Make a claim
Often also referred to as a sharps injury or a puncture wound, a needlestick injury is where someone suffers an injury from an accident where their skin is punctured by a hypodermic needle or other medical device such as a scalpel.
Injuries from a needlestick accident can be both physical and/or psychological. Often, it is the impact on someone’s mental health which is the most significant due to the worry and stress they are left with whilst tests for infections are carried out.
Who can make a Needlestick Injury Claim?
Anyone who has suffered injury by a hypodermic needle or other similar sharp medical instrument can potentially make a claim. Individuals working as healthcare workers, cleaners and those dealing with waste disposal are typically at a higher risk of being involved in this type of accident.
Most needlestick injuries occur where needles are incorrectly disposed of and instead of being placed in sealed biohazard bins, they are left in places not easily visible. Whilst in most cases, the accident takes place at work, it can also happen in public places such as public toilets and park areas.
What if I’ve had a Needlestick Injury and my employer has not supported me with this?
If your employer has not supported you with the accident and this has caused you to suffer additional symptoms of stress, you may also have a possible action for stress at work. Please click here for information on this type of claim.
If you have both types of claim then we are able to consider helping you with both matters together for you.
What should I do if I have suffered a Needlestick Injury?
If you have suffered a puncture to your skin from a hypodermic needle or similar sharp medical tool, you should:
1. Wash the wound as soon as you can with clean running water and soap. Do not scrub the area;
2. Try to get your wound to bleed, ideally whilst under the clean running water, so as to allow anything beneath the skin’s surface to come out;
3. With a clean towel or tissue, dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or sterile bandage;
4. Seek urgent medical advice from your GP, NHS 111 or A&E.
How do I make a claim?
Before deciding on whether making a claim is the best option for you, it’s important to seek some initial legal advice. Here at Oakwood Solicitors Ltd, we offer a free assessment and would be happy to discuss with you whether we thought there were merits to a possible action.
How long do I have to make a claim?
All personal injury claims need to be brought to the Court’s attention within three years of the date of the accident.
Even though you have three years, it is always advisable to pursue a claim as soon as possible whilst documentary evidence is more easily available.
How long will my case take to run?
In theory, the case could settle any day from day 1 but on average, cases are usually resolved within 12-18 months from when we are first instructed.
Would I have to go to Court?
If the case did not settle then ultimately, the matter would proceed to Court where a Judge would make a determination. Most cases, however, do settle out of Court, so although this is an unlikely eventuality, we cannot rule it out as an impossibility.
If you do have any concerns about this during the process of your claim, then we would be happy to discuss this with you and address any concerns you may have.
How much is my claim worth?
This will depend on the type of injury suffered and if you have suffered any out of pocket losses such as loss of earnings for any time off work for treatment.
Although cases are very dependant on each individual facts, if someone has, for example, suffered Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the accident, then the Court’s guidance for compensating such type of injury takes into account the following:
The Court’s guidance also sets out the below brackets of compensation depending on the severity of the symptoms:
1. Less severe – Cases where a virtually full recovery has been made within 1 or 2 years with only minor symptoms persisting over any longer period (£3,710.00 – £7,680.00);
2. Moderate – Where the injured person will have largely recovered and any ongoing effect is not grossly disabling (£7,680.00 – £21,730.00);
3. Moderately severe – A better prognosis of some recovery with professional help but where the effects are still likely to cause significant disability for the foreseeable future (£21,730.00 – £56,180.00);
4. Severe – Permanent effects which prevent the injured person from working at all or at least from functioning at anything approaching the pre-trauma level and where all aspect of life are badly affected (£56,180.00 – £94,470.00).
If you’ve also suffered a physical injury then the Court also has guidance to cover compensation for physical injuries also.
Why use Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to help with my Needlestick Injury claim?
We understand that the impact of a Needlestick Injury is not limited to any physical injuries suffered but acknowledge the stress and trauma going through this experience can have.
Claims for psychological and psychiatric injury also involve a very complex area of law and here at Oakwood Solicitors, we have a dedicated and specialised team here to help.
With the majority of the team having a qualification in mental health (a TQUK Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems), we fully appreciate the difficulties those suffering with a mental health illness may face.
We are here to help and will carry out a free assessment with no obligation to take forward a claim.
How would be my case be funded?
There can be a number of ways to fund your legal fees. Subject to individual assessment, the most common method to fund a claim of this nature is by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is often referred to as a ‘No-Win, No-Fee’ Agreement.
This means that if the claim is unsuccessful then you will not have to pay us anything towards our costs, subject to compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement in place.
If we are able to help, we can explain this further to you and also other ways to fund your claim if a no-win, no-fee option is not suitable for you.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you have had a needlestick injury at work and your physical or mental health has suffered as a result, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.