Accident at work compensation claims are here to protect you just in case you get hurt in the workplace. It does not matter how bad your injuries are, or whether you work in an office, a retail store or even on a construction site. It’s important that you make a claim to ensure that the hazard is dealt with and you are financially compensated for your losses, physical damages and emotional trauma.
Unfortunately, accident at work compensation claims can get complicated, especially if your employer wasn’t directly responsible for your injuries. Instead, you could have got hurt due to one of your colleagues. Now, it’s important to recognize that this may have been due to an honest mistake or unfortunately because of their behavior and negligence. This is why you may be feeling conflicted about who to ask for compensation. Is it your boss or should it be your colleague?
Is my work mate responsible for injuries in a work accident?
To put it bluntly, whilst your colleague may have been the one who caused you injuries in the first place, your employer will still have to pay for your compensation. In legal terms, this is also known as vicarious liability. Let’s dissect the term before we give it a proper definition. “Vicarious” means something that is experienced by somebody else rather than it being yourself. “Liability” means that you are meant to be responsible or ”at fault”. Putting the two together then means the person who actually inflicted the harm may not actually be the one who is at fault. If the employee is acting on the instruction of a higher authority, the liability of the accident will fall on them.
So, let’s put it a little more simply now that we’ve described what it is all about. Vicarious Liability means that the employer is actual liable for damages because their employers (and their actions) give the instructions and are responsible for any hazards that are not marked out and put right.
How could my colleague have caused my work accident injuries?
Normally, if you are going to be eligible for work accident compensation, you need to prove that you were not at fault for your injuries. It is the responsibility of your employer to provide a safe work environment. However, if:
- Neither you nor your colleagues received proper training
- You and your colleagues are asked to carry out inappropriate tasks (i.e. carrying heavy boxes)
- Both you and your colleagues are not allowed to take proper breaks
- None of the environmental hazards in your workplace have been marked out (i.e. puddles)
- You and your colleagues were told to use faulty/damaged equipment
And then you got hurt, it falls on your employer to pay your compensation. You deserve to feel safe in the workplace. Therefore, if your colleagues cause you damages that are beyond the control of either of you (i.e. by dropping something on you or spilling something), it is the responsibility of the employer to pay compensation.
Can my work-mate claim any form of work accident compensation?
Every work accident injury is completely different. You have to realize that different injuries will lead to different forms of compensation. If you have been seriously hurt due to your accident, your colleague could claim third-party damages due to emotional or psychological trauma. However, this sort of compensation does depend on whether they fall into certain criteria (i.e. if they witnessed your accident or if they are a very close family member, friend or loved one). It will also depend on whether or not they got hurt themselves. If they did get hurt then they could make their own accident at work compensation claim against your employer.
Can I claim for small and large injuries caused by my colleague?
If you and your colleagues have been forced to work in an unsafe environment, and you got hurt due an accident caused by your work-mate, you can claim for the damages. The point of compensation is to restore you back to the original position you were in before you got hurt. This means you could claim for:
- Physical Injuries
- Emotional Damages
- Financial Losses (i.e. travel fees)
- Loss of Opportunity (i.e. promotion or wage increases)
- Medical expenses
So, if you are thinking about making a claim, you need to consider whether or not it is worth the time and effort you are going to put in to the claim. If you have the potential to claim for a large injury, and therefore get a big pay-out, we would highly recommend that you go for it. However, if you only have small wounds from your accident at work, the amount you get in compensation may be smaller than you anticipated. Discuss all of the risks of your case with a solicitor before you make a firm decision.
What should you do if you have been hurt by a colleague at work?
If you have got hurt due to an accident caused by your colleague, you should consider your safety above everything else. Ask for your accident to be written down in the work accident handbook before you get a copy. You should also ask to get medical assistance as quickly as possible. Even if you are only suffering from minor injuries, going to get your injuries checked out can stop them from getting worse. You should also ask for a medical report to prove what happened.
Make sure that your employer is fully notified about the accident and start to collect evidence. Evidence may include:
- Photographs of your injury and the work environment
- CCTV footage
- Copies of your letter of grievance
- Video footage of your injury and your work environment
- Witness statements and testimonies
- Police reports
- Medical reports
- Diary Entries
- Receipts of financial losses
How long will it take to get work compensation?
We would highly recommend that you get in contact as quickly as possible about your accident at work claim. Covid-19 has not only made changes to safety in the workplace, but has also caused delays in the legal system. If you have a complicated work accident claim, for instance if employer refuses to take responsibility for your accident, it will take longer than a few months to get a trial date. Be patient with your solicitor and ask them for their opinion on deadlines. They can keep you updated with the latest information about your case.
How much can I claim for work compensation?
Any compensation estimations depend on the extent of your injuries and how bad your losses are. If you have suffered from life-changing injuries, you could be owed thousands. That’s why it’s wise to get in contact with a solicitor and talk to them about what sort of pay-out you could be owed. That way you can get a reasonable estimate and consider whether or not it is worth your time following it up.
How do I make a work compensation claim with Gowing Law Solicitors?
Here at Gowing Law, we understand that any type of work accident can be traumatic. They can leave you with life-changing injuries and may destroy your friendship with your colleagues if they were responsible for your accident. That’s why you should get in touch with Gowing Law to get some help for your claim. We can make the whole claims process simple. Our solicitors offer free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to work with us, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will always come out on top, no matter what type of claim you have.
Contact Gowing Law today by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing email@example.com or by using our contact page’s direct messenger. We would be more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have about work accident claims
Read more from our work accident interview series!
Do you have more questions about work accident claims? If you do then you should take a look at our interview series to learn more information. Here are the interview blogs that have already been uploaded:
- What sort of accident at work compensation claims are there?
- How can I be sure that I have an accidents at work claim
- How bad does my work accident injury need to be to make claim?
- Can my work accident claim be for emotional damages?
- How do I make a work accident claim?
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We wish you the best of luck with your accident at work claims case.