Have you been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault? Accident at work injuries can have severe consequences, including disabling injuries, loss of earnings and even the inability to look after others. Sometimes accidents at work happen because of an employee’s mistake or because the management failed to put proper protective measures in place.
In some circumstances, even if you contributed to your accident at work, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation if you can prove that your employer was the main party to blame for your injury.
If you have suffered an accident at work, it is likely that you will have many questions regarding whether you are eligible to make a claim for compensation and how to make a personal injury claim.
What are an employer’s legal responsibilities regarding employee safety?
By law, employers have a duty of care towards their employees. This duty of care extends to all employees, regardless of the nature of their job or whether they have a fixed or temporary contract with the employer. In simple terms, your employer is legally required to put specific measures in place to protect you from any illness or injury whilst at work.
These measures include providing you with proper training and industry-standard personal protective equipment, as well as maintaining said equipment and conducting regular inspections of the workplace.
If your employer failed to implement these measures and you have been injured as a result, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you are an agency worker or a self employed subcontractor, and you have suffered an accident at work whilst you were temporarily employed by the company or business, you should be entitled to make a claim for compensation against your temporary employer. Agency workers must be able to provide evidence that the accident occurred through no fault of their own, and it happened whilst they were working for that company within the last three years.
What can I make an accident at work claim for?
You may be able to claim for an accident if you are injured at work due to a variety of reasons. Below are just a few of the reasons you may have been injured in the workplace and, as a result, could make a valid claim:
Slip, trip or fall due to company negligence
Dangerous machinery in the workplace
Non-adherence to Health and Safety regulations
Improper lifting and manual handling practices caused by a lack of training
Dangerous practices and procedures in the workplace
Defective or poorly maintained equipment being used by employees
Negligence of co-workers and staff members
Industrial injuries such as hand-arm vibration syndrome or vibration white finger
Common injuries that you may sustain as a result of these reasons are:
Broken bones– Broken legs, arms, shoulders and even hips can be sustained due to accidents at work. An accident can put a huge amount of force on your body that bones cannot withstand, resulting in painful bone fractures.
Spinal and spinal cord injuries– Spinal injuries can be very severe as they can cause life-changing injuries, including loss of mobility or paralysis.
Loss of sight– Sight loss or blindness caused by a workplace accident can be life-changing and can affect your day to day life
Head injuries– Trauma to the head can be severe and can result in concussion or even long-lasting brain damage depending on the force of the accident.
Amputations– Accidents that lead to amputations are usually very serious as they are life-changing and can stop you from doing things you did previously
Burn and scald injuries– These injuries can occur in the workplace and, depending on the severity of the burn, can leave long-lasting scars.
If you are suffering from any type of injury which has been caused by a workplace accident, you should consider making an accident at work claim.
Accident at work claim: what can be recovered?
There are a variety of losses that can be recovered following an accident at work that was not your fault. Below are just a few examples:
Loss of income – If you were required to take time off work due to your injuries, you should be able to recover your loss of earnings for the full period of time you were unable to work.
Pain and suffering – The law considers the fact that there is a certain amount of trauma and pain that can be associated with accidents that have happened in the workplace. Therefore, it has made a provision for injured workers to obtain compensation for the same.
Loss of amenity – You may be able to claim an amount of compensation for your loss of amenity. This refers to instances when your injuries have prevented you from participating in activities that you had previously taken part in and enjoyed.
A loss of enjoyment can directly affect your life and can lead to long term effects such as mental health issues like frustration and depression. There is a provision in the law that covers any loss of amenity resulting from an accident at work.
Other financial losses – Other financial losses which were directly caused by the accident at work, such as medical costs and travel costs, can also be recovered as part of a personal injury claim.
Accident at work claim: compensation
General Damages – This refers to the amount of compensation you receive for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
To calculate this amount, we look at previous cases which are similar to yours, together with guidelines that are issued to Judges who decide the outcome of such claims if they go to Court. Your case will be valued on the basis of your injuries as described by suitably qualified medical professionals.
Special Damages – These are any direct financial losses that you may have suffered as a result of your injuries. Typically, these may include loss of earnings up to the settlement, loss of earnings in the future, medical costs, travel costs or the costs of care provided to you.
It is difficult to estimate the amount of compensation you will receive for your injuries without knowing the full extent of your injuries. There are, however, compensation calculators online that can be used to estimate how much you may be able to receive from your workplace injury claim.
What should I do after I have had an accident at work?
Ensure that you seek medical attention from a Doctor/General Practitioner soon after your accident, as you may find that the extent of the injury is much more serious than you had originally thought.
Having an official medical report will only strengthen your case further against a negligent employer as it could be used as crucial evidence to prove that you are suffering from an injury. It can also be used to calculate any pay entitlements and benefits that you could be awarded in a successful claim.
You should also record the incident in the accident book at work, in which you should list the details of the injuries that you have sustained and how the accident happened. It is important to record your accident in the accident book as not only can it be used for evidence in your case, but it can also help to persuade employers to implement new health and safety measures that may have been needed previously.
You may also be required to provide further evidence to prove negligence following an accident at work. Below are just a few pieces of evidence that you could be asked to provide:
- Any witness statements alongside their contact details
- CCTV footage of the accident occurring (if available)
- Official records of the injuries sustained
- Any photos that you have of where the accident occurred and/or photos of the injuries that you sustained
- Evidence that you reported an accident to the correct person, whether that was an employer or a person in charge
After you have sustained an accident at work, it is in your best interest to talk to an accident at work solicitor as soon as possible as they can discuss your entitlements with you and advise you on your options going forward.
Personal injury Solicitors from law firms can also provide clarity on whether you have been wrongly injured at work as they are legal experts and specialise in these types of compensation claims.
The law on time limits for accidents at work claims can be complicated. However, the general rule is that you have three years from the date of the injury to have either settled your claim or started Court proceedings where the injury occurred at work.
The three-year deadline commences from the date that the accident occurred or from the date on which you realised that your injury was associated with an accident in the workplace.
Will I lose my job if I make an accident at work claim?
The law is very clear that it is illegal for an employer to terminate the contract of an employee simply because they have made a claim for compensation against them. You should, therefore, not need to worry about losing your job. You should also not be worried about making a claim after an accident, as your employer should have procedures for accidents at work and insurance to cover the costs of any employee injury claims.
If your employer ends your employment without good reason, you should contact a solicitor that specialises in employment law as you may also be able to file an unfair dismissal claim alongside your work-related compensation claim.
How much does it cost to make an accident at work claim?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are, and if we take on your case we will almost always do so on a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a No Win, No Fee basis).
This agreement means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
How can Wildwood Legal help?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims. We are experienced in helping Claimants make accident at work claims. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important.
We have acted for people from all walks of life who have been injured at work. From builders to bankers, postmen to plumbers, scaffolders to shop-assistants and everything in between, we have acted for them and recovered compensation which was rightfully theirs.
The law relating to accidents at work is complicated and can be a minefield for the unwary. We will guide you professionally through every step of the journey and make sure that your injury at work claim is presented in the best possible way to ensure maximum possible compensation.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We value the opinion of our clients. We will always listen to you and take on board what you say. With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, we can help you with your claim. We always strive to put you at ease and explain the process clearly.
Our aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case, we value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. Most importantly, we are on your side.
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