Needlestick Injury Claims
If you have suffered an illness or injury that was the fault of another person, you may be possible to make a successful claim for compensation. For anyone who has suffered a needlestick injury at work, there are laws in place to ensure that you are compensated for the pain, suffering and financial losses you sustain. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers protection to employees and aims to minimise workplace risks. If your employer has not met their safety obligations and has failed in their duty of care to you, and this failure has resulted in a needlestick injury, contact a solicitor to receive the compensation that you are legally entitled to.
What is a needlestick injury?
A needlestick injury is an injury caused by a needle or other sharp medical instrument puncturing the skin of a victim. This type of injury can be significantly dangerous and have serious health implications for the victim, including exposure to diseases and infection as well as permanent scarring.
Needles and medical equipment that have been previously used can be highly dangerous as they can carry a host of bacteria, disease and infections. Needles in particular are usually used on patients who are sick, and as such, the risk of contracting an illness, infection or disease can be very high. Being punctured by a used needle can cause the spread of major diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, Mycobacteriosis, Malaria, Syphilis and Diphtheria amongst many others.
The majority of needlestick injuries occur when the disposal of used needles is not carried out properly or when health and safety measures are not observed correctly. Medical practices, hospitals and other environments in which needles are used should make thorough contingencies to ensure that all waste instruments are disposed of safely and promptly to minimise or eliminate risk. If this action has not been taken, your employer could be liable and a claim for compensation can be made. The potential risks of needles and sharp objects is so high that any workplace that uses such instruments is required to dispose of them in specially labelled containers, which should be collected and disposed of separately from other waste materials.
What type of workers are vulnerable to needlestick injuries?
Those most likely to suffer from a needlestick injury are those who work with needles and medical sharps on a regular basis. Professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, health workers and those in refuse roles such as landfill workers and council staff are amongst those who suffer from needlestick injuries most often. However, with over 100,000 sharps injuries suffered in hospitals on an annual basis, patients and visitors are also at risk.
Unfortunately, needlestick and sharps accidents can easily happen if a simple oversight in disposal is made, or if ineffective health and safety measures are in place. This means that anyone in an environment that uses such tools is potentially susceptible to injury. For this reason, hospitals, clinics, medical practices and related workplaces must be stringent in their observance of guidelines to ensure that others do not suffer an injury. If this duty of care is breached, a claim for compensation can be made.
Other professions that are at risk from needlestick injuries include those related to animal care such as veterinary staff and zookeepers. The same guidelines are in place to protect these professions, and a solicitor will be pleased to support any victim of a needlestick injury in their pursuit of the compensation they are owed.
Am I eligible to make a needlestick injury claim?
Any person who suffers an injury in the workplace because of an oversight or breach in the health and safety guidelines is likely to be able to make a successful claim for compensation. Typical causes of needlestick injuries include:
- Failure to or incorrect disposal of needles and sharps
- Poor or no training of staff to ensure sufficient knowledge into correct safe practices
- Failure to provide required disposal units
- Management requesting untrained or unqualified staff to complete tasks
- Failure to provide protection against related vulnerabilities
- An unsafe working area which leads to falls, overcrowding or related movements that end with a needlestick injury.
If you have suffered a needlestick injury in any environment and someone else is to blame, it is likely that a solicitor will be able to assist you in making a successful claim for compensation. If you would like a free, no obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back.
How do I make a claim for compensation after a needlestick injury?
In order to make a successful needlestick injury claim, your solicitor will need to demonstrate that someone else was responsible for the injuries and related illnesses that you have suffered. To do this, your personal injury solicitor will gather as much information from you as possible and begin to gather evidence to support your case.
You will be offered a free initial consultation where a legal adviser will review your case and explain the likely outcome and necessary steps in order to receive the compensation that you are owed. Your solicitor will work alongside you to gather evidence including medical records, treatment details, statements and copies of accident records. Once they have built a thorough case, your solicitor will negotiate with the defendant to achieve the highest possible compensation amount on your behalf.
How much compensation will I be awarded?
The amount of compensation that is awarded to you will depend upon the severity of your injury and related symptoms. Some needlestick injuries may have relatively small impacts on the victim’s health, whereas others can have a significant and devastating result. You may have contracted a life-changing or even life-threatening disease through this type of accident, or you may have a full recovery but be left with visible scarring.
As well as receiving an award for the level of pain and suffering caused by your accident, you will also be entitled to receive compensation for any financial losses you have had to endure as a result of your injury. This is known as special damages, and can include loss of wages from having to take time off work, the cost of any medical treatments required, and any other out of pocket expenses such as taxi fares to and from doctors appointments for example.
Whatever the extent of your injuries and losses may be, you can rest assured that your solicitors are skilled in achieving the highest amount of compensation possible for each case that they work on.
Your solicitor will provide a 100% no win, no fee service. This enables you to make a claim without having to pay any upfront costs, and without having to worry about any financial risk of losing your case. If your solicitors cannot win your case, you won’t pay a penny.
What are the time limits for making a needlestick injury claim?
To have a valid personal injury claim, you must start legal proceedings against the person or company responsible for your injury within a three year period. This time limit starts on the date of your accident.
If it is your child who has been injured, or you yourself were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, the time limit is slightly different. In these circumstances, the three year countdown does not begin until the person’s 18th birthday. So you effectively have until you turn 21 to start a claim.
A parent or guardian can claim on behalf of a child before they turn 18, and in most cases we would recommend this as the best course of action. This is because starting your claim as soon as possible after the accident will help to make the process of gathering evidence to support your claim much easier.
Will my accident claim be no win no fee?
Yes, your personal injury solicitor will be happy to help you on a no win no fee basis. Also called a conditional fee agreement, a no win no fee service enables you to start your claim without having to worry about legal costs.
With a 100% no win no fee service, your appointed injury lawyer will start working on your case straight away without any upfront costs. You will be provided with a transparent service with absolutely no hidden charges.
If the solicitor takes on your needlestick injury case and is unable to secure you a successful award of compensation, you won’t pay them a penny.
Contact a solicitor today for free legal advice
If you have suffered a needlestick injury within the past three years and you would like to find out if you have a valid case, call 0800 678 1410. You will receive a free case assessment with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The case assessment is provided free of charge and without any obligation. It is a friendly discussion over the phone where a friendly legal adviser will ask a few questions to get a good understanding of the accident and the injuries you have suffered.
If they are able to help, you will be offered a 100% no win no fee service. Your injury lawyer will then get started straight away with the aim of securing you the maximum amount of compensation available for your injuries and financial losses.
To get started, enter your details into the contact form below or call 0800 678 1410.