prolapsed disc, such injuries can cause immense pain and may require spinal surgery. The most serious of cases result in extremely limited mobility, a requirement for very strong pain relief, and an inability to work.

Table of contents

What is a slipped disc?

A slipped disc typically occurs to the lumbar region of the spine around the spinal vertebrae. The spinal disc has been caused to rupture, placing pressure on the main spinal nerves. The injury can cause pain, loss of sensation and weakness in all areas associated with the spinal nerves. Commonly reported symptoms include intense pain in the lower back, limited mobility and sharp shooting pains running down through the legs (often known as sciatic pain) and is often very debilitating.

Work activities that can cause a slipped disc

Herniated, slipped or prolapsed discs are most commonly caused as a result of a lifting heavy items, or as a result of a serious trauma such as a road traffic accident or a fall from height.

At Direct2Compensation, the vast majority of our clients looking to claim compensation for a slipped disc have suffered their injury at work. Most have not been provided with any relevant training or tools and equipment to lift items safely.

Employers must ensure that all staff are provided with training and guidance in how to lift and carry items of weight safely. Such training is known as manual handling training and by providing such assistance and support to employees, employers can minimise the risks of injury.

Employees who have not been given manual handling training are likely to use poor lifting techniques, be unable to identify items that require more than one person to lift, or have access to the necessary equipment. Therefore they are exposed to the risk of suffering a slipped disc or other back injury.

What should I do if I have suffered a slipped disc at work?

As with any injury in the workplace, it is important that the incident is properly reported and recorded in the employer’s accident book. Any such report should include details of the work that was being undertaken at the time and how the injury was sustained. If the employer has not provided the injured worker with any manual handling training this should also be stated.

It is most likely that anyone who suffers a slipped disc injury at work will be in extreme pain and unable to move freely. As such it is likely that immediate medical treatment will be required, and an ambulance may be needed to transfer the injured worker to hospital.

Seeking medical treatment for a slipped disc is important on two counts. It will enable the injured worker to seek strong pain relief to ease their immediate symptoms, alongside providing a full diagnosis and treatment plan to aid recovery. This in turn will provide important medical evidence that can be used to support any future claim for compensation.

As soon as medical treatment has been provided, you should contact us for immediate assistance with a claim for compensation. At Direct2Compensation, we can help you to understand your rights after a work accident and can make sure that you are offered the advice, support and assistance needed.

Who can claim compensation?

Any person who is injured in an accident at work has the right to seek compensation from their employer’s insurance. In order to succeed with any claim after an injury at work, it is necessary to be able to identify areas of employer negligence.

Any employee who has sustained an injury as a result of lifting items and has not been given manual handling training, provided with assistance to lift items of weight, or tools/equipment to minimise the risk of injury, is likely to be able to demonstrate employer negligence and therefore succeed with a claim for compensation.

Also, any person who is injured in a non-fault accident that results in extreme trauma to the lumbar area of the spine – such as in a serious road traffic accident or a fall from height can seek to pursue a claim for compensation.

How much compensation could I receive for a slipped disc?

It is impossible to give a truly accurate prediction of the value of a compensation settlement at the outset of any claim. Each claim settlement value will be decided on the basis of medical evidence, the severity of injury sustained and how the injury has affected the claimants day-to-day life and physical ability. However, we can give some basic guidelines on this issue as stated below:

  • In cases where there is a prolapsed intervertebral disc and a requirement for surgery or nerve irritation causing restricted mobility and loss of independence, the approximate settlements for slipped or herniated disc compensation can range from £19,000 to around £28,000.
  • When a slipped or herniated disc injury has needed a laminectomy or develops into an ongoing condition a claimant should expect a settlement value of around £8,000 -£20,000.
  • In the more serious cases of slipped and herniated disc injury compensation claims where the injury to the spinal discs includes lesions or fractures, claim settlement values will understandably be higher. In such cases, we have seen successful claimants receive slipped or herniated disc injury settlements of up to almost £50,000. To obtain slipped or herniated disc injury compensation settlements values in this range, the claimant will have suffered from severe and extreme pain with limited mobility, sexual function and have had their independence greatly impaired.

Alongside obtaining a compensation settlement value for the injuries and physical trauma sustained as a result of a slipped disc, our specialist solicitors will also ensure that you recover any relevant special damages too. This would include all lost income and costs incurred as a result of the injuries sustained.

How Direct2Compensation can help you maximise your claim

At Direct2Compensation we know your rights after an injury at work and have genuine expertise in managing claims for compensation arising from slipped discs and other back injuries.

We offer a simple and easy to understand No Win No Fee personal injury claims process and have taken the hassle out of claiming compensation. You can be certain we will ensure that your claim for compensation is managed efficiently, helpfully and that any settlement value is maximised in your favour. We will ensure that you know how to recover any lost income and costs incurred in your special damages claim.

Our specialist solicitors will ensure that the appropriate medical experts are instructed to conduct any medical assessment that is needed during the claims process in order that a full and fair compensation settlement value is agreed upon. Where relevant, they may also be able to access specialist rehabilitation therapies and treatments at the cost of the defendant to aid and speed up your recovery.

How do I start my claim?

To find out more about your compensation rights or to start your slipped disc injury claim today, call us on 01225 430285 or if you prefer, we can call you back.

One of our team will take some basic details ahead of making sure that your claim enquiry is passed to the right specialist solicitor. The solicitor will then contact you to take more detailed instructions and commence the No Win No Fee claims process.

35 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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Questions & Answers

  1. Joe

    I started work with a company around February / March time. The line of work is a delivery driver for a cash and carry firm, so we deliver heavy goods to the restaurant/ bar/ shops hospitality industry etc. When i started the job there was a manger that employed me who has been with the company for many years. Something like over 10 years. Everything was fine at the beginning.

    At the beginning he kept on advising that myself and a colleague that started the job with me that we would receive training, this was never done due to the busy work load. Although we did have some fire safety training, we never received any manual handling training. There was one day when he gathered a few drivers together because head office had shown up and said that we need to talk about manual handling. It lasted less than 5 minutes, and asked us to sign a sheet, i cannot remember if i had signed the paper but it was not a proper manual handling training.

    Towards the end of July was experiencing slight back pain problems and muscle cramps, they were putting the manager that employed me under investigation and i was now dealing with new managers, i told them i had back pain and that the work load was too much, they said i would need to carry on.
    We had a procedure that we do not deliver to companies up any flights of stairs / go in any lifts etc. One day a company instructed i do so, i refused, when i went back to tell management they insisted it has to be done. I done it. I felt my back playing up from here as i had to push cages onto a carpet through the office floor loaded up with kilos of coco cola etc. When i told managers this shouldn’t be allowed and that my back is hurting they sent a supervisor with me to risk asses the building. We got told for this client we should absolutely be delivering to them upstairs.

    I now tell the new managers i have back pain, they push me on with more work as they say it is a busy period. Old manager we would do roughly 9 shops.
    New managers around 15 shops. Big difference. I took a 2 week (10 days) break as a holiday and come back to work for roughly 2/3 days due to the back pain i couldn’t cope. I am now told i have a prolapsed disk L5-S1 with an impinged nerve causing sciatica and it is coming up to 4 months.
    Communication with work has been absolutely terrible and now they now have got rid of the manager that employed me and now they have got rid of the next manager that was pushing more work, the managers that are there now i have never met and communication is unacceptably poor. They now want to do a home visit after i have complained consistently the lack of communication.

    Please can you advise what i do? And most importantly if it is worth making a claim. My current condition has me in and out of A and E on bad days, still taking my medication, limited and pretty much bounded to my home. Sleep deprived, absolutely stressed out, worried for my job security. I feel my independence has been completely taken away and fond chores around the house painful along with as much of a challenge as putting on my socks daily. Feel neglected as a staff member and i can do nothing until the neurology team get back to me. I also feel as though when they got rid of the first manager they should have gone through a proper manual handling instruction as well as listen when i said that the work load was way to much especially when i told them i was experiencing back problems.

    • Ian Morris

      Your employer has a duty of care towards you and every employee within their workplace in terms of protecting their health and safety whilst at work. The duty of car requires the employer to ensure that appropriate training, work equipment and risk assessments are provided for all staff and all areas of work. In your particular role, it is obvious that you will be dealing with a high volume of lifting and moving of items and as such, for the employer to have failed to have provided manual handling training, it would appear to be a clear breach of their obligations and can be seen as employer negligence.

      Our Solicitors can assist you in making a claim for personal injury compensation against the insurance policy that your employers are obliged to have regarding employer liability and we would like to help you proceed in starting your claim. Please call us on 01225430285 for some initial help so that we can answer any questions you may have and explain how our claims process could help you.

  2. Arron

    Coming up to a year ago I got injured at work. As each day passed my colleagues had to help me when usually they didn’t. I worked through the pain but after three days the pain become unbearable. The next day I went to my local GP. I was signed off by the doctor for a potential disc issue. My employer spoke to me about writing something in the accident book. I was in a lot of pain, taking many medications and severely sleep deprived. I could not give an answer as to where I though I had been injured but my manager said we would talk about this again at a later date. This did not happen. I didn’t think too much of it at the time because I thought I would only be off work for a few weeks. Instead it was six months of physio and absolutely agony. In hindsight there are many practices that aren’t correct or safe that I am certain caused my injury. Other colleagues have since been getting similar injuries.

    Since then I have had an MRI and seen a neurologist. I have/had a very large disc herniation. I was advised I may need surgery but for the moment it is being monitored. Today I am still on medication and pain does come and go. I have since returned to work.

    It has been logged on my medical notes that it was done at work and that it was something done over a period of time. Which is why I could not give a definitive answer to my manager as to when I had got injured. Since then I have been asked if a health and safety assessor went out on location with me, they haven’t…. I have had no manual handling training.

    I need to write a letter explaining this to my manager but fear my employers will find a way to dismiss me. My experience with them during my time off and currently has not been so pleasant. Prior to my injury it was the opposite. The thing is I’m not planning on staying with this company. Should I write a letter now or just before I leave? I have financial commitments and I am sort of stuck for six months or so before I can go. Would it make things more difficult for me to make a potential claim the longer I leave it?

    • Ian Morris

      You may find an article I’ve previously published on our website about the importance of avoiding delay in making a claim to be of use to you. In essence, you have 3 years under UK law to make a claim for compensation. However, the reality is that the longer one leaves it and the less of the 3 years that remains open, the harder it is to succeed with a claim for compensation.

      In your case, it would be interesting to know what happened to you and how you were injured? What work do you do and what training had the employer provided etc – these questions and the answers to them will enable us to advise you as to whether or not you can pursue a claim against your employer.

  3. David

    I was involved in a car accident in the Netherlands that was not my fault, I was a passenger in a vehicle travelling to work my driver was at fault, I have been told I have two bulging discs at C4 and C5 caused by the accident, I need an operation to correct this I am 63 years old and do not want an operation, I have been told that I will not work again with this problem I have been taking medication since the accident for the pain (Morphine and Tramadol) and have had numerous physiotherapy sessions, I want to know what sort of compensation I could expect.

    • Ian Morris

      It is very hard to assign a value to your claim as without knowing your medical history and the details of the medical options available to you we would simply be guessing.

      What we can say is that should you succeed with a claim (given that you were a passenger, there is no reason why you should not), you would be able to claim compensation for the injury, with the appropriate value assigned on the basis of detailed medical evidence with an experts report as to the prognosis and long term implications to you and also recover any loss of income caused since the accident and in future.

      Of course, if you are seen to be refusing medical treatment that could increase your recovery, the defendant insurers are likely to have an issue with some elements of the long term implications of the injury and long term loss of income.

  4. Matthew

    I started my job in March 2017 I started not long after that with back pain and went to the doctor several times I have now had an mri scan which shows I have a bulging disc in my lower back which is what is causing my pain but as far as I can rember it was months after I started working for the company that I had a Manual handling course I now do not work for them as my back hurts too much I was working on the highways I finished work 7 weeks ago and have suffered for nearly 2 years solid as I could not afford to have time off work and I also now have suspected carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands is this something I have a case with, thanks.

    • Ian Morris

      Given the apparent failure to provide immediate manual handling training to you, your former employer could be guilty of employer negligence and you could have a valid claim against the employer. Likewise with the carpal tunnel syndrome too.

      Both ‘injuries’ could form valid claims, but we can’t advise specifically until we have spoken with you. Please use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make a detailed enquiry with us so that one of our specialist staff can call you to discuss your situation directly with you.

  5. Craig

    I have a bulging disc, I also have worn discs from l4 to s1. I am a printer, I’ve been required to lift heavy weights from 35kgs to 100 kgs also from awkward positions. I truly can’t remember how many times it’s been documented. I am also off work suffering from depression caused by my company. I am currently under a surgeon at the Nuffield. I’ve received a guiding injection and am now waiting on further appointments to see what the actions are available going forward. If possible, surgery will be required at this stage to reduce leg pain caused by my troublesome spine. I have also been advised maybe I need a career change. At the age of almost 45 this it’s come has a nasty shock having been in the trade since the age of 17.

    • Ian Morris

      There is every chance that your employers have been negligent in this matter by asking you to lift items of such weight without assistance or support. The fact that this issue has been documented many times would add strength to any claim you may make. We are happy to help you further and look forward to hearing what our specialist back injury Solicitors have to say on this.

  6. Toni

    Hi Ian,
    I recently had an accident at work whilst lifting a barrel of beer. I have been asked many times personally to go and collect these barrels from the ground floor with a small trolley to roll it on. You then have to take it off of the wheels and place it on the floor behind the bar. I haven’t had much trouble lifting these before but one day they asked me to do it I felt like a sharp twinge in my back. I felt like I twisted funny and pulled something. I took myself to A&E and they said it was just a muscle strain as there was a lot of inflammation. I could barely sleep, bend, walk, sit back without it hurting at all! I was in agony. I decided to turn to a chiropractor after a while and when some of the swelling had gone down. After an examination she believed that I had slipped my disc in my back. Disc bulges run in my family and found out from a MRI a few years ago that I was in the early stages of this. There was no training on manual lifting, and wasn’t made aware of an accident book to write any form of report. So I’m not too sure if manegment have filed one? My colleague had also informed me that they had done training on lifting and bending a while after my accident. Seems to me that they were trying to cover themselves for any future incidents. I have been in constant pain for over 3/4 months now, stuck on medication and struggle to work. I would want to try and make a claim against my work place as now the rest of my life is affected by this and struggle with everyday tasks.
    Please let me know what you think and advise if there is anything I can do to make my case stronger.

    • Ian Morris

      Did your employer provide you with manual handling training BEFORE you sustained your back injury? If not, then you should pursue a claim for compensation – use the ‘start your clam’ function on our website to get further help with this. Also, if your employer has not provided you with the right equipment to move the barrels safely or given adequate assistance you should make a claim.

  7. David

    Hi I’ve just been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc and awaiting surgery, i work in a manufacturing environment which involves a lot of bending and lifting, I think over time this as contributed to my injury, there is nothing logged but over a long period of time we have asked for a lifting device but told it would cost to much, this as repeatedly been reported to health and safety, would it be worth putting in a valid claim?

    • Ian Morris

      In the work you describe, it is foreseeable that such injuries could occur if staff members are not properly trained, supervised and allowed to work in accordance with safe lifting training. Given that a lifting tool has been requested but not provided, you may well have a valid claim and we would like to pursue this for you.

  8. Richard

    I injured my back at work, on the Wednesday, then on the Thursday back at work I was in pain but it was workable but as the work hours passed I felt the pain getting more intense, I was in agony by the Friday and I had to be taken to hospital and there had various scans of my back and pain relief, it turned out a disc had moved a little and it was causing swelling in my back, pressing on my nerves in the back. Causing extreme pain and lack of mobility.
    I was off work on the sick for almost 2 weeks. it still is not pain free but I am back at work on light duties. My issue is I was not paid my full pay, which I feel I should have been entitled to. as it was an injury at work. My Dr is unsure if my back will ever recover fully. Can I make a claim?.

    • Ian Morris

      You can make a compensation claim for the slipped disc if the injury has been caused by your work, particularly if it can be demonstrated that your employer has been negligent towards your health and safety. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that the risk of injury is minimised and if your employer has failed in their statutory duty to minimise the risk of you sustaining a back injury at work and not provided you with adequate manual handling training, the appropriate equipment to enable you to work safely or a working environment that makes it impossible to work safely, you may succeed with a claim for compensation.

      We would like to speak with you further on this matter in order to find out a little more about your job, how you came to sustain the injury and ascertain whether or not you can pursue a claim for compensation.

  9. Gordon

    Was hurt at work helping a plumber do his job, I ended up putting my back out, herniated disc plus trapped nerves and numbness around groin and hip.

    • Ian Morris

      You could have a claim for compensation, but we need to know more about your workplace and the circumstances of your injury before we can advise further.

  10. Laura

    I have a prolapsed disc and as a result have very limited mobility and I’m on the waiting list for surgery. In my job in an office I have always been expected to lift/carry/bend whilst signing in heavy deliveries. I have never received any manual training from my employer. Would I have a claim?

    • Ian Morris

      Your employer has a responsibility under the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act to take all reasonable steps to minimise the risks to health and injury in the workplace. As such, in a role that requires lifting and moving of items, the employer has a duty to ensure that staff are shown how to lift safely, given the correct equipment to move heavier items without risking health and afforded a working environment that allows them to follow the correct training and guidance.

      In your case, the employer has failed to provide the required manual handling training and it is therefore likely that employer negligence will attach to them on the basis that you have sustained injuries to your back as a result of their negligence. As such, my initial view is that you have a valid claim for compensation.

  11. Kevin Reid

    I have worked for my employer for five and a half years, two and a half of which were via an agency. For over a year now I have had lower back pain so I went to the Doctors and was sent for a scan which showed that I had a slight bulged disc. This injury/damage leaves me in pain and unable to do my job which involves repetitive bending and lifting.

    I have had a lot of time off work and it has cost me a lot of money. I complained to my employer as I had not had any manual handling. The employer ignored this report for a while but as I kept on about it I received a letter from work to attend a meeting. When I went in for the meeting, the employer gave me a manual handling course.

    I was off sick with the pain in my back and was put through lifting exercises and watched a video. That was six months ago but the damage was already done by that time. I am back to work now, but needed the last two weeks off with back pain. The results of my scan says at L4-5 disc dehydration with broad annulardisc bulging is associated with mild degenerate hypertrophy of the posterior elements. This is resulting in mild symmetrical stenosis of the L5 lateral recesses.

    • Ian Morris

      Given your employers failure to provide you with manual handling training when you are employed in a role that requires repetitive bending and lifting, my initial view is that you have a valid claim against your employer on the basis of employer negligence for the back injury you have sustained as a result of your work for them. Employers have an obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act to minimise the risk of injury or damage to health in the workplace. This means that they must provide adequate training and equipment to enable you to work safely. In this case, this has not happened and you have been exposed to a risk of injury that could have been avoided.

      Have you considered making a claim against your employer? We would be very happy to assist you in the process and explain your rights to you.

  12. Jacko

    I have 2 prolapsed discs in my neck. I was doing a hard labor civil construction job not sure exactly when I did the injury though. I started getting pins and needles in my right arm that has slowly increased to being very painful burning sensations down my right arm. I can not work and am on a waiting list to get a discectomy to relieve the pressure on the nerves. At work we were always having to pick up items that were really heavy and were often understaffed for the work we had to do. Do I have a claim?

