Who Can Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work?

This guide will provide you with information about how to claim for a needle stick injury at work. Certain types of employment carry a higher risk of coming into contact with sharp objects, including healthcare roles, waste disposal jobs and housekeeping work. However, your employer is legally obliged to take reasonable steps to keep you safe while you are working. Should they fail to do so and you suffer an injury, you might be entitled to claim compensation. 

However, all accident at work claims must satisfy certain eligibility criteria. We explain what this is in order to have a valid reason to seek needle stick injury compensation. This is further illustrated with examples. Furthermore, we look at evidence that could be useful when making a compensation claim. 

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you might be interested to know more about how compensation could be awarded. This guide explains how a successful needle stick injury claim is settled before concluding with a look at how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help with your case. 

Our team of friendly advisors are here to help. If you have any questions about making a claim against your employer, please get in touch. 

To discuss work injury claims:

  • Call 020 8050 2736
  • Ask how to claim compensation in our live chat. 
  • Fill in our claim online form with details about the workplace accident and a suitable time for an advisor to call you. 

Claim for needle stick injury at work under personal injury law.

Select A Section 

  1. When Am I Eligible To Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work?
  2. How To Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work
  3. When Can I Make A Needlestick Injury Claim?
  4. What Might My Needlestick Injury Claim Be Worth?
  5. Can I Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
  6. More Resources About Needlestick Injury Claims

When Am I Eligible To Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work?

While you are in the workplace, your employer has a legal obligation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. This is their duty of care as set by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). As part of this duty, there are additional regulations for healthcare employers to follow. These are found in the Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. As part of these regulations, your employer must:

  • Conduct risk assessments that identify health and safety risks that could arise, plus arrangements to deal with incidents. 
  • Prevent, where reasonably practicable to do so, exposure to sharps injuries, such as through the use of safer sharps with safety shields or covers. 
  • Provide training and information in regard to the sharp instruments.

However, to claim for a needle stick injury at work, you must prove that you meet the eligibility requirements to make a personal injury claim. This means that you need evidence that proves:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care. 
  • They breached this duty. 
  • You sustained an injury because of this breach. This could be a psychological injury, or a physical injury, such as developing an infection or nerve damage. 

In the next section, we look at some of the evidence that can help prove you satisfy these requirements. 

A sharps injury could occur when taking a blood sample.

How To Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work

As with all compensation claims, your claim for a needle stick injury at work must be supported with evidence. This needs to show liability for your injury. Here are a few examples of evidence that could be helpful when making an accident at work claim:

  • Accident report form. By law, all workplaces with ten or more employees must keep an accident book to record and monitor incidents. You can submit a copy of this to support your work injury claim. It should be filled in with your name, the time and date and details of your sharps injury.  
  • Witness contact information. If you note contact details from witnesses as soon as possible following your needle stick injury, they can be contacted for witness statements later in the claims process. 
  • Medical records. Getting urgent medical advice after such an injury is extremely crucial. You can submit a copy of your medical records with details of the injuries suffered and what treatment you needed. 
  • Photographic evidence. Any pictures you have of the accident scene, the needlestick injuries you suffered, or the items that caused the sharps injury can be used to support your work accident claim. 

One of our advisors can discuss gathering evidence to support your injury at work claim. Additionally, if you meet eligibility requirements to claim needlestick injury compensation, they can connect you to one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel who can advise you on evidence and the needlestick injury claims process. 

You will need evidence to seek needlestick injury compensation.

When Can I Make A Needlestick Injury Claim?

There are various incidents that could cause a needlestick injury. However, in order to have a valid accident at work claim for personal injury compensation, you must be able to prove that your employer’s negligence caused the incident. Here are a few examples of how needlestick injuries occur:

  • Insufficient training. According to the regulations discusssed above, staff that are expected to handle needles and other sharps should be sufficiently trained to prevent injury. Additionally, staff should not be asked to undertake procedures that they aren’t trained for. For example, if you aren’t trained in how to safely dispose of needles, you shouldn’t be asked to do so. 
  • Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) or safety shields. Where reasonably practicable, your employer should not use unprotected medical sharps and instead provide needles that incorporate features to prevent or reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, any gloves or other PPE needed to safely carry out your job role should be provided. 
  • Failing to adhere to health and safety standards for safe disposal practices. Used needles need to be disposed of in a sharps bin. If a sharps bin is not provided, a needlestick injury could be sustained, such as when emptying a non-hazardous bin. 
  • Failure to learn from previous errors. Incidents involving needles should be recorded in the accident log book. This can help prevent an accident in the workplace or identify patterns of injuries that require further training or precautions. 

How Long After My Needlestick Injury Can I Claim?

