A Guide To Claiming Prison Injury Compensation

By Cat Stardew. Last Updated 2nd May 2023. Welcome to our guide, which focuses on prison injury compensation. Prisons can be dangerous places for both prison officers and staff and the inmates being held there. 

Prison injury compensation

Prison injury compensation claims

However, just because the environment may pose certain risks doesn’t mean it is acceptable for you to suffer a prison injury. You could be entitled to make inmate compensation claims if you are injured because the prison and its staff failed to protect you, even if you were injured while serving a prison sentence.

Legal Helpline could help you to make a claim for prison injury compensation. And we can also handle prison officer injury compensation claims. This guide is intended to explain the basics of what you need to know about how injuries can occur in prison when they could justify a compensation claim and how our panel of personal injury solicitors could help you seek compensation.

Jump To A Section

  1. What Is A Prison Injury?
  2. Trip And Fall Accidents In A Prison
  3. Prison Injury Claims For Accidents Involving Prison Officers And Staff
  4. Prison Injury Claims For Accidents Involving Inmates
  5. Compensation Payouts For Prison Injury Claims
  6. Special Damages You Could Claim
  7. Steps To Take If Injured In A Prison
  8. No Win No Fee Claims For Prison Injury Compensation
  9. Prison Accident And Injury Resources

What Is A Prison Injury?

Prisons can be violent and dangerous places, not just because of the offenders locked up there but also because of the more mundane day-to-day accident hazards that all workplaces and public places can pose, such as tripping hazards and unsafe furnishings and equipment. If you are working in prison, or if you are serving time for an offence you committed, then HM Prison Service has a responsibility to keep you safe from preventable harm. If an injury occurs as a result of a failure by the prison service, then you could be entitled to receive compensation. Various circumstances can lead to people getting hurt while they are inside a prison:

  • Prisoners being assaulted by other prisoners;
  • Members of staff being assaulted by prisoners;
  • Prisoners being assaulted by members of staff;
  • Accidents occurring, such as slips and trips, caused by the unsafe and poorly maintained condition of the prison.

To learn more about prison injury claims and prisoner compensation claims, contact our team.

Trip And Fall Accidents In A Prison

Trips, slips, and falls may sound like a trivial type of accident to mention in the context of being injured while serving time or working at a prison. Still, they can cause potentially serious injuries, such as skull or bone fractures, soft tissue injuries and organ damage. Particularly if the victim hits an object on their way down or if they fall down the stairs as a result of tripping or slipping.

Slips and trips can be caused by:

  • Spillages and leakages that have not been cleared up
  • Debris and rubbish that has not been cleaned.
  • Icy patches of floor outside.
  • Sections of flooring, such as lino or carpet, being in a state of disrepair.

Both staff and inmates have a right to an environment kept safe from these kinds of hazards. They could be entitled to make a personal injury claim if they suffer such an accident. For more details about how slip, trip, and fall claims work, you can read our guide to them here.

Prison Injury Claims For Accidents Involving Prison Officers And Staff

The harsh truth is that being a prison officer comes with inherent risks. Such risks come with the job, but as your employer, HM Prison Service has a duty of care to you and is responsible for doing everything in their power to keep you safe. If they are proven to have failed to keep you safe by failing to meet this responsibility, they could be liable in a compensation claim.

There are several ways in which failures by the prison services could lead to prison staff suffering injuries and forming prison injury claims:

  • Failing to prevent slips and trips through proper maintenance.
  • Failing to provide adequate levels of staff.
  • Failing to perform risk assessments
  • Failing to ensure the correct level of security for inmates with known records of violence.
  • Failing to provide proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Allowing you to suffer a preventable injury would also violate your rights as an employee under the Health And Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. If you are a prison officer and have suffered an injury, you could have the right to make a prison injury compensation claim. If you want to learn more about how making an accident at work claim, or if you’d like more information on prison injury claims, contact our team.

