The onus of proof, or burden of proof, in a claim is the necessity for the claimant to prove that their personal injury after a workplace accident, for instance, was caused by another party, ‘the defendant’.
Duty of care
Employers have a legal responsibility, or duty of care, to prevent accidents at work by assessing potential risks and taking all reasonable steps to minimise those risks. Employees also have a duty of care towards one another to work in a manner that does not put them or others at risk of injuries at work.
Onus of proof
The onus of proof in a work injury compensation claim would subsequently mean you, the injured party and therefore the claimant, have to provide evidence that your work injury was the result of a breach of duty of care by your employer or a colleague.
Breach of duty
An employer may, for example, be in breach of his duty towards you if he did not provide you with:
- Adequate training in the use of machinery
- Suitable personal protective equipment for tasks necessitating such equipment
- Adequate instruction in safety and safe working procedures
An employer could also be in breach of duty if they:
- Failed to maintain equipment and machinery properly
- Expected you to work in a cold environment for prolonged periods
- Expected you to work with vibrating equipment for long periods at a time and subsequently expose you to the risk of developing vibration white finger or similar industrial conditions
Employees could be in breach of duty if they:
- Ignored safe working or safety procedures
- Acted inappropriately
- Tampered with equipment
In short, anything your employer or colleagues do or do not do that will put you at risk of being injured in a workplace accident or developing a work-related illness could be considered a breach of duty.
Evidence to support your work accident claim may include:
- Photos of your injury, the scene of the accident and, if applicable, the equipment that caused your injury at work
- Witness statements
- Your medical records detailing your injury, its extent and any treatment and medication you required in order to recover
- Statements by attending medical personnel
If you are claiming for any expenses you incurred as a result of your workplace injury, you will also need to provide the receipts for such expenses.
Accident Advice Helpline
We can help you gather all the necessary evidence to prove your case and support your claim. Call us on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, now to learn more.
Date Published: April 29, 2016
Author: Accident Advice