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Manual Handling Injury Claims – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

There is a considerable risk of injury when carrying out manual handling operations in the workplace. As such, your employer has a legal duty to take practical steps to avoid them. Failure to do so could be classed as negligence which, in turn, could allow you to claim compensation for any subsequent injuries. Therefore, in this guide, we answer a range of frequently asked questions on manual handling injury claims to help you understand your options.

To help you further, our specially trained advisors offer a no-obligation consultation to discuss manual handling compensation claims and provide free legal advice. Should you have a strong enough case, your advisor could also connect you with one of our accident-at-work solicitors who’ll provide a No Win, No Fee service if your claim proceeds.

To discuss a manual handling accident with us, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 to speak with an advisor.
  • Use our 24/7 live chat service.

Getting legal advice as soon as possible after suffering manual handling injuries in the workplace can significantly enhance the chances of receiving compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you have incurred due to the injury.

Can I Make a Manual Handling Injury Claim?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 places a legal obligation on employers to take reasonable steps to try and keep staff as safe as possible. With regards to manual handling operations, this means that they should:

  • Try to avoid manual handling tasks where possible i.e. look for other methods of achieving the same outcome.
  • Assess and redesign how unavoidable manual handling tasks are conducted.
  • Reduce the risk of staff injuries.
  • Train staff on how to carry out manual handling safely.

The above could involve reducing the size of loads that need to be moved, using machinery to help make loads easier to move or making changes to the working environment to provide more space.

If your employer has been negligent and failed to meet their safety obligations, it may be possible for you to claim for any resulting manual handling injuries. The general criteria that must be met if you’re to make a successful manual handling claim are:

  1. At the time you were injured, were you owed a duty of care by your employer?
  2. Did negligence by your employer cause an accident?
  3. Have you been injured as a direct consequence of that accident?

If you believe that you have suffered a manual handling injury as a result of your employer’s negligence, call our team for free legal advice about your options.

Types Of Manual Handling Injuries in the Workplace We Can Help With

A variety of different injuries linked to manual handling operations in the workplace we can potentially help claim compensation for include:

  • Muscle sprains and strains.
  • Back injuries.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (muscle, tendon, ligament and joint injuries).
  • Hernias.
  • Neck injuries.

Additionally, the following could all occur following a manual handling accident i.e. if you fall or drop something:

Whatever type of manual handling injury at work you’ve sustained, our team can check if you’ve got a valid claim for free.

What Should I Do if I Suffer an Injury from Manual Handling at Work?

The following are all important steps you should take following a manual handling injury at work:

  • Report the incident. Tell your employer what happened and make sure the incident is recorded in the company accident report book.
  • Seek medical treatment. Visit your GP (or a hospital for more serious injuries) to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Ask for changes to be made. If you believe there’s a risk of further injuries, raise your concerns with your employer. This should be by email and could involve an assessment by an occupational health specialist.

You could be compensated if your employer’s negligence was to blame for your injuries. As such, taking the steps above could provide important evidence to support any manual handling injury claim you decide to take on.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Manual Handling Injury Claims?

If you decide to claim manual handling injury compensation, you should have the evidence to substantiate your allegations. Some examples of the types of evidence that could strengthen your case include:

  • Photographs to prove the cause of your injuries.
  • Medical records to confirm your diagnosis.
  • Copies of any correspondence with your employer about your injuries.
  • Witness statements to confirm your working conditions and how your injuries were sustained.
  • CCTV footage that shows how you were injured.
  • A copy of the company’s accident report form.

If you’d like us to cast an eye over any evidence you’ve secured so far, we’re happy to do so. There’s no obligation to proceed to a claim and any initial legal advice we provide is free.

What is the Time Limit for Claiming Manual Handling Injury Compensation?

The Limitation Act 1980 states that a personal injury claim in the UK has a 3-year time limit. For manual handling injuries in the workplace, this will typically start from either:

  • The date of the accident in which your injuries were sustained; or
  • The date your condition was diagnosed by a GP. This might be more relevant if your manual handling injury symptoms took a while to develop.

You should try to begin the manual handling claims process at your earliest convenience. That’s because if you leave it too late, the claim might become statute-barred. If that happens, you could miss out on any compensation you’re entitled to.

manual handling accident background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for a manual handling accident at work 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.

Start a Claim

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

How Much Compensation for Manual Handling Injuries in the Workplace?

Any compensation paid for manual handling injuries sustained in the workplace is designed to cover any pain and suffering you’ve endured (general damages) plus any negative financial implications (special damages).

To help prove how serious your injuries are, your medical records might be presented. Additionally, you might be asked to visit an independent medical expert for a further assessment.

Together, these forms of medical evidence could be compared to injuries listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help determine a settlement amount. We’ve listed some example brackets in the compensation table below. However, as each manual handling injury claim is unique, the amounts listed cannot be guaranteed.

