Sharps And Needlestick Injuries – How To Claim For Infections

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 31st July 2023. In this guide, we will explain the process of making a claim for sharps and needlestick injuries. Blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis B, could be contracted from a needle or sharps injury.

You may be a medical professional who has contracted the hepatitis B virus because of employer negligence. Alternatively, you may have contracted a blood-borne infection as a patient because your doctor or nurse provided you with medical care that did not meet the correct standard.

Sharps and needlestick injury claims guide

Sharps and needlestick injuries claim guide

Accident Claims UK can help you make a compensation claim if a breach of a duty of care has resulted in you sustaining a needlestick infection injury. Our advisors are free to call and provide confidential legal advice regarding compensation claims. Moreover, if they can see that you may have a valid claim, they could connect you with one of our specialist solicitors.

Our advisors are experienced in handling claims of a sensitive nature. Therefore, they understand the importance of providing confidential advice at a time that suits you. Contact our team at any time, our advisors are available 24/7.

Please get in touch with us using the details below:

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Select A Section

  1. What Are Sharps And Needlestick Injuries?
  2. Why Are Sharps And Needlestick Injuries Dangerous?
  3. Types Of Blood-borne Viruses Which A Sharps And Needlestick Injury Could Transmit
  4. Who Could Claim For Hepatitis B Needlestick Injuries?
  5. Calculate Compensation For Sharps And Needlestick Injuries
  6. Talk To A Specialist Solicitor

What Are Sharps And Needlestick Injuries?

Sharps and needlestick injuries occur when a needle, syringe, or sharp object penetrates a person’s skin. If this object has previously come into contact with a person’s bodily fluids, it could spread a blood-borne virus.  Needlestick injuries are also referred to as sharps or syringe injuries.

There are multiple factors that could cause a needlestick injury. For example, medical negligence could be the cause. A doctor may inject a patient using the incorrect needle. Instead of using a new and sterile needle, they used one that had previously been used on another patient who has a blood-borne infection.

Medical professionals have a duty of care to provide the correct standard of medical care. If they breach this duty, it could result in a needlestick injury, causing you physical or mental harm and suffering.

Furthermore, needlestick injuries could also occur due to an accident at work. For example, an employer may not provide a way for the safe disposal of sharps on the premises. Consequently, a worker may be injured by a needle when emptying a bin and contract a blood-borne infection.

To see whether you have a valid claim for compensation following a needlestick injury, speak with one of our advisors.

Time Limit For Sharps And Needlestick Injury Claims

If you’re eligible to claim for a needlestick injury, you would need to start legal proceedings within the relevant limitation period. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you would usually have 3 years to claim from the date of the sharps injury. However, there are some exceptions that could apply to the limitation period.

For example, if a child under the age of 18 suffers a needlestick injury, the 3-year limitation period would be paused until their 18th birthday. During this time, an appropriate adult, such as a solicitor or family member, could act as a litigation friend for the child and claim on their behalf. If no claim is filed prior to the child turning 18, the three-year limitation period would begin again on their 18th birthday, and they would have until their 21st birthday to claim.

To learn more about the other exceptions that may apply to this limitation period, or to see if you are within the time limit to start your claim, you can contact our advisors.

Why Are Sharps And Needlestick Injuries Dangerous?

Sharps and needlestick injuries are dangerous because they can transfer blood-borne infections from one person to another. Many blood-borne infections could have serious consequences; for example, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) could lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be potentially life-threatening.

Furthermore, hepatitis B is an infection of the liver, which is spread through bodily fluids such as blood. Adults with this infection normally find they recover within 1 to 3 months without treatment. However, the disease could become chronic and potentially cause liver damage.

Therefore, if you have experienced a needlestick injury, you could be at risk of developing an avoidable infection, which causes pain and suffering. There could also be a risk of dying a wrongful death due to a syringe injury.

Relevant Legislation For Sharps And Needlestick Injuries

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to carry out reasonably practicable steps in order to ensure their employees’ safety. A breach of this duty of care could result in an injury at work.

Moreover, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) is relevant to preventing sharps injuries. The COSHH regulations require employers to take reasonably practical steps to protect workers from exposure to harmful substances. Therefore if an employer fails to provide proper training on the use and disposal of needles and sharp objects or did not provide a suitable method of disposal, they could be liable for any resulting employee injuries.

