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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Night Shift Accident?

By Mark Ainsdale. Last Updated 12th August 2021. Welcome to our night shift accident claims guide. You are more at risk of suffering a night shift injury than working daytime hours, and research has established why this is so. If you had a night shift accident, a personal injury lawyer can assess your claim and advise you on how best to proceed with a claim.

Anyone working nights can suffer from tiredness and fatigue because their body clock finds it hard to adapt to working irregular hours. If you were involved in a night shift accident that left you injured, you could be entitled to compensation, especially if an employer failed in their duty to keep you safe in the workplace.

Employers are duty-bound by law to follow legislation in place to keep their staff safe when working nights. Failing to do this could mean that a court rules in your favour when you file a night shift accident claim against an employer.

To find out how a Legal Expert personal injury solicitor can help you with your claim, please click on the Select a Section below. From there, one of our advisors can help to manage your night shift accident claims guide. So, please speak to our specialist solicitors to start your claim today to receive compensation for your injury.

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A Guide To Night Shift Injury Claims

Night shift accident

Night shift accident

Working irregular hours can negatively impact your capacity to perform as well as you would when working during the day. Studies established that you are at greater risk of being involved in a night shift accident because of impaired judgement and slower reaction time. As such, employers are duty-bound to carry out risk assessments to reduce the chances of you being injured in the workplace.

Should an employer fail in their duty and you suffer a night shift injury, a court could rule in your favour when you file for compensation against them. There are laws to keep workers safe, including shift workers and failing to adhere to them puts employees at greater risk.

At Legal Expert, we have years of experience when it comes to filing successful night shift accident claims and are very respectful of the personal injury claims time limit associated with this type of case.

Night Worker Statistics And Working Hour Limits

A night shift accident is more commonplace than you may first think, which is why employers are duty-bound to ensure that anyone working nights is kept safe in the workplace. Anyone who works a minimum of 3 hours during what is referred to as a “night period” is classed as a night worker and a “night period” lasts from 11 pm through till 6 am.

This can be adapted if both an employer and an employee agree to different hours worked in a “night period”, which must be done in writing, and it must be for a 7-hour period that includes midnight till 5 am.

Other notes

There are limits on the number of hours a night worker can do with rules on maximum weekly hours, and the number of breaks a person is entitled to be clearly laid out. These are detailed below:

  • A night worker must only work an average of 8 hours in any 24-hour period, with the “average” being based on 17 weeks. However, this can be calculated over a longer period of up to 52 weeks, providing a worker and their employer agree.
  • Any regular overtime is calculated in the “average”, but this not does include occasional overtime a worker does
  • A worker can not “opt-out” of “limits.”
  • Workers between the ages of 16 and 17 must not work between midnight and 4 am and typically can not work between 10 pm and 6 am, although if under contract, this may be changed to 11 pm and 7 am, but there are exceptions this too.

Employers under the law are duty-bound to make sure all night workers, including younger staff, are aware of any specific hazards, mental and physical strain associated with the work they carry out. They must also carry out the night shift worker risk management to identify specific night shift safety hazards and mental and physical strain associated with the job.

Employers must keep records for a minimum of 2 years to prove that night workers are not exceeding working hour limits. They must also keep a nightshift injury report of all accidents in the workplace. Otherwise, they could be liable for your injury should you file night shift accident claims.

Common Causes Of Night Shift Accidents At Work

A person’s body adapts at night, ready to go to sleep. Their heart rate slows, blood pressure and body temperature lower, which happens because their internal body clock is getting ready to sleep. It is a difficult routine to break, which means that people fail to adjust when working nights.

The side effects associated with working nights which result in an injury at work which are detailed below:

  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Harder to concentrate
  • Impaired judgement
  • Hand-eye coordination is not as good
  • A poorer reaction
  • Overall lower cognitive performance

All of the above puts you at risk of suffering an accident at work when working nights. Statistics show that night shift accidents are more common when a person’s job involves extreme focus, namely operating machinery or driving. Keep reading to learn how to claim.

Can I Claim If I Develop Cancer As A Result Of Working On Night Shifts?

The World Health Organisation’s IARC found that working nights could put you at risk of developing cancer. However, medical evidence that working nights could result in a person developing breast cancer has not been recognised by the government in the UK, although research is being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive, which began in 2011.

