Have you been injured following an accident at work? Find out how to make a No Win No Fee claim with our solicitors
Workplaces are usually safe environments, where we can do our jobs without having to worry about our health or safety. However, in some offices, warehouses, shop floors and factories, accidents and injuries do occur. They’re often the result of unsafe working conditions, perhaps due to lack of care or attention when it comes to workplace safety.
Accidents and injuries at work range from the minor to the fatal. In the UK, during 2014/2015, an estimated 611,000 suffered an injury in the workplace. Workplace accidents can be prevented if employers make an effort to keep premises safe from all potential hazards. If they don’t and it causes an injury, there may be grounds for a claim.
What is an accident at work?
An accident at work is where someone becomes ill or injured in their place of employment through no fault of their own. Examples include:
- Slips, trips and falls – These could happen as a result of wet floors, loose cables, or faulty equipment, such as a rickety stepladder.
- Long-term illnesses – Potentially arising from performing repetitive tasks or exposure to harmful substances on a daily basis.
- Accidents outside work hours – Such as an injury before or after your shift while still on the premises.
- Manual handling injuries – Can be caused by lifting heavy items and not being provided with adequate materials or training.
I’m worried about making a claim against my employer
It is important that you employer provides a safe working environment. We understand that you might feel apprehensive about raising a claim against them, however they are legally required to have an insurance policy in place to cover such compensation cases. By asserting your rights you are not financially impacting your employer directly, or creating issues for anyone else in your daily workplace.
If you are worried about losing your job as a result of speaking up, rest assured that it is illegal for employers to dismiss anyone making a claim against them. You are also protected once you return to work, and so if you feel you are being treated unfairly or harassed as a result of the initial claim, you may be able to take further action.
I’ve been injured at work. What should I do?
Though it can be difficult to be organised after you have been in an accident, there are several important steps you need to take in order to protect yourself and help with any compensation claim you may want to make in the future:
- Report it and record it – After you have received any necessary medical attention, report the accident to your supervisor or manager. Make sure it is recorded in your workplace’s accident book. If you work in a very small business that doesn’t have an accident book, write down the details and give a copy to your employer. It’s also important to keep a copy for yourself.
- Keep track of the details – If you can, be sure to make a note of the exact circumstances of your accident. If there were any witnesses, record their contact details in a safe place.
- See a doctor – Visit your doctor or GP as soon as possible so you can have any injuries treated and ensure that the medical details of your accident are officially recorded.
- Keep track of expenses – Make a note of any extra expenses that arise as a result of your accident, such as travel costs to get to the hospital, loss of income due to time off work and any other fees or losses that may be related. Be sure to hold onto receipts and documents as evidence.
- Get in touch – We can help you to determine whether you are eligible to claim work injury compensation, and guide you through the process that follows. Our expert accident at work lawyers will manage your case to completion. They will work with you to piece together the aftermath of your accident, and to ensure you are reimbursed for the damage or losses that were caused.
Is there any reason I might not have a claim?
If you are injured because health and safety standards are not met, your employer is at fault and you have a right to claim compensation. In instances where you believe you might be partially responsible, you may still be entitled to make a claim on the basis that your employer’s negligence was the main cause for the accident.
Your employer is legally obligated to provide a safe work environment for all employees and protect their health and welfare while they are at work. This includes providing protective equipment when necessary, reporting potential hazards to the relevant authorities, having adequate first aid facilities and ensuring the general environment is safe and comfortable to work in.
Do I need evidence?
If your employer doesn’t admit liability, then a case needs to be built to prove their negligence. This is where First4lawyers steps in. We deal with thousands of accidents at work each year and know exactly what evidence is needed and how to collect it for you.
Any evidence you can provide to help support your claim will help to make the process run even more smoothly. This includes:
- Medical reports
- Official report in the accident book
- Photographs of the location where the accident took place
- Photographs of the injuries you sustained
- Reports from any witnesses
- Reports of the events that followed the accident, including conversations with your employer, doctor, or insurance company
How much can I claim?
When determining the amount you are entitled to following an accident at work claim, there are two main factors that are taken into consideration: the suffering caused by your injuries and the financial losses you incur as a result of the accident.
When it comes to working out the damages relating to your injuries, a doctor will issue a medical report that outlines the time it will likely take for you to recover, along with the physical or psychological rehabilitation you many need to undergo as part of the recovery process. This helps to indicate what future earnings you will miss out on as a result of the accident, as well as the future medical expenses you will face.
Financial losses put a value on what you have lost as a result of the accident. This may include wages from time off work, money spent on medical care and medication (including transport to and from the hospital), reimbursement for any possessions that may have been damaged during the accident, as well as compensation around any additional care you have received to help you recuperate.
Therefore, based on the severity of the injury and the impact it has had on you, the amount of compensation will vary. Our simple Compensation Calculator can help to give you a better idea of the amount you might be eligible for.
For relatively minor injuries, such as fractured fingers, where recovery happens within a few weeks, you may receive compensation of up to £3,100. A serious back injury could warrant compensation up to £115,000, whereas damage to hearing can qualify for between £5,000 and £78,000 depending on the severity.
How long do I have to make a work injury claim?
Claims for accidents at work can be made within three years of the accident first taking place. Ideally, claims should be made sooner rather than later, while any attempt to claim after the three-year period will not likely be successful.
How and when would I access any compensation?
In the event of a successful claim, the timeframe and procedure for receiving compensation varies. Depending on whether the case is settled out of court or not, the insurance company will be required to make payment within a specified number of days.
Typically, if the case is settled out of court, payment will be received within 14 days. If it is settled in court, there is a 21-day term within which you should receive your settlement. Depending on the insurance company, you will either be issued with a cheque or a direct deposit into your bank.
How do I take legal action?
If you’ve had an accident due to unsafe circumstances in your workplace, then you have the right to make a claim without suffering discrimination. With First4lawyers, you can request a call back by phone at the top of the screen or fill in our online claim form.
We will talk you through your case, and the expert solicitor who is assigned to your case will work sensitively to reach an amicable conclusion for you. Accident at work claims can be dealt with through the firm’s insurance and many claims can be dealt with away from court.