How To Make A Work Back Injury Compensation Claim

By Christine Anthony. Last Updated 18th February 2021. Welcome to our guide to work and back injury compensation. If you are seeking compensation for a back injury at work, or if you are looking to find out if you could claim compensation for a work back injury, then you have come to the right place. Our panel of solicitors and team of advisors can offer you free No Win, No Fee claims advice about how you could start a claim against your employer for back injury compensation.

How Do I Claim Work Back Injury Compensation?

To help you further, we have put this guide together. It contains everything you need to know about health and safety at work, your employer’s legal duties and how you can claim compensation when these duties have been breached. It also contains useful links and resources as well as the contact details of our team, who you can get in touch with at any time to ask any questions or to begin your claim.

Jump To A Section

  1. A Guide To Work Back Injury Compensation Claims
  2. What Is A Work Back Injury?
  3. Back Injuries Caused By Slips, Trips or Falls
  4. Back Injuries Caused Manual Handling Accidents
  5. Back Injuries Caused Road Traffic Accidents
  6. Back Injuries Caused Repetitive Strain Injuries
  7. What Responsibilities Do Employers Have To Ensure The Safety Of Employees?
  8. Personal Protective Equipment To Prevent Back Injuries
  9. What Special Damages Can You Claim?
  10. Work Back Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
  11. No Win, No Fee Work Back Injury Compensation Claims
  12. How Workplace Back Injury Compensation Claims Work
  13. Why Choose Legal Helpline To Handle Your Claim?
  14. Talk To The Legal Helpline Team
  15. Related Back Injury Information

A Guide To Work Back Injury Compensation Claims

The question “Can I be fired for seeking compensation for back problems?” may have entered your mind. Before we move onto anything else, we wish to make it clear that your employer cannot legally take any disciplinary action against an employee for seeking compensation for a work-related back injury. Seeking compensation for an accident and/or health problem that you can prove was not your fault is your legal right.

work and back injury compensation

Work (back) injury compensation

With that cleared up, this guide will move onto discussing the important things that you need to know about when making a workplace compensation claim for a back injury.

We will first cover some of the different circumstances in which you could make a claim and some of the different legal duties that your employers are legally bound to uphold when it comes to protecting your health and safety. It is important for you to know your rights as an employee, and that is crucial when it comes to the question of making a compensation claim.

We will also cover some things that are useful for you to know about how compensation for work injuries are calculated. Crucially we will also explain the importance of No Win, No Fee claims and how they benefit you. If at any time you wish to get in touch with us, you can call us on 0161 696 9685. You can also find some other contact information and further resources about workplace health and safety and work back injury compensation claims at the end of this guide.

What Is A Work Back Injury?

There are a variety of accidents and occupations which could cause you to suffer back injuries. From severe spinal injuries incurred in road traffic accidents or some other kind of accident in the workplace like a fall from height, to the gradual development of a back problem through repetitive motions and strain over a period of time, back injuries are potentially serious and debilitating for those who suffer from them. 

Any back health problem you suffer from that is related to your job or to something that happened to you at work that wasn’t your fault, could potentially give you cause to claim compensation from your employer. The effects of a back injury can range from short-term pain and stiffness to catastrophic damage to the spine and vertebrae, which can lead to permanent disability or paralysis.

Back Injuries Caused By Slips, Trips or Falls

Slips, trips or falls are one of the most common causes of injuries in the workplace. Slips, trips or falls can be caused by different hazards around the workplace, such as:

  • Wet patches of floor from spillages or leaks, or recently mopped floors that do not have “wet floor” signs to highlight the hazard.
  • Tripping hazards like wires, packaging or rubbish that should have been tidied away and disposed of. There’s also the risk of broken pavements, uneven floors, loose floorboards, loose floor tiles, ragged carpets, or ripped linoleum, for instance.
  • Outdoor slipping hazards, such as ice, which should have been gritted.

Employers are legally obligated to remove any of these issues, if possible. If you have suffered a slip, trip or fall injury while on the property of your employer due to any of these issues, then call our team to see if you could be eligible to make a claim. You could also find out more about work back injury compensation.

Back Injuries Caused Manual Handling Accidents

The back can be vulnerable to injury when lifting and carrying heavy objects. The muscles, soft tissues and bones in your back are placed under a lot of pressure and support a good deal of the weight when you pick something large and heavy up. Lifting and carrying something with the wrong posture, without being able to balance the weight, or without the physical strength to do so safely, or while suffering from a pre-existing back injury or condition, can cause several potential injuries. These can include:

  • A soft tissue injury
  • A disc injury
  • A lumbar spine
  • A hernia
  • A herniated disc

Of course, having staff handle heavy objects when they are not trained or in the correct physical condition to do so increases the danger of heavy objects being dropped. Heavy or sharp objects hitting someone in the back can cause injuries such as cuts and bruises, but also poses the threat of more serious injuries to the spine and the vertebrae.

Back Injuries Caused Road Traffic Accidents

An injury sustained in a road traffic accident while working, or in a work vehicle, could be classed as a work-related accident in certain circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • That the vehicle you were provided with was not well maintained and had mechanical faults you weren’t aware of;
  • That you were given a vehicle to drive that your employer knew you weren’t qualified to operate.

Being in a road traffic accident could cause you to suffer an array of injuries, including those to the back If you were working as a delivery driver, a bus driver, a taxi driver, or any other occupation involving the operation of a vehicle when the accident occurred, why not call us to discuss whether you could be entitled to file for compensation? You may also find it useful to read this guide to road traffic accident claims.

Our advisors are here for you 24/7 and offer free legal advice on work back injury compensation.

Back Injuries Caused Repetitive Strain Injuries

It isn’t just single incidents and injuries that can cause someone to seriously damage their back. Back problems can develop gradually over time if a person has had an occupation that involves the regular lifting and carrying of heavy objects. Repetitive strain injuries in the back can lead to pain, stiffness, numbness and weakness. If you find yourself feeling any of these symptoms, any unsteadiness on your feet, or incontinence, and you have had an occupation involving heavy lifting, or sitting, standing or crouching at an awkward angle, then you should see a doctor at the earliest possible opportunity. This is not only to access treatment but also to help evidence the injuries.

Employers are obliged to make sure certain measures are taken to reduce the risk of employees developing repetitive strain injuries. For example providing training on the correct and safe methods for lifting and handling, ensuring that the workspace (i.e. desks and workbenches) is laid out in such a manner as to ensure good posture, implementing rotation in tasks and duties to reduce the number of repetitive motions, and allowing regular breaks.

If you have a diagnosis of repetitive strain injuries in your back, why not call our team to find out whether or not you have grounds to make a claim.  This NHS guide to repetitive strain injuries may also be useful to you,

What Responsibilities Do Employers Have To Ensure The Safety Of Employees?

In addition to various sector-specific legal regulations, the basic principle, which is laid down by the Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, is that the employer should do everything they reasonably can to identify workplace health and safety issues and to take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of accidents and injury.

Basic health and safety measures that should be observed could include:

  • Making sure the workplace is well lit
  • Making sure the workplace is free from tripping and slipping hazards
  • Making sure all staff are correctly trained in their tasks
  • Making sure all staff are issued with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for their role
  • Making sure that all equipment or machinery being used is serviced and fully-functional

Health and safety measures specific to preventing back injuries may include:

  • Never making staff lift items heavier than they can manage;
  • Making sure that staff working in lifting and carrying are trained in manual handling techniques;
  • Always use lifting equipment or machinery instead of making staff lift and carry by themselves wherever possible;
  • Giving staff working in manual handling regular breaks and task rotation.

The Health and Safety Executive, the national authority dedicated to recording and enforcing health and safety policies, has a wealth of information on workplace back health problems. For more information on employees responsibilities, click here.

To speak to a knowledgeable advisor who can help you understand work back injury compensation, call our advice team.

Personal Protective Equipment To Prevent Back Injuries

Employers are required by law to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to their employees. Examples include hard hats, ear protection, breathing apparatus, or pallet trucks. Such equipment is designed to reduce the risk of an employee suffering an accident, and/or reduce the risk of a serious injury occurring. Employees are further obliged to:

  • Ensure that employees are not charged for their PPE, even if it is returnable;
  • Ensure that employees are properly trained in the use of PPE;
  • Ensure that PPE is used at all times and that it is not skipped under any circumstances (i.e. even if “it only takes a few minutes”);
  • Ensure that the PPE is in full working condition;
  • Carry out risk assessments to identify any possible drawback to using PPE, i.e. reduced visibility.

PPE used to reduce the risk of back injuries could include having handles on the loads being lifted, using gloves while manual handling, using lifting carts, pallet trucks, or sack trucks, for instance.

What Special Damages Can You Claim?

Suffering a back injury at work could be severe enough to temporarily, or even permanently stop you from working. If you lose income from having to take unexpected sick leave, or from being left permanently unable to work, then you could recover it as part of your case under a head of claim known as special damages. If you are facing the prospect of being unable to work due to your work back injury, then a successful special damages claim could see you awarded with an annuity equivalent to your salary until you reach retirement.

If you have had outgoing expenses as a result of a workplace back injury then these can be covered by special damages compensation as well.  So if you have had to pay for medical treatment which was not provided to you by the NHS, but which was necessary for your recovery (such as physiotherapy, back massages, pain medication), then the costs can be claimed under special damages.

If you have incurred any travel expenses as a result of the injury, for example, if you have had to use public transport to reach doctors’ appointments or to return early from work, then these can be compensated, even if they are only small amounts such as the price of a bus ticket. If you have had a planned event, such as a concert you planned to attend or a holiday you wished to go on, which you now cannot do, then the price of your tickets or booking could be recovered too.

Work Back Injury Compensation Claims Calculator

As well as special damages, another head of claim that features in a compensation package is general damages. This is designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced as a result of your injuries. The precise value of general damages vary from case to case and often is dependent upon the views of a medical expert who would examine you as part of the claims process. 

However, it’s possible to gain an idea of how much you could be entitled to by using the compensation calculator below. The figures in this calculator are set by a legal publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines, which reviews compensation awards made by the courts for different injuries.   

Severe back injury (i)Severe injury involving damage to spine and nerve roots. Involving incomplete paralysis, loss of bowel control and function, loss of sexual function, pain and disability.£77,700-£151,070
Severy back injury (ii)Impairment of movement, bladder and bowel function, sexual function, impairment of movement, unsightly scarring. Less severe than out right loss of functions.£63,280-£82,980
Severe back injury (iii)Chronic conditions such as pain, impairment of mobility, impairment of sexual function, etc. With impairment of ability to work, changes in personality and associated issues such as depression and alcoholism.£33,080-£65,440
Moderate back injury (i)Injuries causing residual disabilities and impairment of mobility and functions, Cases involving the risk of the development of chronic long term conditions and or pain. £23,680-£36,390
Moderate back injury (ii)Back injuries causing the acceleration and exacerbation of pre-existing conditions.£10,670-£26,050
Minor back injury (i)Back injuries where there is a recovery down to at least nuisance levels within 2-5 years.£6,730-£11,730
Minor back injury (ii)Where a full recovery without surgery takes place within two months and three years.£2,090-£7,410
Minor back injury (iii)Where a full recovery occurs within three months.£2,090-£2,300

No Win, No Fee Work Back Injury Compensation Claims

Our panel of solicitors can give you the option of entering into a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped!

How Workplace Back Injury Compensation Claims Work

There are things you can do to improve the prospects of success of your claim, such as:

  • Take pictures of what caused the accident, the area where the accident occurred, and any equipment you were using. If there are any visible signs of your injury on your body, such as marks or bruises, then take pictures of them too. (You may want to have someone take a photo of your back for you.)
  • If there were witnesses, take down their contact details so that they can be asked to provide testimony in your favour later on.
  • As soon as you get the chance, while the event is still fresh in your mind, write down a log of everything you saw and can remember about what happened and the impact the injuries have had on your life. The more detail the better.
  • If you have not been seen by a doctor already, you should make an appointment. This is important not only for diagnosing and treating your injury but also making sure that there is a medical record of the injury to support your case.
  • Call a legal advisor. Legal Helpline can assist you in finding the right solicitor for you!

Why Choose Legal Helpline To Handle Your Claim?

We are a team of highly experienced professionals. There aren’t many other personal injury solicitors companies out there who can make the process as easy and as effective as we can. We will fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible,  with minimal fuss and disruption for you so you concentrate on your recovery. If ever you have a query or would like an update on your case, your solicitor will be on hand to take your call. You can also access our expert services without paying out of pocket. Our advice services are free and our claims are operated on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Talk To The Legal Helpline Team

To reach our team for free advice or to start your claim, call 0161 696 9685. To arrange for our advice team to call you back, you can fill in this online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can about work back injury compensation.

We look forward to representing you!

Related Back Injury Information

Citizens Advice Bureau page on workplace injury claims

Work Back Injury Compensation FAQs

Can I claim for a back injury at work?

Providing your back injury was sustained because of a breach of duty of care on your employer’s behalf, you could make a personal injury claim.

How much can you get for a back injury at work?

How much you can get for a back injury at work is really dependent on your injuries, how your mental health was affected, how strong your evidence is and how much financial loss you endured. Personal injury compensation calculators might not be accurate, but call our advisors for an informed, free estimate of your potential work back injury compensation.

Guide by JY

Edited by REG