Moving furniture around can be a heavy task whether you work for a removal company or you’re simply re-jigging the furniture in your office. Also, lifting large, heavy or awkwardly shaped furniture can lead to injuries like back strains, slipped discs or musculoskeletal injuries if things go wrong. Importantly, lifting and moving furniture injury claims may be possible if you’re employer’s negligence was the cause of your suffering.
If you want to check whether you could claim for an injury caused by moving heavy furniture at work, please get in touch. An advisor will review your claim for you and explain your options during a no-obligation consultation. If it looks like you should be compensated for your injuries, one of our personal injury lawyers may agree to represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you could benefit from their experience and skills without paying any legal fees upfront.
Our number is 0800 652 1345 if you’d like to get in touch or you can find out more about lifting and moving furniture compensation claims within this guide.
Can I claim compensation for an injury from lifting or moving furniture?
Our personal injury solicitors will only be able to represent you if there’s a realistic chance that you’ll be compensated. As such, before agreeing to work for you, they’ll check whether:
- Your employer breached their legal duty of care towards your well-being i.e. they were negligent; and
- You were injured whilst moving or lifting furniture at work; and
- Your injuries can be directly attributed to your employer’s negligence.
If you do decide to claim for injuries sustained while moving heavy furniture at work, you’ll need to supply proof to show what happened. As such, we’ll look at what to do if you’re injured at work later on.
Employer’s Duty of Care towards manual handling
While you’re at work, your employer should try and keep you as safe as they can. This is a legal duty of care set out by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. You’ll probably have seen signs around your workplace relating to this law but another which is just as important is the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
This is a law that aims to reduce the number of musculoskeletal injuries caused by manually lifting or moving furniture and other items at work.
Whether you need to lift heavy furniture or move it regularly at work or whether it’s something you do once in a while, your employer should:
- Try to avoid manual handling of furniture and other equipment where possible if there’s a risk of injury.
- Carry out a risk assessment if there’s no other option than to lift and move furniture manually.
- Try to ensure the safety of employees, as much as possible, by taking practical precautions.
- Ensure staff are trained on safe manual handling techniques relating to large or cumbersome furniture.
- Where possible, provide tools or equipment to reduce the amount of lifting required.
If your employer fails to carry out the steps listed above and you’re injured while moving or lifting furniture, you could be entitled to start a compensation claim.
Common injuries from lifting and moving furniture
The vast majority of musculoskeletal injuries occur in the upper limbs and neck area. These injuries can take in a whole array of different medical issues which include:
- Muscle and tendon sprains and strains.
- Fractured or broken bones (legs, arms, hands, feet, toes and ankles).
- Cuts and abrasions.
- Slipped discs, fractured vertebrae and other spinal injuries.
- Crush injuries when heavy furniture is dropped or falls.
- Concussions caused by a blow to the head when lifting heavy furniture.
This list is just to give you some idea of the types of injuries that could occur when lifting and moving heavy furniture.
Repetitive Strain Injuries caused by moving furniture
A Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) can be caused by carrying out the same task over and over again for prolonged periods. As a result, you could suffer an RSI to the back, arms, legs, shoulders or other parts of the body when moving or lifting furniture.
The risks can be increased if you’re carrying heavy or awkwardly shaped furniture across long distances or in compact spaces. In these cases, your employer could be to blame for your injuries if they failed to look at alternative methods of moving the furniture rather than asking you to do so manually.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an RSI linked to moving furniture at work, please call our team to discuss your options.
Negligence leading to lifting and moving furniture injury claims
Your employer may have been negligent and caused your manual handling injuries if they:
- Didn’t consider your physical condition before telling you to move furniture.
- Forced you to manually move furniture regularly without thinking about alternative methods.
- Failed to refresh your manual handling training at periodic intervals.
- Failed to maintain equipment used for moving or lifting furniture at work.
- Didn’t allow you to take regular rest breaks.
While your employer has a duty of care to try and make sure that you can do your job safely, you also have a duty to:
- Following any safety training you have been given.
- Inform your employer about any potentially dangerous manual handling practices.
- Use any safety equipment or lifting equipment you’ve been provided with.
- Try, as much as you can, to keep other members of staff as safe as possible.
Even if you were partially to blame for an accident when lifting furniture at work, you might still be entitled to claim compensation. In these cases, if the employer admits partial blame for the incident, you could still claim but any compensation would be reduced to reflect your percentage of the blame.
How much compensation for lifting/moving furniture injuries can I claim?
When pursuing compensation for injuries received from the lifting and moving of furniture at work or as a consequence of negligence by other third parties, there are two specific types available.
The first is general damages and includes payment for:
- Pain and suffering directly caused by the furniture.
- Mental trauma from your injury.
- Life-changing injuries.
