Serious Injury at Work: Should you claim?
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Most people expect their workplace to be a safe environment; however accidents do happen. The frequency of serious injuries at work can vary depending on the industry, the type of job, and the safety measures in place. According to data from the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 2.3 million people die each year from work-related accidents and diseases worldwide.
Additionally, there are an estimated 317 million non-fatal accidents and 160 million work-related illnesses per year. These statistics demonstrate that serious injuries at work are unfortunately quite common, and they underscore the importance of prioritising safety measures in the workplace.
If you have suffered a serious injury at work that was caused by your employer’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim against your employer. To find out more about work compensation claims, contact us today to speak to an accident at work solicitor.
Your employers’ duties to prevent workplace accidents
In England and Wales, employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees and others who may be affected by their work activities. The specific duties placed upon employers to prevent accidents at work include:
- Conducting a risk assessment: Employers must assess the risks in their workplace and take steps to eliminate or control those risks as much as possible.
- Providing a safe working environment: This duty includes ensuring that the workplace is free from hazards that could cause harm or injury to employees or others who may be affected by their work activities.
- Providing information, instruction, and training: Employers must provide employees with information and training on the risks they may face at work and how to work safely.
- Providing and maintaining safe equipment and systems of work: Employers must ensure that equipment and machinery are maintained in safe working order and that work processes are designed to minimise the risk of injury.
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE): Employers must provide appropriate PPE to employees where necessary to protect them from the risks they face.
- Co-operating with other employers sharing the same workplace: Employers must co-operate with other employers sharing the same workplace to ensure that all employees are protected from the risks in the workplace.
- Appointing competent health and safety personnel: Employers must appoint one or more competent people to assist with health and safety matters in the workplace.
- Reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations: Employers must keep a record of accidents, injuries, and near misses and report certain types of accidents to the Health and Safety Executive.
If your employer has breached any of these duties, and you were injured at work as a result, you may wish to consider making a work injury compensation claim.
Types of accidents that lead to serious injury at work
There are many types of accidents that can lead to serious injuries at work. The following are some examples:
- Falls from height: Falls from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and other elevated surfaces can result in serious injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
- Manual handling: Lifting, carrying, and handling heavy objects or equipment can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, such as strains, sprains, and hernias.
- Machinery accidents: Working with machinery can result in serious injuries, such as amputations, crush injuries, and burns.
- Vehicle accidents: Workers who operate or work around vehicles, such as forklifts, trucks, or cars, can be involved in accidents that result in serious injuries.
- Burns and scalds: Exposure to hot substances, such as steam or chemicals, can result in burns and scalds that can cause serious injuries.
- Electrical accidents: Electrical accidents can result in serious injuries, such as burns, shocks, and electrocution.
- Fire and explosion: Workers in certain industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and mining, may be at risk of fires and explosions that can cause serious injuries, including burns, smoke inhalation, and traumatic injuries.
- Assault: Workers in certain industries, such as healthcare, social services, and public transportation, may be at risk of violence and assault from customers, patients, or passengers, which can result in serious injuries.
It is important for employers to identify and assess the risks of these and other types of accidents in their workplaces and take appropriate measures to eliminate or control those risks to prevent serious injuries from occurring.
What should you do following a serious injury at work?
If you or someone you know has suffered a serious injury at work, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention: The first priority should be to seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, this may involve calling an ambulance or going to A&E at hospital.
- Report the injury to your employer: You should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. This can be done verbally or in writing in an accident book, and you should keep a copy of any documentation you submit.
- Document the incident: You should document as much information as possible about the incident, including the date, time, and location of where the accident occurred, the circumstances that led to the injury, and any witnesses who saw what happened.
- Contact a personal injury solicitor: If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for an accident at work. A personal injury solicitor can advise you on your legal rights and help you pursue a workplace injury claim.
- Follow up with medical treatment: It is important to follow up with any recommended medical treatment or rehabilitation to ensure that you recover as fully as possible from the injury.
- Cooperate with any investigation: Your employer may conduct an investigation into the incident. You should cooperate fully with this investigation and provide any information or documentation requested.
It is also important to be aware of your legal rights as an employee in the event of a serious injury at work. In England and Wales, employees have legal protections under health and safety legislation and may be entitled to make an accident at work claim if the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Can you be dismissed for making a claim against your employer?
An employer cannot legally dismiss an employee for making a claim against them, as this would be considered unlawful retaliation. If an employer were to dismiss an employee for making a claim, the employee would have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.
Under UK employment law, employees have the right to bring claims against their employer if they believe they have been treated unfairly, including claims for personal injury resulting from a workplace accident or illness caused by their work.
Employers have a duty to protect their employees from harm and to provide a safe working environment. If an employee is injured at work due to the employer’s negligence or failure to provide a safe working environment, the employee may be entitled to bring a personal injury claim.
However, it is important to note that an employer may have legitimate grounds to dismiss an employee in certain circumstances, such as for poor performance, gross misconduct, or redundancy. Any dismissal must be carried out fairly and in accordance with the relevant employment laws and regulations.
