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I Got A Back Injury At Work – Can I Claim Compensation?

In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming compensation for a back injury at work caused by negligence. We explain in the sections below how to prove a workplace accident claim and the damages that you may be owed by your employer because of it.

Back injury at work claims

Back injury at work claims guide

If you need to speak to a member of our team about starting a claim straight away, or if you just want to understand more about how a claim might work, get in touch. It’s free to call or you can use our ‘live support’ option available 24/7. Find out more by:

  • Calling us using the number at the top of the screen
  • Write to us using our online form
  • Or access immediate free legal advice through our ‘live support’ option to the bottom right of this screen.

Select A Section:

  1. Can I Claim Compensation For A Back Injury At Work?
  2. The Criteria Needed To Start A Workplace Accident Claim
  3. Causes of A Back Injury At Work
  4. Producing Evidence To Support A Personal Injury Claim
  5. How Much Compensation Could I Get For A Back Injury At Work?
  6. No Win No Fee Solicitors And Accident At Work Claims

Can I Claim Compensation For A Back Injury At Work?

If you’ve been injured at work because of your employer’s negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation. We look at how workplace back injuries can be caused and the health and safety laws that employers must comply with to try and avoid them.

We also discuss the criteria needed to begin a claim for a workplace accident and how you can support your claim through evidence. In addition to this, our guide will look at how compensation could be calculated.

If you would like any more information on making a claim for back injury at work, speak to one of our advisors today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer to work on your claim.

Statistics on Back Injuries At Work

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there were 7,377 back injuries reported to them under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 in 2019/20.

The rate of reportable back injuries in the workplace has been in decline since 2014/15 when there were 13,481 reported.

The Criteria Needed To Start A Workplace Accident Claim

Firstly, it’s important to note that your employer has a legal duty of care towards you which is set out in The Health and Safety At Work, etc Act 1974. They must take all reasonable steps possible to prevent the risk of injury to their employees.

Proving that your employer breached this duty of care is essential in making a workplace accident claim. A simple method on how to be clear on this point is to ask:

  • Did my employer have a duty of care at the time and place of the accident?
  • Was this duty breached?
  • Were my injuries a direct result of this act or omission?

If the answer to all three of these questions is “yes”, you could be entitled to make a claim.

Time Limits

Importantly, under the Limitations Act 1980, there is a three-year time limit for personal injury claims in the workplace. This period can start from either the date of the accident or the date you became aware of injury or illness. The latter is called the “date of knowledge”.

There are exceptions to this time limit, however. Speak with an advisor from our team for more information about whether you’re within the time limit for claiming for a back injury at work.

Causes of a Back Injury At Work

There are a number of different potential causes of back injuries at work. These include:

  • Slips, trips and falls. You could slip and fall on poorly installed flooring or an unmarked wet floor and injure your back as you fall.
  • Hit by a moving object. Some workplaces, like factories and construction sites, might contain moving machinery. If you’re hit by, for example, a forklift truck, this could cause you to be injured.
  • Manual handling. If you have to lift or carry as part of your role, you should be trained on proper manual handling techniques. If you aren’t, this could result in an injury like a sprain or strain.

Where Could An Accident At Work Take Place?

Accidents at work can happen anywhere. Some people may assume that industries like construction, factory work or agriculture are the only ones in which you could be at risk of serious injury. However, this is not the case.

For example, someone could trip and fall over a loose wire in an office. This could cause them to sustain a back injury at work.

Producing Evidence To Support A Personal Injury Claim

Demonstrating what conditions or circumstances caused the injury is vital to establishing negligence on the part of your employer.  As you start to assemble proof for a personal injury claim, you can use the following:

  • Contact details of colleagues or witnesses so that they can provide a statement
  • CCTV footage if possible
  • The accident log report
  • Photographic evidence of the hazard that led to the accident, or of your injuries.

