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A Comprehensive Guide to Litigating Workplace Injury Claims in the UK

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A Comprehensive Guide to Litigating Workplace Injury Claims in the UK

Workplace injuries are an unfortunate reality, and navigating the legal landscape for compensation can be daunting. This guide aims to provide a clear, comprehensive overview of the process, offering valuable insights into your rights, responsibilities and procedures to follow when seeking compensation for a workplace injury.

Understanding Workplace Injury Claims

Who Can Make a Claim

Anyone injured at work due to an employer's negligence or breach of duty is eligible to make a claim. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, casual, and permanent employees. Even self-employed individuals may be eligible if their injury resulted from someone else's negligence.

Employer's Liability

It's important to understand that compensation for workplace injury claims is typically paid by the employer's insurance company, not the employer directly. By law, every employer must have a policy of Employers Liability Insurance to cover any compensation awarded following an accident at work claim.

Proving Liability

To successfully claim compensation, it is necessary to prove that your injury resulted from your employer's negligence or breach of duty. This could be due to inadequate training, failure to provide safe equipment, or not maintaining a safe working environment.

Steps to Take Following a Workplace Injury

Seek Medical Attention

Your health should always be your first priority. If you've been injured, seek immediate medical attention. Consult your GP even if hospital treatment isn't required, ensuring an accurate record of your injuries is made.

Report the Injury

All workplace injuries must be reported to your employer regardless of severity. Employers are required to record all workplace accidents, usually via an accident book or reporting system.

Gather Evidence

Collect as much evidence as possible, including details of the accident, witness information, photographs of the accident scene and your injuries and medical records. This will provide crucial support for your claim.

Consult a Solicitor

Contact a specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible after the accident. They can guide you through the claims process, establish whether you have a valid claim and help you gather the necessary evidence.

Compensation Amounts

Compensation amounts for workplace injuries vary widely depending on the severity of the injury, its impact on your ability to work, and any financial losses incurred because of the injury. Your solicitor can provide guidance on what you might be entitled to.

Time Limits for Claims

There is a strict three-year time limit from the date of the accident or the date that you became aware of your injury to make a claim. It is crucial to act swiftly and seek legal advice as early as possible to ensure you don't miss this deadline.

Types of Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries like fractures, burns, and even fatalities. Common types of workplace injuries include:

  • Slip, trip and fall accidents
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Vehicle incidents
  • Injuries from equipment or machinery
  • Exposure to hazardous substances

How to Make a Claim

The process of making a workplace injury claim typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation with a solicitor
  2. Gathering of evidence
  3. Medical examination and reports
  4. Negotiations with the employer's insurance company
  5. Court proceedings (if necessary)

Your solicitor will guide you through each step, providing expert advice and support.

Impact on Employment

It's only natural to worry about the impact making a claim will have on your job. However, it's important to know that it's against the law for an employer to dismiss or treat you unfairly because you've made a claim for a workplace injury.

Common Misconceptions About Workplace Injury Claims

Many people believe you can only claim compensation if your injury resulted in time off work or loss of earnings. This is not true. You can still claim compensation even if you received full or company sick pay during your absence from work.

Employer's Breach of Duty

Employers have a legal duty to ensure a safe working environment. This includes providing and maintaining safe tools and machinery, providing suitable training and protecting employees from harmful substances. A breach of these duties can result in a successful compensation claim.

Supporting Your Claim

Keeping a diary of how the injury has affected your life can be beneficial in supporting your claim. This includes noting how your sleep, hobbies, work, and other day-to-day activities have been affected.

Financial Losses and Expenses

You should provide evidence of any financial losses claimed. This could include loss of earnings, medical bills, travel expenses, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the injury.

No Win, No Fee

The fear of incurring legal expenses can discourage people from pursuing compensation claims. Many claims, however, can be made with the financial reassurance of a 'no win, no fee' agreement.

A 'no win, no fee' arrangement, also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), ensures that if we do not succeed in securing your compensation, you typically won't be responsible for legal fees.

In the event of a successful claim, the opposing party will cover some of the legal and medical costs incurred when making the claim. Under the terms of the 'no win, no fee' agreement, the legal costs payable by you will be, at most, 25% of the compensation awarded for your injuries and past financial losses.

Should your claim be unsuccessful, you won't be liable for the opposing party's legal expenses and can rest assured that your own legal costs are covered by the terms of the 'no win, no fee' agreement.

Get in touch

Workplace injuries can be life-changing events. Navigating the legal process for compensation can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. By understanding your rights, gathering the necessary evidence, and seeking expert legal advice, you can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Whether you're an employee, a temporary worker, or self-employed, it's important to know that you have the right to claim compensation if you've been injured at work due to your employer's negligence. The process may seem daunting, but with the right support, you can successfully navigate your way to obtaining the compensation you rightfully deserve.

For further help and support, please reach out to our Personal Injury team on 023 8063 9311 or email enquiries@warnergoodman.co.uk.