Many self-employed workers think that they cannot claim compensation if they are injured at work because a third party is not involved. Therefore, it would remain unclear as to who could be held responsible for injuries suffered at work when self-employed because as a self-employed person, they are responsible for their own actions.
However, this is not always the case because even if you are self-employed and you are involved in an accident at work, depending on your situation and the circumstances surrounding the incident, you may be able to file an accident at work claim against an employer who “controls” the work you do for them. To find out if you can claim for an accident at work if self-employed, and what evidence would be required to support your case, please read on.
- How Quickly Can I Find Out if I Have a Valid Accident at Work Claim if Self-employed?
- What Are My Rights After an Accident at Work if Self-employed
- What Are the Employer’s Responsibilities in the Workplace After an Accident?
- Would My Accident at Work Claim When Self-employed be Valid?
- What Should I Do After an Accident at Work if Self-employed?
- Can I Claim Losses and Damages in an Accident at Work Claim When Self-employed?
- Should I Seek Legal Advice After an Accident at Work When Self-employed?
- What are the Benefits of Working With a Solicitor if Injured at Work and Self-employed?
- Would a No Win No Fee Solicitor Offer Me No Win No Fee Terms When Self-employed?
- Informative Links
The quickest way to find out whether your accident at work claim when self-employed is valid would be to contact a solicitor at www.accidentclaims.co.uk who would determine if this is so by offering you a free, no obligation, initial consultation. The solicitor would listen to your case, ask you relevant questions about the conditions applied to the work you carried out for an employer before offering essential free legal advice on how best to proceed with a claim if they believe it to be valid and that the employer could be responsible for the workplace injuries you sustained.
You may not be entitled to the same worker’s rights and perks as an employee who works for a business, organisation, company or employer on a permanent basis but when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, your rights are exactly the same as anyone who is employed permanently by an employer. With this said, if you are injured in a workplace accident as a self-employed person and you have sufficient evidence showing that you were not responsible for the injuries you sustained, you should discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer who would quickly determine whether you sustained your injuries through the negligence of an employer because they were in breach of Health and Safety regulations.
If you are contracted to carry out work for an employer, they have a duty to ensure the following:
- That all machinery, equipment and tools used in the workplace are in good working order and correctly maintained
- The machinery, equipment and tools that you are given to use must be appropriate for the jobs you are tasked to do by an employer
- That you were provided with adequate training prior to starting work for an employer who has contracted you to work on a project
- That you have access to appropriate industry standard personal protective clothing to carry out jobs safely – examples being earplugs, high visibility clothing, goggles and hard hats
If the employer who has contracted you to carry out a job fails in any of the above and as a result you are involved in an accident at work and you suffer an injury, the employer would be in breach of their duty to keep you safe. This could entitle you to seek compensation from them by filing an accident at work claim because of the employer’s negligence.
As previously mentioned, the fastest way of finding out if your accident at work claim would be valid if you are self-employed, would be to contact a personal injury lawyer. However, there are several things to bear in mind if you are injured and would like to file a personal injury claim which are as follows:
- Self-employed people are responsible for their own safety at work
- There are specific circumstances which could allow you to claim compensation if third party negligence can be established
- Your were hired by an employer, business, organisation or company as a contractor and your task was to work on a specific project in a workplace – examples being you were contracted to work on a building/construction site as plumber, electrician, carpenter or landscaper
If you signed a contract with an employer that outlines the work you are to carry out for them and the agreement also details the duration of the project, the employer would have a legal duty of care to keep you safe from injury and harm in the workplace.
You should follow the procedure as set out by an employer following an accident in the workplace. However, if you are injured at work and you are self-employed, the first thing you must do is seek medical attention either from a designated first aid officer, your own GP or at the Accident and Emergency department of a local hospital. Even if you think the injuries you suffered are only minor, you should still seek medical attention because a slight injury may become more serious a little later on in time.
The other thing to bear in mind is that having an official medical report detailing the extent of your injuries and the symptoms you are experience would be key evidence when filing an accident at work claim against a negligent employer.
The other steps that must be taken if as a self-employed person you suffer an injury in the workplace and the person you work for is deemed to have “control” over you are as follows:
- Gather as much proof as you can – should your injuries prevent you from doing so, you can ask a trusted work colleague to do this for you
- Get CCTV footage of the incident (if available). Employers are duty bound to provide this when requested and must do so in a timely fashion
- Take photos of where the incident occurred which should include any machinery, tools or equipment you were using at the time the accident happened
- Get photos of the injuries you sustained
- Get witness statements together with their contact information
- Check to see if the incident and your injuries were reportable to the Health and Safety Executive (RIDDOR)
- Make sure the incident was recorded in the Accident Book if there is one. If there is not, make sure you either send the employer a personal email or a registered letter detailing the injuries you sustained in the accident at work
As a rule, the more evidence that can be provided the better because the more proof you have to support an accident at work claim, the stronger your case would be. A No Win No Fee lawyer would then be able to determine how much in the way of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
If a solicitor believes your case against a negligent employer is strong, they would advise you on what may be included in an accident at work claim if you are self-employed. With this said, personal injury compensation is calculated in two specific parts which are “general damages” and “special damages”.