Because of the personal injury claims time limit associated with many cases and the fact that cancer symptoms may develop long after the “cause” complicates a case significantly. As such, until a clear understanding of whether working nights could lead to you developing cancer or a legal precedent is established in the UK, for the moment, the chances of successfully filing for compensation remain low.

Other Health Effects Of Night Shift Work

There are common side effects of working nights, and studies show that men and women can suffer. And any such health complications might make up the victim’s night shift accident claims. So, these could include the following:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Disruption to internal body clock – circadian rhythms
  • Sleep loss/fatigue
  • A lower performance
  • Stress
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Common Causes Of Night Shift Injuries And Safety Hazards

Because a person’s body clock has trouble adapting to working nights, it puts them at risk of suffering an accident at work. The most common causes of night-shift injuries occur because of impaired judgement due to fatigue and harder to concentrate.

Your hand to eye coordination is not as good as when you work during the day, resulting in dropping or colliding with something when operating machinery.

You are more at risk of being injured because your reaction is slower when confronted with a hazard which puts you at greater risk of sustaining a night shift risk injury. Because your cognitive performance is lower, you could underestimate a risk, danger or hazard in the workplace.

If your job involves operating machinery, you are at greater risk of suffering an accident at work during night working hours, and the same can be said if your job entails driving at night.

Who Are Most At Risk Of Night Shift Safety Hazards?

When it comes to those most at risk of night shift safety hazards, studies show that accidents at work increase due to the following:

  • Night shifts are long, being over 8 hours long
  • When you work consecutive night shifts
  • Rest periods during the night shift are farther apart

When work schedules are poorly planned and designed, it can put you at greater shift of suffering a night shift accident.

Night Shift Worker Risk Management

Shift work and fatigue often go hand-in-hand, which puts you more at risk of suffering a night shift accident because you are less alert, your reaction time is that much slower than usual, and you find it a lot harder to remain focused, which can lead to bad decisions.

Employers have a duty of care to keep you safe while working nights which involves carrying out risk assessments to identify any areas that could be improved to prevent a night shift accident from happening. Risk assessments must include the following:

  • Workload
  • Type of work
  • Length of shift and hours worked
  • Rotation of shifts – the best plan being morning, followed by afternoon and then night.
  • The number of breaks during a shift and the length of each rest break
  • Rest periods between in shift

An employer should carefully plan out night shift rotas to reduce the chances of you suffering a night shift injury. If you suffered a night shift accident because an employer failed in their duty of care, a Legal Expert personal injury solicitor would assess your night shift accident claims before advising you on how best to proceed.

Working Time Regulations

UK law requires that employers adhere to specific regulations regarding health and safety for night shift workers. The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WRT) clearly states that night shifts should only last 8 hours in any 24-hour period. This is calculated by averaging the number of hours worked over a period of 17 weeks.

The legislation provides the same rights to night shift workers as those that apply to people who work daytime hours for time off, breaks and rest periods.

Other notes

Studies have shown, however, that adhering to WTR guidelines is not enough to prevent night workers from suffering from fatigue and making mistakes. As such, employers must also adhere to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as well as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which clearly states that employers must do the following:

  • Protect all staff when it comes to their health, safety and welfare in the workplace
  • To assess all risks involved in the working staff carries out and do everything in their power that is reasonably possible to control or eliminate all risks, including the number of hours staff work and how rotas/hours are planned.

Should a personal injury lawyer find there is strong evidence that your work schedule leads to your suffering from fatigue which led to you suffering a night shift accident, you could have a strong case to file a night shift accident claim.

Night Shift Injury Case Study

A recent successful personal injury claim involving a 55-year-old factory worker resulted in him being awarded £214,000 for an accident at work. The factory worker sustained a serious knee injury when struck by a stillage containing heavy axle parts that a colleague was operating. He was knocked over when the stillage collided with him.

His knee injuries were aggravated by underlying degenerative issues, which were not evident before the night shift accident occurred. This means the factory worker was in constant pain for 2 months following the incident, which led to him undergoing an arthroscopy to find out why the pain was so intense. It took 11 months for his injuries to repair but still left the factory worker in constant pain.

Other details

Doctors decided to operate on the factory worker’s knee again two years later to replace his patella-femoral joint. Following the operation and recovery time, the factory worker attempted to return to work, but the pain prevented him.

As a result of this, a judge ruled that, but for the night shift accident, the factory worker would have been able to continue working. Even though there was evidence of degenerative issues existing before the incident occurred, the Judge ruled that the symptoms could be permanent.

