Suffering a needlestick injury can be a shocking, painful, and frightening experience. At their worst, needlestick injuries can also have consequences far beyond the initial puncture wound – even causing life-changing effects.
If you have suffered a needlestick injury during the course of your work, you may be able to claim compensation – not just for the injury itself, but for the psychological damage your accident has caused and for the way it has affected your life.
Truth Legal’s expert personal injury solicitors can help you in recovering the financial reparations you deserve. We have extensive experience of needlestick injury claims, as well as many other kinds of accident at work claim, so you can be sure that your case will be handled with skill and care.
Contact us now if you would like to discuss your legal rights with an expert solicitor.
Needlestick injuries and their effects
Needlestick injuries are those which occur through being unexpectedly pierced or cut by a sharp object, particularly needles and scalpel blades. They can happen to anyone, but the people most at risk are those 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. This can lead a person injured by needlestick to contract potentially devastating illnesses such as:
- Hepatitis B or C
If you have contracted an infection or virus from a needlestick injury, and your employer’s practices allowed this to occur, you should not be forced to just live with the consequences. Compensation may not be able to undo your accident but it can help you to get on with your life in the aftermath.
At Truth Legal, we also understand that claiming for a needlestick injury may be about more than compensation. Needlestick injuries can, and should, be completely avoidable through safe working practices and systems. Making a personal injury claim is a good way of forcing an employer to take responsibility for a dangerous situation which they have allowed to arise, to acknowledge the risks their workers face and enact positive changes to prevent further needlestick injuries from happening to others.
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.
If you are in contact with waste, especially waste which may contain sharp objects, it is your employer’s duty to ensure you are as safe as possible from the risk of needlestick injuries.
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 protective gear to staff members who are called upon to handle waste which does or may contain sharps.
- Maintaining a clean and safe workplace environment.
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’.
It is often very difficult for an employer to defend against a needlestick injury claim when it has occurred in preventable circumstances – and the vast majority of needlestick injuries are preventable.
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?
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 you to ‘putting your life on hold’, and being forced to endure a period of prolonged worry and uncertainty whether you have contracted an infection or not.
All of these circumstances need to be taken into account to accurately value your injury compensation. That’s why, at Truth Legal, we do not put gimmicks like ‘claims calculators’ on our website; you are entitled to an honest evaluation of your injuries, based upon your experiences following the accident.
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.
What can I claim for when making a needlestick injury claim?
The injury element of a claim is usually the main part of it, but alongside this, you can claim for many other losses and expenses that you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
There are many different kinds of additional loss. Some frequently incurred examples are:
- Loss of earnings
- Medical expenses and treatment costs
- Travel expenses
- Care and assistance
You may also be able to claim for losses which you have not incurred at present but are anticipated to happen in future because of your injuries. For example, if the consequences of your injury mean you will have to retire early, this could support a claim for future loss of earnings.
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.
Truth Legal is committed to helping as many people as possible access the justice they deserve. This means we will always try to offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement as the means of funding needlestick injury claims.
A ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that, in the vast majority of cases, you will not have to pay our fees if we are unsuccessful in securing compensation for you.
With a successful outcome, some of our fees are paid by a portion of your compensation award, and the majority of our fees will then be paid by your employer’s insurers. This is the normal way in which ‘No Win No Fee’ agreements operate.
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.
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.
Making your needlestick injury claim with Truth Legal
Truth Legal specialises in accident at work and personal injury claims, and our expert solicitors have helped many clients claim for needlestick injuries.
We are committed to providing a top-quality legal service and Truth Legal’s overwhelming positive Trustpilot reviews show how we successfully we deliver on this promise.
- Specialist technical knowledge and experience – so you can rest assured that your case is in the best hands.
- Practical advice – tailored to your situation.
- Strong representation – fighting for the compensation and outcome you deserve.
- Support and compassion – friendly, knowledgeable professionals on your side through a difficult time.
Get in touch with us today to find out more, or to start your claim for compensation.