This article explores the various aspects of making a personal injury claim against your employer or a private operator. It focuses on needlestick injury cases. We use an example case study to show how someone who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after coming into contact with a medical needle due to another party’s negligence. Next, we examine how to establish who failed in their duty of care to protect her safety. We also examine how a No Win No Fee solicitor could ensure you receive the right amount of compensation for a successful claim.
Throughout this article, we provide links to government statistics and further reading to help you decide whether to claim compensation. If you feel you’re ready to discuss your case or would like information at any point, please call us on 0800 408 7825. Or you can email us at Public Interest Lawyers where our friendly team will be happy to discuss the specifics of your accident.
Select a Section
- A Guide To Calculate Needlestick Injury Cases
- What Is A Needlestick Injury?
- Can Victims Undergo Financial Loss?
- What Causes PTSD From A Needlestick Injury?
- How To Receive A Care Claim
- Your Specialist Settlement Calculations
- Case Study: £35,000 Compensation For Needlestick PTSD
- Your Free Needlestick Injury Cases Estimate From Our Experts
- No Win No Fee Claims
- Could You Use The Best Personal Injury Lawyers For Needlestick Injury Cases?
- Discuss Today Needlestick Injury Cases
- Further Help On Needlestick Injury Cases
Our article concentrates on two main areas of liability: accidents at work and accidents in a public place. The law and rules outline the duty of care in these areas. When thinking about claiming, you should ask yourself the following questions at the outset:
- Did anyone have the duty of care for my safety in that environment?
- Was this duty of care breached?
- Did that result in me suffering injuries that were not my fault?
Having a solicitor represent your case can offer many benefits. They will have the knowledge, expertise and capabilities to know what laws to use to back up your claims. They can advise you about collecting and recording all the relevant information. This could help to boost your chances of receiving compensation. We demonstrate how it could be possible to value and receive a £35,000 payout in a needlestick injury claim. Needlestick injury cases vary from claimant to claimant, but we hope to help you understand what you could claim, especially with the right lawyer on your side.
A needlestick injury occurs when a needle normally used in medical procedures injures a person. Viruses that are carried in the blood, such as HIV or hepatitis B or C, can be transferred if someone uses a needle contaminated with them. Sharps, such as scalpels and syringes, can also pass on viruses if blood containing a virus contaminates them.
In this guide, we look at the potential for making a claim if a person suffers an injury due to a used medical needle. There are laws that seek to provide coverage for your safety:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 asks all employers to comply with practicable and reasonable health and safety standards in the workplace, ensuring as far as possible that you and everyone around you are safe at work. If your accident happened at work, it’s useful to read this guide to ensure that you reported it correctly. It could help your case.
- The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 asks for a similar hazard prevention level from local authorities and private operators. Anyone who runs premises accessible to the general public must provide a high level of safety (as practicable as possible) or be exposed to substantial penalties.
Acting together, these laws seek to prevent you from being hurt due to preventable accidents. If you would like clarification on any of them or anything else to do with needlestick injury cases, please call us today for a free, no-obligation chat.
Our example case study, provided later in this guide, describes someone who came into contact with a used hypodermic needle while at work in a hospital. While the actual physical injury was comparatively minor, the resultant anxiety and suffering it caused was overwhelming.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD is now a widely recognised anxiety disorder created by a traumatising event. It can be debilitating. It can affect people’s lives for years with some experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Every one of these conditions could impede your ability to work or function as before. Your health could suffer after contact with a used needle, but the mental distress associated with the incident can also be devastating.
A No Win No Fee lawyer should have the experience and expertise to recognise the financial problems PTSD could cause you. They then incorporate those costs into your claim for compensation under special damages.
Financial losses you may have accrued as a consequence of the injury include:
- Any therapy you’ve paid for.
- Unpaid time you’ve taken off work.
- Travel to and from medical/psychotherapy appointments.
Needlestick injury cases can affect so much more than your health and your lawyer can reflect this on your behalf in your claim.
Accidental contact with any kind of hazard to your health can be unpleasant. But, hypodermic needles can be a particular concern because of the ease with which viruses can spread if a needle is shared.
In public places, a needle might be discarded drug paraphernalia and possibly contaminated. Even if your health isn’t impacted, you could experience PTSD or suffer other psychiatric damage while you wait to have the results back from tests you have undergone to see whether any viruses or diseases have been passed on through the needlestick injury. This mental state may even continue whether you have contracted a virus or you have been given the all-clear.
Statistics state that in 2019/20 693,000 people were injured in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive provides information on how to avoid and report needlestick and sharps injuries in the workplace.
If the required duty of care of a third party is impaired or missing, you could possibly be at risk. Call our team today if you are unsure if your needlestick injury would qualify for compensation. Through a no-obligation chat, our advisors can discuss your case and provide any answers to your questions.
Care claims can be considered when the injuries sustained make everyday life impossible or very difficult for you to do alone. Family and friends’ help is called gracious care and their time can be recovered in your compensation claim. However, you must keep evidence to confirm the time they spent helping you cook, clean, shop, and wash.
If you need a paid carer’s assistance, keeping a full record of the costs is essential. These costs could dramatically erode savings and could push you into personal debt too. Here, a No Win No Fee lawyer’s advice on building proof can make a crucial difference in recovering the costs of care.
Given the debilitating nature of PTSD, it’s possible that the kind of care you would need could also include therapy. You could incorporate these costs under special damages in a successful claim
A medical assessment is an integral part of PTSD and needlestick injury cases and would be crucial to understanding your mental state as well as any ill health you have suffered. The prevalence of HIV or hepatitis resulting from a needlestick injury is very low, but the emotional distress could be unquantifiable. A medical assessment in this instance would involve a psychiatric evaluation to establish how severe the PTSD is. The medical assessment would also disclose whether the condition resulted from the needle incident or is a previous or long-standing trauma. If PTSD was pre-existing, but the injury exacerbated it, you could still claim.
Providing there are no physical health effects, your case can concentrate on the PTSD aspect of your injury. General damages aim to compensate you for the physical and mental suffering you endured because of your injuries. The Judicial College Guidelines is a regularly updated publication. It sets values on a number of injuries. Suggested awards for moderately severe PTSD are currently between £21,730 and £56,180. This envisages recovery but with some long-lasting distress until therapy can assist. There are other factors that your solicitor would take into account when valuing, such as the medical report and the strength of your evidence.
Special damages compensate you for the financial loss and expenses that you’ve suffered as a result of this injury. If the PTSD stopped you from working, loss of earnings could be included. Therapy costs, travel expenses to hospital, carer costs, or loss of financial opportunities are all included under this head of damages. It seeks to prevent you from further suffering the damage your injury causes your finances.
Miss. Banfield was a nurse at the local hospital she had worked there for many years now and was a valued member of the team. She was working in the A and E department one night. It was extremely busy. And they were short-staffed. As she went to move a rubbish bag she felt her leg being struck with something sharp. As she emptied the bag she noticed a used hypodermic needle that had been placed in the wrong bin.
Other than a pin-prick, Miss. Banfield was in no tremendous physical pain. Straight away she asked one of the doctors to look over her. She grimly understood there was nothing to do now but wait for blood test results.
Returning to work the next day, she didn’t feel her usual self. Worry about infection began to increase to the point where she could not face work or collect the blood test results, ready two weeks later. She suffered nightmares and panic attacks and could not leave her home from overwhelming fears of future risk. It came to the point when she could no longer attend her job at all. Although her tests came back all clear, slowly, she felt her life unravelling and her family became worried about her mental state. Her finances suffered drastically.
Claiming for Needlestick Injury Cases
At this point, a friend suggested she do something practical and speak to a No Win No Fee lawyer about her options. After a friendly chat with a counsellor at work, Miss. Banfield was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from contact with a used needle and the consequent anguish of potential infection it implied. She decided to make an accident at work claim.
Her case was successful, and she was awarded £35,000 to reflect the pain and suffering she endured from PTSD. She also received financial compensation for the therapy costs. This ultimately helped put the incident behind her. Her results came back negative, but she could no longer work in her profession. The breakdown of general, as well as, special damages could be as follows:
General damages Special damages
Miss Banfield was awarded a mid-range amount for PTSD: £27,000 She received full sick pay from her employment so no loss of earnings. However she had to change her career and retrain which cost £5000
Her husband took time away from work to care for her £2000
Counselling and medication £1000
Our case study is purely an example based on past experinecs. It demonstrates how talking to a skilled No Win No Fee lawyer can open up the potential for increased damages in your favour.
You may see many online instant personal injury compensation calculators which promise to give on the spot settlement amounts. These calculators can be helpful but can miss the nuances of your case and end up over or underestimating your payout. When you speak to a lawyer, you could stand a much better chance of needlestick injury cases being accurately valued.
If you feel apprehensive about using a solicitor for financial reasons, you could consider funding one through a No Win No Fee agreement. The benefits of such an agreement include:
- No upfront costs.
- No costs to pay the solicitor while your case is progressing.
- Importantly, not paying your solicitor’s fees if your case does not win.
- Only a nominal fee to pay your solicitors (if your case wins), which the law keeps capped.
- Potential for excellent legal advice and support throughout your claim.
For many people, No Win No Fee agreements or Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) are the most viable way for them to access the compensation they’ve been looking for. If you think you have a negligence case in any of the areas we’ve discussed, speak to our team to see how we might be able to help you.
The locality of a personal injury lawyer is no longer an essential factor in your choice of who could represent you. Thanks to the internet, you can search for No Win No Fee lawyers and receive a deluge of potential firms to handle your case. But how do you know if they’re any good?
Reviews can help as they provide a window into how a company works, and you can ask some questions to narrow your search, such as:
- Will this company value needlestick injury cases properly?
- Do they have good client communication?
- Are they good at settling cases quickly?
These are essential questions. You could leave it to us to answer them. Call us for a friendly, no-obligation chat about your case to see how we might be able to help you.
Discuss Today Needlestick Injury Cases
To conclude, if you feel ready to start your negligence claim or would just like more information about any of the things we’ve discussed, getting in touch with us is easy. You can:
- Call us directly on 0800 408 7825.
- Or, write to us at Public Interest Lawyers.
- Use the live support option in the bottom right corner of this page.
We look forward to discussing your claim.
We have more information on public transport accidents.
You can also read about making claims against the council.
We also have a guide about accidents while out shopping.
In addition, the NHS provides medical advice on what to do about a needlestick injury.
The Health and Safety Executive has more statistics on workplace accidents.
And finally, further reading on types of accidents and statistics.
Article by EA