If you hurt yourself in an accident at work and suffered both physically and psychologically, you may worry about seeking compensation from your employer. Any sort of workplace injury can put you in a difficult situation, you would like to be compensated for all the distress the accident caused you, but at the same time you do not want to get on the wrong side of an employer. Knowing your rights when you hurt yourself at work means you are able to approach a claim for compensation in the right way so that everything can be resolved in a friendlier manner.
To find out more about your rights if hurt at work and whether or not you can claim compensation from your employer, please click on the links below:
- What Are My Rights If I Hurt Myself at Work?
- If I Hurt Myself at Work, Would My Personal Injury Claim be Valid?
- What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities if I Hurt Myself at Work?
- Should I Claim Compensation if I Hurt Myself at Work?
- Who Pays Accident at Work Compensation if I Hurt Myself at Work?
- How Do I Prove Employer Negligence if I Hurt Myself at Work?
- What Should I Do if I Hurt Myself at Work?
- Would My Accident at Work Claim Be Successful?
- How Much Accident at Work Compensation Could I Get?
- What Benefits Would a Personal Injury Solicitor Offer if I Hurt Myself at Work?
- Informative Links
Your rights as an injured employee are protected. They are the same whether you are hurt in an workplace accident or if you develop a work-related medical condition. As such, it is important to know your rights which under UK law, an employer cannot stop you from following. This applies to all employees whether temporary, permanent, agency or working under contract for an employer and no matter what industry it is that you work in.
You have the right to do the following when you are hurt at work:
- You have the right to seek medical treatment if you are hurt at work, and an employer cannot prevent you from doing so. Should your boss attempt to stop you from seeking medical attention after a workplace accident, they would be acting unlawfully – not to mention improperly. You may be employed by an organisation/business that has designated first aid officers whose role would be to treat you should you suffer an injury at work. However, you should still seek medical attention from either your own GP or in the Accident and Emergency department of a local hospital no matter how insignificant you think your injuries may be at the time
- You have the right to ensure that a record is made of the accident at work in which you were hurt. If it is a legal requirement that your employer keeps an Accident Book, the incident and your injuries should be recorded in it at the earliest opportunity. If there is no book, you can send details of the workplace accident and your injuries to your employer in a personal email or in a registered letter – keeping a copy in your own files. If a fellow worker recorded the details of your injuries and workplace accident on your behalf, you have the right to check the information has been correctly reported and if not, you have the right to correct any points before adding your signature to the report
- You have the right to confirm whether you are entitled to receive sick pay. Some employers will pay extra sick pay which is written into an employment contract, but not all employers do as such, you should check the terms of your employment. With this said, you have the right to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) providing you meet the necessary criteria to qualify. Although the amount you receive would not be as much as your normal wage, it could help you get by. With this said, you have the right to check if your employer has indeed registered you to receive Statutory Sick Pay which you can do by contacting the local benefits office yourself
- You have the right to attend medical appointments even when you have returned to work following your recovery. This includes attending physiotherapy sessions as well as check-ups with specialists and consultants. An employer cannot prevent you from attending medical appointments and if they do, they would be in breach of the law
- You have the right to take enough time off to recover if you are hurt at work. An employer cannot insist that you return to work too early after being hurt in an accident at work. If they do, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in employment law because they would recommend on how best to proceed. The general consensus of opinion is that an employee who is not “fit for work” could present a danger to not only themselves but their fellow workers too
- You have the right to request lighter duties when you return to work after you are hurt in an accident at work which meant you needed time off to recover from the injuries you sustained. Should your usual job involve harder physical duties which includes things like carrying, climbing stairs, standing for longer periods of time or heavy lifting, your boss, where possible, has a legal duty to accommodate you by allowing you to carry out lighter duties
- You have the right to seek compensation for the distress, pain and suffering you went through. An employer cannot legally prevent you from doing so, nor can they hint that you may lose your job or be made redundant for filing an accident at work claim against them. Many employees ask the question “I hurt myself at work can I sue?”, and the answer is yes, providing your case meets the necessary criteria that applies to all personal injury claims against third parties
Many employees also ask, “I hurt myself at work what should I do” and the answer is that you should follow the right procedure as laid out by your employer and gather as much evidence as you can to prove that you did nothing to contribute to the injuries you sustained in the workplace. The more proof you can provide, the more strength it would add to your claim and the greater the chance of a personal injury solicitor opting to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
For your accident at work claim to be valid you would need to prove employer negligence or that the injuries you suffered were caused by a fellow worker. If the latter is the case, your employer would still be liable because they are responsible for the actions of all employees and other workers. You may be partly responsible for the incident that left you hurt, but your employer could also be held partly liable which is referred to as “contributory negligence”.
