If you suffer from an existing medical condition which is made worse by an injury sustained in an accident at work, you may be able to file for compensation from your employer. You must be able to show that the workplace injury you suffered occurred through no fault of your own and that the incident happened in the last three years. With this said, proving employer negligence that an injury you sustained at work aggravated a medical issue that you already suffered from, can be challenging.
To find out whether you can claim compensation for an accident at work that made a pre-existing medical condition worse, and how a personal injury lawyer can assist you when it comes to proving employer negligence, please read on.
- How Can a Legal Expert Can Assist Me When Proving Employer Negligence?
- The Eggshell Skull Rule And How It Affects an Accident at Work Claim?
- The Definition of a Pre-existing Medical Illness or Condition
- How Do I File an Accident at Work Claim Which Exacerbates the Onset of a Medical Condition/Illness?
- What Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim That Made a Pre-existing Medical Condition/Illness Worse?
- Should I Sue My Employer For Compensation If a Workplace Injury Made an Existing Condition/illness Worse?
- What Rights Do I Have if Injured in an Accident at Work?
- Does My Employer Have Responsibilities Towards Me in the Workplace?
- Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Workplace Injury Claim Against My Employer?
- Would I Be Fired For Claiming Compensation for an Accident at Work Injury?
- Would Working With a Solicitor If I File Workplace Accident Claim Provide Any Advantages?
- What Does a No Win No Fee Agreement Entail When I File an Accident at Work Claim?
- Informative Links
If you were involved in an accident at work and an injury you sustained made a pre-existing condition worse you should seek medical attention as a matter of urgency. If you are unsure of what to do, you can seek advice from a legal expert at www.accidentclaims.co.uk who, once satisfied you have a strong case, would arrange for you to be examined by an independent consultant/specialist. The specialist would establish whether the injury you sustained in the workplace has in fact aggravated a health issue you already suffered from. This independent medical report would also be key to determining how much compensation you could be entitled to receive in general damages and would also help establish employer liability.
You would be entitled to include all costs relating to independent medical care in your accident at work claim. You would need to provide all relevant receipts to support the costs you incurred which would be awarded in “special damages”. It is also worth noting that filing a suit against your employer sooner rather than later, would make it that much easier to prove their liability. In short, the longer you leave filing for compensation when a work injury makes a pre-existing condition worse, the more challenging it can be to establish that an employer was responsible.
Also known as the Thin Skull Rule, the Eggshell Skull Rule is a term used to describe a legal principle that allows the defendant, in this instance this would be an employer, to be deemed responsible in specific circumstances for any injuries that employees may suffer in the workplace that result in a pre-existing health condition getting worse. These situations which are covered by the Eggshell Skull Rule would include the following:
- A defendant (employer) was in breach of their legal duty to ensure that employees are safe in the workplace and as a consequence, a workplace injury aggravated a re-existing medical condition or health issue
The “rule” applies to head injuries, but the same legal principle has been applied to other work-related personal injury claims and has been shown to be successful. The reason for this is that the “rule” as it is understood means a “defendant” must accept the “victim” of a workplace injury as found with an example being as follows:
- A factory worker accidentally drops something into a vat of heated metal and a fellow employee is hit with hot molten metal as it splashes up onto their lips and skin which has been diagnosed as having pre-malignant tissue causing severe burns. The factory worker who was hit with the hot molten metal then becomes extremely ill and as a consequence is diagnosed as having developed skin cancer. The employee was not to know that his fellow worker would as a result of having been splashed by hot metal, develop cancer but the employer could be deemed liable for the injuries the worker sustained under the “Eggshell Skull Rule”
If you sustained a workplace injury that made an pre-existing condition you suffered from worse and you are unsure of what to do and if your employer could be held responsible, you should contact a lawyer at www.accidentclaims.co.uk who would determine whether this is the case before recommending on how best to pursue an claim for compensation from an employer.
Even if you are unaware that you suffer from a pre-existing health issue, you may find that following an injury sustained in an accident at work, the doctor who examines you may determine in their report that the injury you suffered made the pre-existing condition worse. In short, the medical report they produce would confirm that the health issue you already suffered from was aggravated by injuries you suffered in the incident at work.
