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Vibration White Finger Claims – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

If you work with vibrating equipment at work, there’s a risk that hand-arm vibration (HAV) can lead to vibration white finger (VWF). As employers have a legal duty to try and prevent such conditions, you may be entitled to claim compensation if you’ve sustained vibration white finger at work. Therefore, this guide sets out to answer some of the most common queries about vibration white finger claims.

For further support, you can ask one of our specially trained legal advisors to assess your claim for free. They’ll answer any queries you might have and provide no-obligation legal advice about how you might want to proceed. If it looks like you might be entitled to claim vibration white finger compensation, your case could be taken on by one of our solicitors. If that happens, they’ll represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To find out more about how to claim compensation for vibration white finger, you can:

  • Call our team on 0333 241 2519.
  • Connect to our free online chat service.

You’ll find out more about when vibration white finger claims are possible throughout this guide and you can always give us a call if there’s anything else you’d like to know.

What Is Vibration White Finger?

Vibration white finger is a permanent condition that can be linked to hand-arm vibration in the workplace. It can result from the use of power tools such as sanders, concrete breakers, hammer drills, chainsaws, strimmers, powered mowers and hedge trimmers. Hammer action tools that are operated for more than 15 minutes per data and some rotary tools used for more than an hour can put you at increased risk according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Some of the common symptoms of vibration white finger include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers.
  • Weakened grip or hand strength.
  • Your fingertips going white and then red during wet and cold conditions.
  • Fingertip pain that can cause sleep disturbance.

These early symptoms can become more serious if you continue to use power tools and, eventually, could become permanent. Practically, vibration white finger can prevent you from doing certain types of work in the future or stop you from being able to do up buttons or zips.

If you’ve been diagnosed with vibration white finger and it’s linked to your working conditions, why not speak to our team about your options today?

Can I Make a Vibration White Finger Claim?

While you are at work, your employer has a legal obligation to try and protect your well-being by taking reasonable and practical steps. This ‘duty of care’ is laid out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Other laws such as the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 introduce further obligations on employers. In line with this duty, to try and reduce the risk of vibration white finger, employers should:

  • Consider alternative working methods to reduce the amount of vibration.
  • Think about purchasing reduced-vibration power tools where possible.
  • Make sure all equipment and tools are maintained properly and in a good state of repair.
  • Train staff on how to use all power tools safely.
  • Encourage staff to report hand-arm vibration symptoms at an early stage.

You may be entitled to claim compensation for vibration white finger if:

  • You were owed a duty of care by your employer (almost always the case).
  • Your employer failed to uphold that duty; and
  • As a direct consequence, you’ve received a vibration white finger diagnosis in the last three years.

If you suspect that your claim meets the criteria described above, give us a call to discuss your options.

What Should I Do If I’m Worried About Vibration White Finger at Work?

If you believe your job is putting you at risk of developing vibration white finger or you suspect you’re starting to see early symptoms, you should:

  • Explain your concerns to your employer, in writing, at the earliest opportunity. You could suggest changes to your working practices that you might think would help.
  • Visit your GP for a proper diagnosis for advice on managing symptoms.
  • Tell your employer about any medical advice your GP gives.

By raising your concerns, your employer will have the opportunity to try and rectify the situation before your condition gets any worse. This could involve hiring an occupational health specialist to assess your working conditions and to recommend any changes.

Failure to do anything could mean your employer has been negligent and could allow you to claim for any future suffering.

What Evidence Can Strengthen a Vibration White Finger Claim?

As with any type of workplace injury claim, you will need to present evidence to prove a) that you have vibration white finger, b) your employer caused it and c) the extent of your suffering.

Examples of what evidence you could use include:

  • Copies of any emails or text messages sent to your employer about your suffering.
  • Contact information for colleagues who are able to confirm your working conditions.
  • Copies of your medical records to help prove your diagnosis.
  • A record of any dates your injuries prevented you from working or participating in activities you’d normally have enjoyed.

If you’d like to check if you have enough evidence to begin a vibration white finger claim, please get in touch by calling the number above.

Will I Lose My Job If I Make a Vibration White Finger Claim?

You have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to making a claim against your employer for vibration white finger. So long as your claim is a legitimate reason, your employer cannot take any type of disciplinary action against you for doing so.

In fact, if you have been fired, demoted, picked on or suffered in any way as a result of the claim, you could take legal action for constructive or unfair dismissal.

How Long Do I Have to Start a Vibration White Finger Claim?

All personal injury claims in the UK are subject to a 3-year time limit. For vibration white finger claims, this period will typically commence on the date your GP confirmed your diagnosis (your date of knowledge).

