An accident at work that was not your fault can be devastating. You may be feeling a variety of different emotions and if you’re looking for guidance about claiming compensation, this article can help.
In this guide, we look at what steps you could take following a personal injury at work. Initially, you may have many questions such as:
- Can I claim for an accident at work?
- Who is responsible?
- Is it expensive?
- Do I need experience using solicitors?
- What proof will I need?
- How much accident at work compensation could I receive?
We aim to answer these questions and others with the advice contained in this article. There are links to more information throughout and our friendly personal injury claims team is on hand right now to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to:
Select a Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation Payouts For An Accident At Work
- What Is An Accident At Work?
- Top 3 Common Accidents At Work
- We Can Calculate Your Personal Injury Compensation
- What Are Special Damages?
- Case Study: £25,000 For An Injury Caused By An Accident At Work
- Free Legal Advice For The Value Of Your Accident At Work Claim
- How Can Victims Benefit From No Win No Fee Agreements?
- You Can Receive Free Legal Advice From Our Expert Advisors
- More Resources And Guides On Accidents At Work
- Accident At Work FAQs
Firstly, it’s important to clarify the details around the accident, as a personal injury claim can only be made if it involved actual injury. Therefore, it’s important to note:
- Who was actually responsible for your safety at that moment?
- Was the accident caused by a breach in the legal duty of care that your employer has?
- Did it directly result in causing you injury?
As we examine how to ascertain the answers with you, a clearer picture will emerge of how you could construct an effective claim against your employers for injury. We explain the two heads of claim that could form your total compensation payout and what evidence you will need to support them.
We conclude by showing you where and how to connect with No Win No Fee lawyers with the expertise to handle your case properly.
Our panel has over three decades of experience handling personal injury claims and is skilled at properly evaluating potential compensation for accidents at work. If you’d like our advisors to put you in touch with them, or you’d just like some free legal advice on your case, give the team a call on the number at the top of the page.
Generally, an accident at work is any mishap or procedural error that results in causing you harm. It can lead to anything from a stubbed toe to a serious head injury. Therefore, any set of circumstances that caused you harm either physically or psychologically at work could qualify.
We spend a large portion of our lives at work and it’s important that we feel safe doing so. The law recognises this and we will discuss in detail the kinds of accidents that can commonly occur in the section below. Statistically, accidents in the workplace aren’t uncommon. For example, during 2019:
- 693,000 people reported injuries in the workplace.
- 65,427 workers suffered injuries sufficiently bad enough to require reporting under the RIDDOR system.
- 38.8 million working days were lost due to a work-related illness or injury.
- 111 workers lost their lives at work.
RIDDOR places a duty on employers to properly record serious workplace accidents and occupational diseases. It also records specified dangerous occurrences or ‘near misses’ that might have caused serious injury.
There must be an identifiable external event that caused injury or cumulative exposure to hazardous practices such as repetitive lifting or regular inhalation of a noxious substance. Death, any non-fatal injury requiring a hospital visit for non-workers, specified non-fatal injuries workers endure and dangerous occurrences should all be reported under RIDDOR. Speak to our team for advice about how this could assist your claim.
According to health and safety at work statistics for 2020, the most common non-fatal employer-reported injuries were caused by the following accidents:
- Slips, trips or falls. These accounted for 29% of reported non-fatal injuries to employees.
- Handling, lifting or carrying. These accounted for 19%.
- Struck by a moving object. These accounted for 11%.
If employers follow their duty of care to protect the wellbeing of staff, they could reduce the likelihood of such accidents. Duty of care is an applied requirement by law. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 provides information as to what is expected of employers to protect the safety and wellbeing of their staff.
Some key sections of note are:
- Section 2 outlines the general duties employers have to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of employees as far as is reasonably practicable. This is an important distinction. There are limits as to what is reasonable to expect employers to do to protect your safety. Therefore accidents, if they occur, should be unavoidable and unforeseeable as the employer should be taking steps to prevent avoidable accidents.
- Under Section 3, this applied duty of care is extended (again, within reasonable parameters) to any visitors, contractors, or members of the public to the business premises.
- As an employee, you are expected to look after your own safety and wellbeing as much as possible under Section 7. Employees should also do everything they can to support the safety of fellow colleagues and never deliberately endanger them.
- Section 33 states that if your injuries can be directly related to a situation that your employers caused or were aware of and failed to act upon, they can be liable for prosecution.
- Employers should provide adequate PPE and protective clothing, advise on lifting and handling techniques, and ensure that all staff are correctly trained in avoiding repetitive injury or strain.