Prisoner Compensation Claims –  Injury Claims For Accidents Involving Inmates

Even if you were/are an offender serving a sentence, you still have the right to be kept safe from preventable accidents and violent incidents. Prison staff are tasked with ensuring the safety of you and other inmates. If HM Prison Service fails to meet this responsibility, then you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Some of the ways that an inmate could be harmed as a failure to ensure their safety include:

  • Failure to prevent fights, assaults, and riots.
  • Failure to assess and monitor inmates mental health and prevent self-harm.
  • Failure to maintain the prison environment to a safe standard.

If you have been injured while serving time in prison and you believe it was a result of a failure on the part of HM Prison Service, get in touch with us and discuss your situation with our team of legal advisors. Alternatively, read on to learn more about prisoner compensation claims. 

Compensation Payouts For Prison Injury Claims

There are two heads of claim that you could pursue in terms of prison injury compensation. The first head, general damages, addresses your injuries and the pain and suffering you endure because of them.

When solicitors value the general damages head of prisoner compensation claims, they will often use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) as a reference. The JCG lists injuries and illnesses of different severities and offers guideline compensation awards for each. You can find some examples of these guideline brackets in the table below.

Severe psychiatric damageCases of psychiactric trauma where, even wit treatment, there is little chance of a recovery back to a normal state.£51,460 to £108,620
Moderately severe psychiatric damageCases of psychiatric damage which would have long lasting effects and prevent a return to previous employment.£17,900 to £51,460
Moderate psychiatric damageCases where the trauma is severe, but not permanent as with previous categories.£5,500 to £17,900
Less severe psychiatric damageCases where the lasting damage is minor.£1,440 to £5,500
Severe PTSDCases which prevent the affected person from living a normal life in any aspect.£56,180 to £94,470
Moderately severe PTSDCases where there can be a recovery with treatment.£21,730 to £56,180
Moderate PTSDCases where the person affected makes a mostly full recovery and any lingering effects are not debilitating.£7,680 to £21,730
Less severe PTSDWhere a full recovery is made within 1-2 years and there are little if any lingerng effects.£3,710 to £7,680
Total loss of one eyeLoss of any eye due to an accident or assault£51,460 to £61,690
Total loss of one eye and reduced vision in the otherSame as above, but with additional damage to the remaining eye as well.£60,010 to £99,440

On being released from prison if you suffer financial losses because of the injury you could be eligible for special damages. Some examples of the financial losses special damages could compensate for in prison injury claims include:

  • Travel costs to and from hospital appointments
  • Mobility aids
  • Home adjustments, such as widened doorways or stairlift installation
  • Medical bills
  • Prescription costs

In order to claim under this heading, you have to be able to offer evidence of your losses. To learn more about prisoner compensation claims, contact our team of advisors today.

Steps To Take If Injured In A Prison

There are certain things you can do that could provide extra weight to your claim and improve your chances of receiving prison injury compensation.

  • Write down notes of what happened in as much detail as soon as you can;
  • Ask other people who witnessed the incident to provide statements in support of your claim;
  • Take photographs of the place where the injury occurred, what caused it and of your injury (if possible);
  • Report the incident to the prison so that the injury is noted in the prison’s accident book;
  • Talk to a specialist solicitor from our panel for advice.

No Win No Fee Claims For Prison Injury Compensation

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 and will be agreed upon with you before the claim begins.

Contact Our Team

If you want to begin a prison injury compensation claim with Legal Helpline, your first step should call our personal injury claim experts. You can reach them on 0161 696 9685 or by requesting a phone call at a time convenient for you via this page. You have nothing to lose and much to gain, so give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you!

Prison Accident And Injury Resource

More Helpful Guide

  • Learn about eye injury claims and find more about the personal injury claims process
  • Have you suffered an avulsion fracture due to negligence actions? Find out if you can claim with our guide.
  • Get help making lorry accident claims and find out if you could be eligible to make a claim.

Guide by JY

Edited by REG

Thank you for reading our guide all about prison injury compensation.