If you are injured in an accident at work or you are involved in a “near miss”, the incident must be officially reported to the person in charge or your employer directly. If there is an Accident Book in the workplace, you should make sure that the incident is recorded in it. If there is no book, you must write a letter to your employer that provides details of the accident and the extent of the workplace injuries you suffered keeping a copy for your own records. You could choose to send a personal email to your employer instead of a letter which means you automatically have a record of the incident that left you injured.
To find out how long after a work-related accident you have to report the injury to your employer, please read on.
- Accident Books in the Workplace
- What Accident at Work Details Have to be Recorded in an Accident Book?
- Accident Books Must be Easily Accessible
- What to Do When You are Injured in an Accident at Work
- What Should I Do If the Workplace is Unsafe?
- Is There a Time Limit to Filing an Accident at Work Injury Claim Against My Employer?
- What Happens if the Accident at Work is Not Reported?
- Can I Claim Losses and Damages in an Accident at Work Claim?
- Who Pays Accident at Work Compensation if I am Injured While Doing My Job?
- What Are the Advantages of Having Legal Advice If I File an Accident at Work Claim
- Would an Accident at Work Lawyer Offer Me No Win No Fee Terms?
- Informative Links
The Health and Safety Executive recommends that business owners have Accident Books on their premises and in some instances, this is a legal requirement for companies that employ ten workers or more. It is also worth noting that some workplace accidents and near misses must be reported to the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
If you suffered an injury in a workplace accident, the incident must be reported as soon as possible whether this is to the person in charge or an employer. The report is required not only so there is a record of an incident but also because it would be needed if you want to seek compensation for the injuries and out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred.
Following an accident in the workplace in which you were injured, the details that should be included in the Accident Book are as follows:
- How the workplace accident was caused
- The full circumstances that led up to the incident occurring
- The date and the time the workplace accident happened
- The name of the injured party/parties
- The names of witnesses
- The extent of injuries sustained
If you were involved in a “near miss” in the workplace, the incident should be recorded so that safety measures can be put in place to avoid employees being put in hazardous situations too.
Your employer must ensure that an Accident Book is easily accessible and that you are made aware of the protocols to follow after an accident at work that leaves you injured. Employers are also legally obliged to keep records of all near misses and workplace accidents for three years so that if you are injured at work, the evidence required for you to seek compensation is available with the time limit associated with accident at work claims being 3 years. However, the RIDDOR requires that employers hold onto specific records that involved health and environmental risks are retained for longer.
Although it is essential to report an incident or near miss to an employer as soon as you can, this is not always possible if the injuries you suffered are severe. Even if your injuries are relatively minor, you must seek medical attention first whether this is with a designated first aid officer in the workplace, your own GP or at the Accident and Emergency Department of a hospital.
Medical reports are important because the details provided would be used to calculate the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim against an employer. The doctor who examines and treats your injuries should include even more minor symptoms in the medical report because you may find that it turns into a more serious health issue at a later date. A medical report is also essential should you wish to claim any benefits following an accident at work.
If you believe a working environment is unsafe, you have the right to inform your employer and if nothing is done about it, you should discuss your concerns with the Health and Safety Executive or a trade union representative if you are a member of a union. You also have the right not to go to work until the environment is made safe.
If you are involved in a workplace incident and you suffered injuries, there is a strict time limit for filing a claim for compensation against an employer which is explained below:
- 3 years from the date of the workplace accident that left you suffering from injuries whether minor or more severe
- 3 years from the time you turn 18 years old if the workplace accident happened prior to your 18th This means you must file a claim before you are 21 years old
- 3 years from when a medical professional diagnoses you as suffering from a medical condition they link directly to the injury you sustained in the accident at work
It is worth noting that if you suffered an injury when you were under 18 years old, you are not obliged to wait till your 18th birthday to file an accident at work claim against an employer. In fact, the sooner a case is filed the better because any witnesses would have a good recollection of the events that led to the incident occurring. If you are unsure of what to do, a legal expert would offer essential advice on how best to proceed if you are seeking compensation for injuries you suffered in an accident at work.
