If you’re a police officer injured while carrying out your duties due to negligence, you may be eligible to make a police office injury claim.
There’s no denying the high risks involved in working as a police officer and anyone who joins the police force understands this. However, personal injuries should not be thought of as just a part of the job. According to UK law, all individuals including police officers may be entitled to file a compensation claim if their injuries were caused as a result of another person’s negligence or mistake.
When Can Police Officers File A Compensation Claim?
Under the law, all employers are responsible for the health and safety of their workers. This is called ‘duty of care’. As part of their duty of care, employers are required to put adequate measures in place to minimise the risks to their workers. If a worker sustains injuries because of their employer’s negligence or mistake, they may have the right to claim personal injury compensation. This applies to across all workplaces, including the police force.
To comply with this legal duty of care, the police force is required to put measures in place to protect their police officers before sending them out in the field. So how can the police force minimise risks for police officers? Here are two of the most important things they are expected to fulfill.
- Ensure that all police officers receive extensive training. The importance of proper training for police officers cannot be overstated. During any one workday a police officer can come up against several different types of dangerous situations. Knowing how to navigate and deal with these various hazards is instrumental in keeping police officers safe on the job. In the absence of adequate training, a situation can quickly escalate into something that cannot be controlled and result in a personal injury.
- Ensure that all police officers are provided with adequate personal protection equipment. Given the dangerous nature of the job, all police officers must be provided with proper personal protective equipment or PPE. This PPE helps to reduce the risk of injury in dangerous situations. Personal protection equipment for police officers should include protection for the head, neck, eyes, hearing, and body. This PPE must meet certain minimum quality standards and must be working properly before being given to any police officer. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the equipment meets these requirements.
Police officers who get injured because their force was negligent in their duty of care may have a legal right to pursue a police office injury claim for compensation.
Injuries Leading To Police Office Injury Claims
Accidents and incidents that may warrant a police office injury claim due to negligence might include:
- Knife injuries
- Firearm injuries, including negligent discharge
- Arrest-related injuries
- Accidents and injuries during training
- Bullying/harassment at work
- Road traffic accidents
- Slips and trips and falls
- Falls from height
What To Do After A No-Fault Workplace Injury
To safeguard your interests and ensure the success of your police office injury claim, there are certain things you can do if you sustain a no-fault injury while on duty:
- Report the incident to your superior.
- Log the accident with complete details of all injuries, including minor injuries, on the Police Force’s reporting system.
- Ask a friend or relative to complete the above formalities if you cannot do them yourself.
- Report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if you are unable to perform your normal duties and are off work for 7 or more consecutive days. This report must be filed within 15 days of the incident.
- After the accident, request your superior to fill a RIDDOR report online.
After you’ve completed all the police force formalities, you might want to consult with a personal injury solicitor to determine whether you could claim compensation.
Making A Police Office Injury Claim
If you believe you could make a police office injury claim for compensation but need clarity, most personal injury solicitors offer expert advice by way of a free consultation. During this consultation where you will be asked various questions about the incident, the personal injury solicitor will assess the merits of your claim. If in their professional opinion there is a case to be answered, the solicitor will likely offer to take your police officer injury claim on using a No Win No Fee agreement.
How Much Compensation For A Police Officer Injury Claim?
The amount of compensation your solicitor would attempt to claim is calculated based on the extent and severity of your injuries and your total expenses associated with your injuries, known as general damages and special damages.
General damages are for pain and suffering, and loss of amenity will also be factored in when calculating compensation (see our compensation calculator below).
Special damages include costs/expenses such as medical and transportation costs, any income loss from taking the absence of leave, and the cost of home-care if necessary.
Your personal injury solicitor will make sure that you get the maximum compensation due to you.
How A No Win No Fee Agreement Works
In simplified terms, a typical No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and the solicitor and essentially states that the solicitor will cover all expenses related to your police office injury claim while it is in progress. This means you won’t pay anything at least until the claim is completed.
On signing the agreement, the solicitor will endeavour to make sure that you get the full compensation due to you. Your liability to pay a fee depends on the outcome of your claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, you don’t pay any fees at all. If your claim is successful and you are awarded compensation, according to the terms of a typical contract you will have to pay a percentage of that award to the solicitor. The agreement will have all the details laid out regarding the amount to be paid and the mode of payment.
A No Win No Fee contract gives you the benefit of getting expert legal advice and representation on your police officer injury claim without having to bear any out of pocket expenses.