Work accident claims can be complicated. The main aim of any claim is to prove that you were not at fault for your injuries. Instead, you were the victim of your company’s negligence. For instance, you may have caught Covid-19 due to an unsafe environment, or perhaps were injured due to a task that was out of your skill set. Recovering from any work accident injury can be traumatic. Not only do you have to deal with the physical recovery but you may have financial losses due to not being able to go back to work.
This is why you should considering pursuing a work accident claim. UK businesses are legally required to have employer’s liability insurance to support any workers who may have experienced an accident on their premises. You will not be negatively impacting your company if you make a work claim. It is your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
Below, you will find some of the most common questions asked about work accident compensation claims, answered by our operations director Elaine. Read on to prepare yourself for your work accident claims case when you meet with you Gowing Law Solicitor.
1. What is an accident at work claim?
As Elaine explains above there are many different types of accident at work claims. It does not matter how big your work claim is, if you have had an accident on company grounds that was not your fault, you could be owed compensation. This is because your employer did not take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Examples of this include:
- Unmarked hazards in the work environment
- Messy/ dangerous work environments
- Not taking necessary precautions to prevent spread of illness
- Asking employees to complete unsuitable tasks
- Repetitive work tasks
Take a look at our example below to get an idea of how this could work:
As the spill was clearly not marked, and Tony had been requested to do a task that was outside of his normal work duties and that he was not trained to do, his injuries were clearly not his fault. This means that he could ask for compensation whilst he recovers. As he was not able to type as well as he could without the injury, he has suffered damages that impeded his ability to work. This means that he could be owed compensation for his work accident damages.
2. How bad do my injuries need to be to get compensation?
The severity of your injuries will change how much compensation you receive. However, if you have been injured in the workplace, and it is due to your employer’s negligence, you can be due compensation. This could be in the thousands if it is a substantial injury, for instance, you were badly hurt in a construction site handling machinery, or it could be less. Make sure to talk to your solicitor to get a rough estimate. Every injury claim is different. For instance, some people may be remote workers whilst others may be in an office and some may work in a public space. The different hazards in each work environment will change the claim. That’s why it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side to make sure you know exactly what you want to claim for.
3. What should I do if no one saw my accident?
This question is more common than you might think. As the UK is currently implementing social distancing measures to ensure work shifts are staggered, you may find that your work safety policy means you need to work on your own. This means that there is a higher chance that if you have an accident it may go un-witnessed.
You don’t need to have witnesses to prove that you had a work accident. You just need to make sure that you have the right evidence to show that the accident happened in the first place. This may include CCTV footage, proof of the hazard through pictures and videos, and a doctor’s assessment of your injuries. Make sure to get your employer to note your injury in their work accident book and to give you a copy. Elaine explains more about evidence for work accident claims below:
4. Can my employer fire me if I make a work accident claim?
One of the most important things that you need to remember about any sort of accident compensation claim is that your employer was the one at fault. That means they cannot outright fire you for asking for compensation for their negligence. Yes, if you were the one messing around and causing problems that lead to your accident then they can fire you. But if the accident was genuinely not your fault then they will not be able to dismiss you.
If we look at an example, a lot of people are worried that they will be unfairly dismissed due to Covid-19. Some companies simply will not put in the safety measures that have been recommended by the government. So, if they catch Covid-19 from the work place, what will happen if they are let go by their employer? This was through no fault of their own, yet they are still being punished for it. If this happens to you then you could have an employer tribunal on your hands. This can get you compensation, so make sure you understand all of your employee rights.
It’s important as well to know that you do not have to tell anyone about your accident. Only your employer and you yourself need to know about it. That way if you are worried about people treating you differently in the workplace, this can be avoided altogether.
5. Can a work accident claims solicitor help me with my case?
Hiring an accident at work solicitor can really help you increase the chances of having a successful compensation claim. Accidents work differently for different claimants. They can be extremely complicated, especially if you were partially responsible for the accident. The complexity of your case depends on whether or not your company will fight against paying you compensation. That’s why it can be very useful to have an experienced lawyer on your side. They can help you file all of your evidence and keep your case on track over the next few months. Some cases take longer than others, though you should expect an update from your solicitor about the case every couple of weeks.
Solicitors can help you avoid common pitfalls that may mean that you lose out on claiming compensation. You would be surprised to see how many people invalidate their claim due to incorrect paperwork. A trained lawyer can talk you through your incident and your evidence, and estimate what sort of compensation pay out you could claim for. If your employer decides to make things difficult for your claim, they can also help you make sure that you can overcome any problems you experience.
Make sure to ask your solicitor if you have any questions. They would be more than happy to help you.
What should you do if you have an accident at your work place?
The first thing you need to consider is your own health. Whilst it is important to collect evidence and make sure you can prove your case in court, you need to make sure that you get the medical attention that you need. If there are no employees trained in first aid, go to the hospital to seek help.
If you do not think your wounds need a doctor to check them over, you will want to do the following:
- Inform your employer of the accident
- Request that the accident is noted in the accident work book and that you get a copy
- Take pictures or videos of the area of your accident
- Collect witness statements
- Write a diary that will document important facts of the incident
- Write a letter of complaint to your employer
The more evidence you have to back up your claim the better. That way it will not turn into a case of “he said, she said.” Instead, you will know that you can prove that you were not the one at fault when it came to your accident. Liability must fall on the employer; that way they have a duty of care towards you as one of their employees. They must pay compensation to ensure that you can recover, this may also include statutory sick pay (SSP).
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your compensation claim
If you are looking for the help of a specialist accidents at work solicitor to help you with your claim, Gowing Law Solicitors is here for you. We can provide our expert knowledge to assist you with your case. Due to Covid-19, we understand that you may be working remotely, therefore we can work around your schedule and help you work from home.
Our lawyers can offer you free consultations and advice to move you forward with your case. If you do decide to work with us, we work on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means there is no risk in simply trying to claim compensation. If you do not win your case, there will be no fees. That means you will always come out on top.
Want to read more?
Gowing Law endeavours to keep its blog updated with the latest articles on UK law every week. That way if you have a compensation case coming up, or you want to know information about a certain topic, you can simply scroll through our blog and see what topics are relevant to you. This includes information about PPI taxes and mis-sold mortgages. We also talk about the latest Covid-19 legal updates, such as retail safety and writing a will during lockdown.
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We look forward to hearing from you soon. Good luck with your compensation claim!