If you suffered an injury at work because of a fellow employee’s error of judgement whether a item was badly stacked and fell crushing you underneath or you were hit by the forklift truck a colleague was operating, it could entitle you to claim compensation from your employer. The reason being that employers are responsible for the actions of all employees in the workplace. As such, if you are injured because a work colleague made a mistake, you could file for compensation from your employer.
If you would like to know more about how to file an employee negligence claim against your employer and what “vicarious liability” means, please read on.
- What Is Vicarious Liability?
- Would My Accident at Work Claim Succeed if I Suffer an Injury Caused by Another Employee?
- Do I Have Worker’s Rights If I Am Injured in a Workplace Accident Caused by Another Employee?
- Does My Employer Have Legal Responsibilities Towards Employees?
- How Long Do I Have to Make an Accident at Work Claim if a Colleague Causes Me to Be Injured?
- What Losses and Damages Can I Include in a Injuries Suffered Because of the Negligence of a Fellow Employee?
- Do I Have the Right to Sue an Employer Because a Work Colleague Caused My Injury?
- Could I Be Fired By My Employer If I Seek Accident at Work Compensation?
- What Advantages Would a Solicitor Offer Me If I File an Accident at Work Claim?
- Would an Accident at Work Lawyer Represent Me By Offering No Win No Fee Terms?
- Informative Links
Under UK law, employers are held responsible for accidents at work that result in an employee being injured or harmed. If one worker causes an accident where another employee suffers an injury, it is the employer who would be deemed liable under the vicarious liability act. Employers are legally obliged to ensure that you are kept safe from harm and injury whilst you are at work. It is your employer’s duty to do so by ensuring that all employees are given sufficient training to carry out their jobs competently and therefore safely.
Other requirements under UK law that your employer must enforce include the following:
- That all machinery, tools and equipment used in the workplace is correctly maintained in good working order. It must be regularly serviced according a manufacturer’s guidelines
- That a work environment is safe for all employees and other workers as well as visitors to be in
When a fellow worker causes an accident whether because they made a mistake or were negligent, the liability would fall to an employer which is referred to in law as “vicarious liability” because it would be deemed that they failed to keep a work environment safe for you to work in.
You would need to provide sufficient evidence to support a claim that you were injured in a workplace accident that was caused by a work colleague. Although you may feel that it could result in “bad feelings” in the workplace, you have every right to seek compensation for any injuries you sustained through no fault of your own. The evidence you would need to provide would include the following:
- That the incident that left you injured occurred when you were at work
- That the workplace accident happened through no fault of your own
If you are unsure of what to do, you can visit AccidentClaims.co.uk who specialise in work-related personal injury claims would offer essential legal advice relating to vicarious liability and what evidence you would need to support your claim.
Worker’s rights are protected in the UK and this includes when you are injured in the workplace due to the error or negligence of a work colleague. Your rights in the workplace are as follows:
- That you would not be fired should you choose to sue an employer because you were injured in a workplace accident that was caused by a colleague
- That an employer cannot try to stop you from filing for compensation
Should an employer treat you detrimentally or unfairly, or they threaten to make you redundant or with the sack, they would be in breach of UK law. If this happens to you, a solicitor who specialises in employment law would typically recommend that you seek further compensation from an employer by filing other claims against them.
There are laws and legislation in the UK that protect you as an employee. If you believe that your employer is not abiding by any of the laws that protect your rights and as a direct result you suffer an injury because a fellow worker caused an accident, the responsibility would fall to your employer who would be deemed liable. As such, you could be entitled to seek compensation from them. An employer is duty bound to ensure the following:
- That your work environment is kept as safe as “feasibly possible” so that you are able to carry out the tasks you and your fellow employees are asked to do safely
- To make sure that everyone in the workplace receives adequate training and that ongoing training is provided at regular intervals
- That all the equipment, machinery and tools that you and your colleagues regularly use in the workplace are maintained in good working order and routinely serviced as per a manufacturers recommendations
- That regular risk assessments of a work environment are routinely carried out to identify hazards and to set in place measures to reduce the possibility of harm and injury to employees happening
- To ensure that industry standard personal protective equipment is readily available to all employees when necessary, that it is kept in good condition and stored correctly. Employees musts be made aware of the person who is responsible for the maintenance of PPE
- That you and all your fellow employees have been made aware of good working procedures and practices in the workplace
- To ensure that new employees have been sufficiently trained to work alongside you
Should your employer fail in their duty and a work colleague causes an accident in which you are injured, you have the right to seek medical attention and to file a work-related personal injury claim against your employer.
Should a fellow employee cause an accident in the workplace for any of the following reasons, you could be entitled to sue your employer for compensation:
- They were negligent when carrying a job
- They were insufficiently trained to do a job and you got injured as a direct result
- They made a mistake and as a consequence you were injured – an example being when another employee incorrectly stacked items and they fell on you
Having suffered an injury in a workplace accident caused by a colleague, you would have 3 years to file an accident at work claim against your employer. However the time limit associated with personal injury claims can begin at different times which are detailed below:
- 3 years from the date you suffered an workplace injury caused by a work colleague
- 3 years from the date you were diagnosed by a medical professional as suffering from a health issue they can directly link the workplace injury you sustained
- 3 years from the date you turn 18 if the incident happened when you were under the age of 18. You would have right up to your 21st birthday to seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim against your employer
With this said, it is always advisable to begin an accident at work claim as soon as you can because gathering all the relevant evidence and other documents to support a case can take a lot of time. It is also much better to seek the advice of a legal expert before starting a claim to ensure that you do not either fall foul of the strict 3 year deadline or the many legal pitfalls associated with personal injury claims, more especially if your employer chooses to deny responsibility.
