Standing up for your work injury rights when you have had an accident
One of the most stressful events that can happen in the workplace is the impact of suffering a work injury. It’s not just the pain and difficulty in dealing with the work injury itself. In the days, weeks and months that follow, you can find yourself trying to fight your employer for acknowledgement of their responsibility for causing your work injury. We’ve all heard the phrase “the little guy” and we understand what it means. We know that one individual employee going head-to-head with a large corporate business can be anywhere on the spectrum between daunting and career-suicide. At least, that is our common perception.
If that is the perception, what is the reality?
In reality, your work injury doesn’t usually mean the end of your relationship with your manager and employer. If you have been injured at work because of your employer’s failure to keep you safe, they have failed you. And the way they deal with that failure can make life very awkward for you. But at the end of the day, if your employer knows they have caused you to suffer a work injury, they are likely to want to work with you to minimise any problems that are going to inevitably arise. Your employer knows that you have the right to claim recompense and that if they have breached health and safety laws they could face prosecution.
But how can I stand up for my work injury rights against a whole organisation?
You need to look at the situation objectively – you may feel as though you’re the vulnerable party in the relationship, but is that true? Many employees worry that claiming for a work injury will lead to them being ‘hounded out’ of their job, or that managers will treat them poorly. But this kind of behaviour is illegal and very, very rare. Look at it from the view of your employer. They are possibly about to be taken to court, not only by you but by the Health and Safety Executive. Their first stance is to deny liability, but is this because they are big and you are vulnerable? Not really – it is more likely to be a result of human instinct to be defensive as well as playing for time to see if they can make sure the HSE stays out of the scene.
If your employer is responsible for causing your work injury, you have a legal entitlement to compensation. Your employer knows this and the safest, most defensive position for them to adopt is to settle before your case gets to court. While this won’t be the result for every work injury case, we are confident that our clients are able – with our full support – to stand up to their employer, receive the compensation they deserve, and return to work with nothing lost. If you need to talk about your own situation, give our advice team a call now for a confidential, no obligation chat. The numbers you need are 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993.