When Could You Claim For An NHS Staff Accident At Work?

By Meg Monki. Last updated 13th March 2024. Have you suffered an injury in an NHS staff accident? Did the accident happen because your employer failed their duty of care? If so, this guide could help you understand whether you’re eligible to seek compensation. 

All employers owe their employees a duty of care. This means that they need to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that you’re safe while in the workplace. If they fail to do this, and you’re injured as a result, you could claim. However, certain eligibility criteria need to be met for a personal injury claim to be valid. We discuss these further throughout our guide as well as look at how much evidence you could gather and how compensation for successful claims is calculated.

Lastly, we discuss the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel and how they can offer their services.

Our team of advisors can connect you with our experienced panel of solicitors if they think you have a strong claim. Furthermore, they can answer any questions you have about the process of claiming. To reach out to them, you can:

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When Could You Claim For An NHS Staff Accident At Work?

To be eligible to make a workplace accident claim, it is essential that you can prove that your employer breached their duty of care and caused the accident in which you were injured at work as a result. This can be defined as negligence in tort law and must be proven for a personal injury claim to be valid.

This means that you cannot claim just for an accident happening. It must have been the fault of your employer. If you were injured because of your own negligence, or because of an issue that was out of anyone’s control, then you would not be able to claim.

However, in some cases, you might be able to claim compensation if you were partly at fault for the accident in which you were injured. This is called a split liability claim, and your award will depend on the amount you’re considered to have contributed to your accident.

To find out ‘Can I claim for an NHS staff accident at work?’, you can call our team using the number above. An advisor might be able to connect you with one of the personal injury solicitors who can help you make a claim if they think you have a strong enough case. 

What Duty Of Care Do Employers Owe?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) is one of the central pieces of legislation in place to help ensure a safe working environment and prevent an accident at work. Section 2 sets out your employer’s duty of care which requires them to take reasonable and practicable steps to prevent you from becoming injured in the workplace. 

Some of the steps they can take to uphold this duty include:

  • Providing adequate training to ensure employees are able to carry out their work tasks safely. For example, you may work in a hospital role in which you are required to manually lift and handle heavy equipment. There is a risk you could injure your back if you receive inadequate training on safe lifting techniques.
  • Carrying out regular risk assessments and acting on the findings. For example, your employer is responsible for reducing trip and slip hazards, therefore should ensure spillages are cleaned up in a timely manner and walkways are kept free of clutter. There is a risk you could slip, trip or fall if routine risk assessments are not carried out.
  • Providing necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE is necessary to protect you in workplaces where hazards could be a major risk, for example, if you work in a ward where patients have an infectious disease and your employer does not provide you with PPE, or you are knowingly given inadequate PPE, you could be at risk of contracting a disease. 

Our team of advisors are here to help you with any queries 24/7. You can get in touch by using the live chat feature on this page. They can help you understand the answer to the question ‘Can I claim for an injury at work in the NHS?’ and the steps you could potentially take following an accident that wasn’t your fault.

A hospital bed in the middle of a corridor creating a trip or fall hazard.

How Could An NHS Staff Accident Occur?

As we mentioned above, to form the basis of a successful claim, your injuries must have come about due to an employer breaching their duty of care. There are plenty of instances in which an NHS staff accident can occur. Some examples of how employer negligence could contribute to an accident at work include:

  • Manual handling accidents: This type of accident may occur if you are moving patients or equipment without being properly trained. Your employer should provide adequate training for this part of your job.
  • Slips, trips and falls: If there is a wet floor, or walkways are cluttered with debris, you could slip or trip resulting in a serious accident at work. Wet floors should be marked while working environments should be free of clutter. 
  • Exposure to hazardous substances: Some NHS staff are exposed to hazardous substances as part of their job. Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, a risk assessment should be in place and exposure must be kept to a minimum where possible. 
  • Equipment injuries: Faulty equipment can pose a serious risk of injuries such as electric shocks and burns. While it may not always be the fault of an employer, they should always follow the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Employers should ensure work equipment is safe to use and that it is used by someone who has adequate training. Where appropriate, equipment should be used with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) too.
  • Needlestick injuries: NHS workplaces, such as medical centres and surgeries, carry a significant risk of handling contaminated syringes. Staff should be trained on how to safely handle and dispose of needles, while general hygiene practices should be in place.

How Can I Prove A Personal Injury Claim?

If you have been in an NHS staff accident, you could consider taking the following steps:

  • Get medical attention: Whether your injury is serious or not, it is important for your health and wellbeing that you seek medical attention following the accident. Furthermore, medical reports can provide key evidence if you pursue a claim.
  • Gather evidence of what happened: Firstly, collect witness details of anyone who saw the accident happen. They could provide a statement to support your claim. Secondly, take photos of your injury and where the accident happened. Finally, it may be useful to request CCTV footage of the accident. 
  • Complete the accident report book: You may work in a workplace with ten or more employees. If this is the case, it is a legal obligation for your employer to have an accident book. You should fill this out with as much detail as you can. A colleague may do this for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

You may also seek legal advice if you are making a personal injury claim. However, there is a time limit on making a claim, which is usually three years from the date of the accident. Exceptions can apply, however; speak with an advisor for more information. 

An evidence folder for an NHS staff accident claim.

Calculating Compensation For An Accident At Work

You may be wondering how much compensation you could be entitled to receive if you were involved in an accident at work. Settlements awarded following a successful claim can comprise of up to two heads of loss. General damages compensate for the pain and suffering caused by your injury. Special damages compensate for the financial losses caused by your injury.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and your medical evidence can be used to help calculate the value of general damages. The JCG contains guideline valuation brackets that correspond to different injury types.

Compensation Table

Below you can find a table of figures from the JCG. The top entry is not from the JCG.

Injury TypeSeverity LevelCompensation BracketsNotes
Multiple Severe Injuries with Financial LossesSevereUp to £1,000,000+Compensation for the mental pain and physical suffering of multiple severe injuries as well as financial losses such as lost income, medical bills, and care costs.
Brain DamageVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990The person requires full-time nursing care.
Moderate (i)£150,110 to £219,070Symptoms may include a moderate to severe intellectual deficit and your sight, speech and senses are likely to be affected.
Chest InjuriesSignificant £100,670 to £150,110In serious cases, you may have to have a lung totally removed and there will be permanent significant scarring.
Back InjuriesSevere (i)£91,090 to £160,980Spinal cord and nerve root damage.
Shoulder InjuriesSerious£12,770 to £19,200A rotator cuff injury causing persisting symptoms following surgery.
Injury to Pelvis and HipsModerate (i)£26,590 to £39,170Any permanent disability is not too significant and any future risk is not great. However, your injury will still have an impact on you.
Wrist Injuries Significant and Permanent Disability£24,500 to £39,170There may be permanent disability but some useful movement remains.
Ankle Injuries Severe£31,310 to £50,060Regular sleep disturbance, unsightly scarring and any need to wear special footwear determine the level of award within this bracket.
Toe InjuriesSerious£9,600 to £13,740Serious injuries to the great toe or crush injuries or multiple fractures affecting two or more toes.

What Are Special Damages In A Workplace Accident Claim?

You may also consider seeking special damages, which is the part of your claim that covers any financial losses caused by your injury, or that could incur in the future. However, it is necessary that you provide evidence to back your claim; for example, payslips can provide evidence for loss of earnings whereas invoices could demonstrate that you’ve had to pay for treatment. 

Speak to our team if you have evidence that your employer caused an accident that led to you sustaining an injury. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Talk To Our Team About Making A Claim For An Injury At Work In The NHS

If you are eligible to make a claim for an NHS staff accident, you could potentially instruct a solicitor from our panel to assist you. The solicitors from our panel offer their services under No Win No Fee terms and could provide a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This typically means:

  • No fees are required for the solicitor’s work upfront, as the claim proceeds, or if the claim fails.
  • If your claim is successful, you pay your solicitor a success fee. This is a legally-capped percentage deducted from your compensation. The cap on the fee ensures you keep the majority of your settlement.

Our team of advisors can offer further guidance on the question ‘Can I claim for an injury at work in the NHS?’ and provide more information on working with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

To get in touch, you can:

A solicitor working on a claim for an injury at work in the NHS.

Further Workplace Accident Claims Resources 

The following resources may be helpful to you.

Some more of our guides that you may find useful.

To gain a clearer understanding of the justifications and the evidence required to successfully claim in the event of an NHS staff accident, speak to our team today.

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