  • Mild back injuries encompassing conditions like strains, sprains, soft tissue injuries, or a slipped disc, with considerations for recovery duration and treatment, may lead to compensation of up to £12,510.
  • Compensation for mild neck injuries may reach up to £7,890, depending on the injury’s duration, severity of pain, and the long-term prognosis.
  • Moderate to severe foot injuries, leading to restriction, fractures, or disability in one or both feet, may attract compensation between £13,740 and £70,030.
  • Severe hand injuries, potentially involving finger amputations or major loss of function, may lead to compensation amounts ranging from £29,000 to £61,910.
  • Less significant hip or pelvis injuries, requiring surgery or hip replacement and with continuing symptoms deemed more severe than minor, may result in compensation between £12,590 and £26,590.

Special damages that might also form part of any manual handling injury compensation include:

  • Physiotherapy and other medical expenses.
  • Care and support costs.
  • Home adaptations for more serious injuries.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Present and future loss of income.

If you’d like to know how much compensation could be paid for your manual handling claim, please call our specialist team today.

Can I Claim Compensation for Psychological Suffering?

Any general damages awarded as manual handling compensation can cover both physical and mental harm.

As such, conditions like depression or anxiety that can be linked to your injuries could be compensated for. Similarly, if you were involved in a particularly serious manual handling accident, your claim could cover symptoms such as flashbacks, sleep disorders or other similar conditions.

As you’d expect, any compensation for psychological harm you wish to claim must be proven. In most cases, this can usually be achieved by medical records obtained by your solicitor.

What If I’m an Agency Worker or Self-Employed?

At the start of this guide, we explained that employers have a legal duty of care toward the well-being of their staff. Importantly, that extends to all workers whether they’re employed directly or not.

Therefore, manual handling injury claims can be made by contractors, part-time workers and zero-hours workers if they have suffered as a result of their employer’s negligence.

How Is Liability for a Manual Handling Injury at Work Determined?

You will only be compensated for a manual handling injury if your employer is a) proven to be liable for your accident or b) accepts that they were.

During the claims process, your solicitor will write to your employer and their insurer and explain the basis of your claim. If they accept liability right away, the process will move on and the value of your claim can be determined.

However, if liability is denied, your solicitor and your employer’s insurance provider will need to present evidence to support their case. For example, if your employer denies that you were asked to move the load that caused your injuries, witness statements from colleagues could be presented to counter that argument.

This process will continue until both parties can reach agreement over liability for your injuries.

Will I Need a Solicitor for a Manual Handling Claim?

It’s important to note that you are free to start a manual handling claim without taking on legal representation.

However, instructing a specialist solicitor could and should make the process much more straightforward. For example, if you begin a manual handling injury claim with one of our solicitors by your side, their services could include:

  • Reviewing any evidence you’ve provided and securing further information if needed.
  • Dealing with your employer and their insurance company on your behalf.
  • Fighting your corner and using further evidence if your claim is contested.
  • Sending you updates about the progress of your claim.
  • Trying to secure the correct level of compensation rather than accepting the first offer on the table.

Our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for any workplace accident claim they take on. To do this, they work under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that:

  • No upfront payment is needed to cover your solicitor’s work.
  • No legal fees for your solicitor’s services are needed during the manual handling claims process or if it fails.
  • A success fee is only needed if you are compensated. This is a percentage of any settlement paid that, when using a CFA, is capped at 25 per cent of the payout.

To see if you could claim compensation for a manual handling injury on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.

How Long Do Manual Handling Injury Claims Take to Process?

If you’ve made a full recovery from your manual handling injury and your employer accepts that they were responsible for it, you could be compensated within 6 to 9 months of starting your claim.

However, if liability is contested or where your injuries are still persisting, the claims process can take more than a year to be finalised.

In certain circumstances, i.e. where liability has been accepted but you are still suffering, your employer might agree to pay interim compensation payments to cover any medical costs, loss of earnings or other immediate financial implications linked to your injuries.

Do Manual Handling Injury Claims End Up in Court?

It is rare, in our experience, for manual handling claims to be heard in court. Generally, that’s because employers and claimants try to settle out-of-court to avoid the extra costs and time involved.

However, there are times when an amicable agreement can’t be reached and the case will need to be dealt with by a court.

If that happens, and the court finds in your favour, they’ll decide how much compensation you should receive.

If you lose in court, you might be told to pay your employer’s legal costs. For your protection, however, your solicitor is likely to have insisted that you have insurance in place to cover these costs before agreeing to handle your claim.

Contacting Us About a Manual Handling Injury Claim

We hope we’ve answered any questions about manual handling claims you might have had before reading this guide.

If you’ve decided that you’d like to discuss your case with one of our specialists, you can:

We’ll provide no-obligation legal advice in a completely free initial consultation to discuss your options. If your claim appears to be feasible, we could connect you with one of our solicitors who’ll work on a No Win, No Fee basis if your manual handling injury claim is taken on.

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