Lifting Injury Claims
Suffered a neck injury, back injury, hernia or shoulder injury from lifting heavy objects at the workplace? If you have, you may be eligible to make lifting injury claims and seek compensation for the pain and losses that you have suffered. Manual handling and lifting injuries are common at workplaces in UK, but such injuries are usually preventable. If the work you are carrying out had been done by mechanical means or if you had received adequate training before carrying out the lifting task, lifting injuries could have been avoided.
If you have suffered injuries at work due to the negligence of someone else, you may be able to make work accident claims. In the UK, more than one third of all the injuries and accidents that occur at the workplace and require more than two days off work involve heavy lifting and manual handling. Those who work on construction sites, factories and farms are not the only group of people who are at a risk of suffering from lifting injuries. Lifting injuries can also be caused at any workplace that involves some form of lifting tasks. For example, those working in restaurants, schools and shops are also at a risk of sustaining lifting injuries if they are not given adequate training or the necessary tools needed to carry out their tasks safely.
It is not possible to prevent all manual handling and lifting injuries at the workplace, but it is possible to adopt measures to minimise the risks of accidents and injuries. It is the duty of the employer to carry out risk assessments at the workplace and ensure that employees who carry out lifting work are adequately trained. If your employer has failed in his duty to provide care and you have suffered injuries as a result of lifting work you are required to carry out at the workplace, you may be eligible to make lifting injury claims.
Common Lifting Injuries
Injuries sustained from heavy lifting and manual handling can occur suddenly or they can develop over a long period of time. For instance, if a worker lifts a very heavy object once only, it is possible that he may strain his muscles. In other cases, a worker may carry out lifting tasks repetitively and over a period of time may sustain repetitive strain injury.
If a worker suffers a lifting injury, he may be able to make a lifting injury claim.
There are a number of injuries which are caused due to lifting. Some of the most common injuries caused by lifting include the following:
Back Injury – the most common workplace injury caused by heavy lifting is back injury. Back injuries are quite painful and can cause damage to a person’s work prospects as well. If your employer requires you to do lifting work, be must make sure that you receive the proper training needed to carry out lifting tasks easily and safely.
Hernia – a hernia can be caused in a number of ways, but one of the most common causes is through carrying and lifting tasks at work. A hernia is a condition in which the muscle tissues rupture and part of the internal system protrudes. Since a hernia can be caused in a number of ways, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that it was your employer who was responsible for your injury.
Arm, Neck and Shoulder Injuries – when safe lifting and manual handling techniques are not adopted, there are chances for a person to suffer from arm, neck and shoulder injuries. These types of injuries are usually caused by inadequate training and working under cramped conditions.
Other types of injuries include:
- Muscle strain
- Spinal cord damage
- Muscle tearing
- Nerve damage
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Crush injuries
How To Prevent Lifting Injuries
Lifting injury is caused when tasks such as pushing, pulling, moving, holding and carrying objects is performed in an inappropriate manner. Other factors that contribute to lifting injuries include poor posture, particular physical characteristics, a pre-existing condition, etc. Lifting injuries as well as manual handling injuries can result in pain, discomfort, time off work and sometimes it can also lead to permanent disability such as spinal cord damage.
- Before lifting any heavy objects, you must be able to evaluate the situation. You must determine what options you have available. Think whether it is possible to share the load with someone else or you can carry the load piece by piece. You must not bend automatically and start lifting the object as this will have a direct effect on your back.
- Find out how heavy the object is. If the package does not mention the weight, tip it to determine how heavy it may be. If the object is very heavy, you may call for help or use the forklift if it is available.
- There is always a risk of slipping and twisting when lifting heavy objects and for this reason you must make sure that you are not on solid flooring when you are performing a lifting task.
- When lowering objects from a height or when lifting objects, do not extend your arms as this puts pressure on the back and can result in back injury.
- Keep your back straight and kneel to get hold of the object. Lift the object with your legs and avoid using your back.
