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I had an accident at work, what are my rights?

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Accidents at work can be distressing experiences, not just physically but also mentally and financially. Understanding your rights following a workplace accident is crucial to ensure you are adequately protected and compensated.

There are laws in England and Wales governing workplace health and safety. They are designed to support employees in such situations, offering a range of rights and protections.

One thing you may wish to consider following a workplace injury is whether you are entitled to make accident at work claim. If you are asking the question “I had an accident at work, what are my rights?” get in touch with Beacon Law today to discuss your options.

What Constitutes a Workplace Accident?

A workplace accident is an unexpected event that occurs in the course of employment, leading to a physical or mental injury. These incidents can range from slips, trips, and falls to more serious accidents involving dangerous machinery or hazardous materials.

If you believe you have been injured at work as the result of your employer’s negligence, speak to us today.

Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

Factors contributing to workplace accidents include, but are not limited to, unsafe working conditions, inadequate training, failure to use personal protective equipment, and lack of safety measures. Accidents may also be caused by the negligence of another employee.

Accident at work legal protection

The law in England and Wales aims to protect workers and ensure workplace safety. The main legislation used to protect your rights to a safe environment at work are the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety. This law imposes a duty of care on employers to ensure the safety of their employees and others affected by their work activities. Employers are required to provide safe working environments, adequate training, and necessary safety equipment to prevent accidents.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR): RIDDOR requires employers to report certain workplace accidents, occupational diseases, and specified dangerous occurrences to the relevant authorities.

This helps the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to collect data on workplace risks and implement measures to prevent future accidents.

The HSE is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety, and illness. It is responsible for enforcing workplace safety laws, conducting inspections, and providing guidance to employers and employees.

I’ve had an accident at work, what are my rights?

Following a workplace accident, employees in England and Wales have several rights designed to protect their health, safety, and welfare:

If you are injured at work, your immediate right is to seek medical attention. Employers should have a procedure in place for dealing with injuries. This may include providing first aid on-site or taking you to a hospital.

You have the right to report any workplace accident. This should be recorded in the company’s accident book, a requirement for employers under RIDDOR. Reporting is crucial for legal and compensation purposes.

If you require time off work due to a workplace injury, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Alternatively, you may be entitled to company sick pay, depending on your employment contract.

Furthermore, you might have the right to seek compensation if the accident was due to your employer’s negligence.

Many employees worry that making a claim for compensation may lead to their dismissal. It is important to be aware that it is illegal for employers to dismiss or treat employees detrimentally for reporting an accident or raising health and safety concerns. Such protections are crucial in ensuring a transparent and safe working environment.

Steps to Take Following a Workplace Accident

Immediate Actions Post-Accident:

Seek medical attention:

Your health should be your main priority. Even if injuries seem minor, some symptoms may appear later.

Report the accident:

Ensure the incident is recorded in the accident book. This is vital for any future compensation claim and helps in improving workplace safety.

Long-term Actions:

Keep records:

Document everything related to your accident and injury, including medical reports, photographs of the scene, and witness statements. These documents can be crucial in a compensation claim.

Consider a compensation claim:

If you believe your employer’s negligence contributed to the accident, you might consider making an accident at work compensation claim.

I had an accident at work, what are my rights? Making a claim

Generally, there is a three year time limit from the date of the accident to make a personal injury claim. It is advisable to seek legal advice to understand the process and strengthen your case.

A solicitor specialising in personal injury law, such as Beacon Law, can offer invaluable assistance in navigating the claim process, dealing with insurance companies, and ensuring you receive fair compensation.

Your compensation will encompass general damages and special damages. Special damages includes compensation which may cover out of pocket expenses, such as prescription costs, loss of earnings, and care and assistance. General damages covers monetary compensation for pain and suffering caused by the injury. The specific amount will depend on the injury’s severity and impact on your life.

I had an accident at work, what are my rights? FAQs

 

Can I refuse to work if I feel unsafe after having an accident at work?

If you believe your workplace is still unsafe after an accident, you have the right to refuse to work under conditions you reasonably deem hazardous to your health and safety. The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects employees who take appropriate steps in response to serious and imminent danger. However, it’s crucial to communicate your concerns clearly to your employer and follow any existing workplace safety procedures.

How does the process of reporting a workplace accident work?

After a workplace accident, it is important to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer should then record the accident in the accident book, which is a legal requirement for businesses. For serious incidents, your employer may also need to report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the RIDDOR regulations. This helps in monitoring workplace safety and implementing measures to prevent future accidents.

What if the accident was partially my fault? Do I still have rights?

Even if you were partially at fault for the workplace accident, you might still have rights to compensation. The amount of compensation may be reduced to reflect your share of responsibility. This concept is known as “contributory negligence.”

Are there any mental health considerations after a workplace accident?

Workplace accidents can have significant mental health impacts, including stress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You have the right to seek medical attention and support for these conditions, which may also be considered in any compensation claim.

Employers should provide access to occupational health support or counselling services to help employees recover from the psychological effects of workplace accidents.

What should I do if I’m pressured not to report an accident?

If you are being pressured by your employer or colleagues not to report an accident, it’s important to stand firm in your rights. Not reporting can prevent necessary safety improvements and may affect your ability to claim compensation. If you feel unsafe or are facing retaliation, consider seeking advice from a legal professional, a trade union representative, or the HSE.

Protection against detriment for reporting safety concerns is enshrined in law, and there are mechanisms in place to support you.

What is a “No Win, No Fee” Agreement, and How Does It Work in Accident at Work Claims?

A “No Win, No Fee” agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), is a contract between a solicitor and their client concerning a compensation claim. This agreement means that you (the client) will not have to pay your solicitor’s fees if your claim for compensation is unsuccessful. This type of agreement is commonly used in personal injury cases, including accidents at work.

Before entering into a “No Win, No Fee” claims agreement, solicitors usually conduct a risk assessment to evaluate the chances of your case being successful. This is because the solicitor takes on the financial risk of pursuing your claim.

If your case is accepted, the solicitor will explain the terms of the CFA to you. It will outline what constitutes a “win” and the fee you will owe if your claim is successful. This fee is often a percentage of the compensation awarded and is capped at 25%.

In most cases, your solicitor will advise you to take out an insurance policy known as “After the Event” insurance. This policy covers legal costs and expenses that could be incurred during the case, such as court fees or the cost of obtaining medical reports, should your claim be unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor’s fees will be deducted from your compensation on conclusion of the case. The success fee compensates the solicitor for the risk they take since they do not get paid if the claim fails. This fee is capped to ensure fairness and affordability.

The primary benefit of a “No Win, No Fee” agreement is that it provides access to legal representation for those who may not be able to afford it upfront. It also aligns the interests of you and your solicitor, as both parties benefit from a successful outcome.

Why choose Beacon Law?

At Beacon Law, we provide a team of highly experienced solicitors and legal professionals. We provide a high level of service to all our clients and work hard to ensure you receive the highest level of compensation for your accident.

Beacon Law is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. To find out about our no win, no fee funding, have a look at the funding section on our website.

To find out more about making a workplace accident, take a look at our FAQ’s.

If you have a query regarding making a workplace accident claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your claim with you, without any obligations.

For more advice on what to do if an accident occurs in the workplace, get in touch today.

For a free initial consultation, contact us using the form at the top of the page or using our live chat facility. Alternatively, you can call us directly on 03301332857.

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