A fall in the workplace can happen in any industry; you could be injured by slipping on a wet surface or tripping over obstacles left by other people in the workplace where they should not be. Depending on the accident, a fall in the workplace can have long term consequences, leading to disabling injuries, loss of earnings and even the inability to look after others.
Slips and falls are some of the most common causes of injury in workplace accidents. These falls can be caused by colleagues that have neglected their duties or by employers if they have failed to put proper protective measures in place to reduce the risk of an accident like this occurring.
No matter your industry or your role in the workplace, if you fell at work and have suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to make an accident at work compensation claim.
What are an employer’s legal responsibilities regarding falls at work?
According to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and regulations (1992), employers have a duty of care towards their employees to keep them safe and ensure that any work environments are maintained to a high safety standard. Therefore, they are responsible for putting proper protective measures in place in order to protect their employees from any type of accident, including falls at work.
These protective measures can include things such as:
· Regular maintenance and repair of furniture such as unstable chairs and torn carpets
· Providing anti-slip footwear to employees that work in environments with slippy surfaces
· Ensuring that all walkways are clear and are not obstructed by anything
· Ensuring spillages are cleared within a reasonable period of time
· Ensuring that scaffolding, handrails or ladders are installed for additional protection in places with a higher risk of falling
If your fall at work happened because your employer failed to put these protective measures in place, you might be eligible to make a fall at work claim against your employer.
All employers are legally required to have Employer’s liability insurance. Therefore, when you file a fall at work claim, you will be claiming against your employer’s insurance company, not your actual employer.
Fall at work claim: Common causes of falls in the workplace
There are many reasons that could cause you to fall while in the workplace. Below are just some examples of the most common causes we see that lead to fall at work compensation claims.
· Wet floors – Falls due to wet floors can be caused by spillages from others or from cleaning activities that have not been properly signposted with wet floor signs.
· Torn carpets and floor covering – Some mats or torn carpets that are not placed correctly can become a trip hazard and can cause accidents.
· Obstacles – Materials, tools or equipment that has been left lying around by other people, especially in walkways, can lead to slips and falls in the workplaces.
· Trailing cables and wires – Cables can be found in almost any working environment from offices to building sites as every workplace needs electricity. These cables can trip you up if they are left trailing around by other people.
· Poor lighting – Poor lighting makes it much harder to see any potential hazards or obstructions, which leads to an accident as you have a lack of awareness of the situation you are in.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of one of the accidents listed above or a variety of others, you could be eligible to make an accident at work claim.
Common injuries associated with fall at work claims
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.
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.
Sprains – Sprains are a common injury in falls a work as they can be suffered when you put your hands out in reaction to your fall. Whilst not being as severe as some of the other injuries listed, they can still be painful.
Cuts – Cuts can also be another common injury associated with falls in the workplace. These cuts can be minor; however, they can be more severe depending on the type of accident and whereabouts on the body they are located.
The extent and seriousness of your injuries will help to determine the amount of compensation you will receive following a successful fall at work claim. If you have suffered an injury at work that was not your fault, please get in contact with one of our solicitors at Wildwood Legal in order to receive more guidance and legal advice on making a claim.
What should I do following a fall at work?
Following an accident, you should try to collect as much evidence from your fall as soon as possible as your employer may try to cover up their negligence after your fall to make it more difficult for you to claim against them. You should also collect this evidence as it may be required during the claims process to strengthen your claim. These forms of evidence include:
· Photographs of the scene where you slipped and fell. Make sure the photos show the reason for your fall and the reason you are making a claim.
· Get medical attention for your injuries and receive a medical report detailing the extent of your injuries.
· Make a detailed written record in the accident book in your workplace. Keep a signed copy with you.
· Maintain a file for all of your medical expenses from any diagnostic tests or doctor’s consultation fees. You will need a record of these to help calculate the compensation for your work accident claim.
· Gain possession of any CCTV footage of the accident occurring (if possible)
· Obtain any witness statements alongside their contact information
Fall at work claim: What can be recovered?
There are a variety of losses that can be recovered following a fall 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.
Fall at work claims: How is compensation calculated?
Many factors will be taken into consideration before a final figure for your compensation amount is reached. Your compensation award will be split into two sections known as general damages and special damages.
General Damages refer to the amount of compensation you will receive for your injury, i.e., your loss of amenity, suffering and pain. Each case is different, as are all accidents and, therefore, the value of your claim will be difficult to determine without knowing all the details.
The figure will be based on the type of injury sustained and the severity and impact the injury has had on your life, or the impact it may continue to have on your future.
Special damages refer to any additional financial losses you may have as a direct result of the accident. Special Damages take into consideration:
· Loss of Earnings
· Parking and travel Costs
· Medication and treatment costs
· Additional care and Assistance – such as a carer
In most cases, you will need to attend an appointment with an independent medical expert to obtain a medical report based on your accident and injuries. This medical report will help us to provide an estimation of how much compensation you can receive.
We can also arrange further treatment for you if the independent medical expert states a requirement to do so in the medical report.
Time limits for making a fall at work claim
The law on time limits for making a fall at work claim is similar to most other personal injury claims. The general rule is that you have three years from the date of your accident to have either settled your claim or started court proceedings from when your injury occurred from the fall.
The three-year deadline begins from the date that the accident took place or from the date on which you realised that your injury was associated with your fall in the workplace. Any claims that are filed after three years of the accident may not be accepted, and you could lose your right to compensation.
If you are under the age of 18, you are still able to make a fall at work claim, but a friend or family member will have to make the claim on your behalf. This is also the procedure for anyone who has suffered through a fall in the workplace but lacks the mental capacity to make the claim for themselves.
Will I lose my job if I make a fall at work claim against my employer?
The law states that it is illegal for an employer to terminate the contract of an employee as a result of a compensation claim made against them. Therefore, you should not need to worry about losing your job if you are thinking of making a claim.
If your employer ends your employment without good reason, you should get in contact with one of our solicitors as you may be able to file an unfair dismissal claim alongside your fall at work claim.
How much do fall at work claims cost?
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 you make a fall at work claim?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims. We are experienced in helping claimants make accident at work claims. Therefore, if you are looking to claim for an accident, we aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important.
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.
If you have been injured at work and are considering making a claim against your employer, get in contact with us either email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01423 209 046 for specialist legal advice.
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