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I Had An Accident At Work What Are My Rights?

During the entirety of your adult life, you might spend more time at work than anywhere else. As such, it’s possible that if you’re going to have any type of accident, it will happen in the workplace. In the past, people have asked, “I’ve had an accident at work, what are my rights?”, so we’ve written this article to explain them. Importantly, if your accident at work was caused by your employer’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for any subsequent suffering.

You can get free legal advice about suing your employer if you call our advisors today. There’s no obligation to take legal action after your call but if your claim is suitable, one of our personal injury solicitors might offer to act on your behalf. If they do, their legal expertise will be provided on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means no legal fees need to be paid unless you are awarded compensation.

Call 0800 652 1345 if you’d like to discuss your case with us or read on to find out more about your rights following an accident at work.

What is an employer’s duty of care?

Your employer is legally obliged to try and keep you safe while you’re at work. The overarching piece of legislation that establishes a duty of care in the workplace is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Because of this law, while you’re at work, you have the right to expect:

  • A safe working environment. This means employers should ensure there is adequate lighting, ventilation and rest facilities. Workplaces should also be risk assessed regularly and any hazards should be removed wherever possible.
  • Adequate training. You should be given proper training on how to do your job plus additional training on safe working practices. Importantly, this should be refreshed regularly.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If dangers in the workplace can’t be removed, PPE may be required to help keep you safe. Importantly, employers must provide this equipment for free to employees and it must be fit for purpose and well maintained.
  • Proper rest breaks. To help avoid accidents caused by tiredness, you should be allowed adequate rest breaks in a suitable location. For example, if you work in a cold environment, you should have somewhere warm to rest. Similarly, if you work in an excessively noisy workplace, you should be allowed to rest away from the noise.

These are just some examples of your rights with regard to workplace safety. If your employer has failed to meet their duty of care and you’re injured as a result, a personal injury claim might be possible.

Do I have the right to claim compensation for an accident at work?

You could be entitled to make an accident at work claim if:

  • Your employer’s negligence meant they breached their duty of care; and
  • An accident ensued because of that negligence; and
  • You sustained injuries during the accident.

One of our personal injury solicitors could help you to claim if your case meets the criteria set out above. You can make things easier if you collect proof relating to the accident and how it happened. So, later in this guide, we’ll explain what proof you could use.

Am I protected if I make an accident at work claim?

Some people are understandably worried about how they’ll be treated by their employer if they make an accident at work claim. However, you have the legal right to claim for a workplace accident caused by employer negligence and you cannot be picked on for doing so.

Legally, your employer cannot sack or discipline you for making an honest personal injury claim against them. Similarly, they cannot treat you any differently for making your claim. That means you can’t be fired, demoted, stopped from applying for promotion or denied training opportunities as a consequence of your claim.

Importantly, if you have suffered any of the above, you could take action against your employer for unfair or constructive dismissal in addition to your accident at work claim.

What if my employer denies responsibility for the accident?

If your employer denies responsibility for the accident at work, it can complicate your situation, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t start a claim. Some steps you could take include:

  • Gather proof. Collect any proof that supports your claim and shows that your employer was responsible for the accident. We’ll look at this in the following section.
  • Consult a solicitor. Seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor on our panel who specialises in employment law or personal injury claims. They can assess the details of your case, provide guidance on your rights, and help you understand the best course of action.
  • Report the accident formally. Ensure that the accident is officially recorded by reporting it to your employer.
  • Contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). If your employer continues to deny responsibility or fails to address the issue, you can contact the HSE, the regulatory body responsible for enforcing health and safety laws in the UK. They could investigate the accident and potentially take enforcement action against your employer if they find any violations.

If you’ve been involved in any type of work accident and believe your employer was to blame but is denying responsibility, please call 0800 652 1345 for free advice on your next steps.

What evidence can I use to support my claim?

