Work accident evidence is crucial when it comes to proving whether or not you are liable for an accident that happened whilst you were on the clock. Not every accident means that you are going to be sent to hospital and experience life-threatening injuries. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get compensation if they happened because of the negligence of other people. To show that you did everything in your own power to avoid getting hurt, your evidence is vital. It is also a good way to show that you experienced more damages than just your physical injuries.
Today, we dive back into work accidents and our interview with Elaine. We discuss whether or not you need evidence, and how it can affect your case.
Work Accidents and evidence: Why do I need it?
To put it in simple terms, if you want to get a high amount of compensation, the best way you can do this is by having evidence. The right evidence can prove that you were not responsible for the injury. Instead, it can show how your employer was negligent and caused you to get hurt. Your evidence can also back up the amount of damages that you have experienced because of your accident.
This is why it is essential to collect certain types of evidence, like medical records from your GP or a hospital visit. In some cases you won’t be able to collect certain types of evidence, for instance if you did not have any witnesses to your accident then clearly you won’t be able to get a witness’s testimony/statement.
What type of evidence should I be looking for?
As you can see, there are many different types of evidence that you can pick. Your employer will be paying for your compensation out of their employer liability insurance. Therefore, the amount of evidence that you provide will change the amount of compensation that you get for your injuries. For instance, if you were to prove that your employer attacked you, i.e. in a violent altercation or a criminal act, then if you have CCTV evidence, you could prove that you not only suffered from physical injuries, but your phone was smashed during the altercation. That means that you could ask them for compensation for damage to your equipment.
What sort of damages can I use this evidence for?
In any type of personal injury case, whether it is a public accident, a traffic accident or a criminal injury, there are two types of damages that you could suffer from due to a work accident. These are known as:
- General Damages
- Special Damages
General damages account for your general pain and suffering. This is a little more complicated than it may originally appear to be, despite being the most common type of injury claim. This is because you need to think carefully about how you should account for someone’s pain and suffering. Usually this will entail any emotional and psychological damages that require therapy and medical assistance to overcome.
Now, initially you may think that special damages are solely for traffic accidents, but in reality you can claim special damages in any type of accident claims case. Special damages are there to protect you if you have suffered from financial losses. This can include loss of wages, loss of potential (e.g. if you were going to get promoted at work) and any other types of expenses that could damage you and your bank balance. You may have even broken personal equipment (e.g. your phone or MP3) if they were involved in the accident. Keep in mind that these damages will need to be combined with a physical injury if you are going to make a claim.
Does it matter what types of evidence I collect for a work accident claim?
You are not going to be able to collect all types of evidence that we have suggested in this blog, that’s just a fact. If you have suffered from a large injury then you may not even be able to collect much outside of witness statements and a medical report. But that’s okay, a lot of the time you may need your solicitor to find evidence on your behalf. For instance, there may have been a CCTV device in the area that captured your accident on tape. This can serve as an unbiased look into what happened and can show you were not to blame for the accident. Try to think carefully about the types of evidence that you already have. Your solicitor can help you find additional evidence and provide you with advice on where you can get started.
What should I do if I have no witnesses for my accident?
Don’t worry, this happens more often than you would probably think. If you have got hurt whilst no one is around, the first thing you need to do is alert your fellow staff members about it. You should also request that it is noted down in the workplace’s accident book. It is important that you look for alternatives to a witness testimony. For instance, was there any CCTV footage of your accident? You should also consider taking pictures and videos yourself to prove that you have been hurt whilst at work. A solicitor can help you understand what you should do if you are worried about the amount of evidence you have. They can make sure that you get the highest amount of compensation possible, so make sure to go to them for advice!
What should I do if my employer doesn’t believe that I got hurt in a work accident?
Not all cases are going to be simple and straightforward. Most of the time an employer may simply accept that an accident happened and be willing to negotiate a settlement agreement before a court case even happens. However, others may not budge even when they are face-to-face with the hardest evidence.
If this is the situation that you are in, you should get legal counsel as quickly as possible. A lawyer can help you gather your evidence, including your medical records and send copies to your employer and their insurer. You should also discuss an amount of compensation that you are willing to settle on. If your employer refuses to sit down for a settlement agreement, it may be time to take them to court.
Due to Covid-19, you may find that you have to engage in a remote trial. It may sound scary, but it will be exactly like a normal court case. The judge will be in court and you will be joining electronically via a phone call or a video call. Make sure to have all of your evidence prepared so that the judge can make a decision that is in your favour.
How much compensation could I make from a work accident?
The amount of evidence you have will determine the amount of compensation that you get from your claim. After all, evidence can prove that you were not at fault for your injuries. Therefore, you need to have as much evidence as possible that interlinks with your damages. So, if you had a severe injury that required physiotherapy, your receipts for paying for treatments and medication can prove that it caused you severe financial damages over the course of the treatment period.
If you have suffered from a severe injury in a work accident, and have the evidence to back it up, you could be owed a 7 figure pay-out. However, you can still claim a smaller pay-out if you have only suffered from minor injuries. Speak to a solicitor to get an estimated amount of how much you could be owed.
How long will it take to make a work accident claim?
This depends on the complexity of your accident and the extent of court delays due to Covid-19. If your employer refuses to accept responsibility for your wounds, you may want to take the time to carefully examine your case and get your evidence ready. Be patient with your solicitor and construct a timeline together so you can both understand the extent of how long it will take to make your case and claim compensation. You can also ask for updates to know where your case is currently at. You should expect to be updated about your case at least once a month. Just be prepared for delays due to the current pandemic.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your work accident claim
Here at Gowing Law, we pride ourselves on making sure our customers get a top quality service and the compensation they need to recover. We can offer our clients free advice and consultations to get started. If they are happy with working with us, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. This can all be undertaken remotely to ensure the safety of our clients through the current pandemic.
Contact our Manchester law firm today by phoning 0800 041 8350, emailing email@example.com or using our claims checker. You can even use our Live Chat to talk to one of our team members quickly and efficiently. Just let us know your questions and someone will be there to help.
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We look forward to hearing from you soon about your claim. See you in our next blog!