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

By Danielle Coleman. Last Updated 26th October 2022. 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. 

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.

Back Injury At Work

A guide to making a back injury at work claim

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. Back Injury At Work Claim – What Evidence Do I Need?
  4. How Long Do I Have To Make A Back Injury At Work Claim?
  5. How Do I Calculate My Payout For An Accident At Work Claim? 
  6. Why Should I Use No Win No Fee Solicitors For A Back Injury At Work Claim? 
  7. 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. 

Back Injury At Work Claim – What Evidence Do I Need? 

If you are injured back at work due to the negligence of your employer, you may be entitled to claim compensation from them. You must, however, be able to support your back injury at work claim with evidence. Consider gathering the following evidence:

  • Medical evidence – seeking medical attention after an injury can be an important step. A medical professional can help you receive a proper diagnosis and provide treatment. You could also get a medical report that proves you were injured, which can be helpful for your claim.
  • Photographic proof – we recommend you take pictures of your back injury and the scene of the accident. If possible, take a photo of the hazard that injured you.
  • Witness contact details – if anyone saw your accident and is willing to corroborate your version of events, a solicitor could collect a statement from them.
  • Accident book – workplaces with over 10 employees are required to have an accident book on site. Employers and employees are required by law to use the accident book to record and report any injuries or accidents. A co-worker can complete the report on your behalf if you are unable to.
  • CCTV Footage – you have the legal right to ask for CCTV footage of yourself. It is helpful for you to collect this as CCTV footage can show the accident occurring.

Our panel of solicitors are experienced and could use their knowledge and expertise to help you collect evidence for accident at work claims.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Back Injury At Work Claim?

If you suffered a back injury from work activities and would like to make a personal injury claim, you must start within the personal injury claims time limit. Typically, this is set at three years from the date of the injury at work, or the date that it became apparent you suffered a back injury from work activities. For example, your back problems could be connected to work activities following a medical exam at a later date. This is set under the Limitation Act 1980. In some circumstances, the time limit will be suspended altogether.

These include:

  • Someone under 18 years old cannot represent themselves in a back injury at work claim. While the time limit is suspended, a litigation friend could file an injury at work claim on their behalf. However, if a back injury at work claim is not started on their behalf, once the injured party reaches their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start a claim.
  • If someone lacks the mental capacity to start a back injury at work claim, a litigation friend could start a claim for them. However, should capacity be regained and an injury at work claim has not already been started on their behalf, then they will have three years from the date in which capacity was regained.

Call our advisors to learn more about the accident at work claims time limit.

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£91,090 to £160,980
Back Injuries: Severe (ii)Nerve root damage with associated loss of sensation, impaired mobility, impaired bowel and bladder function, scarring and sexual difficulties£74,160 to £88,430
Back Injuries: Severe (iii)Disc lesions or fractures of discs or soft tissue injuries leading to disability£38,780 to £69,730
Back Injuries: Moderate (i)A wide variety of injuries but if there is any disability, it is of less severity than the above£27,760 to £38,780
Back Injuries: Moderate (ii)Disturbance of ligaments and muscles£12,510 to £27,760
Back Injuries: Minor (i)Full recovery or reduction to nuisance without surgery within about two to five years£7,890 to £12,510
Back Injuries: Minor (ii)Full recovery in 1 to 2 years£4,350 to £7,890
Back Injuries: Minor (iii)Full recovery between three months and 1 year£2,450 to £4,350
Neck Injuries: Severe (ii)Serious damage to discs in the cervical spine£65,740 to
£130,930


Neck Injuries: Moderate (i)Fractures or dislocations which may necessitate spinal fusion£24,990 to
£38,490


 

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