Your pre-existing condition may not have causes you any discomfort or pain, however, this does not mean you cannot file for compensation from an employer for injuries sustained in the workplace. You may also find that an employer chooses to deny responsibility by declaring any injuries you have are pre-existing and should this be the case, it is best to seek the advice of a solicitor who has the necessary legal expertise to establish liability on behalf of your employer which they would by offering to assess your case in a no obligation, free, initial consultation.
Should you find that any workplace injuries you sustained accelerated the onset of a medical condition or other health issue/illness, you may still be entitled to seek compensation from your employer but before pursuing a claim, it is wiser to speak to a lawyer who specialises in this type of complex case and to do so sooner rather than later.
A case study of an accident at work claim of this type is provided below:
- You may suffer from hearing loss because for several years you worked in an environment that is noisy. Your doctor may determine that eventually your hearing would be negatively impacted as you aged but the fact the environment you worked in contributed to the speed with which your hearing loss occurred
The level of compensation you would be awarded in a successful accident at work claim would be determined on your “loss of amenity” from the early onset of your loss of hearing to the time you would have suffered a level of hearing impairment because of your age. The amount you would receive would come under “special damages” and although establishing how much compensation you are awarded could be more challenging, being able to provide key medical evidence at the outset of your claim could make things a lot easier to work out.
What Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim That Made a Pre-existing Medical Condition/Illness Worse?
If you are unsure of what to include in an accident at work claim against an employer because injuries you sustained aggravated a pre-existing health issue, you should contact a lawyer at www.accidentclaims.co.uk who would offer essential advice on what damages and losses could be included in your claim. With this said, work-related personal injury compensation is awarded in two parts which are detailed below:
- General damages are awarded to compensate you for your loss of amenity, suffering and pain due to the injuries you sustained in the workplace that made a pre-existing health condition worse. The level of general damages you would receive would be based on two things which are the extent of your injuries as detailed in a medical report and the Judicial College Guidelines
- Special damages are awarded to compensate you for all your out of pocket expenses. This would include your travel costs and medical expenses as well as any loss of earnings and future earnings. Special damages are that much easier to calculate as they are based on your “actual expenditure” and as such you must be able to support any costs and expenses you claim by providing the relevant receipts
Should I Sue My Employer For Compensation If a Workplace Injury Made an Existing Condition/illness Worse?
Among your worker’s rights is the “right” to seek compensation from an employer if you are injured through no fault of your own in the workplace. Even if you feel you may be partly responsible, you could still be entitled to file an accident at work claim because your employer may also be partly liable which is referred to in law as “contributory negligence”. It is worth noting that should this be the case, the level of accident at work compensation you may be awarded would factor in the level of liability you are deemed to have had.
It is compulsory for employers in the UK to have liability insurance in place and the policy must be issued by a recognised provider and it has to meet the legal requirement of £5 million. A responsible employer would make sure that the policy certificate is displayed in a prominent place so that employees and visitors to the workplace can easily see it.
Providing you can prove that the workplace accident that left you suffering from an injury occurred in the last three years and that the injury you sustained has made a pre-existing health issue you suffered from worse, a personal injury solicitor would act on your behalf without asking you to pay them an upfront fee or any ongoing fees either. When you file an accident at work claim of this nature against an employer, it is their insurance providers who would act on behalf of the employer. In short, the insurer would communicate with the personal injury lawyer who represents you whether your employer accepts or denies liability for the workplace injury you sustained.
All workers have rights and these must be respected by your employer because they are highly protected. If you suffer an injury in the workplace which makes a pre-existing condition worse, you have the right to do the following:
- To seek compensation from an employer without the fear of being treated unfairly or detrimentally
- To file an accident at work claim against an employer without having to worry about losing your job
- To seek legal advice and representation without being threatened or treated unfairly if you do
Should your employer treat you unfairly following a workplace accident which left you injured or they threaten you with the sack or redundancy because you seek compensation from them, you must contact a solicitor who would offer vital legal advice on whether their actions would entitle you to seek further compensation from them. This could include filing an unfair dismissal claim against your employer.