You should aim to begin the claims process as soon as you’re able to because, if you claim too late, you could miss out on any compensation you’re entitled to. That’s section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 states that personal injury claims “shall not be brought after the expiration of the period”.

We are happy to confirm how long you have to begin your claim during your free consultation so please get in touch today.

employee with VWF background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for vibration white finger with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, offering claimants a risk-free path to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist solicitor.

How Is Compensation for Vibration White Finger Calculated?

Usually, successful vibration white finger claims are based on two types of damages:

  • General damages – covering loss of amenity, pain and suffering.
  • Special damages – covering financial losses.

Loss of amenity covers any of your normal hobbies or activities that have been affected by your symptoms i.e. if vibration white finger stops you from playing a musical instrument.

To work out the extent of any pain and suffering you’ve endured, your solicitor will use an independent medical report as well as copies of your GP’s medical records. They may then compare your injuries to those listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help value them.

Our compensation table uses JCG data but please note that because each VWF claim is unique, the amounts displayed are not guaranteed.

  • Severe vibration white finger cases, significantly affecting life with constant symptoms, may receive compensation from £31,640 – £38,430.
  • Serious vibration white finger injuries impacting both home and work life, with year-round episodes, between £16,760 and £31,640 compensation.
  • For moderate cases of VWF, where employment continues but episodes are triggered by cold weather, compensation spans from £8,640 – £16,760.
  • Compensation ranging from £2,990 – £8,640 for minor cases, with sporadic symptoms affecting a few fingers.

Vibration white finger can also lead to financial losses which could result in special damages being added to your settlement. For example, you might be able to claim for:

  • Lost income including future losses if your ability to work is affected in the long term.
  • Medical costs.
  • Care and support costs.
  • The cost of special devices like kitchen aids if your ability to grip has been reduced.

Any such costs must be proven by financial documents including receipts and bank statements. If you’d like us to provide a potential compensation figure for vibration white finger, please speak to one of our specialists today.

Can I Claim Compensation if I’ve Got VWF Because of Faulty Equipment?

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) mean that employer means that, amongst other things, employers must ensure that all workplace equipment is safe, maintained properly, used for its intended purpose and correctly installed.

As such, vibration white finger claims may be possible if your suffering has been caused by faulty workplace equipment. To find out what options are available to you, please contact our team today.

Can Contractors Claim VWF Compensation?

Even if you’re not directly employed by a company, while you’re carrying out work for them, they will have the same obligations towards your safety as they do for their own staff.

As such, vibration white finger claims can be made by subcontractors, consultants, zero-hours workers and the self-employed if their suffering was caused by the employer’s negligence.

Will I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation for VWF?

It is possible for anyone to make an accident at work claim without taking on legal representation. However, the claims process can be quite complex at times, especially if your employer’s insurers decide to contest the claim.

Instructing one of our specialist solicitors is easy and their experience and legal training could improve your chances of receiving a fair compensation payout. If your claim is accepted, some of the services offered by your solicitor could include:

  • Collecting evidence and arranging an independent medical assessment of your injuries.
  • Filing your claim in the correct format and on time.
  • Leading on all communication with your employer’s insurance provider.
  • Fighting your case if it is contested in any way or if a settlement offer is too low.
  • Making sure you’re kept up to date throughout the claim process.

Importantly, our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service by working under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you fund a vibration white finger claim with a CFA, you:

  • Won’t pay your solicitor for their work in advance.
  • Won’t pay your solicitor for their work should they lose the claim.
  • Will pay a success fee if your VWF claim is won.

The success fee is taken as a fixed percentage of any compensation you’re paid. This is agreed in advance but, legally, is capped so that you keep the majority of any settlement awarded.

To see if you could make a No Win, No Fee vibration white finger claim, please use the number above to get in touch today.

How Long Do Vibration White Finger Compensation Claims Take?

The time taken to process vibration white finger claims varies from case to case. For example, if your employer admits that they were to blame for your suffering and agrees with the level of compensation you’re claiming, you could receive a payout in around 6 months or so.

If any aspect of your claim is contested or your medical prognosis is still to be confirmed, the claims process can take more than a year in some cases.

Contacting Us About a Vibration White Finger Claim

We’re ready to help if you’ve decided that you’d like to take action against your employer following a vibration white finger diagnosis.

To learn more about your options, you can:

  • Give us a call on 0333 241 2519 to discuss your case.
  • Ask questions in our live chat service (available 24 hours a day).

There’s absolutely no pressure on you to proceed with a claim and we’ll offer completely free legal advice during your call. Also, please remember that all vibration white finger claims are handled by our solicitors on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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