If you have had an accident at work, the thought of bringing a compensation claim may seem overwhelming – particularly if you are at home coping with your injuries.

However, if you have been injured in an accident at work and someone else was at fault, you have every right to bring a claim.  Martin White, personal injury solicitor at WBW Solicitors in Exmouth explains the steps you should take to strengthen your case.

Negligence

Your first task is to prove the person responsible for your injuries was negligent. This means showing they owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that you were injured as a result.

Employers’ duties

Under health and safety laws, employers owe you a duty of care and are legally obliged to take all reasonable steps to ensure your health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace. This rule applies whether you work full-time, part-time or on a self-employed or agency basis.

This includes conducting regular risk assessments, ensuring equipment is properly maintained and not defective, explaining the workplace risks to you, and taking steps to minimise them. They must also provide you with adequate supervision, safety equipment and the training you need to carry out your work safely.   

In addition, all employers are required to take out employers’ liability insurance to cover any compensation claims. This means you do not have to worry about leaving your employer financially hard up if you make a compensation claim against them, as the insurance company will pay if your claim succeeds.

You also should not worry about your employer dismissing you or treating you adversely if you make a claim, as to do so would be illegal and you would be entitled to take your employer to an employment tribunal.

What to do if you have an accident at work

You have three years to make a claim from when the accident occurred or you became aware of your injuries, whichever is the later:  however, it is better to bring your claim while the details of the accident are fresh in your mind and in the mind of witnesses.

It will also make it easier to gather the material which a personal injury lawyer will use to build your case. This includes:

  • An entry in the workplace accident book;
  • Any CCTV footage of the event, which your employer must legally hand over;
  • Records of any medical treatment required following the accident;
  • Contact details of any witnesses;
  • Photos of the accident scene and your injuries;
  • A written account of the accident and how your injuries have affected you; and
  • Details of any expenses and financial losses which have arisen from your injury, and of those going forward, such as time you need to take off work to recover.

How a solicitor can help

If you are hurt in a workplace accident which was not your fault you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. A specialist personal injury lawyer will help you gather the evidence to strengthen your case, and arrange for you to be examined by a medical expert who will assess the cause of your injury and the effect it has had on your life.

How much compensation you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and how long they last.  However, they could include damages for:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Loss of potential earnings;
  • Out of pocket expenses; and
  • Adaptations required to your home.

For more information on claiming compensation for a workplace accident, or any other personal injury issue, contact Martin White at WBW Solicitors in Exmouth on 01395 272241 or email martinwhite@wbw.co.uk for a free initial consultation.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.