It’s very unlikely that any workplace will ever be completely risk-free. However, employers have a duty of care to try and protect the well-being of staff whilst at work. That means they should review workplace safety regularly and remove any dangers they identify. If you’re wondering what rights you have after an accident at work, this guide will help.
One of the rights you have is to make a personal injury claim if your accident was caused by your employer’s negligence and you were injured as a result. Also, you have the right not to be sacked for claiming compensation against your employer. Within this guide, we’ll look at employer responsibilities for workers health and safety, and types of employer negligence that could make you eligible to claim.
If you do want to make a workplace accident claim, we can help. We provide a no-obligation initial consultation where we’ll review your options with you. Our free legal advice should make it clear whether you have the grounds to continue. If you do, we could appoint a personal injury solicitor from our team. To reduce your stress levels and financial risks during your claim, they’ll provide a No Win No Fee service.
To find out more about your rights after an accident at work, please read through this guide. Alternatively, please call our specialists on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like to begin a claim right away.
What Are An Employer’s Legal Responsibilities Regarding Employee Safety?
According to the law, employers have a duty of care towards their employees and workers health and safety in the workplace. Regardless of the nature of your job, the type of workplace, or whether you are a temporary or permanent employee, your employer is legally required to put appropriate measures in place to keep you safe from any type of injury or illness.
These protective measures include providing you with proper training and industry-standard personal protective equipment, conducting regular inspections, and maintenance of machinery and equipment, and putting up warning signs where necessary.
If your employer fails in their duty of care towards you and you are injured as a result, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries and more.
Your Rights To Claim Compensation For An Accident At Work
Accidents at work do happen. However, they don’t automatically make you eligible for compensation. If your employer has done everything in their power to try and keep you safe, you probably wouldn’t be able to take action against them. A good way to test whether you’re eligible is to use the following checklist:
- Were you owed a duty of care by your employer?
- Was their duty broken because they were negligent and an accident at work occurred as a result?
- Were you injured in that accident?
If you can answer yes to those three questions, your case might be accepted by a personal injury solicitor. You shouldn’t worry about the first question as this is almost always true. That’s because one of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 involves “securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work”. However, even if you answered yes to the following questions, you’ll need to be able to prove why they are true. We’ll show you how this can be done during the next section.
Evidence To Prove You Were Injured At Work Due To Negligence Of Your Employer
While you might have a right to seek damages for any injuries sustained at work, you’ll need to use evidence to prove how they happened and who was responsible. There are many ways to achieve this including:
- Reporting the accident at work. All businesses need to record accidents that have been reported to them. Therefore, following an accident at work, you should report it to the appropriate person. You have the right to a copy of the report. This could be used to prove the date, time, and location of your accident if you decide to claim.
- Seeking treatment. First aid can help if are injured at work, but it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice. Medical records from a visit to A&E or your GP could then be used as evidence to prove the extent of your injuries.
- Collect witness details. If anybody else saw your accident take place, collect their contact details. If liability is later denied, your solicitor could request a statement from any of your witnesses.
- Take photographs. It’s always a good idea to capture the scene of the accident on your phone. Where possible, try to capture the main cause of the incident before it’s removed or repaired.
- Secure CCTV footage. If the accident was captured on CCTV, try to secure a copy of the relevant footage as soon as possible.
If you’d like a free review of the evidence you’ve obtained, please call our personal injury team today.
Can I Be Sacked For Claiming Compensation After An Accident At Work?
You are well within your rights to claim for any injuries sustained at work where your accident was caused by your employer’s negligence. That means it is illegal to be dismissed after an accident at work, disciplined, or treated differently because of your compensation claim. Also, your employer should have procedures for accidents at work and insurance to cover worker injuries, so your fight will be with your employer’s insurance company and not with your employer directly.
If your employer were to sack you for making an honest claim, a separate unfair dismissal claim could be raised. Similarly, if you were demoted because of your claim, a constructive dismissal claim could be appropriate.
If you feel your rights after an accident at work have been breached, call us today for free legal advice.