- Take short steps while carrying heavy objects.
- Plan your route in advance and take the shortest possible way to where you are required to take the object.
- Do not carry heavy objects whilst going up or down the stairs.
- Do not hurry while lifting heavy objects because saving a few minutes is not worth a painful and permanent injury.
How much compensation can I claim for a lifting injury?
The amount of compensation that you may be entitled to receive for a successful lifting injury claim will depend on a number of factors. Personal injury awards are separated into two separate areas, called general damages and special damages.
General damages is an amount calculated to compensate you for the pain and suffering that has been caused by your employer’s negligence. To calculate how much general damages you should receive, your solicitor will base their figure on the guidelines produced by the Judicial College.
The Judicial College Guidelines provide minimum and maximum compensation amounts for injuries of varying degrees to each part of the body, including internal organs and damages to senses such as smell and sight.
Where your injuries fit within the guidelines will be based on the evidence of a medical professional, who will help to determine the severity of your injury, the likely recovery period and whether there will be any lasting issues.
Next, your solicitor will assess any financial losses you have sustained as a result of your lifting accident. Any out of pocket expenses that are directly related to your accident can be recovered from the party at fault. These are known as special damages, and can include the following:
- Loss of earnings – if you have lost wages due to having time off work because of your injuries, our solicitors will help you recover these losses.
- Future loss of earnings – if the lifting injury you have suffered will affect your ability to work, our solicitors can help you claim compensation for future loss of earnings.
- Prescription costs – many injuries, such as those to the back, neck or shoulder, may require you to take painkillers or other medication for several weeks, months or even years. If you have to pay for this medication, the cost can be included in your claim.
- Medical treatment – you may require medical treatment, such as physiotherapy to help aid your recovery. If this is the case, these costs can also be added to your claim.
- Transportation costs – if you have to pay for transport as a result of your injury, whether it be a bus, taxi or train, these out of pocket expenses should be recovered.
The above list is not exhaustive. Most out of pocket expenses that are linked to your accident and injury can be included as part of your compensation claim.
You must have evidence of your financial losses, so it is important to keep receipts, wage slips and bank statements that can be used by our solicitors to support your case.
I have suffered a lifting injury at work. How long do I have to make a claim?
There is a three year time limit from the date that you suffer your injury. It is important that you start an accident at work claim within this time limit, as the courts are usually very strict regarding this issue. Although the timeframe can be extended, this is only ever done under very special circumstances.
If your injury, or the fact that it was caused by lifting at work, is not apparent until a later date, it is this date that would be used as the start of your 3 year time limit. This is known as the date of knowledge.
Although you do have three years, we would always recommend you to start your claim as soon as possible. Not only will this result in you receiving your compensation sooner, but it also makes the evidence gathering process much easier.
Can my work injury claim be made on a no win no fee basis?
Our experienced injury lawyers always provide clients with a 100% no win no fee service. This means that if your case is lost, you won’t pay us a penny.
No win no fee is the common term that is used to describe a conditional fee agreement. This is basically the terms and conditions of the service agreement that you enter into when instructing a personal injury solicitor to act on your behalf.
We understand that any talk of terms and conditions and contracts can feel intimidating. But you don’t have anything to worry about. Our solicitors will explain the whole process to you in straightforward language and answer any questions you may have.
Contact us to arrange a free case assessment
Our solicitors have years of experience handling all types of work accidents, including claims for lifting injuries. If you have suffered an injury at work in the past three years due to the negligence of your employer, we can help you claim the compensation you deserve.
We provide a completely free case assessment service. This is provided without any obligation or pressure to proceed. It is an opportunity for you to discuss the circumstances or your accident and injury with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You will also be free to ask any questions you have about making a claim and the services we provide.
If you do have a valid claim, we will be happy to fight your corner on a genuine no win no fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs and no hidden charges. If we cannot win your case, you won’t pay us a penny.
To start your claim or to receive some free legal advice, contact our accident solicitors today.