These are awarded to compensate you for the injuries you suffered in the workplace through no fault of your own. The amount you receive would be based on the complexity and the severity of your injuries. However, courts and insurance providers base the level of accident at work compensation they pay out in “general damages” on the Judicial College Guidelines.
These are awarded as a way of compensating an injured party for all the out of pocket expenses incurred due to having been injured through no fault of their own. As such, you must keep all the receipts as proof of your expenditure. Special damages cover the following:
- Travel expenses – whether you get to a hospital or other medical facility to be treated by car, bus, train or taxi
- Medical costs – this includes prescriptions, medical aids and all other treatments/therapies/rehabilitation that is not covered by the NHS
- Care costs should you require help around the home to do daily chores
- Home and vehicle adaptations
- Loss of earnings because you were unable to work for a period of time
- Loss of future earnings if your injuries are such, they prevent you from carrying out your normal job and you are unable to do alternative employment
Because every accident at work claim is different and as such, the amount of compensation that may be awarded could differ from person to person. With this said, an accident at work solicitor working with you on a No Win No Fee basis would let you know at the earliest opportunity the amount you may be awarded in a successful claim against an employer by referring to previous cases and the Judicial College Guidelines.
It is always a good idea to consult an accident at work lawyer if you are involved in an accident at work that leaves you suffering from any kind of injury. The reason being that an employer may deny responsibility which means an already complex legal process may get more complicated. Very often, an employer will change their mind by admitting liability once they realise that you have legal representation from a personal injury lawyer and they are sent a letter of “intent”.
The solicitor would clarify the process of filing an accident at work claim against an employer as a self-employed person and would assist you when it comes to knowing what evidence to support a claim would be required. On top of this, as previously touched upon, your initial consultation with a solicitor at www.accidentclaims.co.uk would be free of charge and you would be under no obligation to pursue a claim against an employer if you decide not to.
The benefits of having legal representation when filing an accident at work claim against a negligent employer are numerous and include but is not limited to the following:
- The solicitor would ensure that you are examined by an independent medical professional who would produce a detailed report of the injuries you suffered and the prognosis
- They would offer to represent you by signing a No Win No Fee agreement meaning you don’t have to pay the solicitor a retainer/upfront fee – you can claim compensation without any financial risk to yourself
- There would be no ongoing fees to find
- The “success fee” you agree to pay the solicitor is deducted from the compensation you are awarded and is taken directly from the funds you receive
- If you lose your case, there would be no “success fee” to pay for the legal advice or representation a No Win No Fee solicitor provided
- If your injuries are complex and therefore a final settlement may take longer to reach, a solicitor would ensure you are awarded “interim payments” – these would be deducted from the final amount of accident at work compensation you are awarded
- If you require ongoing treatment/therapy/rehabilitation, the solicitor would make sure the cost is included in the amount of compensation you receive
These are just some of the advantages of having legal representation when filing a personal injury claim against a negligent employer if you work for them and your are self-employed but another benefit is that a solicitor has the legal expertise required to handle your case and to seek a level of compensation you rightly deserve having sustained injuries in the workplace through no fault of your own.
As long as there is sufficient evidence to support an accident at work claim if you are self-employed and you can show that an employer controlled the work you undertook to carry out for them, a No Win No Fee solicitor would typically agree to represent you without requesting that you may them any fees to do so. In short, you would not have to pay for the legal advice you receive in an initial consultation nor would you have to pay the solicitor a retainer or ongoing fees as your claim goes forward.
Working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis allows you the chance to seek legal advice and legal representation without any financial risks. The only time you pay for the legal services that a solicitor provides is when you are awarded compensation and the “success fee” is deducted directly from the amount you receive. Should your case against an employer not be successful the fee would not be payable because of the Conditional Fee Agreement that was signed.
When you are involved in an accident at work and you suffer injuries, you should contact a solicitor as soon as you can because even as a self-employed person, you could be entitled to file an accident at work claim against the employer you were working for at the time of the incident. The solicitor would quickly establish whether your accident at work claim as a self-employed person is valid or not and if it is, they would begin their investigations straight away by contacting both your employer and their liability insurance provider.
To find out more about an employer’s responsibilities and legal duty towards employees and other workers, please click on the link provided below:
If you were injured in the workplace as a self-employed person because an employer failed to provide you with adequate PPE, and you would like more information regarding the law and personal protective equipment, please follow the link provided below:
For more information about health and safety in the workplace and the legislation that both employers and employees must abide by, please click on the link below: