How have you been coping working from home? It may feel like it has been a very long time since you have stepped foot inside of an office. However, if you have previously suffered from an injury when you are at work, you will still be eligible to make a work accident claim. As you are recovering through the lockdown, you may start to feel isolated, vulnerable or worried that you cannot get the help you need. So, the question is, could you make a claim if you are experiencing stress and psychological issues when you are working from home?
According to the HSE, around 12.8 million working days are lost due to stress related issues and emotional distress. Your employer has a “duty of care” towards you and your fellow employees. Even if you are currently working from home, they should be checking in with you to ensure that you are doing okay. However, if you are feeling like you cannot cope due to your work load or job duties, this could be cause for making a psychological injury claim.
If you have suffered from a work accident then Gowing Law’s solicitors can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Click the link below to learn more about how our lawyers can assist you with any legal questions about work accident claims:
Making a work accident claim: Emotional Damages
When it comes to making a work accident claim, you may feel a little concerned about whether or not you could claim for emotional damages. Now in terms of a work accident claim, to claim for emotional damages you will need to have suffered from physical damages. However, there is a chance that you could suffer from psychological damages that could mean you are eligible for compensation. It entirely depends on your own personal situation and how your work accident has affected your life. Keep in mind as well that if you believe that your employer has caused you to suffer from psychological issues then you may have the right to schedule an employment tribunal to get any issues addressed and sorted as quickly as possible.
Make sure to keep this in mind if you are considering making a work accident claim. You will need to think carefully about the type of compensation you are claiming for. After all, the type of claim that you decide on will ultimately affect how much of a pay-out that you receive.
What could cause psychological issues or stress in the workplace?
When you take on a new job or position in a firm, you go in with certain expectations about how you are going to be treated and how much stress is involved in your position. Unfortunately, your work-place can cause certain psychological issues if too much pressure is placed on you. This work stressed is defined by the HSE as an
“Adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”
Workers react differently to stress, however it could lead to them making mistakes, burning out or simply looking for other employment. It could also have a psychological impact on their mental wellbeing.
Here are some examples of work-related stress:
These are only a few examples of how you could suffer from mental fatigue or any sort of work related stress. It’s important that you speak to your manager to let them know that you are suffering from these problems. Your manager owes you a “duty of care” when you go to the office. If they cannot provide a safe environment that supports the employee’s mental and physical health then they could be held responsible for any damages that you experience. The damages you experience when it comes to psychological trauma may include:
- Physical damages (i.e. repetitive strain injuries)
- Equipment Damages
- Loss of Earnings/ Financial Damages
- Aggravated Damages (If you have been mistreated by your employer)
Should my employer should be checking up me during lockdown?
Although this may not relate precisely to a work accident claim, but it is important to discuss due to the mental health of employees. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, that’s why it’s important that you understand how you can keep yourself safe whilst you remotely work. Your employer should be trying to check in on your mental health to ensure that your duties are not overwhelming you. It can be difficult to adjust to this new way of life, but your employer should be doing what they can to make sure you have the supplies needed to complete your job. Only 5% of people actually worked remotely before the pandemic, so it is not surprising that you may feel overwhelmed or nervous about what could be in store for you in the future.
It can be difficult to adjust to office life when you are working from home. Back in the office, you may have been used to taking breaks, moving away from the computer to rest your eyes and not overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion. But at home, it can be difficult to understand boundaries and where to stop. That’s why it’s important that your manager helps you to adjust and gives you the technology to do your job. They should also provide you with mental health assistance or even therapies if you find that you are struggling.
Make sure to always keep an open communication with your work-place. That way they can know what is happening in your life and whether or not they need to make adjustments to support you.
Mental Health & Work Accident Claims
One thing that we would like to discuss about stress and psychological issues is that a lot of them can occur due to the physical injuries that you may have experienced in the workplace. A work accident can have severe consequences on your mental health, especially if you experience an accident that changes your life. Take a look at our example below to get an idea of what could happen to you:
As you can see, very simple injuries can have large consequences when it comes to mental health. Any sort of small injury can have a big impact on the lives of people. They can make you struggle to feel secure about yourself and whether or not you are going to be okay. It can also have a knock on effect to your finances, as you may be required to spend time at home in order to recover. This can create a negative circle effect as it can cause more stress that affects your mental health. You are trapped in this repetitive circle until you get compensation for your injuries or you manage to heal up. But even then you may still feel worried about returning to your work place.
Can I make a work accident claim if I get injured at home?
As we are all working remote right now, you may feel a little nervous about making a claim if you have got hurt. You don’t want to put yourself at risk and so feel like you just want to stay at home and try to recover in your own time. If you got hurt whilst you were in the office during your work hours, you could be eligible for pay-out. However, if you were working from home it is very unlikely that you will be able to make a valid claim if you are hurt. It is your responsibility to look after yourself and make sure your environment is safe to work in. Your employer will check up on you to ensure that you are doing okay, but it’s important that you help them help you.
Here are a few things to do to help you keep safe and healthy whilst you work from home:
- Take regular 5 minute breaks to rest your eyes and to avoid screen burn
- Take a full lunch and use your hour break to rest
- Go outside to get fresh air and sunlight during the day
- Stand up regularly and speak to your friends and family
- Get dressed professionally to put you in the mood for work
- Exercise regularly and rest up with meditation
In the workplace, if you were not keeping yourself mentally and physically safe, it would be likely that you would have a meeting about it with HR. As you are at home, you may find it harder to talk to people about how you are feeling or your daily work routine. Just remember to keep safe whilst you do it.
Can I claim any other types of damages?
Now that we have discussed whether or not you could claim for an emotional damage in relation to your mental health and psychological trauma, it’s important that you understand that you could also claim for other types of damages that have affected you and your daily life. Wherever you were hurt, the person who was responsible for you getting injured owed you a “duty of care”. If this duty was not upheld, you will find that you are a victim of negligence. That means you can claim for any damages that you sustained because of your accident. These damages may include:
- Physical damages
- Financial damages
- Technology damages
- Loss of opportunity (i.e. Work promotions)
It’s important that you understand that your evidence can be collected before, during and after the accident. But keep in mind that with the current lockdown, you may find it difficult to collect certain pieces of evidence. Your evidence can include:
- Video/CCTV/ Dash-Cam Footage
- Witness Statements
- Medical Reports
- Police Reports
- Diary Entries
Your solicitor can help you collect evidence to assist you with your claim. Just remember that your health should come first, especially if you are not well enough to make a claim. Having a lawyer on your side will make sure that your claim is handled quickly and efficiently.
How much could I claim from a work accident claim?
Now, when you make a claim, the amount that you receive will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. For instance, if you ended up with serious damages that had a long recovery period, you would end up with a higher amount of compensation than someone who is suffering from a repetitive strain disorder or a sprained muscle. The best way for you to find out how much you could be owed is through your solicitor. They can help you create a timeline for your case. Your lawyers can then let you know an estimate of how much of a pay-out that you could be owed. This will depend on the extent of your evidence and how much you could get from your settlement agreement.
Be patient and allow your solicitor time to get through your claim. It may also take time to get this claim sorted. So, feel free to speak to your lawyer about any delays that may happen. This is due to the current lockdown and the delay with the UK court system.
Make a work accident claim with Gowing Law Solicitors
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we are always ready to help you with your claim. We have specialists who can give you free advice and consultations. If you are interested in working with our experienced lawyers, they can offer their services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will never need to pay any hidden fees. Instead, we will be upfront about our costs. We will then let you know when you will need to pay your solicitor for their services.
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