As you can imagine, the variety and severity of injuries as a result of carrying heavy furniture can vary enormously. Solicitors and insurance companies will refer to similar historic injuries as a basis for potential general damages compensation although there is a degree of discretion.
The second type of compensation is special damages, which is simply financial redress for your costs and losses due to the injury and future costs. Special damages include:
- Loss of earnings directly caused by the furniture injury.
- Future loss of earnings.
- Modifications to your home.
- Medical expenses for the injury.
- Prospective medical expenses.
- Additional transportation costs.
There’s no discretion or variance on this type of compensation because it is purely financial redress for costs incurred and future costs. When you bear in mind the potential severity of injuries received from moving and lifting heavy furniture, and the impact on a person’s working life, the cumulative level of compensation can sometimes be significant.
As part of their service, your solicitor will review how you’ve suffered in detail to make sure that all of your suffering is covered by any compensation settlement.
How does a solicitor know how much I’ve suffered?
To prove the extent of your injuries, your solicitor may want you to have an independent medical assessment. This is important as any compensation is linked directly to how you’ve suffered.
As such, your solicitor will arrange for you to speak to a medical expert as part of your claim. They will examine your injuries and find out how they’ve affected you. A report will then be filed with your solicitor and your employer to help determine how much compensation you might be entitled to.
Providing proof of your injury from lifting or moving furniture
If you decide to claim compensation from your employer for injuries from lifting or moving furniture, they’ll probably pass the claim to their insurance provider. Before they’ll offer any compensation, they’ll want to see proof that shows why your employer was to blame for the accident and your injuries. The types of proof that can help with lifting and moving furniture injury claims include:
- Accident report forms. If you are injured when moving furniture at work, report the incident as soon as possible. An accident report form will make it easier to prove where and when you were injured.
- Medical reports. X-rays and medical notes can make it easier to prove the extent of your injuries. As such, you should make sure that your injuries are assessed and treated in a hospital or by your GP.
- Photographs. If you’re injured while moving or lifting furniture, try to take pictures of the accident scene. This should show the size of the piece of furniture or any defects that caused the accident.
- Witness statements. Where liability for the accident is contested, your solicitor might need to ask any witnesses for their version of events. Therefore, ask anyone who saw what happened for their contact details.
- CCTV footage. If the accident happened in view of a security camera, ask for a copy of the relevant data. You are entitled to a copy but you should request it quickly as footage is usually deleted within a month or so.
You don’t need to have collected all the proof listed to discuss your claim with us. If your case is taken on by one of our solicitors, they’ll help you to secure any further information they can to support your claim.
No Win, No Fee claims
We believe that having legal representation for a work injury claim will increase your chances of being compensated if you’ve been injured while lifting or moving furniture. However, our solicitors know that many people don’t want to commit to paying legal fees upfront when making a claim. For this reason, all claims that they take on are managed on a No Win, No Fee basis.
So, if your claim is accepted:
- Your solicitor won’t ask you to pay their fees upfront.
- If the claim fails, you won’t have to pay any legal fees at all.
- If the claim is won, you’ll have a success fee deducted from your settlement amount.
The success fee is used to pay for your solicitor’s work in the event your claim is won. Legally, it cannot be higher than 25% of your compensation.
Once you have signed a contract with your solicitor, they will:
- Discuss how your injuries have affected you to get a better understanding of your suffering.
- Start to collect any proof needed to support your claim.
- Contact your employer or the defendant to file the claim.
- Take responsibility for all communications so you won’t need to speak with anyone else.
- Provide regular updates about how your claim is progressing.
- Try to ensure that any settlement offer you receive is fair.
To see if you could claim for furniture lifting injuries on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.
How long do I have to lodge a claim for furniture lifting injuries?
In the UK, all personal injury claims have a 3-year limitation period. Generally, if you sustained an obvious injury whilst moving a piece of furniture, the time limit will start from the date you were injured. Where your injury took longer to develop, the time limit will commence from the date your doctor diagnosed your injuries.
In our experience, it’s better to make your claim as soon as you can. Initially, this will make collecting proof and medical records easier. Also, if your injuries are affecting you financially, you could be entitled to interim payments to help with medical or care costs or to plug the gap if you’re not earning because you’re injured.
To check how long you have to begin your claim, please speak to a member of our team.
Start a lifting/moving furniture injury compensation claim today
A quick way to find out if you’re entitled to claim compensation for lifting injuries is to call us on 0800 652 1345 today. We offer a no-obligation initial consultation where a specialist will review what’s happened and offer free legal advice about making a compensation claim.
If you do start a claim with one of our injury solicitors, they’ll manage the case on a No Win, No Fee basis. As such, you won’t be asked to pay legal fees unless a compensation settlement is received.
To discuss lifting and moving furniture injury claims in more detail, please call or use our live chat service.