Most of us look forward to the festive season, but this doesn’t apply in every situation. For example, one survey discovered 54% of employees who had a work Christmas party dreaded going to it. Perhaps the 32.3% of employers who don’t offer a festive party are better regarded by their employees than we might think! Some employers are more generous than others too, depending on the sector they work in and where they are based. For example, one survey found 73% of London businesses spent upwards of £200 per head on their Christmas parties.
Of course, many employees enjoy the celebrations and appreciate the effort their employers put into the parties when they do take place. However, while most people who attend a work Christmas party will do so without ill effects (other than a hangover, perhaps), there is a small minority who end up with injuries after attending. Accidents can happen anywhere, and in some cases, injuries may not be the fault of the person who sustained them. Obviously, if a person drinks too much, falls over and hurts themselves, this may well be their own fault. Yet not every accident can be viewed in the same way.
Where do you stand legally after an accident at a work Christmas party?
It’s worth understanding your legal position if you have been injured while attending a work Christmas party. All employers must have employer’s liability insurance, which covers any instances of injury caused to employees when the employer has been negligent in some way. This insurance is mandatory under the law, and employers could receive fines of up to £2,500 per day if they don’t have it.
Your employer also has a legal duty to make sure their work Christmas party is safe to attend. If they plan the event at work or at any other venue, they are responsible by law to make sure the event is safe and poses no hazards or dangers. This means if you are injured at that venue and you were not to blame for the injury, there is the potential to make a claim for compensation. It’s important to realise, though, that if you were to leave your party and move on to another location and the accident happened there, your employer could not be held liable.
Examples of potential accidents that might happen at a work Christmas party
It’s common knowledge that people may tend to drink a bit too much when attending any party. We could include a work Christmas party in that fact as well. A report compiled in 2007 revealed a third of employees said they’d been to work with a hangover. Not all are derived from festive parties, but you can be certain some of them were. In fact, it’s possible hangovers could be more common in December for obvious reasons.
Most festive parties will include decorations, including a Christmas tree. It’s quite surprising to learn this seemingly innocent item will lead to more than 1,000 injuries occurring annually. The tree should not present a hazard to anyone present, and there should not be any other hazards around either. You wouldn’t expect bright lighting to be present at a party, for example, but you do still need to see where you are going. If the lights are dimmed to create atmosphere but you trip over a step you couldn’t see, you could have reason to make a compensation claim.
Other examples of potential mishaps that may occur include:
- Slips and trips
- Accidents involving decorations
- Burns from a hot buffet that has hot surfaces with no warning signs
These are just a few examples, but you can see there are situations where someone might be hurt when they have done nothing wrong. Slips, trips and falls are among the most common incidents anyone can suffer from, and this holds true throughout many areas of life. In terms of a work Christmas party, you could suffer a slip, trip or fall in various situations, such as:
- Tripping over the lead for a set of Christmas lights
- Falling down a badly-lit flight of stairs
- Slipping over on spilt drinks that haven’t been cleared up
- Tripping on a frayed carpet or curled-up rug
You can probably think of many more examples that would fit into this category. Moreover, you may already have suffered injuries at a Christmas party you attended at your workplace, or somewhere else booked by your employer for everyone to celebrate at. The main thing to remember is that there could be a chance of claiming compensation. The only way to know for sure is to speak with a lawyer who has extensive experience in handling claims on behalf of the injured party.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline now to find out if you can claim
When you attend a work Christmas party, the last thing you expect is to return home via A&E having been treated for an injury. If you were not at fault for that injury, there could be the potential for a claim to be made on your behalf. Accident Advice Helpline has been advising people in similar situations for over 16 years. You too can benefit from receiving no-obligation advice when you call either 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from any mobile phone. We are here to help, and calling us could result in receiving compensation for your troubles.
Being injured can ruin a party, and the last thing you need at Christmas time is to have to cope with an injury when someone else was at fault. Let one of our personal injury lawyers determine whether evidence of negligence can be found to prove your case. If so, they will take on your claim on a no-win, no-fee* basis. That means you have no need to worry about the legal process, because we’ll always keep you in the loop, and be there for you from start to finish. Call now to see where you stand.
Date Published: December 17, 2015
Author: David Brown