Prison Officer And Staff Injury Compensation, How Much Can I Claim? – Calculate compensation amounts

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 25th February 2021. Welcome to our guide on prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims. If you work as a prison guard or as another member of staff at a prison and have been hurt during the course of your work in an accident that was not your fault, you might be eligible to claim compensation for your prison injury. At Accident Claims UK, we have specialist solicitors, some with as much as thirty years of experience, who can help you to make your prison injury compensation claim.

prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims

Prison office injury claim

Prisons can be hard and harsh environments, and it is unfortunate to say that accidents and injuries can arise fairly commonly in them. In fact, we have seen that the frequency of accidents and injuries have increased in the last decade. Whilst many people are harmed in preventable accidents, prison officers, as well as other staff members, can be the victims of assaults. As an employer, the Prison Service is responsible for ensuring the welfare of all those working in the UK’s prisons, whether operated by the private or public sector. In failing to do so, they have breached their duty of care to keep employees safe from anything which could harm them. If you have sustained an injury whilst working for the Prison Service, you could be able to claim compensation from them.

To make a prison injury compensation claim, you need to get the right legal advice in order for the claim to be successful. Due to the complex nature of prison injury claims, and the variety of circumstances under which these injuries can happen, and the way liability needs to be proven, having the right personal injury solicitor is essential.

At Accident Claims UK, we have drafted this guide to help give you all of the advice you need in order to make a claim if you have been injured while working in jail in the UK. If after you have read this guide, you still need further information, please call us today on 0800 073 8801 to talk to our team.

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A guide to prison injury compensation claims

There are many ways in which those working in the Prison Service, from front line officers to other members of staff, can be hurt. Working in such an environment can be very stressful, and the overall atmosphere can be tense for both members of staff as well as prison inmates. In some instances (seen increasing frequency since 2010), inmates can become aggressive towards members of staff or to other inmates. Due to this large number of ways in which accidents and deliberate acts can lead to injury, there is a large scope for making a claim if injured while working in jail in the UK.

If you are or have been an employee of the UK Prison System and have been hurt in the course of carrying out your job, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim. This guide has been written to provide you with all of the information vital to launching your prison injury claim. We have included details on how the claims process itself works, the best way to begin your claim, what forms of compensation you could be eligible to claim, as well as what you need to do to give you a better chance of making a claim against the Prison Service. We have also included some guidelines of average compensation settlement award amounts, helping to give you an idea of what settlement you may be able to claim. Please continue reading our guide for further information on prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims.

Prison accident and injury statistics

In recent years we have seen a rise in the number of accidents and injuries which have happened in the UK’s prison system. One of the main reasons for this increase appears to be attributable to reductions in staffing levels in prisons over the past few years, with the rise in violence and the decrease in staff directly correlating.

Data released in a report in late 2018 by the Prison Officers Association has shown that in a single week, 15 workers had to visit an A&E for treatment after being assaulted by a prisoner. An additional eighteen were the victim of an unprovoked assault, not leading to injury. The data went on to show that, on average, two prison officers are treated in A&E departments across the UK every day as a result of inmate attacks. Overall, it highlighted the rising levels of violence in prisons in England & Wales, as well as mounting staff pressure.

[Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/prison-officers-ae-inmates-prisoners-accident-emergency-poa-a8521206.html]

Serious assaults in prison are increasing

We have seen that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of serious assaults taking place in prisons in the UK. In 2019/20, there were 118 assaults on prison staff per 1,000 prisoners. Although this is a reduction on the previous year, where 124 assaults per 1,000 were recorded, this is over three times as many as reported in 2003/4. This graph shows just how stark this increase has been.

