If you have seriously injured your back in the workplace, in public or on the road due to a third party breaching the duty of care they owe, you may wonder whether you could start a serious back injury claim. This guide will discuss the criteria that must be met in order for you to have valid grounds to do so. It will also look at the evidence you could provide in support of your case and how a solicitor could potentially assist you through the process of seeking personal injury compensation.
Additionally, we outline the duty of care employers, occupiers, and road users owe and provide examples of how accidents at work, on the road and in public could lead to a serious back injury due to a breach of duty.
Furthermore, we provide a figurative case study that outlines the different steps that can be taken when making a personal injury claim.
Our guide also looks at how payouts for successful claims are calculated and how they aim to address the different ways your injuries have affected you.
If you have any other questions about serious injury claims, please contact an advisor. They can offer free guidance 24/7. To reach them, you can:
Jump To A Section
- When Can You Make A Serious Back Injury Claim?
- How Do You Prove Liability In A Serious Back Injury Claim?
- Case Study: £1.5 Million Payout For A Serious Back Injury Claim
- What Back Injury Claim Amount Could You Receive?
- Claim For A Back Injury Payout On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Read More About Serious Injury Claims
There are several third parties who owe a duty of care to keep you safe, such as at work, while using the road, or while in a public place. If you have sustained a serious back injury because a third party breached their duty of care, you may wonder whether you’re eligible to seek compensation.
In order to begin a personal injury claim for a serious back injury, you must be able to demonstrate the following:
- That a care duty was owed to you at the time and place of your injury.
- This duty was breached.
- You suffered an injury, either physical, psychological, or both, because of the breach.
In the following sections, we explain in more detail the duty of care owed on the roads, in the workplace and in public places. We also look at some examples of how a breach of that duty could lead to a back injury.
Road Traffic Accidents
The Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code contain rules and regulations that road users must adhere to. In doing so, they can uphold their duty of care which requires them to prevent harm or damage to themselves and others when navigating the roads.
A failure to do so could result in a road traffic accident in which someone sustains a serious injury to the back. For example:
- A driver looking at their mobile phone crashes into the back of you at a high speed while you’re waiting at a set of traffic lights. This causes you to sustain a serious back injury that involves damage to the nerve roots and spinal cord in a car accident.
Accidents At Work
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) requires all employers to take reasonable and practicable steps to prevent their employees from becoming harmed in the workplace.
A failure to do so could result in an accident at work. For example:
- An employee may fall while working at a height due to their employer instructing them to use a faulty ladder. This may result in the employee sustaining fractures in the cervical and lumbar spine.
Accidents In A Public Place
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 places a duty of care on those in control of a public space which requires them to take steps to ensure the reasonable safety of those visiting the space for its intended purpose.
If there was a failure to uphold this duty, it could lead to an accident in a public place. For example:
- A customer falls down the stairs in a shopping centre due to a faulty handrail that was reported multiple times but wasn’t fixed in a timely manner. Due to the height from which the customer fell, they sustained a serious back injury that caused quadriplegia.
To discuss your specific circumstances and find out whether you’re eligible to make a serious back injury claim, please contact an advisor on the number above.
Evidence can help prove liability in a serious back injury claim by demonstrating a third party failed to adhere to their duty of care causing you to experience harm as a result. As such, you could benefit from gathering the following:
- Dashcam or CCTV footage that shows the accident.
- Witness contact details.
- Medical records, such as doctor notes, hospital reports, and copies of scans.
- Photos of the scene and your injuries.
A solicitor from our panel could assist you in collecting evidence to support your case, provided you have valid grounds to proceed and wish to seek legal representation. To find out more about the services they could offer and whether you could instruct them to begin working on your case, contact an advisor on the number above.
The following case study is figurative and used only for the purpose of highlighting the different steps involved in seeking personal injury compensation.
As Mr.Douglas made his journey by car to visit relatives, another motorist crashed into the side of him after failing to check their mirrors before changing lanes on the motorway. The accident caused Mr.Douglas’s spine to be broken in three places alongside severe root nerve damage and paraplegia.
After seeking legal advice, Mr.Douglas decided to pursue a serious back injury claim with help from a solicitor. His solicitor helped him to collect evidence, such as dash cam footage, witness contact details, and pictures, and submit the claim within the relevant time limit.
Mr. Douglas succeeded with his claim and given the very severe nature of the injury and the life-altering impact it had on him and his family, Mr. Douglas was awarded a settlement of £1.5 million. This included compensation to cover future lost income and care costs.
If you have any questions about seeking compensation for a serious injury to the back, please contact an advisor on the number above.
Following a successful serious back injury claim, a payout consisting of general damages and special damages may be awarded. Each of these heads of claim aims to address the different ways your injuries have affected you.
Firstly, general damages compensate for the pain and suffering caused by the injuries. Legal professionals can value this aspect of your settlement with help from the guideline compensation brackets set out in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). They could also use medical evidence provided in support of your case.
The table below contains figures from the JCG. You should use these as a guide only because settlements can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case.
|Multiple Back Injuries||Serious||Up to £1,000,000 plus||Several serious injuries to the back can be compensated for, as well as the financial losses incurred as a result.|
|Paralysis||Quadraplegia||£324,600 to £403,990||Paralysis of the upper and lower body.|
|Paraplegia||£219,070 to £284,260||Paralysis of the lower body.|
|Back Injury||Severe (a)(i)||£91,090 to £160,980||Damage to the nerve roots and spinal cord causing very serious consequences, such as severe pain and disability.|
|Special Damages||Loss Of Earnings||Up to £100,000 and above||Compensation to reimburse any lost income incurred due to time taken off work for injuries.|
Claiming Special Damages Compensation For A Back Injury
Special damages can be awarded in a payout that also includes general damages. It’s the head of claim that compensates you for any monetary losses that you have incurred due to your back injury. For example:
- Medical costs.
- Domestic care costs.
- Travel expenses.
- The cost of home adaptations to accommodate the new disability.
Evidence, such as receipts, travel tickets, invoices, and payslips could help you prove any losses.
For any further guidance on how compensation for a successful serious back injury claim is calculated, please contact an advisor on the number above.
A No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel might be able to assist you with your serious back injury claim. They can offer their services through a type of No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Contracts such as this typically mean that no fees for the solicitor’s services will be required at the start of the claims process, as it progresses, or if the claim fails.
Should the outcome be a success, your solicitor will take a legally restricted percentage from your compensation. This acts as their success fee. Due to the legal cap, you get to keep the majority of the compensation awarded.
To discover if you are eligible to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor on your case, contact our advisors today. To reach them, you can:
For more of our helpful guides:
- A helpful guide discussing the time limit for personal injury claims and the exceptions that could potentially apply.
- Find out when you could make a serious head injury claim and the compensation you could receive.
- Learn about the benefits of working with a serious injury claim lawyer and when you could be eligible to instruct them to begin working on your case.
For more external resources:
- A helpful guide on back pain from the NHS.
- Helpful workplace accident statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
- Useful road accidents and safety statistics from GOV.UK.
Thank you for reading our guide on when you could be eligible to make a serious back injury claim. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call our team using the number above.
Writer Jeff Wallow
Editor Meg McConnell