As such, his injuries would be life-changing. This would see the Judge awarding the factory worker £45,000 for pain, suffering and loss of mobility. The Judge further awarded the claimant another £169,000 for his loss of earnings, loss of future income and care support. The factory worker would receive £214,000 for the injury. You can achieve a similar level of compensation from your night shift accident claims. Please contact a member of our expert team for more information.

Night Shift Injury At Work Claim Calculator

We base our compensation amounts on Judicial College guidelines. And it’s worth noting that every personal injury claim is unique and therefore treatable as such. In short, you may receive more or less than the amounts in our personal injury claim calculator below:

InjuryNotesAmounts awarded
Finger InjuriesSoft tissue damage to loss of fingerup to £21,910
Thumb injuriesSoft tissue damage to severe thumb injuries which includes loss of digitup to £48,080
Hand InjuriesSoft tissue damage to serious damage£800 to £11,640
Neck injuriesSlight to very severeup to £130,060
Wrist injuriesSlight to moderate£3,090 - £4,160
Leg injuriesSlight to moderateup to £10,380
Foot injuriesMinor cuts/lacerationsup to £12,050
Arm injuriesMinor
fractures between elbow and wrist to very severe permanent injuries
£5,280 to £104,370
Brain DamageLess severe to life changing injuries£11,000 - £1+ million
Spinal injuriesInjuries involving paralysis tetraplegia£258,740 to £322,060
Head injuriesMinor to extremely severe life changing damage£1,650 - £302,500
Chronic painComplex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)£24, 580 to £73,670
Injuries that result in death (full awareness)£10,000 to £18,890
Loss of benefitsAwarded when a person is unable to work which results in a loss of income for the time it takes for them to recover£5,500 to £550,000
Projected loss of earningsAmount awarded depending on how an injury negatively impacts a person's ability to work£11,000 to £440,000

No Win No Fee Nightshift Accident Claims

Legal advice is costly, which puts many people off filing for compensation, having suffered an injury through no fault of their own. Signing a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with a Legal Expert personal injury solicitor takes all the pressure off finding the funds to pay for much needed legal advice. It means you don’t have to worry about upfront fees or ongoing costs associated with filing a personal injury claim against a third party.

With No Win No Fee structures, you only pay when a court rules in your favour, and you receive the level of compensation to suit the pain and suffering you endured. A personal injury solicitor takes their fee directly from the amount you are awarded, and it’s worth noting that most personal injury claims are settled out of court.

Should your case be unsuccessful, there would be nothing to pay for the legal services you received in a No Win No Fee structure.

Contact us today to find out more and take advantage of our free, initial, no-obligation consultation service.

Contact Legal Expert Today

Our personal injury solicitors are waiting to take your call, offering free legal advice on night shift accident claims. Our claims lines are open 9 am to 9 pm from Monday to Friday.

Call us free of 0800 073 8804 or request a “callback” by filling out the form to learn how to claim.

You can also email us at info@legalexpert.co.uk, and we will get back to you promptly.

Useful Links

If you want to know more about personal injury claims, please visit the link below.

The personal injury claims process

If you have suffered an injury at work, our guide to claiming compensation provides useful advice.

Guide to accident at work claims

If you suffer an injury as a result of fatigue, the link below offers valuable Health and Safety information:

Managing shift work

The link below provides essential information on the Health and Safety Act 1974

Health and Safety Act 1974

Night Shift Accident Claims FAQs

Do I receive pay if I suffer an injury at work?

Yes, you receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), though the employer doesn’t usually pay the employee’s full salary during recovery.

How long does an accident at work claim take to settle?

Such claims usually take somewhere between 6 and 12 months to resolve.

Is there a time limit for car accident claims?

Yes, you must make a claim within 3 years following the accident.

How much compensation do you get for a trip or fall?

It’s hard to give an exact amount because it depends on the circumstances and the nature of the injuries.

Should I accept the first offer of compensation?

No, because you’re going to receive a larger second offer probably.

How long does it take to receive an offer of compensation?

You should receive your settlement within 28 days.

Should I tell my insurance company about a minor accident?

Yes, because your insurance company needs to know about even the least serious accidents that you have.

Can I claim for falling in the street?

It is possible to file a claim against your local council for tripping over a pavement in the street.

Thank you for reading our night shift accident claims.

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