Source: https://data.justice.gov.uk/prisons/safety-and-order/assaults-rate-staff

If you work or have worked in prison and were injured in any of the following ways during the course of your duties, you may be able to make a prison injury claim;

  • Sexual assault,
  • Internal injuries which require treatment as an in-patient at an outside hospital,
  • Concussion or internal injuries that require medical treatment,
  • Fractures or broken bones,
  • Burns and scalds,
  • Stab wounds,
  • Crushing injuries,
  • Cuts that need stitching and extensive or multiple bruising,
  • Black eyes and/or permanent blindness,
  • Bites,
  • Broken teeth

The Safety in Custody Bulletin published in April 2020 shows that in 2019, 23% of total assaults in prison (either prisoner-on-prisoner or prisoner-on-staff) involved the use of weapons, of which 28% involved spitting and 16% involved the use of a blunt instrument.  Of the injuries resulting from serious assaults in prison, 24% were cuts requiring sutures, 16% resulted in a black eye, 14% resulted in a fracture, and 14% resulted in extensive or multiple bruising. Although these statistics aren’t specific to assault to staff by prisoners, it gives an idea of the kind of injuries that can be sustained in prisoner-on-staff assaults.

Prison injury compensation claims can be made by anyone working in a prison or those visiting the prison for work. Our specialist prison injury solicitors are on hand seven days a week to help you begin your claim. If you’ve been seriously assaulted while working in a prison, get in touch with our team today for more information on prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims.

The effect of fewer prison staff on injury and accident statistics

Correlating with the rise in the number of accidents, assaults, and injuries, there has been a commensurate fall in the number of prison staff. Various reports have shown the dramatic fall in prison staff numbers since 2010. This has meant fewer people operating prisons, working harder over longer hours to make up for this shortfall. At the same time, these people are also facing an increased risk of being the victim of an assault. As such, those officers and staff are facing a higher chance of being involved in an accident and making a claim against the prison service.

The Ministry of Justice have released data showing that the number of prison staff has been on the decline since 2010. As the graph below shows, there was a slight improvement in the data from 2019, but this dropped again in 2020.

Source: https://data.justice.gov.uk/prisons/additional/#prison-staff-in-post

We have included the relevant graph above.

Staffing Levels and Violence in Prison

If we overlaid the two graphs, one on top of the other, we could very clearly see the direct relationship between the rise in the number of people suffering a violent assault and the number of prison officers falling. As we can see, the two sets of statistics track together.

As more people working in the prison system suffer assaults, as well as other forms of injury which can happen in any workplace, the number of people making a prison injury compensation claim will also rise. To be able to get the highest possible settlement from your claim against the prison service, you will need to use an experienced personal injury solicitor.

For more information on prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims, or to start your claim today, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Prison injury compensation claims for prison officers and staff

Working in prisons, either as a member of the front line prison officer staff or in other roles, is an incredibly tough and stressful job. Many prison officers will face highly stressful situations and environments on a weekly or even daily basis. As their numbers have been cut, the pressure on each member of staff has increased.

Whilst all prisons do have procedures and policies in place to make sure that operational processes and duties can be carried out with minimal risk to members of staff, there are times when accidents and violent attacks can and do happen. In recent years there have been several high profile instances of people being assaulted at work and who then need to make a claim against the prison service.

There are several ways in which people can be injured in a workplace accident in a prison. These can include (but are not limited to);

  • Slipping, tripping, or falling over – This type of injury can happen in many different ways and have numerous causes. They could be attributed to spills or wet floors, or they can be caused by floors having been maintained poorly.
  • Strains and sprains – This can include things such as soft tissue injuries to the musculature or damage to the spine in some way. Many such cases can be caused by not following the correct manual handling techniques or be a secondary injury from tripping and falling over.
  • Assaulted by an inmate – From simple and milder through to serious forms of injury can happen as a result of being attacked by an inmate. In the most extreme cases, death could result from this.

To make a workplace personal injury claim with our prison injury solicitors, contact us today.

Slips, trips and falls in prison

In almost every form of the workplace, the most common type of accident in the workplace is those classified under slips, trips, and falls. They are also one of the most common prison claims for compensation.

In many cases, slips and falls are caused by floors that are damaged and have not been maintained properly. They can also be caused by the general carelessness of fellow employees, either dropping items or placing them in a way that could cause a trip hazard. Injuries caused by slips and falls can range from minor to mild to serious. They often include;

  • Mild to severe bruising
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Cuts and grazes
  • Concussion
  • Muscular strains and sprains
  • Back, neck and spinal injuries
  • In extreme cases, death could even occur.