What Losses and Damages Can I Include in a Injuries Suffered Because of the Negligence of a Fellow Employee?
Work-related personal injury compensation is divided into two parts namely “general damages” and “special damages”. General damages are awarded to you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you endured as a result of having been injured in the workplace due to the negligence of a work colleague. Special damages are awarded in a successful claim for all the out of pocket expenses you had to pay out due to having been injured at work.
General damages explained:
- You would be awarded general damages to compensate you for the injuries you suffered in the workplace. In short, the more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you would receive
Special damages explained:
- You would be awarded special damages as a way of compensating all the costs and expenses you had to pay out due to the workplace injuries you sustained. As such, it is far easier to calculate the amount of special damages you would receive because they are based on “actual expenses”. This would include travel and medical expenses as well as all other costs you paid out as a direct result of the injuries you suffered due to the negligence of a work colleague
If you suffered injuries in the workplace because a fellow employee caused an accident, you may not be able to work during the time it takes you to make a full recovery. If you suffer extremely severe injuries, it may prevent you from carrying out your normal job again and it could even mean that you have trouble finding alternative employment. This can end up with you having to cope with financial hardship and could negatively impact the remainder of your life.
It is your right to seek compensation for workplace injuries you sustained providing you have enough evidence to prove that the accident in which you suffered injuries was caused by a fellow employee. All employer’s in the UK are legally required to hold valid liability insurance with policies issued by companies that are approved. The minimum cover for liability insurance in the workplace is set at £5 million. As such, when you seek compensation from an employer, it is the insurance company that handles your case from the outset and it is the insurer who pays out the accident at work compensation you would be awarded.
Most personal injury claims which includes those that involve employees who are injured in the workplace, are settled out of court. The only exception would be if an employer on the recommendation of their insurer’s chooses to deny liability for the injuries you suffered in which case you may have to start court proceedings against them. A legal expert would provide you with essential advice on how best to proceed should this be the case.
However, if your employer accepts responsibility, their insurers would typically offer an initial settlement relatively quickly. This initial “out of court” settlement often involves a much lower amount and therefore you should not automatically accept the offer until you have sought advice from your legal expert. By accepting an initial offer you may end up being awarded much less in the way of accident at work compensation than you right deserve for the injuries you suffered.
Part of your worker’s rights in the UK is to seek compensation for any injuries you suffered while you were at work. Should your boss attempt to stop you from any of the following, they would be in breach of the law:
- To threaten you with redundancy
- To treat you detrimentally or unfairly
- To fire you without good reason for doing so
If you are being treated badly by your employer because you file an accident at work claim against them, you should contact a solicitor who would provide essential legal advice on whether you could be entitled to seek further compensation by filing other claims.
Accident at work solicitors have vast experience in handling complex claims for employees who have been injured in the workplace due to the error or negligence of a fellow employee. They have the expertise to establish whether an employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained. A solicitor would also provide you with the following advantages when filing a claim for compensation against an employer:
- The initial consultation you have with the solicitor would be free of charge and you would be under no obligation to proceed with your case should you not wish to
- Once happy that you have a strong accident at work claim against your employer, the solicitor would typically offer to work on your case offering you No Win No Fee terms. In short, there would be no financial risk to you when you an accident at work claim against your employer because the solicitor agrees to work on your case without you having to pay them upfront to do so
- You would be informed as soon as possible of the amount of accident at work compensation you may be entitled to receive
- They can access legal libraries which they can reference when researching your case
- They would arrange for an independent medical expert to examine you so that a professional, detailed medical report can be used as a basis for calculating the level of accident at work compensation you could be entitled to receive
- They understand that pre-action protocols must be adhered to and are aware of the many legal pitfalls that must be negotiated to avoid unnecessary delays or which could result in a claim being unsuccessful
- They have years of experience when it comes to communicating and negotiating with liability insurance providers
- A solicitor works hard to prove employer liability and would ensure that the compensation you are offered is an acceptable amount
- Should your injuries be extremely severe and as such you require ongoing treatment, the solicitor who represents you would make sure that the cost of long-term therapy is included in the final accident at work compensation you receive
An accident at work lawyer would offer you No Win No Fee terms providing they are happy that you have a strong claim against an employer and that you have adequate evidence to support your case. Once the lawyer has determined that this is so, they would readily enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement with you. A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract that both parties have to sign and it is a binding legal contract that lays out what a lawyer would do for you when representing you in a claim against a negligent employer. This would include the following:
- The CFA sets out the agreed percentage that you would only have to pay when you receive the compensation you seek for the workplace injuries you sustained
- The agreement lays out the work a solicitor would undertake to do for you which includes communicating directly with your employer and their liability insurance providers
- How a solicitor would undertake to gather all the required evidence to support your claim against your employer
- How the solicitor would investigate any claims your employer makes denying liability for the injuries you sustained and to offer essential advice on whether you should start court proceedings against your employer or whether you may have to drop the case against them. Should you be advised to drop your claim, there would be nothing to pay the solicitor for the legal advice they provided. However, if the lawyer feels that you should begin a lawsuit against an employer, this could well prompt an admission of liability and therefore an “out of court” settlement may be offered
When entering into a No Win No Fee agreement with a solicitor, you would not have to pay them any ongoing fees and should you require long-term treatment for the workplace injuries you sustained, the solicitor would ensure that the cost of this is included in the final settlement you receive in an employee negligence claim against your employer.
To find out what benefits and expenses you could receive if you are injured in an accident at work that was caused by a fellow employee, please click on the link below:
For more information on vicarious liability, the link below takes you to the ACAS website:
Information on what constitutes vicarious liability in the workplace
For more information on pre-action protocols, please click on the link provided below: