By Lewis Winehouse. Last Updated 13th July 2023. This guide will explain syringe injury claims and how to calculate compensation. When you get an injection, the syringe must be sterile. If a needle that is not sterile breaks your skin, this can lead to infections if it’s dirty or contaminated. Some of these infections, such as HIV, can be life-threatening and seriously impact your quality of life.
You may be eligible to claim compensation for a private hospital or NHS syringe injury. You could also claim compensation if you experienced a sharps injury at work or in a public place. Importantly, you could receive general damages for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity your injuries caused. Moreover, you could receive special damages to cover the cost of medical treatment and other expenses because of your injury.
Select A Section
- What Are Syringe Injury Claims?
- Causes Of Syringe Needle Injuries
- Injuries And Illnesses Caused By Syringe Accidents
- How To Deal With Syringe Injuries
- Syringe Injury Claims Calculator
- Syringe Injury Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
You could make a syringe injury claim if you suffered because of a syringe injury caused by third-party negligence.
A syringe injury happens when a needle punctures the skin and causes an injury or illness. The injury could be a medical mistake because the medical practitioner has not shown due care and attention. Or a syringe injury can happen because needles were not disposed of properly. The medical community also refers to syringe injuries as needlestick injuries or sharps injuries.
You could claim compensation for a syringe infection under the following circumstances:
- Firstly, another party owed you a duty of care.
- Secondly, the party breached this duty of care, causing an incident.
- Consequently, the incident harmed you. For example, the syringe injury led to you developing a painful infection.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Syringe Injury Claim?
As part of the syringe injury claims process, you’ll need to take action within the limitation period that is implemented by the Limitation Act 1980. Generally, this is three years from the date you were injured or harmed.
Depending on your type of claim, different rules may apply. For example:
- Personal injury claims – you’ll have three years from the date that you were injured to begin proceedings.
- Medical negligence claims – the time limit begins three years from the date you experienced harm or when you connected the harm you suffered with negligence.
However, certain exceptions apply to this three-year time limit. For example, if a minor was harmed by a syringe needle, the time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. From this date, they will have until their 21st birthday to start a claim. Alternatively, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf before this date arrives.
To learn more about the other exceptions that may apply to this three-year limitation period, you can contact our advisors.
Where Could You Suffer A Needlestick Or Syringe Injury?
A needlestick injury could happen because of hospital medical negligence. For example, a healthcare professional could inject a patient with a needle that is not sterile in a hospital, causing a hospital-acquired infection.
Needlestick injuries can also happen in vaccination centres, walk-in centres and GP surgeries. Moreover, healthcare workers themselves could be at risk of experiencing needlestick injuries because of an accident at work.
An accident in a public place can cause a needlestick injury. Needles can be left in public places or on business premises. If the party in control of the area is aware of the hazard and fails to attend to it within a reasonable timeframe, a visitor could suffer a needlestick injury.
Syringe injuries can happen in a medical setting. If proper health and safety precautions are not taken, a doctor or nurse may accidentally use a needle that is not sterile. Or a needle that has been used on another patient may be used, therefore transmitting infections.
Medical professionals owe their patients a standard of care. If they fall below this standard and it causes you injury, you could claim.
Healthcare workers are also at risk of needlestick injury. An overworked medical professional may accidentally pierce themselves with a syringe.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers owe their employees a duty of care. They should ensure that they take reasonable measures to protect employees’ safety. If they breach this duty of care, resulting in your injury, you could claim.
A worker may suffer a syringe injury because their employer did not provide them with adequate and necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), for example.
Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, parties in control of an area accessible to the public are responsible for the health and safety of visitors. It may not always be possible for those in control of a place to know of a needle hazard. If they’re unaware of it and you’re injured, you might not be able to claim.
However, if they are aware of it and don’t take reasonable measures to deal with it (and you’re injured as a result), you could claim.
If you’ve suffered in any of the above ways, why not get in touch?
A syringe injury can cut or tear the skin, leading to tissue damage and infections. Moreover, a patient may develop a serious illness if an infection from another patient is passed on to them.