Whilst these might be the most common form of accident and injury in the workplace, it can sometimes be difficult to establish the employers’ liability when making a prison injury claim.

If you’re wondering what prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims can cover, then read on to our next section.

What can be included in a prison injury or negligence claim?

Whether you are claiming compensation after being assaulted in a prison, after an accident in the workplace, or under any other circumstances, there are two different types of damages that your claim can be made up of. These are called general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are the part of a claim, such as for prison injury compensation, which is awarded for the injury itself, and the effect it has had on your life. This type of compensation covers the pain and suffering which you have experienced, both at the time of the injury and the suffering you experience in the future. It could compensate you for any disabilities sustained or the loss of function in part of your body. If you have suffered stress or mental trauma, they could also be claimed for in this type of damages.

Special damages

Special damages are awarded in light of all of the other (non-injury) negative consequences which you have suffered due to your accident. Special damages could include compensation for things such as any financial losses, including loss of income, medical costs, the cost of travelling to medical appointments, care in the home, and any adaptations which need to be made to either your house or your vehicle.

Special damages can sometimes be harder to quantify than general damages. This is because they greatly depend upon your individual circumstances and case. They also need to take into account the effect that the accident and injury will have on the claimant in the future. If you choose to make a claim with one of our prison compensation lawyers, we will always strive to claim as high an award for special damages as possible. Note, the fee which we will be paid will depend on the settlement you are awarded. As such, we are as motivated as you to secure the highest compensation settlement for you.

Examples of how much compensation could be claimed against the Prison Service

One of the most common questions we are asked by those who are looking to make prison officer injury claims or prison staff injury claims is, “how much compensation can I claim for an injury or assault when working at a prison?” The first thing which we should note is that each and every case is individual, with different injuries and consequences from them. As such, we cannot provide you with a definitive answer to your question without assessing what happened to you. What we can do is provide you with some examples of average settlements that people can be awarded for some of the most common forms and severities of injury. We should also note that these figures do not take into account special damages which you could claim as well as these general damages. The figures provided are not guarantees given. They provide examples of settlement bands according to the Judicial College guidelines published in 2018.

Reason for CompensationAverage Amount AwardedComments
Severe Head Injury£205,580 to £379,100
Injuries that have caused severe brain damage where the injured is left unresponsive and in a vegetative state.
Moderate Head Injury£14,380 to £205,580Injuries that have caused substantial damage to mental capabilities and caused personality changes.
Minor Head Injury£2,070 to £11,980
Temporary damage to the head with no lasting negative effects.
Severe Face Injury£22,350 to £34,480Left with permanent severe scarring of the face.
Moderate Face Injury£9,990 to £21,700Fractures and breaks to facial bones leading to ongoing pain and suffering.
Minor Face Injury£1,600 to £4,790
Temporary injury and scarring to the face with full recovery expected.
Severe Ear Injury£85,170 to £102,890Complete loss of hearing as a direct result of the injury.
Moderate Ear Injury£29,380 to £42,730Deafness and loss of hearing in one ear.
Minor Ear Injury£6,910 to £42,730Deafness, although not complete loss of hearing in one or both ears.
Severe Eye Injury£60,010 - £252,180Complete blindness in both eyes or complete loss in one and partial loss in other eye.
Moderate Eye Injury£8,550 - £51,460Severe partial loss of sight in one or both eyes.
Minor Eye Injury£3,710 to £8,200
Vision impairment in one or both eyes that is temporary.
Severe Back Injury£36,390 to £151,070Permanent paralysis or loss of motor function.
Moderate Back Injury£11,730 to £36,390Long term pain and suffering due to permanent damage to the back.
Minor Back InjuryUp to £11,730Short term pain due to temporary damage to the back.
Severe Neck Injury£42,680 to £139,210Permanent paralysis or loss of motor function with ongoing pain.
Moderate Neck Injury£7,410 to £36,120Long term damage that causes movement to be restricted and ongoing pain.
Minor Neck Injury£2,300 to £7,410Short term pain and restriction of movement that is temporary.
Severe Shoulder Injury£11,980 to £45,070
Permanent restriction of movement and long term pain.
Moderate Shoulder Injury£7,410 to £11,980
Arm movements are limited and require surgery.
Minor Shoulder InjuryUp to £7,410Short term pain and restriction of movement.
Severe Arm Injury£90,250 to £281,520Damage to one or both arms that requires amputation.
Moderate Arm Injury£36,770 to £122,860Loss of movement in one or both arms causing long term ongoing pain.
Minor Arm Injury£6,190 to £36,770Temporary loss of movement and pain.
Severe Elbow Injury£36,770 to £51,460
Complete loss of movement and may require corrective surgery.
Moderate Elbow Injury£14,690 to £30,050
Partial loss of movement of one or both elbows.
Minor Elbow InjuryUp to £11,820
Short term loss of movement of one or both elbows.
Severe Hand Injury£90,250 to £189,110
Permanent loss of function and possible need for amputation of one or both hands.
Moderate Hand Injury£27,220 to £58,100
Permanent function impairment of one or both hands.
Minor Hand InjuryUp to £27,220Fracture or broken bones, soft tissue damage and temporary loss of function, full recovery expected.
Wrist Injury - Severe-MinorUp to £56,180From total loss of function in both wrists, to short term sprain in one wrist.
Finger Injury - Severe-MinorUp to £85,170From amputation of one or more fingers to temporary sprain in one finger.
Severe Leg Injury£91,950 to £264,650Amputation of one or both legs due to damage caused that can’t be fixed.
Moderate Leg Injury£26,050 to £127,530Loss of use of one or both legs.
Minor Leg InjuryUp to £26,050Fractures or breaks and temporary loss of movement with full recovery expected.
Severe Knee Injury£48,920 to £90,290Permanent loss of use of one or both knees.
Moderate Knee Injury£24,580 to £40,770
Damage to one or both knees that is long term causing reduced movement and ongoing pain.
Minor Knee InjuryUp to £13,920Short term damage and loss of movement to one or both knees causing temporary pain.
Severe Ankle Injury£29,380 to £65,420Long term pain and loss of function that may require corrective surgery.
Moderate Achilles£6,820 to £36,060Loss of function and ongoing pain.
Severe Foot Injury£78,800 to £189,110
Amputation of one or both feet.
Moderate Foot Injury£12,900 to £65,710
Permanent loss of function of one or both feet with long term pain.
Minor Foot InjuryUp to £12,900Short term loss of use of one or both feet with temporary pain.
Toe Injury - Moderate- Severe Up to £52,620
From amputation of all the toes to loss of one toe and ongoing pain.

For a more comprehensive assessment of your eligibility to make a claim and how much you could be entitled to in that claim, contact our prison compensation lawyers today on the number above.

How to make claims against the prison service

If you have been harmed during the course of your duties as a prison officer, a member of staff, or a contractor visiting a prison for work, you may be eligible to make a prison injury compensation claim. In case you are able to make a claim, there are several things which you should do to give yourself a better chance of it being successful. You should make sure that you get any treatment necessary and that you keep a record of this treatment. This might be a report from a hospital or a letter from your doctor. Make sure the accident is logged in the prisons accident report book; this can later serve as vital evidence. Next, make sure to take photographs of the cause of your accident, if possible, and your injury. The next step should be to seek legal advice through Accident Claims UK.

During your initial call, we will ask you lots of questions about what happened to you, how it happened, and what injury you sustained. This is so that we can establish whether you have a valid claim and build a picture of what happened to you to pass on to the solicitor. We might ask you questions such as;

  • How did your injury happen?
  • Where and when did your accident happen?
  • What medical treatment have you already received?
  • Are you likely to have any ongoing or permanent medical issues as a result of what has happened to you?

Once we have this information, we can better advise you on what steps to take next. For most victims of an accident who are eligible to claim, we will be able to offer our services in helping you to make a claim and do so under a no win no fee agreement.

Our next section will provide you with all you need to know about making prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims on a no win no fee basis.

