This guide will explore the question, ‘If you fall at work, can you sue your employer?’. Employers owe their employees a duty of care with regard to their health, safety and well being. In cases where your employer has breached the duty of care they owed you, and this has caused you to sustain an injury in fall accident, it may be possible for you to start a work accident compensation claim. However, there are certain eligibility requirements that need to be met in order for you to do so. We explore these as well as the evidence you could gather to strengthen your case in more detail throughout our guide.
Later, we provide examples of how a fall at work could occur, the injuries that could be sustained as a result, and the compensation that could potentially be awarded to address the impacts of your injuries.
To conclude, we explain the advantages of working with a personal injury solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis from our panel.
As you read the sections below we encourage you to get in touch at any point with your questions about your potential accident at work claim. Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to assist you. To reach them, you can:
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- If You Fall At Work, Can You Sue?
- How Could A Fall At Work Occur?
- How Much Fall At Work Compensation Could You Receive?
- Evidence That Could Help When Claiming For Accidents At The Workplace
- After A Fall At Work, Can You Sue Your Employer Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
- More Information About Claiming Compensation For A Fall At Work
Employers owe a duty of care to their employees as described in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). This legislation requires them to take reasonable and practicable steps to prevent employees from experiencing harm in work and as they perform their work duties.
Additionally, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 is in place to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height. It applies to employers or those who control work at height activities. They must ensure work is planned properly, supervised and carried out by people with the correct level of competence. Additionally, risk assessments must be carried out prior to any work from height activities being performed.
If there is a failure by your employer to uphold this duty, and it causes you to sustain an injury in a fall at work, either from a height or on the same level, you might wonder about the possibility of seek compensation.
To be eligible to start a personal injury claim following an accident at work, there are three criteria that need to be met:
- You need to show you were owed a duty of care by your employer at the time and place of the accident.
- This duty must have been breached.
- The breach must have caused you to sustain physical and/or psychological harm.
Under tort law, these three points define negligence. So if you have evidence that shows that negligence occurred, you could be eligible to make an injury at work claim. Please speak to the team on the contact number above to learn more.
There are various ways that a fall from a height at work could happen and several subsequent injuries that could be caused as a result. For example:
- Failure to train an employee properly about working at heights may result in them falling and suffering spinal damage.
- The provision of faulty ladders or weak scaffolding could create multiple injuries in an accident, such as brain damage.
- Slips caused by unmarked wet floors or unattended spillages might result in an employee falling over and fracturing a bone.
If you would like to discuss your specific circumstances and find out ‘If you fall at work, can you sue your employer?’, speak to our team by calling the number above.
A successful compensation claim can see a settlement comprising two heads of loss awarded. The two heads are called general damages and special damages. General damages compensate the person for the pain and suffering their injuries have caused them.
To apply a value to general damages, legal professionals typically refer to medical evidence and the Judicial College Guidelines. This document lists guideline compensation brackets according to severity and type of injury.
Compensation Award Guidelines
The table contains figures from the JCG below. However, these are not guaranteed amounts as the unique circumstances of each claim will vary.
|Type of Injury||Severity||Notes||Guideline Award Brackets|
|Head||(a) Very Severe||The person will show little evidence of a meaningful response to their environment, if any at all. There will also be little or no language function, double incontinence, and the requirement of full-time nursing care.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|(c) Moderate (i)||An intellectual deficit of a moderate to severe nature, a change in personality, an effect on the senses, no employment prospects and a significant epilepsy risk.||£150,110 to £219,070|
|Back||(a) Severe (i)||Cases of spinal cord and nerve root damage which lead to a combination of consequences that are very serious, including severe pain, disability and incomplete paralysis.||£91,090 to £160,980|
|(b) Moderate (i)||Compression or crush fracture to the lumbar spine with a significant risk of osteoarthritis. There will also be persisting pain and discomfort.||£27,760 to £38,780|
|Neck||(a) Severe (i)||Incomplete paraplegia from an associated neck injury.||In the region of £148,330|
|Shoulder||(a) Severe||A significant disability from brachial plexus damage.||£19,200 to £48,030|
|Pelvis||(b) Moderate (i)||Significant pelvis or hip injury with no permanent or major disability.||£26,590 to £39,170|
|Leg||(c) Less Serious (i)||An incomplete recovery from fractures.||£17,960 to £27,760|
|Knee||(b) Moderate (i)||Lacerations, twisting, or bruising injuries are covered in this bracket.||Up to £13,740|
|Ankle||(d) Modest||Less serious minor or undisplaced fractures as well as sprains and injuries to the ligaments.||Up to £13,740|
Special Damages After A Fall At Work
Special damages award compensation to reimburse the financial losses caused by your injuries. This can include, for example:
- Past and future loss of earnings.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel expenses.
- Care costs.
- The cost of adaptations to your home or car.
You will need to prove these losses with evidence, such as invoices, wage slips and receipts.
Call our team to learn more about how fall at work settlements are calculated and to get a free valuation of your specific case.
Evidence can help prove employer liability and provide information on the injuries you sustained as a result of them breaching their duty of care. For example:
- Medical evidence, including X-rays, scans and specialist reports.
- Any available CCTV footage that captured the accident.
- A copy of the accident book entry.
- Witness contact details so that supporting statements can be gathered later.
- A diary that lists symptoms and treatments and your mental state.
- Photos of your injury and the place where it happened.
If your claim is valid and has a viable chance of success, an advisor can connect you to a solicitor from our panel. They have years of experience handling accident at work claims and can assist you in building a strong case as well as guiding you through the personal injury claims process. If you would like to learn more, read on.
A solicitor from our panel could help with the following:
- Gathering evidence.
- Explaining complex legal jargon.
- Ensuring legal proceedings are started within the limitation period.
- Valuing your claim.
- Keeping you updated on the progress of your claim.
Under the terms of a CFA, you will usually not be charged initial or ongoing fees for the solicitors to work on your claim. Furthermore, there are no fees for their services if the claim fails. Should the outcome be positive, a success fee is taken from the compensation award. This is a small percentage that is subject to a legal cap, thereby ensuring the bulk of the award goes to you.
Find out whether you could make a personal injury claim against your employer with help from a solicitor off our panel by contacting an advisor. They can provide further guidance on the question ‘If you fall at work, can you sue your employer?’ and answer any other questions you might have. To reach them, you can:
For more of our guides:
- Learn how compensation is calculated for slip, trip and fall injuries and when you could be eligible to claim.
- Find out what steps you could take if you were injured due to a failure by your employer to do a slips and trips risk assessment including whether you could seek compensation.
- Read our guide discussing the average compensation for a fall at work and how it’s calculated.
More external resources:
- Health and Safety Executive: Guide To The Safe Use Of Ladders
- GOV.UK: Statutory Sick Pay
- NHS: A Guide To Accessing Your Medical Records
Thank you for reading our guide exploring the question ‘If you fall at work, can you sue?’. If you need any other information, please contact an advisor on the number above.