It can be a difficult time being involved in an accident at work that has directly caused you injury or illness. You may well have had to take time off work due to the accident and this can inevitably cause monetary problems and leave you worried about what to do next. Ultimately it is your employers responsibility to maintain a safe working environment and there is a large body of health and safety legislation that has been devised to allow you to claim compensation if you have been injured at work. You maybe reticent to pursue an injury compensation claim against your employer due to a feeling of awkwardness with both your employer and colleagues, but it is commonplace for such compensation claims to be initiated and business should have factored this into their business plan. Furthermore, it is a legal requirement for your employer to have suitable liability insurance in place in the event of such a claim. Therefore, you need not worry about your employer having to payout a large sum, which may affect the ongoing running of the business, or your colleague’s jobs as any compensation payout should be awarded through the insurance company.
Speak with a solicitor
If you are unsure if you want to progress an injury compensation claim, you will want to seek the services of a solicitor to discuss the circumstances. There are many solicitors that will take workplace injury compensation claim cases on a no win no fee basis with free consultations so you would not lose out whether you decide to progress a claim or not.
Step by step guide
Once you have decided to make a compensation claim through your solicitor they will need you to collate information pertaining to the injury and ensure that certain aspects have been adhered to in order to maximise the potential of a successful claim. Depending on the firm of solicitors selected and the compensation claim involved, there will be different steps involved, but as a general guide the solicitors will raise the following points with a prospective compensation claimant with a view to these steps having been completed at the time of the accident if possible.
- Notify the employer at the time the accident happened and the company health officer (if applicable). Create an accident report that is in no way emotive or biased – stick to the facts.
- Write a full description of the accident in your own words, sign and date it.
- If there were any witnesses to the accident, note their details, as the solicitor may need to call on their evidence to support your claim.
- Try to ensure that the scene of the accident is preserved so that photographic evidence can be taken to support the claim.
- If the accident is sufficiently serious, it will be necessary for your employer (or yourself if they have not) to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as they may wish to investigate the employer due to the seriousness of the accident.
At a later date evidence of the injury would need to be supplied to the solicitor via a doctor or specialist physicians certificate proving the extent of the injury.
The final stages will involve your solicitor collating all the supporting information, including any evidence of similar accidents at your workplace and assessing the viability of your compensation claim. If it is designated that the claim has merit, the solicitor will recommend that the claim is progressed and the claim will be served to your employer and their liability insurance company will be notified. The insurance company will then provide notification as to whether they will meet the compensation claims or not. If not, it does not mean that the case does not have merit and will fail, as initially the insurance company will often turn down the claim.
Most compensation claim cases are settled out of court, as the employer would not want the bad publicity or the prospect of having to pay a large compensation claim. However, if it does progress as far as the court stage your chosen firm of solicitors will be able to offer expert advice on the specific do’s and don’ts. For additional details of successful workplace injury compensation court cases look to the list on the right hand side of this site for a breakdown of successful court cases, the injuries involved and the payment received by the complainant.