Back Injury at Work Compensation Guide
Updated: March 2019
Around 80% of adults will experience some form of back pain/injury.
Typically, back pain/injury are caused either by a poor seating position, be it slouching in the chair or sitting in chairs that do not support the spine or shoulders, resulting in lower back issues, or a slip or a fall within the workplace.
Over 500,000 work related injuries are self-reported UK.
One in five injuries accounted for are related to a back injury at work. Of the 80% of adults that suffer from an injury/pain, 10% will re-injure their back throughout their lifetime.
Due to the high amount of back related workplace injuries, it’s important employees know both the potential causes of back related injuries, along with the claim and compensation rights they have
Back Injuries at Work – What’s the Problem?
Irrespective of where you work or what type of work you undertake, if a job or workspace isn’t designed properly to limit the impact on the spine, there is a greater chance that you’ll suffer a work-related back injury during your career.
Careers whereby back injuries are suffered in work include:
- Office Based Careers – where employees are sat for extended periods of time working in work chairs that are not designed to support or look after the spine, shoulders and neck.
- Heavy Lifting/Labour – across construction and factory-based trades whereby heavy-lifting is undertaken without the specified/required training for purposeful heavy lifting.
- Freight/Lorry Driving – where employees are sat in the same position for hours on end, transporting goods/materials up and down the country in automotive chairs not designed for spine support. Additionally, this type of work hinders the spine from consistent stretching and exercise – this is required to ensure the back doesn’t seize up.
- Medical Professions – where nurses and the like are constantly on their feet, without time to sit down, relax and rest their spine.
Of course, back-related work injuries can be found in all industries; the back is one of the highest injured parts of the human body. An injury to the back can have a significant effect on your career, and from an employer’s perspective, back injuries can have a significant impact on the productivity of their workforce as a result of absenteeism, therefore it is important the correct procedures be undertaken to avoid claims/compensation.
If I Have Injured My Back at Work, Can I Claim?
In short, the answer is yes; subject to the circumstances, you are allowed to claim compensation for any injury at work within the UK, including back injuries.
However, depending on the kind of back injury that you have suffered at work, the injury claim and compensation will vary.
How Much Can I Claim For A Back Injury at Work?
For a back injury at work claim, there are, like other workplace injury claims, a threshold of severity for the compensation amount. Back injury at work compensation varies in total from a few hundred pounds to £128,320.00 depending on the severity of your injury.
For minor back injuries with little pain, the threshold is from a few hundred pounds through to £9,970 depending on the length of nuisance the injury has caused. Usually, the higher end of this threshold is a result of an on-going nuisance that is recovered from within two to five years.
For moderate back injuries which has resulted in prolapsed discs, or abrasions, the compensation claim can be between £9,970 to £30,910.00.
Finally, for serious injuries to the back, ranging from disc lesions, fractures and chronic injuries all the way up to severe back damage, the compensation can range claims from £30,910.00 to £128,320.00.
Back Injury Compensation Examples
The table below summarises the compensation thresholds for back injuries:
|Severity of Back Injury||Back Injury Compensation||Additional Information|
|Mild back injury||Up to £9,970||Muscular pains, slipped discs, and soft tissue damage to back.|
|Moderate to severe back injuries||From £9,970 to £30,910||Ligament damage, soft tissue on the back, and consistent pain/discomfort|
|Severe to Highly Severe back injuries||£30,910 to £128,320||Severe injury to the back, with relation to body organs in the lower part of the body, and potential paralysis.|
How To Claim For A Back Injury Suffered At Work
Regardless of how much back injury compensation may be, a back-injury claim should be taken seriously, as the affects both short-term and long-term of the injury will impact on the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
All victims of back injuries at work should follow the correct procedures to ensure a coherent compensation claim is followed. The key steps are:
- Immediately reporting the injury to the work injury report book
This is imperative to any claim, should you require to take legal action for your workplace injury. Having on record that you have reported the injury shows that both the company and you have acknowledged an injury occurred within the workplace.
However, there may be instances where the injury/accident has not been correctly reported and/or recorded. This will not preclude you from making a claim, but it is important you advise your solicitor in detail the reasons for the same and the circumstances surrounding your incident.
Furthermore, should a potential workplace injury claim require proof that the company has made improvements to health and safety within the workplace, the injury recorded can act as evidence to support or prove whether the correct steps were taken after the event.
- Accepting, requesting and utilising medical attention and professional analysis/advice
As a claimant, you should use all the resources available to you, and this includes medical advice. All injuries at work should incur some form of professional medical evaluation to fully understand the impact of the injury.
The resulting professional opinion/report can act as evidence to support your claim, and help you achieve the correct amount of compensation.
- Employing a personal injury specialist to review your case
When looking for professional legal representation with a back-injury claim, you should always strive to work with specialists within this field of law.
A personal injury specialist in high value back injury claims, as is the case within Aston Knight Solicitors, is best equipped to understand the nuances of your case, what actions to take and how to strategically manage the claim from a legal perspective.
They will ensure that you are able to provide all the necessary evidence and information to support your right to claim, and best advise you on courses of action throughout your claim. This will depend on the progress of your claim and its chances of a successful verdict if the matter proceeds to court.
- Working with your employer to improve workplace safety
For the benefit of your career, and job, and to avoid any workplace discrimination post injury claim, working with your employer is a positive step.
Becoming an advocate of the company’s efforts to reduce injuries within the workplace and helping them to implement these procedures/policies can help you to be an employee that cares about their company.
- When to contact a personal injury specialist
As soon as the personal injury has occurred, and whether you are or are not in any need of immediate medical attention, you can contact a legal representative to discuss your case. It is always advisable to contact a solicitor as soon as possible.
At Aston Knight we have experienced some workplace injuries where the injured party has not sought legal advice immediately and the employer has attempted to deal with the claim themselves directly with the injured person. This has resulted in them nearly accepting hundreds or just a few thousand pounds, whereby we have then later settled the serious injury claim for hundreds of thousands of pounds, in addition to obtaining expensive intermediate treatments and rehabilitation plus other expenses.
In doing so, we can ensure the correct steps have been taken, and that you have documented the events of your injury to best describe everything that has happened to the specialist.
From here on, log every interaction with the employer, colleagues and health and safety teams to ensure you are fully prepared should the claim need to proceed to court.
Aston Knight Solicitors can provide a free consultation, and can act for you on a no-win-no-fee basis. For more information and a confidential no obligation chat about your matter, please contact us directly on 0800 999 6661.
Ayoub grew up in Bury before graduating from the University of Lancaster. After then completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester, he joined a prestigious London magic-circle firm where he worked on a multi-million pound product liability claim, being the highest value claim of its type in the world. He then returned to the North West where he joined a leading practice before leaving to start his own specialist practice. To contact Ayoub, visit the contact page.