When you are injured in an accident at work, the first thing you need to focus on is getting immediate medical attention and treating your injuries. While compensation may be the last thing on your mind at that time, there are certain things you should do in order to protect your rights. By not following the proper accident at work procedure you may risk losing out on any compensation that may be due to you.
Inform Your Manager Or Supervisor About Your Accident At Work
Your manager or supervisor is responsible for all employees in the workplace under their watch at any given time. Informing them about your accident at work is crucial for two important reasons. First of all, your supervisor is sure to have a list of resources at hand and will ensure that you get whatever help you need sooner rather than later. Secondly, it establishes that an accident did happen at work which can be used as evidence if you are entitled to compensation. Ideally, you should inform your supervisor or manager as soon as possible after the accident.
Create A Record Of The Accident At Work
Reporting the accident in the accident book should be your next priority. This creates a record of the events that led to the accident and supports your earlier statement to your supervisor.
Every workplace is legally required to have an accident book. This book should be easily accessible to all workers. If there is no accident book or you cannot find it, write a formal report and get a signed receipt from your supervisor at work or send them an email with details of what happened.
If you are unable to move or rare rushed to the hospital, get a colleague who witnessed the accident to make an interim report and you can make a formal report as soon as you are able.
Get Photographs Of The Accident Scene
If you are entitled to claim compensation for an accident at work you could lose your claim if you get a minor detail wrong or you do not remember something, however trivial. Getting photographs or video evidence of the scene of the accident is one way to avoid getting into this situation. The photographs or videos should show what caused the accident if possible.
Also get photographs of your injuries immediately after the accident if you’re able to. These photographs will highlight the extent of your injuries before you received any treatment.
Ensure Details Of Injuries Are Documented In Your Medical Records
At the hospital, the staff in charge will record your statement about how the accident happened. They will also create a record of your injuries on admission. Making sure these records are accurate will help to support a claim for compensation later.
Speak To A Personal Injury Solicitor
If you accident at work was due to negligence then you could be owed compensation. Never start a compensation claim or give up on your right to claim compensation without first getting legal advice. A personal injury solicitor who is experienced in this particular area of the law will be able to give you expert advice about your rights and the correct accident at work procedure to ensure that you get the maximum compensation due to you.
Personal injury solicitors also have access to legal libraries to research precedents and access to medical professionals who can give their expert testimony regarding your injuries. All of these go a long way towards supporting an accident at work claim.
Accident At Work Claims Time Limit
The time limit for filing an accident at work claim is 3 years from the date of the accident or from the date your injury or illness is linked to an accident or incident at work. However 3 years is not as long as it may seem. Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, full recovery could stretch over several months or even years. If you keep postponing your compensation claim the three-year deadline could lapse and you will forfeit your right to claim compensation after that.
The exception to this is if your symptoms developed over a period of time and manifested much later. One such example is if your accident involved exposure to asbestos at work. Symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases often manifest several years after exposure to the substance. In this case, the time limit for filing a compensation claim is three years from the ‘date of knowledge’, which could be three years from the onset of symptoms or three years after a confirmed diagnosis.
When looking for a solicitor to represent you, it helps to know that you can get an obligation-free consultation. This consultation will help you understand your legal rights and what your chances are of winning any compensation. If you have a strong case and the solicitor agrees to help you pursue your claim, you will like be offered the additional benefit of a No Win No Fee contract. This agreement ensures that your legal rights are protected without having to pay the solicitor a retainer fee at the start of the claim. The solicitor takes care of all expenses until the case is settled. You only pay a fee once compensation has been awarded.
If you would like to find out if you have a claim for compensation following an accident at work contact us today for a free consultation.