The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 sets the guidelines for health and safety in the workplace across the UK. According to this Act, all employers have a duty of care towards their employees. As part of this ‘duty of care’ clause, employers are required to put reasonable measures in place to minimise the risks inherent in their specific workplace and ensure the health and safety of their workers. This Act applies to all workplaces, including the NHS.
If you work in the NHS and suffer an injury at work because of a breach in this legal duty of care, you may have a case to file an NHS staff injury claim for compensation. This applies to employees of all departments within the NHS, and regardless of whether the employee is working with the NHS full-time, as temporary staff, or through an agency.
Common NHS Staff Injury Claims
NHS staff are exposed to a unique set of risks because of the environment they work in. The management of each facility within the NHS is responsible for conducting a thorough risk assessment of their facility and putting appropriate safety measures in place to minimise these risks. Despite the law being clear in this regard, NHS staff may still be prone to injury because of mistakes and acts of negligence that are no fault of theirs and therefore might have a case to claim compensation.
These are some of the more common no-fault injuries that NHS staff can experience:
- Needlestick injuries – These are injuries caused by syringes and other sharps.
- Injuries due to slip, trip and fall accidents – Wet flooring, ripped or loose carpeting, loose wires, spilled liquids, and obstacles lying around carelessly are the most common causes of slip, trip and fall accidents.
- Muscular injuries – These may result from manually handling and moving patients without proper training in correct lifting techniques. Back pain is the most common type of muscular injury among NHS staff.
- Injuries caused by faulty equipment – Outdated equipment or equipment that is not maintained regularly can malfunction and injure the person operating it as well as others in the vicinity.
- Injuries caused by inadequate personal protective equipment – Inadequate or faulty personal protective equipment such as gloves and face masks increase the risk of exposure to blood-borne and other communicable diseases.
- Assault in the workplace – Physical assault by a violent patient, a patient’s family member, or even another worker, can leave NHS staff injured. Emotional or verbal assault can leave the staff member feeling traumatised and unable to work.
- Bullying and harassment in the workplace – Like any other workplace, bullying, and harassment occur within the NHS too. When it does, it can cause tremendous mental stress and anxiety.
Regardless of the exact cause, if you were injured due to no fault of yours, you should consult with a personal injury solicitor to determine your right to pursue a NHS staff injury claim for compensation.
No Win No Fee NHS Staff Injury Claims
Filing an NHS staff injury claim can be complicated and time-consuming, more so if you are not familiar with this area of the law. Personal injury solicitors are specialists in this area of the law and can offer free consultations to discuss what has happened and give their professional opinion on whether or not a claim should be pursued. If you have a strong case in your favour, it is likely they will offer you a No Win No Fee agreement to take the claim on for you.
A No Win No Fee agreement is a special type of agreement that allows you to get the benefit of the solicitor’s experience and expertise without having to pay any fees upfront. Knowing that you’ve got a legal expert looking out for your legal rights will give you the peace of mind to focus on your own health and wellbeing. A No Win No Fee agreement is a straightforward contract between you and the solicitor. According to the terms of a typical agreement, the solicitor would cover all expenses related to your NHS staff injury claim until the case is closed. If you win the claim, you pay a percentage of the awarded compensation to the solicitor. Both you and the solicitor would have agreed to this amount at the time of signing the No Win No Fee agreement. If you don’t win the claim, you don’t have to pay anything.
How Much Can You Claim For An NHS Staff Injury?
The exact amount of compensation you will be able to claim for will depend on the extent and severity of your injuries, and your actual expenses and losses associated with the injury. When you use the services of a personal injury solicitor, they will check precedents and may consult with other legal experts to ensure that they claim for the maximum amount due to you.
Compensation is generally calculated from two categories, general damages, and special damages.
General damages refer to the compensation awarded for your general pain and suffering, mental shock and trauma, psychological harm, and extended recovery. The Judicial College publish advised levels of compensation for many different injuries under general damages that solicitors can refer to when calculating compensation. Use our compensation calculator below for an idea of what these are.
Special damages refer to the compensation awarded as reimbursement towards all expenses related to your injuries. This might include expenses such as medical costs, travel expenses related to your treatment, loss of earnings, loss of future prospects, mobility aids, and cost of home care to name a few.
Evidence To Bolster Your NHS Staff Injury Claim
To increase your chances of making a successful NHS staff injury claim, there are certain things you can do immediately after you’ve been injured.
Get photographs or video recordings of your injuries as well as the scene of the accident. These can act as irrefutable proof that can increase your chances of success. File a detailed written report with the HR department and get a signed copy for yourself. This helps to create a written record about the incident. Get the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident so they can testify if need be. All of these will provide your solicitor with crucial evidence to use in supporting your claim.
If you’re NHS staff and have suffered an injury from an accident in the workplace, please contact us if you would like to discuss an NHS staff injury claim with a personal injury solicitor.