Can I claim for an accident in prison?

For Prisoners:

Prisons have a duty of care towards all prisoners and they must take reasonable steps to ensure that prisoners are kept safe during their sentence.

If the prison fails to protect prisoners against potential risks and you become injured through no fault of your own then you are entitled to seek legal advice.

There are a variety of ways in which you may sustain injury including:

  • a slip, trip or fall
  • an accident in your cell (e.g. due to faulty furniture)
  • an accident at work (e.g. in the prison workshop)
  • as a result of medical negligence (e.g. failure to provide treatment or refer prisoners on for care)
  • an assault

It can sometimes be difficult to prove that negligence has taken place in prison as it may not be easy to gather evidence however we would recommend the following:

  • Report your injury to a member of staff and ask that they complete a Report of Injury to Prisoner form with details of the date, time and place of the incident. If they refuse to do this, complete and submit a COMP1 form detailing the accident and make it clear that the Officers do not want to record it.
  • Make a note of the specific prison officer you spoke to and if anyone else witnessed the incident make a note of their names too.
  • Report to healthcare for assessment and treatment. Write down the names of the healthcare staff you dealt with.
  • Request that photos of your injury are taken. Do this immediately both verbally and in writing using a COMP1 form.
  • Request that CCTV footage of the area is retained. Prisons usually get rid of CCTV footage every three months so it’s important that you do this as soon as possible. Make a request in writing through the complaints system.

In most personal injury claims you will usually have three years from the date of the incident or three years from the date you first became aware of your injury to pursue a claim for compensation.

The majority of our personal injury claims are dealt with on a “no win, no fee” basis which means that if the case is not successful you pay nothing. If the claim is successful, then our deduction is capped at 25% of your compensation award.

The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on a number of factors such as:

  • the nature and severity of the injury you have sustained
  • the length of time you have been suffering for
  • whether there is any mental or psychological stress to consider
  • whether there are any past or future losses to consider

Many of our clients will pursue their accident claim themselves by writing to us from prison however some of our clients prefer to appoint a loved one on the outside to deal with matters on their behalf. If you would prefer to do this then we would need your written authority on the file.

In order to successfully pursue your claim it is important to have an expert legal team behind you. At Southerns our specialist team have a proven track record of pursuing successful prison claims.

For a free initial consultation contact us today on 01282 422711 or email


For Prison Officers:

Assaults on prison officers have unfortunately continued to rise according to the latest statistics published by the Ministry of Justice.

Prisons can be a very unpredictable environment especially for prison officers as they may find themselves in scenarios such as breaking up a fight between inmates, restraining inmates or controlling prison riots. If the prison is not well maintained or the training standard is low, this may lead to other accidents such as falling on a slippery floor or sustaining injury to your back due to poor manual handling training.

The prison has a duty of care towards their staff and must take reasonable steps to ensure that the workplace is safe. In order to successfully pursue a claim against the prison it is important to provide evidence that your employer has been negligent.

For example, your evidence may show that:

  • Your employer failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment
  • Failed to implement their risk assessment
  • Failed to implement measures to prevent future assaults from occurring
  • Failed to provide you with adequate training
  • Failed to provide adequate PPE.

Pursuing these types of claims is important for employees as it may prevent any future acts of negligence occurring as well as improving the working conditions in the prison for yourself and your colleagues. It is important to note that you cannot legally be dismissed for pursuing a personal injury claim against your employer and if you do find yourself in this position then you may be entitled to pursue an unfair dismissal claim.

For a free initial consultation contact us today on 01282 422711 or email

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