An independent medical assessment of your back injury will also be arranged as part of your claim. If you work with a solicitor from our panel, they may be able to arrange this locally to you to reduce travel time.

For free legal advice on making a back injury at work claim, speak with an advisor today.

How Much Compensation Could I Get For A Back Injury At Work?

Accident at work compensation can consist of ‘general’ and ‘special damages. General damages is the part of your claim that compensates you for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries.

Below is an excerpt from the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication provides award brackets. It’s used by legal professionals to help value claims.

Injury typehow severe?Judicial College Guidelines award bracketnotes
Back injuriesSevere (a) (i) £85,470 to £151,070Severe pain, immobility, loss of bowel function, and root nerve damage
Back injuriesSevere (a) (ii)£69,600 to £82,980Loss of proper bowel or sexual function, nerve root problems
Back injuriesSevere (a) (iii)£36,390 to £65,440Disc fractures and legions. Chronic pain, depression and impaired mobility
Back injuriesModerate (b) (i)£26,050 to £36,390Crush and compression fractures, increased risk of spondylolisthesis
Back injuriesModerate (b) (ii)£11,730 to £26,050Disturbed muscles or ligaments. Constant pain. Possible need for surgery.
Back injuriesMinor (c) (i)£7,410 to £11,730Nuisance level pain. Recovery within 2 - 5 years
Back injuriesMinor (c) (ii)£2,300 to £7,4103 months to 2 years recovery period
Back injuriesMinor (c) (iii)Up to £2,300Full recovery within 3 months or less

These awards are only intended as a guide. For a more accurate assessment of your work injury claim, speak with an advisor today.

Claiming Special damages For A Back Injury At Work

This second head of damages called ‘special damages’ compensates you for the financial losses you have experienced. For example, you may have missed work because of back pain. You may also have had to pay for physiotherapy that you could not get on the NHS.

You could claim these costs back, provided that you have proof to support your claim for special damages. A personal injury lawyer can also offer expert guidance on how to accurately claim for future costs.

Is A Care Claim A Possibility?

Back injuries can entail months and in some cases even years of rehabilitation. You may need to pay a family member or professional carer to come to your home and help you. You could claim back these costs; they would be included under the special damages head of your claim.

No Win No Fee Solicitors And Accident At Work Claims

If you are wondering what to do after a back injury at work, it can be useful to connect with a personal injury solicitor. Their expertise and insights can help you put your best claim forward and ensure the calculation of your damages includes everything. If you are concerned about the upfront fees that legal representation can incur, a No Win No Fee agreement can help.

When a personal injury solicitor works with you under a No Win No Fee there is no upfront fee to pay. In fact, a No Win No Fee agreement asks for no payment at all unless your case wins. In this event, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your settlement.

Contact the Team To Make An Accident At Work Claim

Learn more about how a No Win No Fee agreement can help your back injury at work claim. Simply:

  • Call us using the number above
  • Write to us using our online form
  • Or access on the spot free legal advice with our ‘live support’ option

Extra Information About Back Injury At Work Claims

Thank you for reading this guide on how you can claim for a back injury at work. More resources are available below:

We also have a bunch of guides on accident at work claims which you can read below:

Am I Eligible To Make A Work Injury Claim?

Do you need to make a work injury claim? Were you left with injuries due to a health and safety failure in the workplace? Accidents such as these can have devastating consequences for the worker, resulting in pain, distress and lost income. With evidence to support your case after an accident caused by employer negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. This article explains how injury compensation is calculated and what practical steps you can take to seek a settlement.

work injury claim

A guide about making a work injury claim

Approaching a workplace accident claim alone can feel intimidating. Our advisors are available to discuss your case with support and confidential advice. Speak to them by calling on the number at the top of the page or using our live chat.

Select A Section:

  1. Can I Make A Work Injury Claim?
  2. The Criteria Required For Proving A Personal Injury Claim
  3. Which Accidents Lead To The Most Work Injury Claims?
  4. Gathering Evidence For A Strong Accident At Work Claim
  5. What Compensation Payout Could I Get For My Work Injury Claim?
  6. Working With A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyer

Can I Make A Work Injury Claim?

Safety and health in the workplace are taken very seriously. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 clearly outlines the expectations for employers to apply a duty of care. This duty requires employers to ensure that the workplace is safe for employees and visitors.

There are limits to what an employer can be held responsible for. For example, they may do everything reasonably possible to prevent accidents and they occur regardless. However, a breach of the employer’s duty of care that results in injuries could mean that you can claim.

Employers can abide by their duty of care by:

  • Providing and maintaining the safest work environment reasonably possible
  • Conducting regular risk assessments to avoid hazards
  • Meeting with staff and union representatives to discuss any issues
  • Acting upon those issues as promptly as possible
  • Clearly displaying guidance about workplace health and safety
  • Providing adequate training
  • Properly supervising as appropriate

Proper adherence to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 can limit the level of hazards at work. However, if you can prove that you were injured due to employer negligence, you could make a personal injury claim.

The Criteria Required For Proving A Personal Injury Claim

The main criteria for making an accident at work claim is if you can demonstrate that your employer failed to extend the appropriate duty of care to you, and you were injured as a result. To make a personal injury claim, you should ensure:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care. (Employers owe employees a duty of care to protect their health, safety and wellbeing at work.)
  • They breached this duty, causing an accident or incident.
  • You suffered an injury as a result.

You could still claim if you were partially responsible for your injuries. However, if you were solely responsible for your injuries, you could find it difficult to claim. Get in touch with our advisors to find out if you could make a work injury claim.

Which Accidents Lead To The Most Work Injury Claims?

Health and safety statistics offer an insight into the number of employees affected by workplace accidents or injuries in 2020/21.

  • 1.7 million workers were suffering from a work-related illness (whether longstanding or new).
  • 822,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, anxiety or depression (whether longstanding or new).
  • 470,000 workers were suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (whether longstanding or new).
  • 441,000 working people reported sustaining a non-fatal injury at work.
  • 51,211 employees had endured non-injuries that were reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

The accident scenarios that lead to statistics such as this varies from workplace to workplace. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers guidance and practical advice to employers and employees to help them stay safe at work and avoid injury.

Potential Accidents That Could Justify A Work Injury Claim

Accidents that lead to claims can include:

  • Back injuries caused by incorrect manual handling training or repetitive tasks without necessary breaks
  • Slips, trips and falls due to hazards that the employer’s aware of but doesn’t attend to
  • Soft tissue damage from a machinery malfunction because the employer fails to ensure appropriate maintenance is in place

Gathering Evidence For A Strong Accident At Work Claim

Workplaces with more than 10 employees should have an accident logbook and many workplaces have a health and safety representative. When gathering evidence, you could obtain copies of these reports. In addition to this, you should pro-actively collect as much evidence as you can. This could include:

  • Witness contact details of colleagues or others who saw what happened for statements
  • CCTV footage if possible
  • Photographs or mobile phone footage that can clarify circumstances
  • Proof of damage to personal items
  • Emergency crew reports or A&E admission notes
  • Medical record entries

Accidents at work are not always clear-cut. It is possible that both sides were partly responsible to some degree for what happened. Employers may dispute your claim. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employees have a duty to ensure they take as much care as reasonably possible at work, so it’s essential that your evidence provides the clearest possible picture of what happened.

What Compensation Payout Could I Get For My Work Injury Claim?

How much compensation you may receive for an injury at work depends on factors such as your supporting evidence. Compensation amounts cannot be absolutely guaranteed. But a work injury compensation lawyer acting on your behalf can aim for the highest amount appropriate.

As part of the personal injury claims process, you’d attend a medical assessment. A lawyer can arrange this for you. An independent and impartial GP or specialist would check your injuries and any relevant medical records. They would then create their own report to assess:

  • Whether the injuries you suffered were directly related to the accident described
  • The severity of your injuries

A personal injury solicitor acting on your behalf can use this report to value your injuries. They could compare your injuries with those listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which correspond with potential compensation figures. The JCG does not provide guaranteed compensation amounts, however.

