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Back Injury Claims

Can I make a back injury claim

Back injuries are a common type of injury, but they can also be some of the most painful. Even minor back injuries can make it difficult for you to move about, and you might also be in pain when lying down. Nobody deserves to be stuck at home with a back injury – being unable to spend time with friends and family can be very isolating and you might also have had to take time off work. This is hard enough to cope with under normal circumstances, but if your injury was someone else’s fault, then it can feel especially unfair.

The first step to making a back injury claim is to find out whether you have a case. You can do this by calling for free on 0800 234 6438. Your call will be taken by a trained legal adviser, and they’ll have the expertise to be able to let you know whether they think you can claim.

After your conversation with an adviser, there’s no obligation to take it any further – in fact, you might just want answers to your questions and nothing more. But if you do decide you’d like to go ahead, they’ll be able to find the right solicitor for your case and can put you in touch with them straight away.

Your solicitor will look at the impact your injury has had on your finances and your day-to-day life, and will work hard to get you the full amount of compensation you’re owed.

Back injuries at work

We all spend a lot of our waking hours at work, and it’s normal to feel safe and relaxed in your workplace. But this makes it all the more shocking when accidents happen.

Unfortunately, back injuries are quite common at work – especially if your job involves heavy lifting, repetitive strenuous movements, or using vibrating machinery such as in factories or construction.

All employers have a duty of care under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to try to keep their staff safe from back injuries. As part of this, they have to make sure you’re given the training, equipment and supervision you need to be able to carry out your job safely. They should also complete regular risk assessments to make sure the right precautions are being taken and should make it a requirement of your role that you do a task if this is likely to exacerbate an existing injury.

If you’ve been injured at work because your employer hasn’t followed health and safety rules, then it’s likely you can ask for help to make a compensation claim.

You might feel nervous about making a claim against your employer, but there’s no need to worry. It’s against the law for you to be dismissed or treated differently as a result of your claim. And your compensation will be covered by their insurance policy (called Employers’ Liability Insurance), so you can feel sure they won’t be left with a bill they can’t afford.

Other common causes of back injuries

With back injuries being so common, they can be caused by a variety of types of accident. But although we run the risk of injury in everyday life, there are measures which can be taken to improve safety.

We’ve listed some examples below:

  • Slips, trips and falls in public places can cause back injuries if spillages or objects aren’t cleared up quickly or signposted
  • Road traffic accidents can happen because of other road users driving recklessly
  • Injuries can be caused by medical negligence if you’ve received poor treatment, delayed diagnosis, or incorrect diagnosis

Claiming for a fall

Companies and local authorities have a duty of care to their visitors and people using their facilities. Part of this is taking steps to minimise any risks to them and ensure the public are safe throughout their visit.

Therefore, if you are injured in a public place because faulty equipment has not been repaired, or the surroundings have not been properly maintained or vetted for risks to you, then you could make a public liability compensation claims for your injuries. Some examples of this are:

Types of back injuries

Any back injury is likely to cause you a lot of pain and will usually stop you being able to walk and move around as usual – an injury solicitor can normally help you no matter how minor or serious your injury is.

You can find some information below on some of the types of back injury, but if your injury isn’t listed here then please don’t worry. If your accident happened in the last three years and was somebody else’s fault, then it’s likely you can still get help.

  • Strains and sprains: these can happen when the muscle is overstretched or torn. They’re usually a more minor type of back injury, but can still cause difficulty moving and standing
  • Lumbar spine trauma (lower back pain): this is a relatively common type of back injury, and can be categorised as a fracture, herniation, sprain or strain
  • Spinal injuries: these can be very serious, with potentially life-changing consequences. Because of the importance of the spinal cord, damage can cause paralysis in severe cases
  • Brachial plexus injury (Parsonage Turner Syndrome): this affects the network of nerves between your shoulders, and can cause discomfort, numbness and tingling

What happens if your doctor tells you your injury is soft tissue damage but it turned out to be more serious?

If a health practitioner failed to diagnose or treat your back problem correctly and this has led to ongoing problems, a more serious injury or even a permanent disability, then you could make a medical negligence claim.

How much compensation will you get for a back injury?

When you speak to a solicitor, they’ll ask you some questions about your injury so they can get a clear understanding of how it’s affected your life. Based on this, they’ll then work out the amount of compensation you’re likely to be owed.

This means they’re unable to tell you exactly how much you could receive before you start your claim. But you can try our free compensation calculator to get a guideline figure.

One of the advantages of making your claim with an expert injury solicitor is that it’ll usually be made on a no win no fee basis. This means you won’t have to pay your solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful, and it also means you’ll get to keep most of your compensation if you do win your case.

If your back pain gets worse more than three years after your accident can you still make a claim?

You may have heard that you have just three years from the date of your accident to bring a compensation claim. However, if you are in an accident and your back injuries only become apparent months or even years later don’t worry – an adult actually has three years from when their injuries manifest themselves to bring a claim.

That means, if you had an accident earlier in your career, but the impact of it only becomes apparent later in life, you may be able to make a claim.

If you’re claiming on behalf of a child you have until they are 18 to start a compensation claim (or they can make a claim themselves after they turn 18, but before their 21st birthday), although we recommend that you contact a solicitor to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. This is because evidence to support your claim will be more readily available and people will be able to recall the accidently more confidently.

Your medical examination

Most compensation claims for back injuries will require you to be examined by an independent medical expert who will prepare an official report on your injuries. The expert will examine your back and may wish to examine your hospital and GP records and any records relating to your injury. If you injury is serious, they may wish to view your occupational health and personnel records too to determine whether you had any relevant health issues before the accident.

This is so that they can give a fair assessment of the impact of your injuries, to support your compensation claim, and is routine in most personal injury cases. While we know the idea of another medical examination can seem tiresome or daunting, it really is nothing to worry about and in fact can help with your recovery.

Your official report will outline a lot of information about your injury, including:

  • The injuries you’ve sustained
  • Their impact
  • If further treatment or rehabilitation is required
  • Any specialist treatment you should get
  • Any psychological damage caused by your injury
  • Any financial losses

Making a claim for a back injury following a fight

If you sustained your back injury because you were the victim of a violent crime you might be able to claim compensation for physical and mental injuries, loss of earnings and expenses from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The incident must have happened in England, Wales or Scotland and you must have reported it to the police.

For the claim to be successful, you need to make a claim within two years of the incident and you need to provide CICA with the following details:

  • The date and location of the crime
  • The name of the police station where the crime was reported
  • Your crime reference number
  • Your GP’s name and address
  • Details of any previous applications you’ve made to CICA
  • Details of any unspent criminal convictions
  • Proof of identity for you or anyone you’re responsible for
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.

By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.

If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.