If you have suffered a needlestick accident, either as a patient or an employee, you deserve compensation. These kinds of injuries can be incredibly damaging to your long-term health and mental wellbeing. Truth Legal are here to support you through the process to secure compensation and begin the road to recovery.
What is a Needlestick Injury?
Needlestick injuries are those which occur through being unexpectedly pierced or cut by a sharp object, particularly needles and scalpel blades. However the term ‘needlestick injury’ can also include injuries from sharps such as glass and broken equipment.
This can happen to anyone, but those most at risk are people in frequent contact with medical waste and ‘sharps’, such as NHS workers, cleaners, and waste disposal operatives.
Aside from the initial pain and suffering caused by the injury, there is the added fear that the needle or sharp object may have been contaminated.
Suffering from a needlestick injury has many potential consequences. The most troubling is the exposure to blood-borne viruses and bacteria, leading to infection and serious illnesses. Most worrying is the risk of:
- Hepatitis B or C
- OTHER VIRAL, BACTERIAL, OR FUNGAL INFECTIONS
What Can I Claim for after a Needlestick Injury?
A needlestick injury claim will fall under one of two categories: a medical negligence claim, or an accident at work claim.
If you were a patient who suffered from a needlestick injury due to the negligence of a service provider, you will have a medical negligence claim. You will be required to prove that your healthcare provider failed in performing their duty of care, and that you were harmed as a result.
However, most needlestick injuries occur during the course of work – and particularly in the medical world. A 2019 survey of 510 surgeons, across a range of countries, found that 94% had experienced, or seen a colleague experience, a needlestick injury. Submitting an accident at work claim, you must prove that your employer was negligent and did not perform their duty of care towards you.
This duty includes:
- Implementing and enforcing proper safety procedures for the disposal of needles and other sharp objects.
- Providing adequate training and supervision of staff in the disposal of sharps.
- Issuing suitable personal protective equipment to staff members who handle waste which does or may contain sharps.
- Maintaining a clean and safe workplace environment.
At Truth Legal, our expert Personal Injury lawyers can offer support on a No Win, No Fee basis, whether you are making a claim against an employer or the NHS.
We will always explain and discuss how a claim is funded with you before your claim begins, and you can also find more information on No Win, No Fee Agreements here.
If a needlestick injury occurs in the workplace, it could represent the breach of several different rules and regulations which employers must follow. These include provisions in the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
An employer can also be held responsible for the conduct of its employees, even if they depart from the safety procedures which an employer has set out. For example, if you have suffered a needlestick injury because a nurse carelessly disposed of a used needle in general waste instead of sharps waste, the nurse’s employer could be liable for your injury and you could make a claim against that employer. This is called ‘vicarious liability’.
Our specialist accident at work solicitors will advise you fully on the legal aspects of your claim, and guide you through the process with skill and compassion.
How much compensation will I receive?
At Truth Legal, we understand that every Personal Injury is different, and you deserve expert advice based on your unique situation. That is why we do not use gimmicks such as ‘compensation calculators’ on our website. Instead, we offer bespoke advice and estimations following a consultation with on of our expert Personal Injury solicitors.
Personal injury compensation is based upon the harm you have suffered. This is assessed by looking at two elements of your injury:
- The pain and suffering it has caused you; and
- The effect it has had upon your life
With needlestick injuries, the physical injury itself may heal relatively quickly. If you have sustained psychological injuries, these may take much longer to resolve.
But it is often the way in which your life has been affected that is the greatest source of ‘harm’ following a needlestick injury. If you have contracted a virus or other infection from a contaminated needle, it could be life-changing. Lengthy testing and monitoring procedures for serious infections can lead prolonged uncertainty.
You may also be entitled to compensation for additional loss, such as:
- Loss of earnings
- Medical expenses and treatment costs
- Travel expenses
- Care and assistance
If you would like to know more about the different kinds of loss which may be included in a personal injury claim, you can download our free ebook: The Ultimate Personal Injury Compensation Guide.
When you instruct us, our expert solicitors will value your Personal Injury claim as soon as they have the information to do so. This ensures that you have a valuation founded upon your unique situation.
How much time do I have to make a needlestick claim?
In general, you have 3 years from the date of the accident in which to make your personal injury claim.
This time limit can change in some circumstances, and the courts have the power to allow a claim to be made after the deadline – although only where very good reasons prevented it from being brought sooner.
As such, if you think you may have a needlestick injury claim, it is best to consult a specialist solicitor for advice as soon as possible to avoid the risk of running out of time. And if you are concerned about time limits or wish to know where you stand, please do not hesitate to contact us.