No matter what precautions are put in place, accidents at work can and do happen under varying circumstances. Injuries caused by these work accidents can range in severity from minor lacerations and sprains to broken bones, amputations, severe burns and sometimes sadly, even fatalities.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident at work and you suffer from a workplace injury, you may be able to file a work accident claim for compensation.
The Law in the U.K. Regarding Work Accident Claims
In the U.K., employers and business owners are legally responsible for the welfare and safety of their staff and any visitors to their premises. The legal clause states that all businesses must compulsorily hold insurance and conform to Health & Safety regulations to ensure that they meet those guidelines. If you feel that your employers failed to meet these responsibilities and that is was led to the accident at work, you can receive compensation by filing a work accident case.
In certain circumstances, even if you contributed to your own work accident, you may still be able to claim injury compensation if your employer is deemed to have been the main instigator of your injury.
When Can You File A Work Accident Claim?
You may have a valid basis for a work accident claim if you are injured at work for any of the below mentioned reasons:
• Slip, trip or fall
• Dangerous practices and procedures in the workplace
• Defective or poorly maintained equipment
• Dangerous machinery at work
• Noxious environment or toxic substances
• Falling object
• Non-adherence to Health & Safety regulations
• Negligence of co-workers
• Insufficient or improper training
• Assault at work
• Accident while operating a forklift or crane
• Faulty lifting and manual handling practices brought on by lack of training
• Industrial injuries such as hand arm vibration syndrome or vibration white finger
Some of the more common types of work injuries include:
• Head injuries
• Burn and scald injuries
• Spinal injuries
• Brain injuries
• Loss of sight
• Spinal and spinal cord injuries
• Fatal injuries
Caveat To Making A Work Accident Claim
As with all kinds of accident compensation cases, the most important aspect of filing a work accident claim is being able to prove that your personal injury was caused as a consequence of the negligence of your employer.
Even if it was a straightforward accident in a factory for example, caused clearly by your employer’s negligence, it may sometimes be difficult to prove it in court. This is when it is important to appoint a personal injury solicitor who will assist you in assembling all the evidence and presenting it convincingly.
Time Limit For Filing
In the U.K. there is a standard 3 year time limit within which you can file a work accident claim. If you have not initiated legal proceedings within 3 years, your case may be considered to be time-barred and you may not be entitled to any compensation.
The 3 year deadline commences from the date that the accident occurred, or from the date on which you realised that your injury was associated with the workplace accident. The second clause is particularly useful in cases that have involved exposure to asbestos. This is because you might not find out for many years after exposure to asbestos that you have contracted mesothelioma, an asbestos related disease.
In fatal cases, the 3 year limitation commences from the date of death. In case the death was due to mesothelioma, the 3 year deadline would commence from the date of the post mortem as the mesothelioma may have gone undiagnosed until they died and it was only discovered during the post mortem.
If the person dies while in the process of dealing with their work accident case, the 3 year deadline begins from the date of their death to allow their family time to continue with the claim.
Every personal injury compensation case has its own circumstances and will proceed differently depending upon these circumstances and the reactions of the employers. While some are settled amicably and within a matter of months, others can take several years.
Work Accident Solicitors
When filing a work accident claim, it is always recommended you contact a reputed and experienced solicitor to give you the proper accident claims help and advice to get started.
Once you have found a solicitor if you don’t have one already, they can then take up your case as their experience can make a tremendous difference to the success or failure of your claim and also to the amount of compensation you receive.