Here are examples of illnesses that could be involved in syringe injury claims:
- Human immunodeficiency virus and aids (HIV/AIDS)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
This HSE guide has information about emergency precautions to take if you experience a sharps injury. After a needlestick injury, you may also need a blood test to see if you now have a bloodborne infection.
If you wish to claim compensation for a syringe injury, you can do the following to support your claim:
- Firstly, please seek the appropriate medical attention. By having a doctor diagnose and treat your injuries, your medical records can be evidence to support your claim.
- Secondly, gather evidence to support your needlestick injury compensation claim. For example, you can gather eyewitness statements.
- If you are injured at work or on business premises, please report the accident to the appropriate person. Make sure that the accident is reported correctly in the organisation’s accident report book.
- Finally, you could contact Legal Helpline today to inquire about claiming compensation for your syringe injuries. We can offer you free legal advice, and if you are eligible for compensation, our panel of lawyers could handle your claim.
In a successful claim, you could receive general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate you for your physical and mental pain and suffering. Special damages compensate you for the financial losses associated with your injuries or illness.
When it comes to syringe injury claims, many people wonder what their claim is worth. Please feel free to use the compensation table below to estimate how much you can claim in general damages. However, please be aware that special damages are not included in the table.
|Illness Or Injury Caused||Compensation Amounts||Notes|
|Kidney Injury (a)||£169,400 to £210,400||Including permanent and serious injury to both kidneys or the loss of both kidneys.|
|Kidney Injury (b)||Up to £63,980||The person will have a significant risk of developing a urinary tract infection in the future or the loss of (natural) kidney function.|
|Kidney Injury (c)||£30,770 to £44,880||The loss of one of your kidneys with no damage to the other kidney.|
|Illness/Damage Caused By Non-traumatic Injury (1)||£38,430 to £52,500||Severe illness which leads to serious and acute pain, requiring hospital admission.|
|Illness/Damage Caused By Non-traumatic Injury (2)||£9,540 to £19,200||Serious and short-lived illness. Symptoms diminish over several weeks. Symptoms could impact sex life and bowel function.|
|Illness/Damage Caused By Non-traumatic Injury (3)||£3,950 to £9,540||An illness which requires hospital admission for several days. Symptoms could last for a few weeks. Recovery should be complete in 1 to 2 years.|
|Illness/Damage Caused By Non-traumatic Injury (4)||£910 to £3,950||Varying levels of pain which are disabling. Includes diarrhoea and cramp.|
|Scarring (Other Parts Of The Body)||£7,830 to £22,730||May be made for several noticeable laceration scars or may be made for a single scar which is disfiguring.|
|Scarring (Other Parts Of The Body)||In the region of £8,640||Awards are made when the person has had an exploratory
laparotomy and where no (significant) internal injury was found.
|Scarring (Other Parts Of The Body)||£2,370 to £7,830||One scar which is noticeable or several scars which are superficial. Scars may be on the arms, hands or legs.|
We used guidelines from the Judicial College to create the table. Lawyers use these guidelines to help them value compensation claims. However, other evidence, such as your medical report, will also be considered. Therefore your compensation payout may be worth more or less than what is included in the table.
If you’d like our advisors to value your claim for free, get in touch.
If you have been harmed by a syringe needle, and are eligible to pursue a claim, one of the solicitors on our panel may be able to help you. They may also offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Some of the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor under this arrangement include:
- Paying no upfront service fees.
- Not having to pay for their services during the process of your claim.
- Not having to pay for their work if your claim fails.
Should your solicitor succeed with your claim, they will deduct a success fee from your compensation award. There is a legal limit to the percentage that this fee can be.
To see if you could be eligible to work with a solicitor from our panel, or if you have any questions about the syringe injury claims process, you can contact our advisors. They can be contacted by:
Resources For Victims Of Medical Negligence
These guides may be helpful if you wish to claim compensation for your injuries.
An NHS guide to the prevention of HIV
An NHS guide to hepatitis infections
Information from the HSE on bloodborne viruses from needlestick injuries
Thank you for reading our guide to making syringe injury claims.