This law applies in England, Scotland and Wales. If you suffered an injury because of something that happened in your workplace and you feel certain that it wasn’t your fault, speak to our team for free legal advice.
An accident at work can be avoidable if everyone does their part to support this duty of care. If someone else fails to do so and you’re injured as a result, you may have a claim. So what kind of scenarios can give rise to a workplace accident and injury?
Slips, Trips And Falls
As our case study later in this guide illustrates, the smallest event can create a life-altering injury and this is why duty of care is such an important concept. It can be difficult to gauge how an accident might hurt someone and what repercussions they could be inflicted with. Some standard examples are:
- Slipping on a wet surface or unattended spillage
- Tripping on unmarked stairs or floor height changes
- Heavy materials falling on you
- Badly stocked items or sharp-edged materials not clearly marked
- Falling from any height
- Badly lit areas causing trip and slip hazards
Any slip, trip, or fall scenarios could result in an accident at work that should, and could, have been avoided. If you feel that your employer has failed in their duty to protect your safety and wellbeing, speak to our personal injury claims team for details on how your claim could be assessed and possible compensation calculated.
Inhaling Toxic Fumes
Obviously, workplaces that use gases and chemicals or involve manufacturing procedures that use substances with strong odours have a duty to provide clear instruction and well-ventilated premises. For instance, the cumulative effect of smoke or chemical inhalation can cause serious side-effects such as:
- Nausea and sickness
- Dizziness, headaches, and body aches
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unconsciousness and death
Symptoms such as these can affect your ability to concentrate which could, in turn, lead to other workplace accidents. (The NHS has information about carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.) As a result, every company that uses chemicals should have a clear emergency procedure to deal with accidents that involve inhaling toxic fumes.
Struck By Moving And Falling Objects
Another common cause of workplace injury could be falling or moving objects. In a busy factory environment, there may be conveyor belts, stacking vehicles, and automated machinery that needs to be operated carefully at all times. In addition to this, stacked and stored materials must be safely organised to prevent falling objects. A few hypothetical examples of accidents are in the following list.
- A colleague driving a pick-up vehicle may not be paying attention and drive into you.
- Heavy boxes stacked precariously could fall and land on you.
- Badly maintained machinery might malfunction and trap fingers or hands.
- Any automated processing procedures that are not adequately maintained or supervised could harm the unsuspecting worker.
- Repetitive strain injury could be a consequence of moving objects constantly.
Employers have a duty to conduct regular risk assessments to catch potential hazards before they cause injury. Furthermore, they should liaise with safety representatives, provide proper and full training and instruction on the use of materials and respond to concerns from staff.
All of these aspects of health and safety play an integral part in creating a safe and efficient workplace—it’s in everyone’s interest to uphold them. Therefore, if you were harmed as a consequence of workplace neglect, contact us today to see how we can help.
At this point, we hope you have a clearer idea of who was responsible for your safety at work, how they breached it, and what injuries you suffered as a result. It’s important to note that you don’t need a lawyer to make a personal injury claim, but using the services of one could be helpful. To start the process of seeking compensation from your employer, a No Win No Fee lawyer would approach your case in the following way:
- Firstly, your lawyer could arrange for you to sit a medical examination that can either support or refute your claim of injury. If it upholds your claim, the evidence from a medical assessment can form a solid bedrock for potential compensation from your employer.
- Armed with the specific facts about your injuries, the lawyer can then refer to a document called the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication is a compendium of suggested awards for bodily and psychological injury. It aims to provide parity of recognition for harm that is difficult to consistently assess. Such things as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and damage to personal relationships can be acknowledged as a financial amount and form the ‘general damages’ part of your claim.
No compensation amount is absolutely certain and the JCG offers suggestions based on past cases only to provide a fair and equal amount based on general injury types. When your lawyer has calculated this amount, they can move on to special damages.
Special damages allow you the leeway to explore every aspect of how the injury impacted you financially.
Often there can be an array of sudden and unwanted costs associated with an injury that can fall to you to sort out whilst trying to recover. Some examples are:
- You may be unable to work and see a loss in income.
- Future work opportunities might be cancelled.
- Care help to deal with domestic tasks may be required. This can be very expensive.
- Perhaps you have now lost out on your attendance bonus or pension contributions?
- Childcare may become a pressing issue.
- Physiotherapy or counselling costs can mount up.
In addition to the examples above, you may have your own specific costs that have been unfairly thrust upon you by the neglect of your employer. It could be possible to uncover all these out-of-pocket expenses and get them included as part of your compensation.
