Personal Injury

Claiming for a Personal Injury at Work

If you are injured at work, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer if his or her negligence caused the injury to occur.

What is an employer’s duty when it comes to preventing accidents at work?

An employer is under an overriding duty, in both common law and statute to take reasonable care of their employees' health and safety, and has a duty under both common law and statute to meet this obligation.

The duty is to take reasonable care. This standard requires the employer to assess the potential risk of injury as against the harm it would cause the employee and the cost of putting safety precautions in place.

To satisfy the common law duty an employer must provide:

  • safe premises and a safe place to work
  • safe plant, materials and equipment
  • a safe system of work and safe working practices
  • competent staff as colleagues
  • adequate training and supervision

The above list is not exhaustive and may extend to other duties depending different work environments.

Is there a time limit for making a personal injury claim for an accident at work?

You must bring a claim for personal injury within three years of the accident occurring.

What are the first steps I should take if I am injured at work?

If you are injured in a workplace accident, ensure details of the incident are recorded in the workplace accident book.  If your employer does not have an accident book, record the details of the accident and send a copy to your employer and keep a copy yourself.

It is vital that you seek medical attention and keep a copy of your doctor’s report.  If possible, take photographs of the place where the accident occurred and get statements from any witnesses.

How much compensation can I expect?

It depends on the type of injury you receive and the impact the accident has on your quality of life.  If you have lost a limb for example, the compensation could be in the tens of thousands of pounds.  Compensation for torn ligaments may total a few thousand pounds.

An experienced personal injury solicitor will be able to provide you with an estimate of the compensation you can expect to receive.

How can I pay for my legal fees?

Many personal injury law firms offer conditional fee arrangements; most commonly ‘no win, no fee’.  This means that if your solicitor does not secure a compensation payment, you will not have to pay them, (or pay only a nominal amount, depending on the contract you have with them).

Make sure your solicitor explains their no win, no fee arrangements thoroughly before you instruct them to act for you, so you understand exactly what will be owed if your case is successful.

Can my employer dismiss me for making a claim?

No, and if you are sacked, you may be able to bring an additional claim of unfair dismissal against your employer.  Remember, it is compulsory for all employers to have Employer’s Liability Insurance to cover them for these types of claims, so the direct financial impact on your employer will be negligible.

To find out more about claiming for a personal injury suffered at work, contact a personal injury law specialist.

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