Please contact us for more information on claiming compensation for a workplace needle stick injury.

Types Of Blood-borne Viruses Which A Sharps And Needlestick Injury Could Transmit

As we have mentioned, sharps and needlestick injuries can be dangerous. They could lead to the transmission of various blood-borne viruses and infections, including:

Who Could Claim For Hepatitis B Needlestick Injuries?

You may be eligible to claim for hepatitis B sharps or needlestick injuries under the following circumstances. First of all, someone owed you a duty of care. Then, they breached this duty of care. Consequently, this breach resulted in you sustaining a needlestick injury. Under these circumstances, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

People in the following professions may sustain sharps injuries in the workplace:

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Nurses
  • Paramedics
  • Other employees working in a medical centre

Needlestick injuries could also pose a risk to patients. If proper disposal techniques are not undertaken, then needles could be left in examination rooms, and a patient could injure themselves on one when they attend their appointment.

Please contact Accident Claims UK today to see if you could be eligible to make a compensation claim.

Calculate Compensation For Sharps And Needlestick Injuries

In the event of a successful needlestick or sharps injury case, you could receive up to two potential heads of claim:

  • General damages – compensate you for the physical and psychological pain and suffering that the injuries caused. Psychiatric injuries could include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Special damages – compensate you for the monetary losses incurred because of the injury. For example, travel expenses you have to pay to attend medical appointments relating to your injuries. It is important to note you will require evidence to prove financial losses, such as travel tickets and bank records.

In the table below, we have used the 16th edition Judicial College guidelines (JCG), updated for 2022, to provide a guide to compensation under general damages. Legal professionals, such as solicitors, can use the JCG to assist them in valuing settlement amounts. However, many factors will be considered when your compensation claim is valued. Therefore, you should consider the amounts in the table as a guide.

Injury and Severity Notes Compensation Amounts
Kidney Injury (a) The loss of both kidneys or serious and permanent damage to them. £169,400 to £210,400
Kidney Injury (b) There is a significant risk of developing urinary tract infections in the future or losing total natural function in the kidneys. Up to £63,980
Kidney Injury (c) One kidney is not damaged, whilst the other kidney has been lost. £30,770 to £44,880
Psychiatric Injury – Severe The person will have marked problems with the effect the injury has on their relationships as well as their ability to cope with daily life. The prognosis is very poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychiatric Injury- Moderately Severe The person will have significant problems with the effect the injury has on their relationships as well as their ability to cope with daily life. This bracket is differentiated by a much more optimistic prognosis than above. £19,070 to £54,830
Psychiatric Injury – Moderate The injury will have impacted this person’s ability to cope with life and maintain relationships, but there will have been a marked improvement by trial. The prognosis will be good. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychiatric Injury – Less Severe The payout for this bracket will be determined by the extent daily activities were affected and for how long. £1,540 to £5,860
PTSD – Severe All parts of the injured person’s life will be badly affected. The effects will be permanent and the person will be prevented from functioning at anything like the level they did before the trauma. £59,860 to £100,670
PTSD – Less Severe The person will make a virtually full recovery within one to two years. £3,950 to £8,180

Please feel free to speak to one of our advisors about your claim, they will be happy to discuss how much compensation you could be eligible to receive.

Talk To A Specialist Solicitor

Our advisors are happy to discuss your case with you. If they find that you could be eligible, they may place you in contact with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement, means you will not pay any fees for a solicitor’s services if the outcome of your claim is unsuccessful. Furthermore, there are no upfront or ongoing fees for these services.

On the other hand, if the outcome of your claim is successful, a No Win No Fee solicitor will receive a small and legally capped percentage of the compensation, known as a ‘success fee’.

To begin your needlestick injury claim, please contact our team:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8801
  • Please contact us online
  • Write a question for us to answer in the live chat feature at the bottom of your screen

Related Personal Injury Claims

Please take a look at further guides from our website:

Negligent Blood Test Compensation Claims

How To Make A Negligent Blood Transfusion Claim

How Much Cut Finger At Work Compensation Could I Claim?

Explore these pages for wider reading:

An HSE guide answering – what are blood-borne viruses?

Information from the NHS on blood-borne viruses

An HSE guide – safe working and the prevention
of infection in clinical laboratories and similar facilities

If you have any more questions about claiming for sharps and needlestick injuries, speak with one of our advisors today.