There are laws and legislation in place which all employers must respect to ensure that you and your fellow employees are kept safe from injury and harm in the workplace. Employers must ensure that a work environment is kept clean, tidy and safe for you to be in. Your employer must do the following to ensure this is so:
- To make sure that health and safety regulations are respected
- That adequate and ongoing training is provided to all employees
- That all employees both permanent and temporary are aware of and abide by good working practices and procedures
- That adequate personal protective equipment – PPE – is kept in good condition and available to employees when needed to carry out a job as safely as possible
- That all tools, equipment and machinery in a work environment is correctly maintained in good working order
- That risk assessments of a work environment are routinely performed to identify dangers and hazards so that “reasonable” measure can be put in place to reduce the risk of harm or injury to employees and visitors to a workplace
Should you be involved in a workplace accident and you sustained an injury which made a health issue you already suffered from because your employer failed to adhere to the laws and health and safety regulations that must be respected, you could be entitled to seek compensation from your employer.
If you would like to file an accident at work claim against your employer following a workplace injury that made a pre-existing health issue worse, you must do so within the statutory deadline which is set at three years. However, the deadline would begin at different times depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident which is explained below:
- You have three years from when you suffered a workplace injury
- You have three years from the date a medical professional diagnoses you as suffering from a health condition that has been exacerbated by the workplace injury you sustained
- You have three years from when you turn 18 years of age should the workplace accident have occurred before the date of your 8th birthday. This means you would have up until the date of your 21st birthday to seek compensation from an employer
If you are worried about running out of time to file an accident at work claim against your employer, you should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer who would offer essential legal advice on what you should do to seek compensation from an employer.
The law in the United Kingdom prevents an employer from firing you if you are injured in the workplace and seek compensation from them. Your employer must respect your worker’s right to file an accident at work claim against them if there is enough proof of employer negligence. Should your employer threaten you with the sack or they fire you because you do, they may be held be in breach of your worker’s right and the law.
As such, you should get in touch with a lawyer who would determine whether your employer acted unlawfully which would entitle you to pursue further legal action against them. This may include filing an unfair dismissal against your employer.
Work-related personal injury claims can be complex more especially if an injury you sustained made an existing health issue worse. As such, having legal representation would increase your chances of filing a successful claim against your employer. Other benefits would include the following:
- A personal injury lawyer would arrange for your condition to be assessed by an independent medical expert who would provide an essential report on how the injuries you sustained in a workplace accident made a condition that you already suffered from that much worse
- The solicitor would handle all aspects of your claim which includes handling all communication between your employer and their insurance providers
- The solicitor understands that pre-action protocols have to be respected and that the statutory 3 year time limit must be adhered to
- Should your case against an employer be more complex, the solicitor would work hard to negotiate for interim payments to be awarded until a final settlement is reached
Accident at work lawyers have vast legal expertise and can refer to legal libraries which they can base your case on when required. Another important benefit that a personal injury solicitor would bring to the table when acting on your behalf is that should your injuries be so severe that you require long-term therapy, the cost of this ongoing treatment would be factored into the accident at work compensation you are awarded.
A No Win No Fee agreement is a legal contract that you sign with a solicitor who agrees to represent you when you file an accident at work claim against an employer. This legal contract sets out what you can expect a personal injury lawyer to do for you when acting on your behalf and it lays out the percentage that you would only have to pay them when you win your case. The percentage is the “success fee” that cannot be more than 25% of the accident at work compensation you are awarded.
If you lose your case against your employer, this “success fee” would not be payable because the personal injury lawyer who acted on your behalf agreed to waive the fee if your claim was unsuccessful. It is also worth noting that the fee you would pay the solicitor on a successful claim would be taken out of the accident at work compensation you are awarded. In short, when you file a work-related personal injury claim and agree to work with a lawyer on a No Win No Fee basis, you can do so without putting yourself under any kind of financial risk.
For more information regarding your worker’s rights following an injury sustained when you were at work, please follow the link provided below:
To find out more about your rights if you suffered a workplace injury when you were under 18 years old, please click on the link below:
To find out more about your employer’s legal duty to hold liability insurance, please follow the link provided below: