A needlestick injury is an accidental pierced wound which is usually caused by a needle point, but may also be caused by other sharp instruments or objects, e.g. a scalpel.
If you have suffered a needlestick injury you may be able to make a claim for compensation for the physical and psychological damage suffered.
Medical/healthcare professionals are exposed to the highest risk of suffering a needlestick injury. However, people with other occupations might also be affected, e.g. refuse collectors, cleaners, tattoo artists, carers, children, cleaners, park-keepers, police officers, etc.
Usually, the injuries would be caused by needles and sharp objects which have not been disposed of in a safe and appropriate manner, i.e. they have been discarded or disposed of into the wrong type of refuse container.
Experiencing a needlestick injury can be very traumatising. Firstly, the victim suffers the shock of having the sharp object pierce their skin, often followed by bleeding, swelling, tenderness, and, possibly, an infection of the area. Moreover, the person would suffer the trauma of worrying about the possibility of having contracted a blood-borne virus.
Furthermore, the shock is enhanced by the fact that even though blood tests will be performed straight away, some viruses might take months before they show up on the blood tests. This means that the victim will have to have their blood again a few months after the accident in order to establish whether blood-borne virus has been in fact contracted due to the needlestick injury. The three main viruses which pose a threat against people who have suffered a needlestick injury include HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Prevention of Needlestick Injuries
Although, needlestick injuries suffered by medical/healthcare professionals while performing a medical procedure are often unavoidable, there are some prevention practices which might be rather effective when preventing needlestick injuries in other circumstances.
- Placing hypodermic needles and other medical sharp objects in sharps bin provided.
- Never overfilling a sharps bin.
- Providing PPE and tools, when necessary, e.g. litter pickers, tongs, safety boots, knee pads, heavy-duty gloves, etc.
- Providing the necessary training on handling and disposal of needles to workers exposed to the highest risk of suffering needlestick injuries.
- Vaccinating high risk workers against Hepatitis B and Tetanus.
Why Compensation Solicitors Online?
Our solicitors have years of experience in handling cases of needlestick injuries. We have successfully claimed compensation in needlestick injury cases for our clients. Our expertise in the area allows us to handle your case with the professionalism and understanding necessary in order to provide you with the support which you need and to secure the compensation which you deserve.
What should you do if you have been involved in a needlestick accident?
- You should write a detailed account of what happened.
- You should take a photograph of the needle or sharp as soon as possible. Use a camera with a date/time function (if possible) and place an object next to it to give it some scale, e.g. either a ruler or a coin. DO NOT TOUCH THE NEEDLE OR SHARP WITH YOUR BARE HANDS AS IT MIGHT BE INFECTED.
- You must ensure that you have the name and address of any witnesses.
- You should seek medical advice for your injuries as soon as possible. With needlestick injuries it might take months before the symptoms develop, but get medical attention as soon as you can.
- You should keep a record of your out of pocket expenses (e.g. travel expenses, prescription charges, etc.) and keep any receipts.
A needlestick injury claim includes the following three steps:
Establishing liability (who was responsible for the accident):
The first step is to show who was at fault for the accident to take place and to what degree. This is not necessarily straightforward and sometimes contributory negligence may be found (the victim has contributed to some extent to the harm that s/he has suffered). However, this concept only plays a role in calculating the compensation value and does not affect the establishing of liability.
Showing causation (showing that the accident caused the injury):
Once a degree of liability has been established, it must be demonstrated that the resulting injury has been caused by the accident, and not by a previous medical condition or another accident, for example.
Calculating the quantum (establishing the appropriate amount of compensation):
The compensation in such cases will have the purpose of attempting to put the claimant in the position s/he has been in before the accident. It is our specialist solicitors’ job to liaise with medical and other experts in order to prepare a Schedule of Loss, setting out the solutions and costs to all problems which the claimant has or may have in the future, as a result of the accident.
Our expert solicitors have experience in achieving the best results in all the three steps of the process, thus ensuring that you get the best compensation which you deserve.
There are two parts to any compensation claim, consisting of two types of damages:
General damages are calculated as a part of the compensation based on the type of injury and are designed to compensate for pain and suffering and the impact on the claimant’s enjoyment of life.
Special damages are the more variable part of the compensation and depend on individual circumstances. The claimant may be able to recover:
- Expenses relating to the cost of living with any disability;
- Expenses to cover services provided by other people;
- Future damages:
- Future care and medical assistance.
- Future loss of earning;
- Increased accommodation costs;
- Loss of earnings;
- Medical expenses;
- The cost of buying in care.
Establishing the level of special damages to be paid is a crucial part of a compensation claim. Compensation Solicitors Online have experience in compensation claims in cases of personal injuries.
Generally, personal injury claims have a three year time limit i.e. court proceedings have to be issued at least one day before the third anniversary of the accident , otherwise they will be time barred and you will no longer be able to pursue your claim. (There are a few exceptions to this rule and the court does have some very limited discretion to extend the various time limits). You can still pursue a claim for personal injury after the third anniversary of the accident, you just have to make sure court proceedings have been issued before that third anniversary in order to do so. We will be happy to discuss this further with you.
If you are a minor at the time of the accident, i.e. under 18 then the 3 year limitation date period starts to run after you have turned 18. Furthermore, there also a complicated set of rules that allows the 3 years limitation date period to run from the date of knowledge of the incident/accident. These rules normally apply to clinical/medical negligence cases or industrial disease claims, where they may be a long latency period between the incident giving rise to your claim and you first suffering any symptoms and becoming aware of it. The rules on this are technical and we will, once again, be happy to discuss this in detail with you.
There are a variety of funding options open to you. We will discuss these options with you in more detail and where appropriate represent you on a no win no fee basis (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).
Make a claim
If you would like to speak directly to one of our team you can either call us on 0208 203 5031 or send us your enquiry and we will give you a call back to discuss your claim within 1 business day.