You can get help after an accident at work
Workplaces should be safe environments, where we can carry out our jobs without fear for our health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, in some offices, warehouses, shop floors and factories, accidents and injuries do occur. They’re often the result of unsafe working conditions, due to lack of care or attention when it comes to workplace safety.
Accidents in the workplace can range from the minor to the fatal. In the UK, 679,116 injuries were reported at work during the year 2016/17, according to the HSE, with 1.3 million suffering from a work-related illness.
Workplace injury can be prevented if employers keep premises safe from all potential hazards. If they don’t and it causes an injury, there may be grounds for an accident at work claim.
What is classed as an accident at work?
An accident at work can occur when an unexpected event leads to the illness or injury of an employee. Examples include:
- Slips, trips and falls:
These could happen because of unmarked wet floors, loose cables, or faulty equipment, such as a rickety stepladder.
- Accidents outside of work hours
Such as an injury before or after your shift occurring while you are still on the premises.
- Manual handling injuries:
These can be caused by lifting heavy items and not being provided with adequate materials or training.
Illnesses that have long-lasting effect are often referred to as industrial diseases. These could come from performing repetitive tasks or being exposed to harmful substances, such as asbestos, or excessive noise over long periods of time.
I’m worried about making a claim against my employer
It is essential that your employer provides a safe working environment. We understand that you might feel apprehensive about raising a claim against them, but they are legally required to have an insurance policy in place to cover such compensation cases.
By asserting your injury at work rights, you are not financially impacting your employer directly, or creating issues for anyone else in your workplace. In fact, your actions could lead to a safer working environment for your colleagues in the future.
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 protected once you return to work, 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.
You can find out more on our work accident FAQs page.
I’ve been injured at work. What should I do?
There are several key steps you should take to protect yourself, and to help with any accident at work compensation you may want to make in the future:
- See a doctor:
Visit your doctor or GP as soon as possible so you can have any injuries treated, and have the medical details of your accident officially recorded.
- Report it and record it:
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.
- Keep track of expenses:
Make a note of any extra expenses that arise because 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
If you contact us 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 solicitors 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 of 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 and injuries at work every year and know exactly what evidence is needed and how to collect it.
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 for an accident at work?
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 assessing the damages related to your injuries, a doctor will issue a medical report outlining 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.
Financial losses put a value on what you have lost because 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 for 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 £3,810. A serious back injury could warrant compensation up to £141,050, whereas damage to hearing can qualify for anything up to £96,150, depending on the severity.
Accident at work case study
Nicholas was at work when a piece of sharp metal on the back of a cooker caught his hand, resulting in him losing the top corner of his finger. He was awarded £5,500.
Nicholas said: “Overall my experience with First4Lawyers was a good one. I would definitely recommend them, as I found them to be friendly and helpful.”
How long do I have to make an injury at work claim?
Claims for accidents at work can be made within three years of the accident or injury taking place. Ideally, claims should be made sooner rather than later, while any attempt to claim after the three-year period may not be successful.
How and when could 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.
Who pays the compensation for a work injury?
If you successfully claim for injury because of an accident at work, your employer’s insurance company should cover the costs of the compensation. Legally, employers are obliged to have this type of insurance, and you can find out which insurance company they use by asking to see the insurance certificate all employers must display.
Does it matter who or what the injury was caused by?
An accident at work can happen in a variety of circumstances. The injury could be caused because of actions taken by another employee or your employer, unsafe work environments, or lack of protective clothing or training. You may also decide to file a claim if an incident in the workplace has caused a psychological illness – such as severe and avoidable stress – or if you have contracted a disease associated with your role.
Regardless of what the injury or illness is, or who caused it, if the law deems that the injury or illness is at the fault of your workplace, you may be able to claim for compensation.
Can you make a claim if you’re self-employed?
In a range of industries, many workers will be technically self-employed, while working under the umbrella of another company. These industries include but are not limited to construction workers, electricians, plumbers, contractors, and so on.
If you are injured at work following an accident, you could still claim for compensation. It’s not always obvious who can claim (and who they can claim against), but the experts at First4Lawyers can give you guidance about your case.
Returning to work after an accident
Once you have recovered, you’ll likely be ready to return to work. It’s understandable if you feel nervous about returning to the workplace, but the law dictates that you must not be treated unfairly because of filing a claim.
Your employer must grant you reasonable recovery time and enable sick pay, and they cannot force you to return to work before you are physically or psychologically able to do so.
How do I take legal action for an accident or injury at work?
If you’ve had an accident or been injured due to unsafe circumstances in your workplace, then you have the right to make a claim without suffering discrimination. With First4Lawyers, you can contact us by phone on 0808 115 5822 , request a callback at the top of the screen, or fill in our online claim form.
We will talk you through your case, and the expert accident at work solicitor who is assigned to your case will work sensitively to reach an amicable conclusion for you. Injury at work claims can be dealt with through the firm’s insurance and many claims can be dealt with outside of court.
What would you like to know about accidents at work?
Does my working environment affect my ability to claim?
The type of environment you work in shouldn’t affect your ability to claim, but it may affect the types of claims that can be brought forward. For instance, certain circumstances causing injury may not be avoidable as part of the role, and therefore your employers may not be liable.
It’s essential that you seek expert legal guidance before starting a claim, or you could end up out of pocket. At First4Lawyers, the expert injury solicitors understand the law, and can find out if you have a basis for a claim – no matter what workplace you work in.
Is First4Lawyers a free service?
We won’t charge you anything if you lose your claim for compensation after an injury or an accident. If you win, our fees will come directly out of the money awarded to you. If you use our personal or business law service, a charge may apply.
Every year, we help thousands of people make claims after suffering an injury or accident that wasn't their fault
In 2017 we won Claims Management Company of the Year for the fifth time.
We work with a carefully selected panel of solicitors who are experts in injury and accident claims
We are the UK's largest independent personal injury firm.
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