If you would like to seek compensation for your workplace injury, you must file the claim within the relevant time limit. The Limitation Act 1980 sets this as generally three years from the date of the needle stick injury for personal injury claims.

However, there are some time limit exceptions. These include:

  • Protected parties without the mental capacity to manage their own work accident compensation claim. They have a suspension applied to the limitation period. This will last for as long as the injured party is without this mental capacity. In these cases, a litigation friend could be appointed by the court to handle the claim on behalf of the protected party at any point while the time limit is suspended. If the protected party recovers the mental capacity required to manage a claim, and one was not made for them, they will have three years from this date to begin proceedings. 
  • Children under the age of 18 also cannot file their own personal injury claim. In these cases, the time limit does not start until their 18th birthday. At any point before this, a litigation friend could begin the claims process for them. If they reach their 18th birthday and a claim was not started on their behalf, they will have three years from that date to file one.  

Contact an advisor from our team to discuss the time limit and find out if you are still within it to start your claim for a needle stick injury at work

What Might My Needlestick Injury Claim Be Worth?

If you make a successful claim, your settlement might consist of two parts. These are known as general and special damages. 

Compensation for the physical pain and mental suffering is paid out under general damages. To help assess the value of your pain and suffering, those responsible for evaluating personal injury claims may refer to the compensation guidelines published by the Judicial College (JCG). These guidelines provide a list of compensation brackets for various types of injuries and illnesses.

Our table below looks at figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. In addition to these figures, we’ve provided a figure in the top row that looks at what types of compensation could be awarded for multiple serious injuries and special damages. This figure is not from the JCG. As all compensation claims are different, the table is only provided for illustrative purposes. 

HarmSeverityNotesCompensation Guideline
Multiple Severe Injuries and Illnesses and Special DamagesVery SeriousSettlements could include compensation for more than one type of injury or illness and incurred expenses, such as lost earnings.Up to £200,000+
General Psychological DamageSevereThe harmed person cannot cope with life and personal relationships. At this severity, the prognosis is very poor.£54,830 to £115,730
Moderately SevereThere have been significant problems coping with life and relationship, but the future is more optimistic than in severe cases.£19,070 to £54,830
ModerateThe claimant has experienced marked improvements from problems coping with life and relationships.£5,860 to £19,070
Less SevereThe harmed party experienced a period of disability affecting daily activities and sleep.£1,540 to £5,860
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)SeverePermanent effects prevent the injured party from functioning at the same level as prior to the incident.£59,860 to £100,670
Moderately SevereThe claimant suffers with a significant disability that is likely to last into the foreseeable future.£23,150 to £59,860
ModerateThe injured person may experience some non-grossly disabling symptoms, but has largely recovered.£8,180 to £23,150
Less SevereSymptoms have virtually resolved within one to two years.£3,950 to £8,180

Special Damages – Can They Make Up Part Of My Needle Stick Injury At Work Compensation?

You may also be awarded special damages as part of a successful accident at work claim. Special damages compensate for the financial harm that you’ve experienced as a result of your needle stick injury. Examples of financial losses you could be reimbursed for include:

  • Your loss of earnings for any time spent off work recovering from your injuries. This can also include future losses and lost pension contributions. 
  • Therapy costs. 
  • Prescription costs. 
  • Any other medical expenses. 
  • Transport costs to attend medical appointments. 

In order to be reimbursed for these costs, you should submit proof as part of the personal injury claims process. For example, you could save your receipts and wage slips. 

An advisor from our team can value your needlestick injury compensation claim for free. They can also further discuss special damages, what costs you could recover and what evidence you should save. 

Can I Claim For A Needle Stick Injury At Work Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor

You may wish to have legal representation if you meet the eligibility requirements to claim for a needle stick injury at work. One of the personal injury solicitors from our panel could help with your case. Generally, our panel will offer their legal services under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. 

When you instruct a No Win No Fee solicitor to work on your case, they won’t ask you to pay any upfront or ongoing fees towards their services. They also won’t ask you to make a payment for their work on your claim if it fails. 

However, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation if your claim is successful. This amount is a capped percentage that is limited by the law. 

Our advisory team is here to help you. They can further discuss the needlestick injury compensation claims process, assess the potential value of your claim and answer any questions you have about No Win No Fee solicitors. Additionally, if you satisfy the eligibility criteria, you could be connected to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. 

To discuss a needlestick injury compensation claim after an accident at work:

A solicitor discusses a claim for a workplace needlestick injury.

More Resources About Needlestick Injury Claims

Further articles about accident at work claims that you might find helpful:

Links to external websites that could be useful:

Please get in touch to further discuss how to claim for a needle stick injury at work.