Mr Blake’s accident happened in a matter of moments. He had worked at the processing plant for over twenty years and never had so much as a day off sick, but when he slipped down the wet stairs between two floors all that changed. He landed so badly he was unable to work for 6 months.
The area in question was undergoing standard housekeeping procedures but there were no operatives at work and no signs to indicate the area was wet and slippery. It transpired that the cleaner was in fact fetching the ‘slippery surface’ signs at the moment of the injury, which of course was no consolation to Mr Blake who damaged his back falling down the flight of stairs.
The resultant aggravation and financial problems caused by this entirely avoidable accident caused Mr Blake much suffering. He needed to take some unpaid time off work and as he struggled to cope he saw his savings dwindle alarmingly. After a few months of this, his financial position became critical and he reached out for help from a No Win No Fee lawyer.
After a brief consultation, the lawyer explained how Mr Blake had a very strong case. There was CCTV evidence of the accident, plus the conclusions of a medical assessment to support his claim. Furthermore, he had retained all proof of out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the injuries and the lawyer was able to factor these into the settlement request.
After a short case, the company admitted their housekeeping practices had been remiss and caused the accident. He was awarded £25,000 as our table demonstrates:
general damages how much? special damages how much?
The JCG recognises that ligament damage to
the back could attract a potential
award bracket of £11,730 to £26,050.
£20,000 Loss of earnings £2,000
Loss of attendance bonus £1,000
Care from family and friends £750
Travel costs to and from the hospital and physiotherapy appointments £250
Lost skiing holiday deposit £1,000
The above case study is for illustrative purposes only and is fictional. It’s based on past experiences of handling and valuing personal injury claims.
We offer a service where our advisors can calculate the value of your claim on your behalf. Simply call our personal injury claims team and in the space of a five-minute conversation they will be able to assess your eligibility, provide you with an accurate estimation and possibly connect you with a No Win No Fee lawyer who can take your case up.
We offer a personal and direct service that really digs into the details of what happened that day. Every detail could have a crucial bearing on the final compensation calculation and help you maximise the payout you receive.
Our panel differs from online, generic compensation calculators which can be helpful but can overlook vital pieces of information. If you place your trust in our team, they could improve your chances of a successful accident at work claim.
Importantly, it should be remembered that you can launch a personal injury claim against your employer without a lawyer. But the advantages of using a service like ours speak for themselves:
- We cut through the jargon.
- No Win No Fee offers instant legal representation. (There’s a three-year time limit for starting personal injury claims).
- There are absolutely no upfront fees to pay to hire your lawyer.
- Furthermore, there are no lawyer fees to pay as the case progresses.
- This offers instant access to free legal advice and professional representation.
In addition to these benefits, there are no lawyer fees to pay if your case is unsuccessful. Cases that win require only a small, capped percentage of the overall settlement. This is paid to the lawyers as a fee for their efforts in your case. To make things even easier, this fee is not payable until you have received the settlement payout from your defendant or their insurers.
As a consequence, No Win No Fee has helped people across the country to start a claim for compensation in the workplace. To sum up, the many financial advantages make it the obvious choice at a time when you are struggling with so many other issues.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article about claims for workplace negligence compensation. In summary, we hope that it has helped clarify your options. If you’re ready to proceed with a claim or would like more information on any of the things we have discussed, please:
- Call on 0161 696 9685
- Write to us at Advice.co.uk
- Speak to Natalie using our live support feature, bottom right
We are available 24/7 to discuss workplace negligence and happy to help you today.
To sum up, in addition to the highlighted text links in this article, we would like to offer further resources below:
Did you have an injury during your probation period? You could claim. Read our guide to find out more.
We offer more information about accident at work claims and how we can calculate compensation payouts on your behalf
More information is available about car accident claims.
Detailed statistics about accidents in the workplace in 2019 are available to read along with a breakdown of numbers for each sort of incident.
UK law about health and safety in the workplace is available to read in detail through the Health and Safety Executive.
In addition, you can also read about the Labour Force Survey.
What should I do when I’ve had an accident at work?
Firstly, get your injuries attended to. Then ensure that the accident is properly reported to your line manager and if necessary, the RIDDOR system.
What is repetitive strain injury?
Briefly, it’s a general term to describe pain in muscles, joints, and tendons caused by constant and regular tasks performed without breaks or correct equipment. The NHS has more information on RSI.
Can I get fired for having an accident at work?
It should be noted that employers have no legal right to dismiss staff for having an accident at work that wasn’t their fault and, because it resulted in their injury, they’re making a claim or are thinking about making one. If you have experienced dismissal threats for claiming or thinking about claiming, speak to our team for advice.
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