No win no fee prison compensation claims

Many people can be put off making a claim due to the prospect of having to pay expensive legal fees. If you have been the victim of an accident or of an assault, you may already have had to take time off work, have lost income, and had to meet unanticipated costs as a result of your accident. In fact, the last thing you probably want to do is to have to pay for legal services upfront. This is why no win no fee claims were created.

Under a no win no fee agreement, we will only get paid if and when your claim is successfully awarded compensation. Unlike personal injury solicitors who are paid by the hour and who are paid whether or not compensation is awarded, if your case is not successful, we won’t levy any legal fees at all.

By taking advantage of our no win no fee service, the fees which you will pay are taken as a set percentage of the settlement which you are awarded. This means that the people we help to claim compensation do not have to find the money to cover our fee out of their own pocket before they have received a compensation payout. By law, we are not allowed to levy a charge greater than 25%. We believe that offering a no win no fee service to the majority of people we help gives people an equal opportunity to claim for the damages which they may be owed.

Why choose Accident Claims UK for prison injury claims?

There will be many solicitors or lawyers close to you as well as lots of national services, and we understand that you have a lot of choices in which service you use. At Accident Claims UK, we are a team of highly professional solicitors and lawyers, specialising in helping people to make personal injury claims. These solicitors have years of experience in helping people to make a claim for an accident or assault in the workplace, which was not their fault. Our team has an excellent track record in helping people successfully claim compensation and can often secure the highest settlement possible.

We can also offer you services from a team which are trustworthy, reliable, and friendly. We will always strive to get our claimants the best possible outcome to a claim. We will work quickly and efficiently on your claim, keeping you fully informed throughout the process. We care about the outcomes for our claimants, and we always understand that the prospect of making a claim can be very stressful for you. You can contact us today by sending an email to our team via info@accidentclaims.co.uk and start the journey to getting the compensation you could be entitled to.

Start your prison injury compensation claim today

If you have suffered any form of injury due to either an assault or accident in the workplace, which was not your fault, you could be able to make a successful compensation claim. As an employer, the Prison Service is responsible for the welfare of each person working on their premises. They have a duty of care under the law to make sure that you can carry out your duties in a safe way. If you can provide evidence that this duty has been breached and that you were hurt as a result of this, we could help you.

The team at Accident Claims UK deal with a variety of different types of personal injury claim every day, and we could help you too. You can contact us today by the email address above or by using the online support feature on this page. You can also call us by phone on 0800 073 8801 for more details on prison officer injury claims or to start your claim today.

Prison officer injury claims- FAQs

How long can you claim for an injury at work?

The claims time limit for an injury or illness that you’ve sustained at work is three years. So if you’re a prison officer who’s been injured or become ill whilst on the job, you’ll have three years from the date you sustained the injury to start your claim. If you’re claiming for a workplace illness or injury which doesn’t have a definite start date, then this time frame begins from the “date of knowledge”, or the point where you realised that your injury was caused by your job because your employer neglected their duty of care to you.

What happens if you can’t work due to injury? 

If you’re a prison officer injured in work in a way that means you aren’t able to return to your role, then this will be taken into consideration when your compensation is calculated. As well as the general damages head of your claim, which compensates you for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced, the special damages head of your claim will compensate you for any out of pocket expenses you’ve incurred. This includes any loss of earnings you’ve experienced as a result of your injuries. 

Useful Links

NHS guide to black eyes
Here, you can find an NHS guide to black eyes, which are one of the most common injuries resulting from prison assaults.

Prison security measures
This link leads to a government statement of the security measures they are putting in place to increase the safety of their prison officers.

Health & Safety at work legislation
This is the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 legislation which shows the rights of the employees and legal obligations of the employer.

Assault compensation claims
If you have suffered an assault in any circumstances, you may be able to claim compensation for the harm suffered. Read this guide to learn more about this form of claim.

Head injury claim 

Our guide may help if you’re looking to claim compensation after sustaining a head injury that was not your fault.

Scar injury claims 

Have you been left with a scar following an accident that you weren’t to blame for? If so, our guide could help you claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on prison officer injury claims and prison staff injury claims