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Manual Handling Injury And Accident Claims Explained

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 1st August 2023. Manual handling accidents are a real threat to safety in workplaces. Claims of this kind are made by many workers in many industries.

These accidents can involve actions including carrying, pushing, raising, lowering, and lifting items using your hands and body. Often, these items may be heavy and, as such, might be a risk to handle mandiually. When these actions result in a workplace accident or an injury, there may be a case for legal action. It’s important to know how to claim compensation if this happens.

Dealing with the aftermath of a manual handling accident can be difficult, either due to the fact that victims lack adequate information or because they do not know how to file such a claim. However, there are easier ways of dealing with a manual handling accident claim. With the right legal assistance, you might find the entire process much, much easier.

If you have been involved in a manual handling accident and you think you have a valid reason to make a compensation claim, this guide will help you get started. It contains answers to questions you may want to ask, as well as details on how to contact our team should you have any further questions.

When can I claim for manual handling accidents?

If you aren’t already aware, personal injury claims, including those for manual handling accidents, have time limits within which they can be made. This means that if claimants wait too long before starting their claim, their eligibility to do so could expire and they may lose out on getting the compensation that they deserve.

In most cases of personal injury, the time limit to make a claim is 3 years from the date of the accident. There are some cases, however, where this time limit can be extended to suit claimants’ needs.

For example, if a claimant is mentally incapacitated to the point where they are unable to make a claim for themselves, the time limit is frozen until they can. Similarly, if a claimant is under 18 and therefore unable to make legal proceedings for themselves, the time limit is frozen until they come of age. In the meantime, they could appoint a litigation friend to make legal proceedings on their behalf, at which point the usual time limit would come into effect.

To see if you could claim within the time limit for your case, please get in touch today for a free consultation.

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What is a Manual Handling Accident?

A manual handling accident, in simple terms, is an accident that occurs when you attempt to move, lift, or otherwise handle an object using only your hands. Such a definition can be considered quite broad, as it encapsulates the many different items which might require lifting, the many different environments in which the accident might occur, and the many different ways in which an accident can happen. For example, manual handling accidents could happen as a result of the following actions:

  • Lifting an item that is already too high or out of reach.
  • Lifting objects that are too heavy.
  • Repetitive lifting with poor technique or posture.
  • Pushing, pulling lowering, and carrying items.

Manual Handling Accidents

Manual Handling Accidents

Such accidents can occur in shops, care homes, warehouses, and many other environments where it is common for employees to assist in lifting items or moving patients.

For more information on how manual handling accident claims can be the result of back injuries, please read on.

Claiming for Back Injuries Caused by Manual Handling Accidents

Manual handling injury

Manual handling injury

Back injuries are among the most common, the most painful, and the most debilitating types of accidents that occur as a result of manual handling. A back injury can cause serious difficulties in walking, chronic pain, and (in some cases) paralysis. It is also important to note that manual

handling accidents workplace injuries can happen as the result of an employer’s negligence. If this is the case, then you may be able to claim compensation for your back injuries.

By law, an employer is required to provide workers with a safe and hazard-free work environment. Such regulations may require training on correct lifting techniques or protective clothing, both of which could help protect you from back injuries. If health and safety standards such as these are not adhered to, the victim may have a claim for compensation.

Common Manual Handling Injuries

There are various types of injuries you could suffer in a manual handling accident. Some examples of more common manual handling injuries include:

  • Back injuries – poor lifting techniques could cause you to suffer a back injury.
  • Strains and sprains – repeatedly lifting very heavy objects could cause you to strain a muscle or sprain a ligament.
  • Hand injuries – this could include strains, broken fingers or cuts.
  • Foot injuries – if you were to drop a heavy load onto your foot, this could cause you to suffer a broken bone.

Remember, no matter what type of manual handling injury you may have suffered, to be eligible to make a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that you suffered your injury due to your employer breaching their duty of care.

Our personal injury solicitors have vast experience in dealing with claims for manual handling injuries. Get in touch with one of our advisors today to see if you could be eligible to work with one of them.

I Have Received No Manual Handling Training, Can I Claim Compensation?

If you have not received training for manual handling and, as a result, you have been injured then the general answer is ‘yes’, you could claim compensation but please feel free to verify this by calling our claims team or talking through our live chat.