If an accident at work is not reported, you could still file for compensation from an employer providing you have other evidence to support your claim. With this said, it can prove more challenging that if there is an official report detailing the accident and the extent of the injuries you sustained. The sort of evidence you would need to provide if you want to claim compensation if there is no report available would include the following:
- A medical report of the workplace injuries you suffered
- Witness statements and their contact details
- Details of the time off work you had to take to recover from your injuries – an example being payslips showing a loss of pay
If you contact AccidentClaims.co.uk who specialises in accident at work claims, they would assess whether you have enough proof to establish that an employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe in the workplace. They would then recommend how best to proceed bearing in mind that not having made an official accident report of the incident could in itself be a breach of an employer’s duty.
If a solicitor feels that you have a strong case against an employer who could be held liable for the workplace injuries you sustained, they would advise you to include the following in a claim:
- General damages – these are awarded to compensate you for the injuries you suffered
- Special damages – these are awarded to compensate you for the out of pocket expenses that you incurred as a direct result of having been injured in the workplace
When calculating the special damages you could receive, these would include things like medical expenses and travel costs as well as any other expenditure that can be directly linked to the workplace injury you sustained. As such, you would need to provide all the relevant receipts to support the expenses and costs you had to pay out.
Your employer is obliged by law to hold valid liability insurance. It is compulsory for employers to do so and if they do not, they could receive hefty fines from the enforcing authority. The insurance policy must be issued by a recognised provider. Employers should also display the policy in an prominent place within a work environment.
When you are injured in a workplace accident, it is your employer’s insurance provider who handles your accident at work claim from start to finish. This includes carrying out investigations right through to offering you an initial settlement should a decision to settle out of court be made. Should an employer deny liability under the instructions of their liability insurance providers, you should seek advice from a solicitor on how best to pursue a claim against them and whether it would be worth taking your employer to court.
There are many advantages to having legal representation when you file an accident at work claim against an employer more especially if there is no record of the incident. This would include the fact that once a solicitor is happy that your case against an employer is strong, they would offer to work on your case without having to request that you pay them an upfront fee. The No Win No Fee terms are set out in the Conditional Fee Agreement that both you and the solicitor sign. There would be no ongoing fees to pay either. Other benefits an accident at work solicitor would offer you include the following:
- Solicitors can refer to legal libraries when researching accident at work claims which allows them to use precedents to base your case on and which also gives them a good idea of the amount of compensation you may receive
- The solicitor would ensure that your injuries are examined by an independent medical professional who would produce a report that would be used to calculate how much accident at work compensation you are likely to be awarded
- Should your injuries be severe and you require ongoing treatment or therapy, the solicitor would ensure that the cost is included in the compensation you receive
- Solicitors have vast experience in communicating with employers and insurance companies which can help speed up what can often be a complicated legal process.
- Solicitors respect the pre-action protocols and the time limits associated with work-related personal injury claims
- A solicitor would ensure that you are awarded an acceptable level of accident at work compensation
One of the great advantages of having legal representation when you file an accident at work claim against an employer and there is no record of the incident, is that a solicitor would work hard to prove employer liability even if they deny responsibility at first. Very often it just takes a letter from a lawyer for an employer to accept they could be held responsible for the workplace accident in which you suffered injuries.
Once a solicitor has established that you could seek compensation from an employer even if there is no official record of the incident, they would typically offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis which means you can file an accident at work claim without the worry of how to pay for costly legal representation. The only time you pay the lawyer for the legal advice and services they provide, is when you receive the accident at work compensation you deserve and the amount which is known as a “success fee” is deducted from the amount you are awarded.
If your case is unsuccessful, you would not have to pay the solicitor the “success fee” because the No Win No Fee agreement is in place. In short, you can seek accident at work compensation from an employer who could be held responsible for the injuries you suffered through no fault of your own without having to worry about the cost of doing so which makes the whole process risk-free.
If you would like more information about an employer’s legal requirement to hold liability insurance, please follow the link provided below:
The link provided below offers essential reading on an employer’s responsibilities in the workplace:
If you would like more information on reportable accidents and injuries in the workplace, the following link takes you to the Health and Safety Executive website: