You might think that working in an office is one of the less risky occupations in life. While that is true to some extent, it is possible for office workers to be injured at work. Importantly, if you suffer injuries in an office accident that were caused by your employer’s negligence, you could be compensated for any suffering. During the course of this article on office accident claims, we’ll look at what injuries you could be compensated for, the types of office accidents you could be compensated for and how the office accident claims process works.
We can help if you want to discuss whether you’re entitled to compensation. Our advisors provide a free consultation to review your chances of claiming successfully. During your call, they’ll provide free legal advice about your next steps. If they suspect you have a strong case, they’ll refer you to one of our personal injury lawyers. They’ll provide their expertise on a No Win, No Fee basis if your case is accepted. As a result, you will only need to pay them if your employer pays you compensation.
Our team can be contacted on 0800 652 1345 if you’d like to discuss an office accident claim right away. Otherwise, you’ll find more information throughout the rest of this article.
Can I claim compensation for an office accident?
According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer must do all they reasonably can to keep you safe in the workplace. This is called their duty of care. If you decide to claim for an office injury, one of our solicitors will check the following before agreeing to work for you:
- That your employer breached their legal duty of care towards you; and
- Their negligence led to an accident or incident in your workplace office; and
- You were left with an injury as a result of that incident.
It’s important to be able to prove the events that led up to you being injured in an office accident and the extent of your injuries. As such, we’ll explain what proof might be useful a bit later on.
Can I be sacked for making an office accident claim?
Office workers are often hesitant to file an injury claim against their employer even if they know they have a right to, for fear that they may lose their perks such as bonuses or promotions or even lose their job. This is the last thing you should need to worry about.
Employment laws give you a number of rights and offer a lot of protection if you do decide to claim for workplace injuries. As a result, you cannot be fired, demoted, singled out or prevented from training opportunities as a result of your office accident claim. These types of actions could lead to a separate compensation claim for constructive or unfair dismissal.
Also, you should not worry about the impact of your claim on your employer’s business. They should have adequate insurance in place to cover the cost of personal injury claims.
Types of accidents in a workplace office you could claim compensation for
As explained above, you could be compensated for any form of office accident in which you were injured and your employer was to blame. To give you some idea of what that means, we’ve listed some examples below:
- Trips and falls that result from boxes and files lying on the floor, torn carpeting or unsecured electrical cables strewn around.
- Suffering electric shock after using damaged office equipment.
- Sustaining bruising or broken bones after files fell from poorly loaded shelving.
- Slipping on a wet floor because of a radiator that was known to be leaking but had not been repaired.
- Falling down the stairs because you tripped on a torn carpet.
- Suffering a repetitive strain injury (RSI) because your desk was set up poorly.
- Being trapped in a lift due to a lack of maintenance.
- Suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome from spending long periods of time performing repetitive typing movements.
There are plenty more scenarios that could lead to office accident claims so please don’t worry if yours isn’t listed. If you’d like to check if you could claim compensation, call our team today and let us know what happened.
Common injuries from office accidents
Any injury you sustain from an accident in an office could have an impact on your social, domestic, and working life. Minor injuries shouldn’t cause too many problems for very long, however, some injuries can be a lot more serious and in some cases even life-altering.
Some of the more common injuries in office accidents include:
- Fractures and broken bones.
- Brain damage.
- Spinal damage that might include a tailbone.
- Knee damage.
- Nerve injuries.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Hand injuries.
- Strains, sprains, and soft tissue injuries.
The nature of your injuries is one of the primary factors used to work out how much compensation you could claim against your employer.
How much compensation for office accident claims?
The process of calculating compensation for an office accident claim can be fairly time-consuming. To begin with, your personal injury solicitor will usually refer to the Judicial College Guidelines to put a value on your injuries (general damages). Then your solicitor will need to calculate any costs you’ve incurred because of the office accident.
As such, you could be entitled to compensation for:
- The pain and suffering including psychiatric injuries caused by your accident.
- Any time a loved one had to spend caring for you while you were injured.
- The impact your injuries have had on your family and social life. This is explained further on this page.
- Any lost income caused by taking time off work to recover.
- Travel expenses.
- Rehabilitation costs (including private medical treatment in some cases).
- Future loss of income if your workplace office injuries will affect your ability to earn in the long term.
- The cost of making changes to your vehicle or home to help you deal with any ongoing disability.
As part of your office accident claim, a medical assessment will usually be booked to help ascertain the extent of your injuries. Our solicitors can usually arrange local appointments so you won’t need to travel too far. During the appointment, an independent specialist will examine your injuries and discuss their effects with you before submitting a report to explain your prognosis.
To try and ensure you are compensated fully, your solicitor will review your claim in detail with you before filing it with your employer.
Providing proof to support office accident claims
As mentioned previously, you will need proof to clearly show a) how the accident in your workplace office happened b) how your employer’s negligence caused it and c) the extent of the injuries you are claiming compensation for. For office accident claims, this could include:
- Accident reports. If you reported the office accident to your employer (which we’d certainly suggest you do), they should record it in an accident book. Your copy of their report is a useful way of proving the date and location of your accident.
- Medical records. Following treatment at a hospital or GP’s surgery, your medical records can be requested to help demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
- Witness details. You should ask anybody who saw your accident happen for their contact details. If your employer denies that the office accident happened or that they were liable, your solicitor could use witness statements to counter their arguments.
- Photographic proof. Taking pictures of the office the accident happened in is always a good idea. If you’re able to do so safely, you should do this before the accident scene is cleared or the cause of your injuries is repaired.
- CCTV footage. Similarly, if your accident happened in an area with security camera coverage, you should request a copy of the relevant footage.
- Financial records. If you incur expenses because of your injuries, keep any relevant receipts or invoices in case you can add them to the value of your office accident claim.
- A diary of events. Finally, you may wish to write down everything in a diary to help you recall events if you decide to claim. It’s worth tracking the dates where your injuries prevented you from working or meant you couldn’t attend family events.
When you contact us for a free consultation, we’ll review any proof that you may have already gathered.
Time limits for making an office accident claim
As with any form of personal injury claim, you’ll need to begin your office accident claim within a 3-year limitation period. This will either commence from:
- The date of the accident in which you were injured in the office.
- The date of knowledge. For example, if you are suffering from RSI injuries, the time limit will start from the date your doctor provided a diagnosis.
In our opinion, you should start your office accident claim as soon as you can to allow plenty of time for proof to be gathered and medical reports to be arranged.
While straightforward cases are sometimes settled in a matter of months, others can take longer. This might be the case if the extent of your injuries is not yet understood or if more time is needed to negotiate the settlement amount. In these cases, your solicitor may be able to secure interim payments from your employer to help cover any immediate costs.
Start an office accident claim today
Our solicitors want to help as many people with office accident claims as possible. As such, they offer a No Win, No Fee service for any office accident claim they agree to take on.
No Win, No Fee means you don’t need to pay your solicitor for their work if your case fails. If you are compensated, however, you’ll pay a success fee (see this page) which is deducted out of your settlement to cover your solicitor’s work.
To check if one of our solicitors could help you to claim, please get in touch on 0800 652 1345 today. An advisor will explain your options and provide free legal advice whatever you decide to do.
Please let us know via live chat if you’ve any questions about office accident claims and thanks for visiting.