If you are concerned about the possibility of being dismissed after making a claim against your employer, you should seek legal advice from an employment lawyer or a trade union representative to understand your rights and options.
Will your employer struggle financially if you make a serious injury at work claim?
It is difficult to determine whether an employer will struggle financially if you make a claim against them. This depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the company, the nature of the claim, and the employer’s insurance coverage.
In the UK, employers are required to have employers’ liability insurance to cover any claims made against them by employees for workplace injuries or illnesses. This insurance is intended to cover the costs of compensation and legal fees in the event of a claim, and it is illegal for an employer to operate without it.
If you make a claim against your employer, the insurance company will typically handle the claim on behalf of the employer. This means that any compensation awarded to you will be paid by the insurance company, not directly by your employer. However, if your employer’s insurance policy does not cover the claim or if the insurer becomes insolvent, your employer may be responsible for paying the compensation.
It is important to note that making a claim against your employer is your legal right as an employee, and you should not feel discouraged from doing so out of concern for your employer’s financial situation. It is ultimately the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the workplace is safe and to provide a duty of care to their employees. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any injuries or illnesses that result from their negligence.
How much compensation could you be entitled to?
The amount of compensation that you could receive for a serious injury at work will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injuries, the impact they have had on your life, and the extent of your financial losses.
In the England and Wales, compensation for an accident at work claim is calculated based on a variety of factors, such as the nature and extent of the injury, the impact on your daily life, loss of earnings, and future medical expenses. Compensation may also be awarded for emotional distress and pain and suffering.
There are guidelines issued by the Judicial College which are used as a starting point in calculating the compensation for personal injury claims. These guidelines provide a range of compensation amounts for different types of injuries, taking into account the severity of the injury and the impact on the claimant’s life.
It is important to note that every case is different, and the amount of compensation awarded will be based on the individual circumstances of the case. A personal injury solicitor can provide you with an estimate of the potential compensation amount based on the details of your case.
Time limits for making a serious injury at work claim
There are strict time limits in place for making a claim for a serious injury at work. The time limit for bringing a claim is generally three years from the date of the accident or the date on which you became aware that your injury was related to your work. This is known as the limitation period.
If you do not make a claim within this time limit, you may lose your right to claim compensation. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the injured person is under 18 years of age or has a mental disability, in which case the three-year limitation period may be extended.
It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are considering making a claim for a serious injury at work, as it may take some time to gather evidence and prepare your case. A personal injury solicitor can advise you on the time limits that apply to your specific case and help you to understand your legal rights and options.
How long will it take to resolve your case?
The length of time it takes to resolve a claim for a serious injury at work can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Factors that can affect the duration of the process include:
- The severity of the injuries: If your injuries are serious and require ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation, the process may take longer.
- The complexity of the case: If liability is disputed or there are multiple parties involved, the case may take longer to resolve.
- The availability of evidence: The process may be delayed if there is a dispute over the evidence, or if it takes time to gather medical records or witness statements.
- The negotiation process: The negotiation process can take time, especially if there are multiple rounds of negotiations and counter-offers.
- Court proceedings: If the case goes to court, the process can take significantly longer.
In general, a straightforward claim for a serious injury at work can take around 6-12 months to resolve, while more complex cases can take several years. Your personal injury solicitor will be able to provide you with a better estimate of the likely duration of the process based on the specifics of your case.
How much does it cost to make a claim?
Beacon Law offer their services for serious injury claims on a no win, no fee basis.
No win, no fee, also known as a “conditional fee agreement” (CFA), is a funding option that allows individuals to make a compensation claim without having to pay any legal fees upfront. Instead, the legal fees are only paid if the claim is successful.
Here’s how it works:
- The individual seeking compensation signs a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with a solicitor.
- Under the CFA, the solicitor agrees to work on the case on the condition that they will only be paid if the claim is successful.
- If the claim is successful, the solicitor’s fees are taken from the compensation award. If the claim is not successful, the individual does not have to pay any legal fees.
It is important to note that the success fee is capped by law at 25% of the compensation award, and that the solicitor must have a valid insurance to cover the risk of losing the case.
It is also important to note that the CFA may include a “After the Event” (ATE) insurance that covers the risk of losing the case in case of a failure and the cost of the expenses incurred in the case, such as medical reports, court fees, and other expenses. The cost of the ATE insurance will be payable by the claimant on conclusion of their case; but only if their case is successful.
The best thing about making a no win, no fee claim is that the financial risks of litigation are minimized. If your claim is unsuccessful, in most cases, you will not be required to to pay any legal fees. However, if your claim is successful we will deduct our fees and additional costs from your compensation when your claim has been resolved.
Why choose Beacon Law?
The injury lawyers at Beacon Law are experts in the area of serious injury at work compensation claims.
As a law firm, we believe that our clients should be given the opportunity to rebuild their lives and move past difficult times which arose through no fault of their own.
By always striving to achieve the best results for our clients, we are able to have a great success rate when recovering the compensation which our clients deserve.
To discuss your potential claim and have a chat with one of our injury specialists, please contact us on 03301332857 or use the form above.
Beacon Law are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our firm is based in Manchester; however, we assist claimants in all locations in England and Wales.