Manual Handling Accidents Caused by Lifting

Frequent lifting of heavy, cumbersome, and awkward objects can lead to injury. Any attempt to lift heavy objects can be hindered either due to a lack of lifting equipment or as a result of a lack of adequate training for lifting objects. In cases such as this, knowing the best techniques for lifting (or having a machine to help) can prevent you from putting a strain on your back which may eventually cause an injury.

In many lifting-related accidents, the employer will be liable for compensation payouts. However, if the correct training and equipment was provided (or the safety guidelines were followed to the letter), the liability of the employer might be more difficult to prove. If you have injured yourself lifting and would like help in determining whether compensation is owed, you can call our team and discuss the matter.

Other Common Causes of Manual Handling Accidents

As well as lifting heavy items, pushing, carrying, and lowering items can lead to accidents, which can, in turn, lead to manual handling accident claims. . Though these are among the most common causes of such injuries, they are not the only causes. Other issues include:

  • Insufficient Breaks: A situation where there is little or no break period provided during a prolonged spell of physical activity.
  • Slips and Falls: Handling objects in a slippery environment (possibly a result of spillages, weather, and other hazardous materials) can increase the chance of slip. trip and fall incidents.
  • Lack of Equipment: When you are lifting heavy objects, you may be provided with dedicated equipment (such as a forklift truck). If this is not provided, you may be putting yourself in an increased danger of injury.

It is the employer’s obligation and duty to ensure that workers have a safe environment in which to conduct their business. This would mean providing the right equipment and training for workers with regards to handling procedures. Failure to do this can strengthen your case for compensation if you suffer an injury from manual handling.

Read on for information on making manual handling accident claims against your employer, or contact us today to see how much you could be owed. 

Claiming As An Employee

Most employees do not know that they have the legal right to claim compensation following manual handling accidents. However, it is important to understand that – as an employee – it is within your rights to make a compensation claim.

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is designed to ensure that employers are not placed in hazardous, dangerous, or risky environments, including providing manual handling regulations. Any breach of these regulations by the employer, the building owner, or the equipment supplier could strengthen your compensation claim following an accident.

As an employee involved in any manual handling accident, you may have a legitimate claim for compensation. In order to find out more, we recommend contacting a legal professional and discussing the process of making a claim against your employer. There are strict HSE guidelines in place to keep people safe from manual handling accidents.

Claiming for Manual Handling Accident as a Member of the Public

You can also claim compensation as a member of the public if you have been involved in a manual handling accident. However, in making these claims, it is important to take into consideration the location the accident happened, as this will be important in determining the liability for the injury.

If the accident happened in a public place – such as a club, bar, sports arena, etc. – you may be able to claim compensation against the owner of the facility. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 provides legal protection to visitors to any property, placing a requirement on the occupier to ensure that visitors remain safe from harm at all times. If you believe they have failed to do so, you may have a viable compensation claim.

Call our team today if you would like to discuss manual handling accident claims in detail.

Assessing the Severity of an Injury Caused by Manual Handling Accidents

Assessing the severity of the injury is important. Doing so has a direct effect on the payout amount paid in compensation claims. Generally speaking, the more severe an injury, the higher the compensation amount will be awarded.

In order to fully assess the severity of a medical condition, it may be important to visit a number of specialists beyond your regular GP. If you require further diagnosis, our firm is able to arrange a medical appointment with a doctor close to your home.

If you are interested in fully diagnosing the severity of your injury, please get in touch today.

The Long-term Effect of Injuries Caused by Manual Handling Accidents

The importance of the long-term effect of injuries caused by manual handling accidents cannot be emphasised enough. Accidents that cause injuries do not only have the ability to cause damage in the present, but they may have a serious impact on your life. Long-term effects can include:

  • Pain and suffering as a result of the injury.
  • Psychological damage as a result of the injury.
  • Physical damage may alter the way you live your life.
  • Reduced earning potential.
  • Inability to continue with your professional career. (For example, if your injury is permanent)

All of these factors will be considered when it comes time to determine the amount of compensation paid to the claimant. In cases where the effects of the injuries are seen as short term, the amount of compensation would be lower. This is why it is important to fully and correctly diagnose any long-term health implications which may arise as a result of your accident.

Our next section will look at the process of manual handling accident claims, in particular, what you should do when you first become injured. If this is of use to you, please read on. 

What To Do If You Suffer An Injury

Before you should think about legal action, you should take the time to begin building your case. In building your case, it is important to take a number of actions necessary to get the essential evidence. Doing so can make it much easier to build your personal case. Whenever you suffer an injury as a result of a manual handling accident, you should always seek medical attention as the first course of action. Once you have done this, you should:

  • Get Evidence: This can include collecting the evidence that shows that the injury happened. You can take photographs of the accident scene, collect witness reports, and so on.
  • Get a Professional Medical Opinion: This will say how severe the injury is and will form part of the evidence highlighted above that there was indeed an injury. A doctor’s note or medical report can be useful.
  • Document Losses: This is where you document financial losses, such as loss of earnings and other losses caused by the injury sustained due to the manual handling accidents. Documenting these losses fully (with receipts, invoices, etc.) can make it easier to reclaim the expenses.

Once you have followed the above steps, you will have enough evidence to begin your claim. We recommend that you contact a legal firm at this time. We will provide more information on this in a later section.

No Win No Fee Manual Handling Accident At Work Claims

Given how complicated and troublesome the aftermath of an injury can be, trying to comprehend the financial implications of an accident at work claim can be incredibly unhelpful. That’s why we offer an alternative. Our No Win No Fee solicitors offer clients something called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If you opt for this arrangement when seeking legal representation, we can provide our expert help in a simple, stress-free manner.

With our ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement, any legal expenses will be taken from the final settlement total, rather than upfront or during the claim. If your claim is not successful, then we do not do so. As such, this approach can dramatically reduce the worry and financial risk involved with a compensation claim.

If you would like peace of mind as well as expert assistance, give us a call and discuss our ‘No Win No Fee’ approach today.

How Is Compensation For A Manual Handling Injury Calculated?

If your accident at work claim for your manual handling injuries is successful, your settlement could consist of two heads of loss: general and special damages. We look at special damages shortly.

General damages compensate for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by your manual handling injury. To help assign value to personal injury claims, legal professionals will refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG lists guideline compensation brackets for different types of injuries.

In our table below, we’ve provided some of the figures listed in the 16th edition of the JCG. However, it is only to be used as a guide because settlements can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

Injury Severity Amount Description
Knee Injury Severe (i) £69,730 to £96,210 Accident causes a shift in the knee bones. (Higher end of compensation is for most severe.)
Knee Injury Moderate (i) £14,840 to £26,190 Dislocation that leads to waste to the joint
Ankle Injury Very severe £50,060 to £69,700 Comes with severe pains and could only be corrected through surgery.
Ankle Injury Severe £31,310 to £50,060 Loss of function of the ankle with pain.
Ankle Injury Moderate £13,740 to £26,590 Enough to cause a lot of pain. May cause loss of function of the ankle temporarily.
Ankle Injury Minor to £13,740 Small injury but enough to cause discomfort.
Shoulder Injury Severe £19,200 to £48,030 Dislocated shoulder as a result of the accident.
Shoulder Injury Serious £12,770 to £19,200 Temporary loss of function of the shoulder due to injury.
Shoulder Injury Moderate £7,890 to £12,770 Temporary loss of function of the shoulder but pain is limited.
Back Injury Moderate (i) £27,760 to £38,780 Injuries causing pain and reduced mobility
Back Injury Minor (i) £7,890 to £12,510 Injuries healing within 2 to 5 years

Special Damages As Part Of Your Compensation

You may also be awarded special damages as part of your settlement. Special damages aim to compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to your injuries.

Examples of special damages may include:

  • Loss of earnings if you’ve been required to take time off work to recover from your injuries.
  • Travel costs if, for instance, you’ve had to spend money on public transport so you can receive treatment for your injuries.
  • Costs of special aid equipment or ongoing care you require to complete everyday tasks at home or elsewhere.

You will need to provide evidence of these costs and losses, such as bank statements and invoices.

Contact our advisors today to see whether you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim if you have suffered a manual handling injury.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

If you want to take action and claim the compensation you deserve, you need the best legal assistance. If you want advice, help, and a guiding hand, we are the law firm for you.

You can use the contact form on our website or the webchat function online to get in touch. Or you can call us on 0800 073 8804 and chat right away. We’ll arrange a free legal consultation at a time that suits you. So contact our team today and find out why we’re the perfect choice for you.

Helpful Links

Below, you can find lots of guides on claiming compensation for a workplace accident:

Thank you for reading our guide on how to make personal injury claims for manual handling accidents.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.