Any type of personal injury claim will require evidence to prove what happened, who was to blame and how the claimant has suffered as a result. If your case is accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll try to secure evidence to prove your case. Some examples of the types of evidence they might use include:

  • Medical notes. Your solicitor will request copies of any scans, X-rays or medical notes from when your injuries were diagnosed and treated. These can help to prove the types of injuries you sustained.
  • Investigation reports. Legally, details of any accident at work need to be recorded and some need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). As such, accident report forms and investigation reports might be obtained to help prove how your accident happened.
  • Photographic proof. Pictures taken at the time of the accident can go some way to proving the cause of the incident. Also, you could use photographs of any visible injuries taken over a period of time to help prove how you’ve suffered.
  • Witness statements. Where liability for your workplace accident is contested or is not clear, witness statements can be helpful. As such, your solicitor might contact customers or colleagues who saw the accident for a statement of what they saw.
  • Video footage. If your accident at work was recorded on camera (CCTV, body-worn, mobile phone etc), the footage could be used as proof to show how the accident occurred.
  • Financial records. To help you claim for any financial implications of your accident, you should keep copies of receipts, wage slips, bank statements and other relevant information.

Please let us know about any proof you’ve got about your accident if you call for a free consultation about your claim.

What types of compensation can I claim for an accident at work?

If you make a successful personal injury claim following an accident at work, any settlement you receive could cover:

  • Physical pain, discomfort or suffering.
  • Lost income.
  • Psychological injuries (distress, anxiety, depression etc).
  • Travel expenses.
  • Loss of amenity to cover any impact your injuries have on your normal activities.
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs.
  • Future income reduction (for longer-term injuries).
  • The cost of a professional carer or the time a loved one supported you whilst you were injured.
  • Home adaptations and mobility aids to make it easier to cope with any long-term disability.

Your solicitor will try to get a full understanding of how you’ve suffered before filing your claim with your employer.

How long do I have to file a work accident claim?

If you’ve been injured during a workplace accident, you’ll have 3 years to begin a compensation claim. This generally begins on the date the accident occurred or on the date your injuries were identified by a doctor (date of knowledge).

In our experience, you should think about starting your claim as soon as you can. This can help because collecting proof and witness statements should be easier. Also, if you need medical treatment or rehabilitation, you could be paid interim compensation by your employer before your claim is finalised.

Do I need to hire a solicitor to file a claim for a work-related accident?

We realise that most people, especially those whose injuries are stopping them from working, don’t have the funds to pay a solicitor upfront. We also believe that having legal representation is important if you’re to be compensated fairly for an accident at work. For those two reasons, our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis for any claim they take on.

If you decide that you’d like to exercise your right to claim for your injuries, you’ll receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) from your solicitor. After it’s been signed, your solicitor will begin working on your case. The CFA means that:

  • Legal fees are not requested in advance.
  • You’ll not pay legal fees should the claim fail.
  • Up to 25 per cent (legally capped) of any compensation will be deducted if your case is won (a success fee).

The success fee covers your solicitor’s work if they win compensation for you. The percentage you’ll pay will be listed in your CFA.

During the course of your claim, your solicitor will generally:

  • Make enquiries to secure proof to support your claim.
  • Contact your employer to tell them you’re going to claim.
  • Deal with your employer and their insurance provider so you don’t need to speak to them during the claims process.
  • Send updates to you about how things are progressing.
  • Fight your case to try and win the highest possible level of compensation on your behalf.

To see whether one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors could help you claim for an accident at work, please call today.

Contact us about your rights after an accident at work today

If you call 0800 652 1345, you’ll quickly know whether we think you should be compensated following an accident at work. A member of our team will review your options with you, check how your accident happened and answer your questions.

As well as receiving free legal advice during your call, you might be referred to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. If they suspect that your employer should compensate you, they’ll offer to represent you on a No Win. No Fee basis. Knowing that will usually make the whole process much less stressful.

Please use live chat to connect with us if you have any further questions on your rights after an accident at work, or claim your free consultation here.

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