General damages are compensation for the physical and mental suffering you endure due to the accident. This can take into account factors such as the following:

  • The worsening of pre-existing conditions
  • Risk of long-term health conditions
  • Impact on the general quality of your life now

The compensation table below provides an example of potential amounts that can be awarded.

injury typeseverityJCG award bracketnotes
Ankle(c) moderate£12,900 to £24,950Ligamentous tears that create difficulty walking on uneven ground
Hip/pelvis(b) moderate (i)£24,950 to £36,770Significant injury where any future risk isn't great
Knee(a) severe (i)£65,440 to £90,290Gross ligament damage and a disrupted joint that necessitates extensive treatment
Facial disfigurement(c) significant scarring£8,550 to £28,240Some cosmetic disability after surgery with a moderate psychological reaction
Brain damage(d) less severe£14,380 to £40,410Generally good recovery made but some persisting issues with concentration or memory
Psychiatric(b) moderately severe£17,900 to £51,460Significant problems but a more optimistic prognosis for recovery
Hand(e) serious hand injury£27,220 to £58,100Injury that has reduced the hand to 50% capacity, for example leaving it clawed, unsightly or clumsy

If you can’t see your injury in the table above, why not get in touch so our advisors can value your claim for free?

Special damages

Special damages compensate you for the financial loss you’ve suffered because of your accident. For example:

  • Lost income through being unable to work
  • Lost attendance bonus
  • Missed pension contributions
  • Expensive medical procedures unavailable on the NHS
  • Adaptations to your home or car
  • Travel costs (to hospital appointments or work, for example)
  • The need for additional childcare provision

Legal representation can help you track and predict all these costs and others that may arise in the future. As you can only make one work injury claim for the incident, it’s important to ensure you include everything.

Care Claims

Under special damages, you could make a claim for domestic care that you needed while you recovered. Help like this can be expensive. The NHS estimate that it can cost between £650 to £1,600 per week to have a carer live with you.

In order to prove special damages, you’d need to provide documents such as invoices and receipts. Our advisors can help if you have any questions about what costs you could recover.

Working With A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyer

Anyone can initiate their own work injury claim. It is not a legal requirement to use the services of a lawyer. It’s important to remember that cases such as this can be complex and jargon-heavy. As you recover from your injuries you may not have the personal resources to concentrate on the needs of the case. Furthermore, the expertise and insights of a professional could give your compensation claim an additional edge.

If you choose to work with a personal injury lawyer to help your claim, a No Win No Fee agreement can help. Also called ‘Conditional Fee Agreements’, they work on the understanding that you will only pay the lawyer’s fee if your case wins. Unsuccessful outcomes mean that you do not have to pay your lawyer their fee.

The fee you pay the lawyer if the claim wins (‘success fee’) is capped by law. What’s more, under No Win No Fee, you wouldn’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing lawyer fees.

Work Injury Claim Time Limits

The time limit for personal injury claims in the workplace is generally that you have three years to initiate a claim. This date starts from the time of the injury or from when you first became aware of injury or illness (such as occupation illnesses like asbestosis that may have a longer onset period) being caused by employer negligence.

Contact Us

If you’d like free legal advice, why not get in touch? Our advisors are available 24/7.

  • Call us on the number at the top of the page.
  • Use our claim online form for a callback. 
  • Use the Live Chat window. 

Additional Resources

We also have a bunch of guides on accident at work claims which you can read below:

The NHS gives advice on how to know if you have a broken bone.

Litigation friends can claim on behalf of those who lack the mental capacity to claim or minors.

If you have any questions about a work injury claim, our advisors can help. They’re available on the number at the top of the page whenever you’re ready.  

Written by  WAT

Published by VIC