Accidents At Work – What You Need To Know
At The Legal Oracle we help people just like you to know what to do if they have had an accident at work. It is important that you understand all of your legal rights and the options available to you if you have had a work accident. When you are ready to pursue a claim, you can then let The Legal Oracle connect you with an expert solicitor.
When you are involved in a workplace accident you will no doubt have many questions rushing around your head. Was my employer at fault? Can I make a claim for compensation? If yes, how should I do this? Will making a claim affect my job? We know that your work is incredibly important to you and that is why we have taken the time to answer these questions.
At The Legal Oracle we cover all areas of work accidents in detail so you have the information you need. This includes:
But you might want to start with an overview of the basics:
What Is An Accident At Work?
There are many different types of work accident claims. Accidents in the workplace vary greatly depending on the nature of the job and the type of environment in which you are working. They cover everything from injuries caused by faulty office equipment – such as broken chairs – to slips and trips, from accidents in a factory due to hazardous debris on the floor to injuries due to defective machinery. All these types of accidents should be preventable and it is your employer’s duty to take steps to avoid them occurring.
The Legal Oracle's specialist work accident claims solicitors have experience of all types of claims, including:
- Building Site (Including Scaffolding & Ladder Accidents)
- Machinery Accidents (Including Lathes, Milling & Grinding Machines)
- Factory & Warehouse Accidents
- Industrial Diseases
- Self Employed & Contractor Accidents
- Work Vehicle Accidents
- Other Types Of Work Accident (including Back Injuries, Farming, Hospital, Tree Surgery)
Type Of Injury
Work accidents can vary in severity from relatively minor to very serious and even fatal. The types of accidents, which must be entered in the accident workbook and reported, include any injury that stops an employee doing their normal work for a period of 3 days or more, major injuries such as broken arms, ribs, legs, etc. The types of common work place injury include:
- Arm injuries, from cuts and sprains, to severe fractures
- Back/Spinal injuries including injuries leading to partial or complete immobility
- Fatal injuries
- Head injuries
- Leg injuries including fractures, lacerations, sprains etc.
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff injuries
What Should I Do Immediately After An Accident At Work?
Your health is the number one priority, so seek medical attention for your injuries first. When you are seen by medical staff at your local A&E department or by your GP, ensure that you give them a full description of the circumstances of the accident so that this can be referred to by your solicitor when your claim is underway.
Reporting An Accident At Work
The first thing you should do after seeking medical attention is make sure your accident is entered into your work accident book, which is something that all employers must keep. Recording the details of the accident will ensure that there is an accurate record of the time and place of the accident. If you are not fit to record the accident, you should ask one of your colleagues to make sure that your employer records it for you. You should then advise a senior colleague of what has happened.
You should also ask any colleagues that witnessed the incident to write an immediate statement of what happened. The sooner this is made to the time of the accident the better it will be. If later on if you choose to make a claim, your solicitor will refer to this and it will help to keep the witnesses' memory of the accident fresh.
The next thing you need to do is obtain photographs of the scene of the accident. For example, if your accident is caused by defective machinery or office equipment, you should obtain a photograph of the equipment and also ensure that your employer does not remove or destroy it. Include in the photograph a newspaper to scale and date the time of the photograph.
Accident At Work Claim Process
You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident so that all of the evidence is fresh. Your solicitor will start by obtaining details of all of your losses and expenses, as well as medical evidence to confirm the extent of your injuries. He or she is likely to refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon or a GP who will carry out a full examination.
Read more on suing an employer.
Treatment For An Accident At Work
Depending on the extent and type of the injury, you are likely to require some form of treatment. Receiving early treatment for an injury at work can make a significant difference to your chances of a full recovery and an early return to work.
The Legal Oracle solicitors can arrange all types of treatment for you, from physiotherapy to chiropractic and osteopathic treatment. This can be arranged privately so that you do not have to wait for availability on the NHS. Your solicitor will be able to arrange this for you without charge, claiming the cost of the treatment from your employer’s insurance company – this means you do not have to pay.
Accident At Work Compensation
You will be able to claim compensation for all of your losses and expenses, which may include the following items:
- Any lost earnings as a result of the accident;
- Lost overtime;
- Medical expenses;
- Private medical treatment;
- Additional transport costs;
- All other expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident.
Depending on the extent of your injuries and the amount of your losses and expenses your solicitor will settle your claim and you might receive anything from a few thousand pounds to in excess of £100,000 for serious injuries. A specialist work accident claim solicitor will be able to advise you exactly what you can expect to receive when making your claim for compensation.
Costs Of An Accident At Work Claim
The Legal Oracle does not charge you for using our service and all initial enquiries with our Solicitors are also free of charge, so rest assured, this initial step of making an enquiry will not cost you anything.
Once one of our Solicitors has assessed the merits of your enquiry they will make a judgement on the likely chances of bringing a successful claim and if the prospects are good, they will normally offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis. You can find out more about No Win No Fee arrangements and the potential costs that can be incurred by clicking here.
Being Worried About Losing Your Job
Many people are scared that claiming for an accident at work may cost them their job. Under no circumstances should making a claim lead to you losing your job or hinder your chances of promotion. Your employer is not legally allowed to dismiss you because you are making a claim against the company; if they do try to do this then you will be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, your employer has a duty to ensure the safety of their employees. If they breach this duty then you are entitled to seek compensation from them. All employers must have insurance in place and it will be the insurance company that settles your claim for compensation. Therefore, there is no reason to suspect that making a claim will cost you your job.
It is true that some jobs are more hazardous than others and some come with inherent risks. Nevertheless, if you can prove that your employer has breached their duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment then you are likely to be able to make a successful claim.
Work Accident With No Witnesses
If there were no witnesses to the accident you can still claim as long as you have taken some measures to document the accident and are able to prove that the accident happened as you say it did. Ensure that the accident is carefully recorded in the Work Accident Book, seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible (giving the treating practitioner a full account of the accident) and then seek comprehensive legal advice from a specialist work accident solicitor. If faulty machinery, or hazardous debris, caused your accident you could take photographs using a camera or your mobile phone.
Self-employed Accident At Work
If you are injured in the course of your work and are self-employed you may be able to bring a claim against the contractor or sub-contractor by whom your services have been retained if they have failed to ensure your safety whilst working. Read more on Self-Employed work accidents.
A Work Accident Solicitor For You
The Legal Oracle's solicitors are here to provide you with the answers to all of your questions and to put your mind at rest. Wherever you are in England, Wales or Scotland, we can help you now. At The Legal Oracle we ensure that our solicitors are efficient and confident in their specialist areas of law, as well as providing a friendly and helpful service.
Make A Quick Enquiry Now
Why not make a free enquiry now by contacting us in one of the following ways to find out if and how much you can claim (no cost and no obligation to proceed, we are here to help):-
- Call us free on 0800 142 2775 between the hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturday and 8am to 5.30pm on Sunday; or
- Provide us with some details and one of The Legal Oracle solicitors will be in touch with you – make a Quick Enquiry now.
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