Have you been injured in an accident at work?
According to data published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), approximately 610,000 workers were injured in an non-fatal accident in 2014/15.
Employers have a legal obligation to report serious accidents (taking more than three days to recover), but HSE data suggests that around half of workplace injuries are unreported.
The Work Accident Claim Centre has been set up to help injured people:
Find out if they are eligible to claim.
Learn more about the claims process.
Get their questions answered.
Discuss their options with a specialist solicitor.
We do more that simply provide legal assistance. The Centre is here to help people with the recovery and recuperation process.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured at work as the result of another party’s negligence, whether the accident involved a fall from height, a slip or trip, defective equipment, you may be entitled to claim.
The claims process for an accident at work
Many people feel overwhelmed after an accident, but the reality is that starting a workplace injury claim should be a simple process.
Speaking to a specialist solicitor about your options gives you the chance to take control of your situation, ask any questions you may have, and discuss how to proceed. A consultation with a Work Accident Claim Centre solicitor is 100% free, with no obligation to proceed with a claim.
Some injured workers may be reluctant to start a claim involving their employer, fearing that they may risk their job, or they are concerned that they may be blamed for the accident.
By law, you cannot lose your job for making a valid personal injury claim. Even if you feel you may be partly responsible for an accident, or for your injuries (for example, by not wearing correct protective equipment), you may still be eligible to claim.
Whatever your concerns, a consultation can help put your mind at ease.
Are you eligible to make a claim
A solicitor will start the process by asking you a few questions to determine what your chances of making a successful claim are.
The key issues to consider are:
By law, your employer owes you a duty of care. If they caused your injuries, such as by providing inadequate safety equipment, poor training or an unsafe workplace, you are likely to be eligible to claim. If another member of staff caused your injury, your employer is likely to still be liable, due to the principle of “vicarious liability”.
If you have been injured by defective machinery, you may be able to claim against the manufacturer or retailer of the equipment.
A claim regarding faulty machinery may be made on the basis of “strict liability”. This imposes a liability on the manufacturer or seller of the machinery, even if they were not technically negligent.
How much compensation can you claim for a workplace accident?
The total compensation you receive is calculated based on two amounts:
This amount represents the pain and suffering an injured person experiences. General damages are calculated with reference to the Judicial College Guidelines. These guidelines set out recommended amounts for different kinds of injury, factoring in the severity of an injury and the duration of symptoms.
Special damages are unique to the person making the claim, and are calculated according to the actual financial losses they have sustained. Special damages can include compensation for lost wages, treatment and physiotherapy costs, and travel expenses.
Who pays the compensation?
Compensation for an accident in the workplace is usually not paid by the injured worker's company. Instead, the company's insurance provider will pay out compensation. All employers are required by law to have an employers' liability insurance policy for this reason.
This means, for example, that a small company will not be put at risk if a member of staff needs to make a large claim, and ensures that workers will be able to claim the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled, even if the company could not afford to pay it itself.
How long does a work accident claim take to pay out?
Compensation claims can take anywhere from two or three months to conclude, to over a year in cases of very severe or complex injury. Speaking to a solicitor at the earliest opportunity will give you a better idea of how long your claim is likely to take, so you can better plan your recovery and financial circumstances.
If a claim has a strong chance of succeeding, or the employer has already accepted liability, it may be possible for your solicitor to arrange an interim payment. Interim payments can help with treatment costs and household bills while you are unable to work during your recovery. This interim payment would be deducted from the total compensation at the end of the claims process.
If you have any questions about the injury claims process, or would like to start a claim for an accident at work, call us today on or arrange a callback for a time that suits you.