When You Could Use Your Right To Claim Following A Work Injury
Let’s now take a look at some reasons that might make you eligible to claim compensation following an injury at work. They include:
- If you were injured because your employer failed to supply adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- If injuries occurred because a piece of workplace machinery was faulty, damaged or not maintained properly.
- Where you injured yourself because you’d not been properly trained on the safety procedures for your role.
- Where an accident occurred because you were tired due to a lack of proper rest breaks.
You may also have the right to claim for accidents at work involving:
- Slips, trips and falls at work.
- Being struck by a falling item.
- Manual handling accidents.
- Being exposed to chemicals or fumes.
- Industrial deafness from exposure to loud noise over a prolonged period.
- Repetitive strain injuries.
- Crashes and collisions.
It’s important to note that your employer’s responsibilities don’t just cover you if you work in a fixed location like a factory, office, or warehouse. If you work away from your main place of employment, your employer also has a duty to protect you there as well. That means risk assessments should be conducted to ensure it is safe for you to work at other locations.
If you’d like us to review whether you have grounds to take action following a workplace accident, please call today.
What Can I Claim Compensation For After An Accident At Work?
If you were injured at work due to negligence, you’ll have the right to claim for two separate things:
- General damages. This part of your claim will be based on pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The latter is where you could claim if your injuries prevent you from participating in things you used to enjoy.
- Special damage For this part of your claim, you’ll seek compensation for any costs incurred because of your injuries. Here you might claim back any lost income, medical expenses or travel costs.
The following are some of the main things you could claim compensation for :
- Pain and suffering – The law takes into consideration the fact that there is a certain amount of trauma associated with workplace accidents and has made a provision for injured workers to get compensated for the same.
- Cost of medical treatment – This can include expenses such as consultation fees, costs of any types of diagnostic and laboratory tests, prescription medicine, and non-surgical or surgical procedures. It also includes the projected cost of long-term treatment such as physiotherapy, psychiatric treatment, and any other type of long-term vocational rehabilitation treatment.
- Cost of travel for medical treatment – The cost of travelling to and from your treatment can add up over time and you can claim compensation for the same.
- Loss of income – If your doctor certifies that your injuries do not allow you to get back to work, you should be able to recover your earnings for the entire time that you stayed away from work.
- Work related perks and benefits – Maybe you were due for a raise, a bonus or a promotion. If you missed out on any of these work-related benefits because of your injuries, you should be duly compensated.
- Cost of structural changes – This could include the cost of making any changes inside your home or to your vehicle to accommodate your injuries caused by the accident.
- Loss of amenity – The injuries you receive may prevent you from participating in activities that you previously enjoyed. This can directly affect your quality of life and lead to frustration and depression. There is a provision in the law to cover any loss of amenity that results from an accident at work.
Is There A Time Limit To Claiming Compensation?
If you decide to invoke your right to claim compensation for a workplace injury, you’ll have 3-years to do so. This limitation period will either start from when your accident happened or from when a doctor diagnosed your injuries. For example, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma several years after the exposure, you would have 3-years to claim from the date of the diagnosis.
We would suggest that starting a claim sooner rather than later is a good idea. That’s because it can take some time for a solicitor to gather evidence to support the claim and complete other tasks before filing it.
Legal Advice On Your Rights After An Accident At Work
Our belief is that claimants have a better chance of being fairly compensated if they use a personal injury solicitor. If you call us for legal advice after an accident at work and would like to begin a claim, your solicitor will do all they can to achieve the maximum level of compensation for you.
During the claim, they’ll take on all communication for you and answer any questions the insurer might have. To keep you in the loop, you’ll be provided with regular updates about any progress and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.
If a settlement offer is received, it won’t simply be accepted at face value. It will be reviewed with you to see if it covers your suffering in full. Where it doesn’t your solicitor could go back to try and negotiate a higher compensation award.
To begin a claim with us today, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881. You’ve nothing to lose by doing so as we’ll provide free advice whatever happens.
Last updated 20th December 2021.