If you have suffered a back injury at work, and your employer’s negligence played a part in this, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. 

Back Injury At Work
A guide to making a back injury at work claim

Certain conditions have to be met for your claim to be successful, and there are actions you can take to help strengthen your claim. This guide will go into both and give you an idea of what compensation you might claim for a back injury. 

For any questions you might have, or to discuss your case, you can talk to our advisers using the information on our contact page.

Select A Section: 

  1. How To Make A Compensation Claim For A Back Injury At Work 
  2. Ways That A Back Injury Could Occur 
  3. What Evidence Do I Need To Build A Workplace Accident Claim? 
  4. How Do I Calculate My Payout For An Accident At Work Claim? 
  5. Why Should I Use No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Back Injury At Work Claim? 
  6. Learn More About Back Injury At Work Claims 

How To Make A Compensation Claim For A Back Injury At Work 

At work, your employer has a duty of care to you. A duty of care means that they are in charge of protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees. Failing to do this properly is one of the ways an employer can be negligent. 

If your employer failed to take reasonable steps that could have helped you avoid suffering a back injury at work, then you could be able to make a claim for compensation against them. It could be that they failed to provide proper training or they did not remove a known safety hazard from your site of work.

Evidence you can gather of the circumstances that led to the injury could be helpful in making your claim. They could help you prove the employer failed in their duty of care.

You could go through the claims process without using the services of a solicitor. However, as the nature of the injury can be serious, and the condition can possibly worsen, a solicitor could value your claim to include future losses you endure for suffering a back injury at work. They can also use their experience to understand how much you could claim for your injuries.

Back Injury At Work Statistics 

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) requires the reporting of various serious work accidents to the Health & Safety Executive. 

According to provisional HSE statistics, of the non-fatal injuries to employees reported in the year 2020/21, there were 7,377 back injuries, making it the most commonly reported work injury. There were no fatal injuries associated with back injuries. 

Ways That A Back Injury Could Occur 

If your work involves manual handling, you could be at risk of suffering a back injury. The HSE lists some causes of a back injury at work: 

  • Lifting heavy loads 
  • Carrying loads using poor/improper techniques 
  • Manual handling in awkward areas 
  • Repetitive tasks 
  • Bending, crouching, stretching or twisting 

While every employee is responsible for their own health and safety, legislation puts a duty on an employer to ensure:

  • Employees are taught how to carry out the work safely with proper training and instruction 
  • Employees are informed of any risks to the work before being asked to carry it out 
  • Risk assessments (health and safety checks) are performed on the environment. Any risks should be dealt with or accompanied with clear signs and instructions on how to avoid harm. 
  • The equipment provided is safe to use. 

The duty of care is detailed in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. If your employer failed to carry out any of these, or similar reasonable actions to meet their duty of care, and this led to you suffering a back injury at work, they could be held liable. 

One question to ask when assessing the liability of injuries is ‘what could have been done within reason to avoid the injury?’ For example, you could claim if:

  • You were asked to carry heavy loads without first receiving training. 
  • There were safety hazards in your area of work that were not dealt with in a reasonable amount of time. 
  • You were not properly informed of the hazards of a task before you were asked to carry it out. 

For any immediate information about your situation and whether it would count as employer negligence, you can contact one of our advisers to begin discussing your case. 

What Evidence Do I Need To Build A Workplace Accident Claim? 

Evidence around the injury, how it happened and what effect it has had on you could be the evidence you would need to help build your claim. If possible, gather any evidence about what role your employer had to play in it. 

This could be: 

  • Pictures or recordings of the hazard that led to your injury. 
  • Witnesses, correspondence or any proof that you did not receive sufficient training or that the hazard had not been dealt with in a sufficient amount of time 

Having footage or similar recordings of the incident could help your claim. CCTV of the workplace accident can be requested, or any pictures taken by you or co-workers. Other evidence you could use might be: 

  • Pictures of the injury
  • The contact details of witnesses 
  • Medical records or any information about the first aid you received 
  • Financial records of any costs you had incurred. 

You can reach out to a personal injury solicitor, or an experienced legal expert, about your situation and they can give you information over what you could gather and what would be helpful in your own situation.  

How Do I Calculate My Payout For An Accident At Work Claim? 

The aim of compensation in personal injury claims is to compensate you for any pain you suffered due to the injury and the effect it has had on your life. This could be mental, physical or financial. While there aren’t necessarily any set rules to what amount you can seek in a claim, what you could be awarded will depend on the injury and the effect it has had on your life. 

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a publication containing awards for injuries previously awarded in court settlements, offers an idea of what you could claim for the head of compensation known as general damages. This is the compensation amount intended to address the psychological and physical pain and suffering you experienced due to the injury. 

The compensation table below includes a list of figures taken from the JCG.

InjuryNotesAward
Back Injuries: Severe (i)Severe damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots£85,470 to £151,070
Back Injuries: Severe (ii)Nerve root damage with associated loss of sensation, impaired mobility, impaired bowel and bladder function, scarring and sexual difficulties£69,600 to £82,980
Back Injuries: Severe (iii)Disc lesions or fractures of discs or soft tissue injuries leading to disability£36,390 to £65,440
Back Injuries: Moderate (i)A wide variety of injuries but if there is any disability, it is of less severity than the above£26,050 to £36,390
Back Injuries: Moderate (ii)Disturbance of ligaments and muscles£11,730 to £26,050
Back Injuries: Minor (i)Full recovery or reduction to nuisance without surgery within about two to five years£7,410 to £11,730
Back Injuries: Minor (ii)Full recovery in three months to 2 years£2,300 to £7,410
Back Injuries: Minor (iii)Full recovery within three monthsUp to £2,300
Neck Injuries: Severe (ii)Serious damage to discs in the cervical spine£61,710 to £122,860
Neck Injuries: Moderate (i)Fractures or dislocations which may necessitate spinal fusion£23,460 to £36,120
 

To help claim general damages, you’d attend a medical assessment as part of the personal injury claims process. An independent medical professional would assess your injuries and create a report. Your solicitor could use this to value your injuries.

The second head of compensation that would address any financial harm you have suffered due to the injury, would be special damages. 

If you had lost income due to taking time off work, if you had to spend money to aid you with treatment; any financial losses you suffered directly related to the injury, could be calculated and sought as part of your claim. However, you’d need to provide evidence. This could be in the form of payslips, receipts or invoices, for example. 

You can contact an adviser for any questions you might have about compensation awards. 

Why Should I Use No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Back Injury At Work Claim? 

A solicitor working on a No Win No Fee basis will not charge you any upfront or ongoing fees. This offers you a chance to not have to worry about solicitor costs on top of all the concerns the injury might have brought on you.   

They would represent you and give you help in every part of the claims process. If your claim were to be successful, their payment would come as a legally capped percentage of the compensation. If the claim does not succeed you would not have to pay them their fee. 

Talk To Us About A Back Injury At Work Claim 

If you are interested, you can talk to one of our advisers now to see if you could be put through to our panel of solicitors and learn about what they can do for your back injury at work claim. 

You can contact an advisor via:

  • Our contact page 
  • Calling us on the number at the top of the page
  • Using our live chat

Learn More About Back Injury At Work Claims 

The NHS offers information on how to avoid manual handling injuries with safe lifting tips & techniques. 

They also have advice on what to do when suffering back pain.

The HSE offers guidance on employers’ responsibilities. 

We also have guides on: 

If you have any queries about making a back injury at work claim, get in touch today. Our advisors are available 24/7.

Written by CHA

Published by VIC