    • Ian Morris

      The employer you were working for would appear to have been negligent towards your health and safety and as such, you have a right to seek compensation for the injuries caused to you. Do you know when your symptoms started? As long as they did within the past 3 years, you have a reasonable prospect of succeeding with a claim for compensation.

  13. Suzie

    I have a slipped disc in the lumbar spine. I believe this has occurred from repetitively lifting/twisting to reach heavy items on the deli counter at work. I am having a discectomy at the end of this month. Is there any way of proving this and claiming compensation?

    • Ian Morris

      Depending on the nature of your work, how long you have been doing it for and what level of training, support and equipment your employer has provided, there could well be a valid claim for back injury compensation here. In such cases as the one you describe, we’d need to know more about the working environment, such as the space available for you in your work station and what you had to lift and move before our specialist Solicitors would be able to advise you properly on the prospects of any claim you wished to pursue.

      Clearly, you have suffered a very serious injury to your back and as such, if you were to succeed with a claim the level of damages could be quite high.

  14. Claire Swindells

    Hello, I work in a funeral home and was bringing a deceased from their home into our care. Myself and my work partner had the deceased on a stretcher and was carrying him down the stairs when my partner dropped the foot end of the stretcher and I still had hold of the head end. I hurt my shoulders and back wrote it in the accident book and saw a dr. I was put on light duties and given painkillers. I lived on painkillers for months and went back to the doctors in May and told them it’s still really bad I can’t cope going to work and after the light duties I did change to office based job still for the same company. They sent me for an mri which has shown I have a slipped disc. Could I claim for this??

    • Ian Morris

      Has your employer provided relevant training to you and colleagues with safe lifting? Is the stretcher used for the work the correct one? These are an example of the questions we need to ask to be able to offer more specific advise regarding any claim against your employer. On face value and at first glance, our view is that there is a claim to pursue.

  15. James

    I slipped a disk in my back in 2011 after I was told by a manager to do the wrong thing. Would I be able to make a claim and receive compensation as I cannot do certain activities and still have pain to this day?

    • Ian Morris

      As we are now in 2018 and your injury was sustained in 2011, there is a 7 year period between your injury. Unless you are no older than 21 years, you would now be outside of the statute of limitation.

      Claimants often want to know how long they have got to make a claim for compensation and the law is very clear on this issue. Any person over the age of 18 years is allowed a period of up to 3-years after their accident in which they can seek to make a claim. Any child under the age of 18 is allowed up and until their 21st birthday in which they can make a claim after an accident. Any claim brought after this will be statute barred and cannot be pursued.

  16. Marie Parkinson

    My manager told me to enter a client’s home without my work colleague present she told me that I could make a start with the client i.e assist the client to walk to the commode which was by her bed, as we approached the client started to fall forwards it was my natural instinct to stop this elderly lady from falling to the floor in managing to do this I sustained a slipped disc is my boss liable?

    • Ian Morris

      Hi, thank you for sharing your workplace injury story with us. It won’t surprise you to hear that we receive a large number of enquiries from people who suffer injuries at work from the care industry sector.

      Your employer may well be liable in this matter, but it will depend on what ‘care plan’ or risk assessment is in place for the particular lady that you were providing care for. If it is a two person job and the employer has assessed this as the requirement for this client, then you could well succeed with a claim if they have then told you to ‘crack on’ without waiting for the 2nd carer to arrive on site.

      Your claim enquiry is something we would very much like to investigate further and get to one of our specialist Solicitors for you.

      • Marie Parkinson

        Thank you for your reply and I would certainly be interested in speaking to a specialist solicitor regarding this matter, as originally I did not want to pursue this down to loyalty for my employer, but as I am no longer an employee of this company and am still suffering with excruciating pain in my lower back and down my left leg, even after having physio. I don’t really know what to do next as there isn’t really much in regards to treatment for a slipped disc apart from an operation which I don’t really want to have, I somehow feel like my ex employer is at fault due to negligence on their part, please could you get someone to contact me via email to arrange a chat thanks.

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