If you have recently returned to the office and have suffered from an injury, you may be considering whether or not you should make a work accident claim. Covid-19 has turned work-life upside down for a wide range of people all over the UK. Whilst most of us will still be working from home in order to prevent the spread of the disease, there are a number of people who have returned to their office space. Your employer still has a responsibility to keep this environment safe. If they fail to do so then you could end up getting hurt at work.
When you make a work accident claim, you may be considering a multitude of different factors that could affect your claim. This includes your eligibility, how much compensation you could be owed and how long it will be to actually make a claim. It’s understandable that you may be nervous that there may be factors that delay your claim. The pandemic is one of these factors and you may feel a little sick of your plans or affairs being delayed over and over again. That’s why Gowing Law Solicitors are here to help you with your claim. We can alert you to the potential problems that could cause your work accident claim to be delayed.
Speak to a specialist now about making a compensation claim by calling 0800 041 8350 or by clicking on our website below:
What type of Work Accidents are there?
Before we jump into what could delay your work accident claim, let’s take a moment to discuss work accidents in general. The definition of a work accident is in the name. It is an injury that occurs during work hours due to the negligence of a fellow employee or higher management. All workplaces have a responsibility towards their employees. This is known as a “duty of care”. Employees have acted negligently if they have not provided their employees with the following:
- Employee Training
- A clean environment
- Understanding of safety procedures (i.e. fire safety)
- Covid-19 safety instructions
- Access to routine breaks and rests
If you have not received the following then you could potentially get hurt due to the negligence of your employers. Now, the type of accidents can range from loss of sight to only a few bruises. The type of accidents you experience will change the amount of compensation that you are owed. After all, if you have experienced a life changing injury then you may need the compensation to help you maintain your standard of living whilst you take time off work, as well as pay for any medical fees, prescriptions or rehabilitation sessions.
The accidents at work you could experience include:
These are only a few injuries that you could suffer from an accident at work. Of course, there may be other ways you could get injured. Don’t be afraid to speak to your solicitor about your injuries. They can help you get in contact with a doctor to get them looked over. That way you can feel comfortable and receive a medical record to back up your claim.
How could my employer have caused my work accident?
As we stated previously, a work accident is usually caused by the irresponsibility of an employer, a fellow employee or a customer. Your employer may have failed to train you appropriately and so you may not have been able to operate the equipment in your office space. In other circumstances, the messy workspace of your office may have caused you to trip or fall. There are many ways that your employer could act negligently and you could get hurt as a result. These include:
- Utilising faulty equipment
- Failing to train you for your job
- Leaving wiring exposed
- Asking you to do tasks not part of your job description
- Allowing aggressive customers to intimidate you
- Refusing to give you a break
If you notice anything in your work space that could potentially cause an accident, you should alert your manager as quickly as possible. They will need to get it fixed as quickly as possible. Should they ignore it, then this could implicate them as guilty of negligence. Above all, this means that if you make a work accident claim, they will have to pay you for the damages that you have experienced.
Covid-19 and the workplace: Can I make a work accident claim?
Now, this is going to be a common question that is on everyone’s minds. Is there going to be a chance that you could claim compensation from catching Covid-19 from your workplace? Unfortunately, this is a very tricky case. After all, can you ultimately prove that your workplace was the main reason why you caught Covid-19?
When you go back into the workplace, your office may have set up a number of procedures to ensure that you are kept safe from the illness. This includes:
- Compulsory mask wearing
- Screened desks
- Air conditioning
- Well-ventilated workspaces
- Online meetings
- Compulsory Covid-19 tests
- Temperature screenings
The only way that you could hold your employer liable for catching Covid-19 is if you can prove that your office space was the only place that you visited that could have allowed you to catch the illness. For instance, if an employee went to work with a headache, called in sick the next day with Covid-19, and then two other employees fell down sick, it is very likely that you will get ill as well or will be forced to isolate.
If you want to discern whether or not you could make a personal injury claim for Covid-19, the best way to do it is to speak to your solicitor. They can let you know whether or not it is worth pursuing. For clients that are currently isolating, correspondence can be conducted virtually. That way you can get started on your claim without having to leave your home. This includes zoom calls, phone calls and email correspondence.
What should I do if I have been involved in an accident at work?
The first thing you should do is not panic. Try and call over a fellow staff member to let them know that you have been hurt. You should also tell them to log the work accident in the company’s accident book. If any of the staff members know first aid, you should have them come over to help you and call an ambulance to make sure you can get medical assistance. In the meantime, if you are well enough to collect evidence then this should be a priority for you. Some evidence can only be found after you have been to the hospital. But do your best to document the accident’s environment and your injuries.
Examples of evidence can include:
- Witness Statements
- Medical Reports
- Police Reports
- Correspondence with the responsible party
- Diary Entries
After you have received your evidence, you should speak to a solicitor about your work accident claim. They can help you organize the evidence and make sure to speak to the party responsible for your injuries. They will have you involved in the settlement agreement to discuss the amount of compensation owed. In most cases, the party responsible will agree to the settlement agreement. If they refuse then you will find that the case will have to go to court to be sorted. However, this is very unlikely as most employers will be happy to pay the settlement agreement.
How could my work accident claim be delayed?
It’s completely understandable that you may be worried that your claim may be delayed. The pandemic has been exhausting, therefore you may not feel confident that your claim will go through efficiently. The recent court delays may have only enhanced this feeling.
If your claim does end up being delayed then your solicitor will inform you as quickly as possible. The timeline of your claim will take a few months, depending on the amount of damages you have experienced. Therefore, it will also depend on whether or not the person responsible for your damages is willing to admit that they are at fault for the accident. There are a few reasons why your claim could end up being delayed. These include:
Overall, you will have around 3-4 years to make your claim. However, the circumstances of your claim may change the amount of time you are allowed. Speak to your solicitor for a solid timeline of what you can expect when you make a claim. They will let you know if anything changes and will always keep you in the loop when it comes to the circumstances of your case. Above all, feel free to ask them any questions and let them know if you are feeling concerned. They will do their best to help you understand what you could be owed.
Get started on your Work Accident Claim today
Are you ready to get started on your Work Accident Claim? Gowing Law’s team of expert solicitors are here to help you. All you need to do is contact our team to find out more. We can offer you free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to move forward with your claim, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will never have to pay any hidden fees. Instead, you will always come out on top as you will only have to pay your solicitor if they win your case.
Learn more about making a Work Accident Claim
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