How To Make A Claim Against Your Workplace
Claiming against your employer
If you’re injured in an accident at work or suffer from stress or an illness as a direct result of your job, you might be entitled to compensation – however, many people are put off by the idea of claiming from their employer. After all, they are likely to rely on their job for income, and they may have a good relationship with their boss. Why risk ruining all that for the sake of a compensation claim?
You mustn’t think like that; if your employer has been negligent then it is your legal right to claim compensation for a workplace injury or illness, especially if it has a lasting impact on your physical or mental wellbeing, or makes it difficult for you to perform your job like you used to. If you’ve had time off and lost earnings which have left you struggling financially, don’t be afraid to make a claim against your employer – you may be entitled to compensation.
Your employer has a legal duty to maintain health and safety standards in the workplace so that you do not suffer an injury, and if you have, they may have failed in that duty. It may leave you feeling guilty, but in truth, the liability lies entirely with your employer.
You might be worried that your job security is at stake if you make a claim, but your employer cannot discriminate against you – you are entitled to take that action.
This guide takes you through the process in a simple and easy to understand way. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make a claim against your employer, all the resources you need are right here.
Accidents At Work
If you suffer an accident in your workplace that was not your fault you are able to make a personal injury claim against your employer. If you win the case, you’ll be entitled to compensation that is reflective of the severity of your injury, loss of earnings and how the injury has affected your life.
A personal injury solicitor will work with you to compile a case against your employer – you will need to prove your accident was a result of employer negligence.
You can claim for an illness too if you have sufficient evidence that your workplace was responsible for causing it. You might have been injured by industrial equipment or machinery, suffered a slip, trip or fall, been exposed to hazardous materials such as asbestos, or injured yourself through lack of adequate training – these are just a few examples where you are able to make a claim.
Once you have decided to pursue your claim you will need to gather evidence to show that your employer has been negligent. This might include obtaining CCTV footage, contacting witnesses, and obtaining medical records. It’s so important that you are checked by a GP who can record your injury as soon as it has happened so progress can be properly monitored.
Who is at fault for a workplace injury?
Every employer, whether in the public or private sector, a limited company or a small sole trader, has a duty to protect their employees, contracted workers and anyone who visits their site, from personal injury or illness. This is the law and employers must provide adequate health and safety precautions and training to ensure every employee avoids injury or illness. Here are some of the duties by law your employer has:
To keep the workplace in a safe and tidy condition – mess creates additional trip hazards; especially untidy wires that are not safely taped down or kept out of walkways. ‘Safe’ also means ensuring walkways are clearly marked and away from traffic in warehouses, machinery has obvious emergency stop switches and all electrical items are PAT tested, for just a few examples.
Employees need to be provided with the correct and necessary equipment to perform their job – this means equipment and machines need to be well maintained.
If someone is required to lift heavy objects, work machinery or use potentially dangerous equipment, they need to be thoroughly trained so they know how to perform the action safely.
Employees should be provided with good quality safety clothing and equipment such as hi-vis jackets, helmets, gloves, boots, goggles, ear defenders, dust masks and anything else that is required for the job.
You should also note that if you are involved in an accident, or suffer illness or injury as a result of another employee’s negligence, you can still make a claim against the workplace.
Making A Claim
As soon as you have been to the GP or hospital about your injury or illness you should get in touch with a personal injury solicitor. There is a time limit between when you have an injury and when you can make a claim, so getting in touch with a solicitor as soon as possible has huge benefits. For example, it means you’ll know exactly what evidence you’ll need to gather and what additional information you’ll need to give your case the best possible chance of being successful.
Generally, you have 3 years from the date of your accident to make a claim, but in cases that involve childhood accidents or industrial diseases, you may have a longer time period to pursue a claim.
More often than not your employer will offer to settle the claim outside of Court. This is because there are large amounts of legal fees to pay if a case reaches Court. It is likely the case will only reach Court if your employer denies that they are liable, but if this is the case your solicitor will put together a strong case of evidence to support your claim. This is likely on a no win, no fee basis.
Even if your claim is settled outside Court, your solicitor will negotiate on your behalf to get the settlement which is fair and representative of your injuries.
Keeping a diary of your injury and financial losses
Keeping a diary of your injury or illness progress and financial losses is a great way of recording evidence to support your claim. Here are a few things you might like to do in order to gather evidence after your accident:
Take photos of your injury – keep photos as the days go by to record the progress of your injury healing, ensure you make a note of the dates the photos were taken.
Ensure your accident is reported to your employer and logged in the accident book.
Obtain photos of the accident location in your workplace. This may require a cooperative colleague, but if you are quick thinking after your accident getting some photos on your phone of the scene of the incident and lack of safety procedures can help prove liability against your employer. Again make a note of the dates the photos were taken.
Get copies of your company’s health and safety guidelines, or proof you were not trained in safety procedures.
Obtain signed and dated statements from witnesses these should be gathered as soon as possible. If they are dated near to the time the incident happened, the statements become more reliable in court.
If machines, tools or safety equipment is poorly maintained take photos showing this.
Copies of any correspondence between you and your employer are important to keep. You should keep correspondence formal and try to keep emotion out of your letters or emails. You should also avoid telephone conversations about the accident as it is not recorded. Keep everything to writing.
Common Workplace Accidents
Workplace Slip, Trip or Fall
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most commonly claimed for workplace injuries, and often they are a result of very basic safety rules that were not followed. Have you been injured in a slip, trip or fall recently? Learn more…
Scaffolding is an essential and usually extremely safe piece of workplace equipment for builders, but in rare instances, poor construction and lack of regard for safety rules can lead to accidents. Learn more…
Dangerous Machinery / Defective Work Equipment
Machinery is used daily by thousands of people every day in factories, garages, and processing plants; your employer has a legal duty to keep that machinery in good, safe condition, but sometimes they fail in that responsibility and cause accidents. Have you been hurt in a machinery accident? Learn more…
Crane accidents, unfortunately, tend to cause fatal or very serious injuries, so if you know or someone you know has been involved in an accident involving a crane, then What’s My Claim Worth can help you make a personal injury compensation claim. Learn more…
Forklift truck accident
Accidents involving forklift trucks in the workplace are unfortunately very serious, with an estimated one worker is killed every six weeks in the UK as a result of an accident involving a forklift truck. That’s why What’s My Claim Worth are able to help you make a personal injury compensation claim if you have been the victim of a forklift truck accident at work. Learn more…
Accidents At Work Q&A
Here you will find the most common questions that we get from people that have been injured at work:
- I was injured at work. Will I get paid for time off?
Pay received when you are unable to attend work due to sickness or injury is known as sick pay. Sick pay can vary from job to job and should be provided by your employer. Learn more…
- What are my rights if injured at work?
If your employer did not provide adequate safety precautions, training or maintenance for your job then they are entirely liable for any injury caused to you. If you’ve been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault, you are entitled to pursue a compensation claim. You are also entitled to standard sick pay as detailed in your contract, and you can not be discriminated against for making a claim, meaning there’s little chance of fairly losing your job. Learn more…
- What to do if you are injured at work?
If you are injured at work you should record the instance in the company accidents book and potentially gather witness statements and photos. Next, you should visit your doctor or GP to assess your injuries, and have them recorded. Finally, you should get in touch with a solicitor to get some experienced legal advice. Learn more…
Who We Are
What’s My Claim Worth have a panel of lawyers, offering comprehensive legal advice and support to individuals, their families and businesses alike all over England and Wales.
Our lawyers have a wide range of experience in dealing with all nature of personal injury claims, including complex head and neck injury claims. Our personal injury solicitors are experts in dealing with no win, no fee compensation claims of all values from the most straightforward of whiplash payouts, to life-threatening injury claims. We provide expert legal advice to ensure that you get the maximum compensation for your injury claim.
Have you been in an accident that wasn’t your fault?
Try our compensation claim calculator to find out how much you may be entitled to.