Every day, people go to work in thousands of workplaces across the UK. They work in all manner of different roles, some more specialised than others. Some work nights, some work days, some work outdoors, and some work indoors, whether that means an office, a factory production line or somewhere else entirely. The one thing that is true of all these workplaces is their high safety levels. Very few people are ever injured while at work, and find themselves in the process of proving an accident at work claim.
Every worker, no matter how or where they work, has a right to work in an environment where any risks to their health and safety are identified, removed, or, if they cannot be removed, properly controlled so as not to present a risk. This is mostly the case, but there could potentially be situations where an employer has not paid proper attention to their duties in this area. If they have not followed the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and they have neglected to create a safe working environment, this could lead to someone being injured. In this case, it could mean the worker receives a nasty injury, or perhaps is made ill, when this need not have happened.
How to go about proving an accident at work claim
When proving an accident at work claim, you must cover four areas. This holds true for all injuries, no matter how serious or minor they are.
- You must be able to prove you were working for that employer
- You must be able to prove the injury (or injuries) you suffered from, and that those injuries occurred in your workplace
- You must be able to prove your employer was negligent, and that this negligence led directly to your injuries occurring
- You must make your claim within the proper time limit
Anyone who wants to go about proving an accident at work claim must bear in mind these four things. However, don’t worry if this all seems very complicated. There may be witnesses who saw what happened, and who can provide statements that will make it easier to prove what happened. It may be quite clear your employer was negligent in some way. You may well have a contract of employment in writing that takes care of the first point on our list of things to tick off when proving an accident at work claim. Furthermore, the usual time limit in force is three years, so providing you make your claim within that time, you should be fine. Speak to a personal injury lawyer first, though, because some instances will have longer time frames, such as cases where someone is affected by asbestos they worked with years before.
What should you do immediately following an accident at work?
When proving an accident at work claim, you must have evidence the accident occurred. When an accident happens, you should immediately report it so it can be written in the accident book. If you do not do this, it may be harder to produce evidence that anything happened. You should report your accident even if you don’t appear to be injured at the time. This is because some injuries only show up later, even if you feel fine to begin with.
Some incidents must be reported under the RIDDOR rules, too. RIDDOR is short for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. Dangerous occurrences refer to near-misses, i.e. events that could have led to injury but in this case, did not. Serious accidents and illnesses should also be reported under current rules. If your injuries qualify under the RIDDOR rules, and your employer did their duty in reporting what happened, there should be ample evidence to help in proving an accident at work claim.
Make sure you see your GP
Whatever injuries you may have, it is wise to see your GP. You may have been seen by a first-aider when you had your accident at work, and it may have become clear your injuries were not too bad. However, you should still see your doctor, because they can check you over and ensure you do not need any treatment for your injuries.
In doing this, you will also have a clear record of your visit on your medical records. This means your personal injury lawyer can access these records as part of the compensation claim process, if you do decide to try and claim. It also means you can be certain you have no other injuries, and receive a certificate granting you time off work if you require it.
How much could you receive if your compensation claim went through?
This is difficult to assess, because there are so many injuries you could have, and each one could vary from being minor to very serious, perhaps even life-threatening. When assessing a claim, your lawyer may be able to give you some suggestion of what could be won, but nothing is certain unless the claim is granted and an amount is settled upon.
To find out more about proving an accident at work claim, you need only get in contact with us at Accident Advice Helpline now. When you do so, you can find out if you can make a no-win, no-fee* claim with our help. Call 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 if you’d rather use your mobile to call us. We have a dedicated and considerate team of advisors ready to talk to whenever you find yourself in this situation. Accidents at work are rare, and most people will never be affected by them. However, if you are put in a situation where you are injured, it could change your life, and not in a good way. By speaking to us now, you can find out if one of our lawyers could represent you in making your claim.