Whether you work as a waiter, a lawyer, a factory worker or a shop assistant, these jobs all have one thing in common. You expect to go to work and stay safe whilst you’re there. The last thing anybody expects is to be injured in a workplace accident, but what can you do if this has happened to you? Well, you could think about making a claim for work accident compensation.
Am I eligible to claim work accident compensation?
If you work as an employee, or even if you’re a contractor or are self-employed, then you could be eligible to claim work accident compensation if you have been injured in an accident at work that was somebody else’s fault. Establishing blame for an accident can often be difficult, but in the majority of cases where negligence at work has caused an accident, it is the employer who is at fault. You can get in touch with a personal injury lawyer at any time after your accident, to find out whether you could make a work accident compensation claim.
Who is responsible for my safety at work?
If you’re wondering who’s responsible for your safety at work, the answer is a simple one – your employer. It is up to them to ensure that your workplace is a safe place to be. This includes things like ensuring all staff have received the training they need to carry out their job safely, making sure that equipment and machinery is regularly checked and well maintained, and carrying out risk assessments. If your employer takes a lax approach to health and safety then this could result in an accident happening.
It may be that a colleague has caused your accident, but your employer is held liable – for example, if you were run over by a forklift which was being operated by somebody without the proper training, your employer could be at fault. It doesn’t matter what kind of workplace you are employed in, your employer is responsible for ensuring that they don’t put you at risk whilst you are there.
What is the time limit for making a work accident compensation claim?
This is a good question as usually, the time limit in place to make a personal injury claim is three years from the date of your accident. This is still the case for the majority of workplace injury claims, however there are some exceptions. In cases where you have developed a condition such as industrial deafness, hand arm vibration syndrome or mesothelioma (or another asbestos-related condition, which can take years to develop), there are more relaxed limits on the time you can take to make a personal injury claim. So it is always worth contacting a personal injury lawyer to get a definitive answer as to whether or not you are able to make a claim, given the time that has passed since your accident.
What kind of workplace accidents can you make a claim for?
When it comes to claims for work accident compensation, you’d be surprised at the number of different types of workplace accidents that you could claim compensation for. Whether you work in a shop, an office, a factory or even on a farm, you are entitled to compensation if there was more your employer could have done to keep you safe. Accident Advice Helpline has been helping employees claim work accident compensation for over 16 years, and here are a few examples of the most common types of workplace accidents and injuries we have handled claims for:
- Slips, trips and falls, everything from falls from height to slipping on a wet floor or tripping over cables in an office
- Falling from scaffolding on a construction site
- Being hit in the face or on the head by tools falling from scaffolding
- Burns and scalds sustained in the office kitchen or whilst working in hospitality/catering
- Electric shock or burns from faulty electrical equipment
- Machinery injuries from heavy machinery
- Crush injuries after trapping hands/arms in factory machinery with moving parts
- Facial and eye injuries caused by faulty industrial machinery
- Exposure to hazardous substances, for example chemicals in a lab or in an agricultural setting
- Industrial deafness from exposure to loud noise
- Manual handling injuries from heavy lifting
- Repetitive strain injuries, from carrying out repetitive tasks without a break
- Electrocution from overhead power lines whilst working at height (often fatal)
This may seem like quite an extensive list, but it is just a small example of the many different types of accidents that could happen at work. In all these cases it’s likely that somebody else was at fault, and if you have been in any of these situations, you could get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline to find out if you have a viable personal injury claim.
Can you claim compensation for minor injuries?
We have lost count of the number of times we have heard from people who have missed out on the opportunity to claim work accident compensation because they assumed their injuries were not serious enough. If you sprain your ankle after tripping over trailing cables in the office at work or suffer burns to your hand in the work kitchen, you could still make a claim for compensation. The only criteria you have to meet is that you must have sought medical attention for your injuries.
This is why it is a good idea to see a doctor after your accident, even if you assume your injuries are minor. In some cases, a sprained wrist or ankle could actually be broken, or you may need to be prescribed medication for an infected laceration, and if you want to make a claim for personal injury compensation at a later date, we will need to see a copy of your medical report (which we can obtain from your GP or the hospital you attended). Whilst you’re more likely to receive a substantial settlement for serious injuries, don’t avoid making a claim if you have suffered more minor injuries – you could still be entitled to compensation.
What can you do if you’re worried about health and safety at work?
If health and safety at work are a concern then there is something you can do. For example, you may have reported faulty machinery or equipment to your manager and they have refused to take action. Or perhaps you have brought up a point about lack of staff training that has been ignored by your employer, and you’re worried it may lead to an accident in the workplace. You could consider reporting your employer to the HSE, although in many cases they will not carry out an investigation without evidence (for example, if an accident has actually happened).
If you have been injured in an accident at work and you’re still concerned that health and safety regulations are being breached, HSE will normally investigate if your accident is reported to them – and you might want to do this yourself at the same time as getting in touch with Accident Advice Helpline to make a personal injury claim.
Do I work in a dangerous job?
There are undoubtedly some jobs which are more dangerous than others – for example statistics have revealed that the agricultural industry is the most dangerous industry in the UK to work in. But just because you work in a so-called ‘dangerous’ job or industry, doesn’t mean that your health and safety should be put at risk. In fact, in these industries and jobs, employers need to be even more vigilant when it comes to health and safety. It’s important to report any concerns to your employer promptly and make sure that action is taken to prevent accidents from happening.
Training is even more important in dangerous jobs – for example, if you are working with heavy machinery in a factory, it’s vital that you are trained in how to use the machinery safely, to prevent accidents from happening. If you’re injured and you have not received the necessary training, you could claim work accident compensation.
Can you claim compensation for lost earnings?
Many people don’t consider that after an accident they could suffer financially. Imagine you have broken your ankle after slipping on a wet floor at work, or suffered crush injuries to your fingers after an industrial accident in a factory. Chances are that you will need to take time off work to recover – and this means that your salary will be affected. Whilst you will be eligible to receive statutory sick pay, this is only a fraction of your normal wages and only payable for a short amount of time.
Making a claim for personal injury compensation means you can claim compensation for your lost earnings. This could really help you out financially whilst you recover from your accident, giving you one less thing to worry about. When you make a claim with Accident Advice Helpline, we will take your loss of earnings into account to ensure that your personal injury settlement includes this, if it applies to you.
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer
When making a claim for work accident compensation, you ideally want to choose a personal injury lawyer experienced in these types of claims. Accident Advice Helpline has over 16 years’ experience in the personal injury industry and we have helped thousands of people claim compensation for accidents at work. You also don’t want to end up paying expensive legal fees, especially at a time when you may already be struggling financially after your accident. Our personal injury lawyers provide a 100% no-win, no-fee service, which means that there are no upfront legal fees to worry about when making a claim with us.
What happens next?
Most personal injury claims can be processed in full over the phone – it’s only rarely that these types of claims end up in court. So the next step is to get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline to discuss your accident with us in more detail. We’ll be able to tell you if you have a viable claim and offer you advice, on a confidential, no-obligation basis.
You can call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out more about making a claim. Whatever industry you work in and however minor or serious your injuries, you can get in touch with us and we will do our best to help you get the compensation you are entitled to. You could even take the 30-second test on our website right now for an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to receive if your claim is successful.
Even if you’re not sure who’s at fault for your accident or whether you are ready to make a claim, pick up the phone and get in touch with us today.