Another important factor when filing an accident at work claim against an employer is that the incident must have occurred in the last 3 years which is the statutory time limit that applies to personal injury claims. Should you wait for too long, you run the risk of your case being “time barred”.
Employers under the law, are duty bound to keep you and your fellow employees safe while you are in the workplace. Safety measures must be set in place to reduce the risk of harm and injury coming to workers who must be informed about any hazards and dangers that may be present in a work environment. Your employer could be held liable if you hurt yourself at work should any of the following apply:
- They failed to train you sufficiently to carry out jobs you were asked to do in the workplace
- You were not given specific training to use machinery, tools or equipment
- You were not given an “induction” into a work environment – examples being accident management protocols and hazard avoidance were not provided
- You were not given industry-standard personal protective and safety equipment to carry out a job safely
- Your employer failed to keep machinery, tools and equipment in good condition and acceptable working order – an example being that safety guards did not work correctly
- You were not advised on how to report accidents at work and the location of the Accident Book
- The workplace was not correctly staffed and there were not enough designated first aid officers present
- An employer failed to act on reports made regarding potential dangers and hazards to employees
If you hurt yourself at work and needed time off to recover from the injuries you suffered, claiming compensation from an employer could help alleviate not only any financial issues you may be facing but practical problems too. Filing an accident at work claim could help you in several ways which includes the following:
- The compensation you receive in a successful personal injury claim could pay for the medical treatment as well as rehabilitation you may require all of which could help speed up your recovery and get you back on your feet both financially and physically
- The compensation you are awarded would also reimburse any loss of income as well as out of pocket expenses you paid out as a direct result of being hurt at work through no fault of your own
It is also worth noting that filing for compensation if you are hurt at work, is your legal right so that you are fairly compensated for all the discomfort and distress you endured as a result of the incident that occurred through no fault of your own.
Employers have insurance which covers both you, an employee (and them) should a workplace accident result in injuries being sustained. As such, the accident at work compensation you receive would be settled by your employer’s liability insurance provider. The policy must meet the legal requirement which is set at £5 million and if an employer fails in their legal duty to hold the necessary insurance, they would be fined by an enforcing authority.
When you are hurt at work, you must be able to prove that the incident was caused either through employer negligence or because a colleague made an error of judgement which resulted in you suffering an injury. To validate an accident at work claim against your employer, you must provide relevant proof that you did not contribute to the incident by acting rashly or because you chose to ignore safety measures that were set in place.
With this said, you could be held partly responsible for your injuries and still be able to seek compensation from your employer who could also be deemed partly liable. Should contributory negligence be a factor in your claim, the amount of accident at work compensation you receive would be in line with the level of liability you are deemed to have had in the injuries you suffered in the workplace.
The evidence you would need to provide to validate your accident at work claim against your employer would include the following:
- That a record of the incident and the injury you sustained was officially recorded
- A medical report detailing the extent of the workplace injuries you suffered
- Witness statements and their contact details
- Photos of your injuries and where the workplace accident occurred
- CCTV footage of the accident that left you injured (if available)
The more proof you can provide, the stronger your claim against an employer would be and the more chance there would be that a solicitor would agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
The first thing you should if you are hurt at work is to seek medical attention either from a designated first aid officer in the workplace and at the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital. As soon as you can, you should ensure that the workplace accident together with information of the injuries you sustained have been correctly reported and recorded. If you asked a work colleague to report the incident for you and once you are able, you should make sure the information is correct and if it is not, you have the right to correct any errors before signing the report.
As previously mentioned, as long as you have sufficient proof that you were hurt at work through no fault of your own and that your employer exposed you to risks in a work environment, your claim for compensation could be deemed valid. The best thing to do is to contact an accident at work lawyer who would quickly establish who could be held liable and the level of compensation you could be entitled to receive.
With accident at work claims, each case is treated as unique but there exists guidelines issued by the Judicial College that solicitors and courts use to calculate the amount of compensation you may be awarded if your claim succeeds. These guidelines are used to calculate the amount of “general damages” you receive. However, on top of this, a court or your employer’s insurance provider would also reimburse all the out-of-pocket expenses you had to cope with as a direct result of the injury you suffered which they do by awarding “special damages” in successful accident at work claims.
Special damages that you receive would include being reimbursed for the following:
- Your loss of earnings and future earnings
- The cost of treatments and therapies you incurred
- All other expenses that are linked to your injuries including travel, medical and miscellaneous costs incurred
One of the main benefits of having a personal injury lawyer represent you when filing an accident at work claim against an employer, is that you would be covered for any specialist rehabilitation therapies you may require which would be with specialists in the private healthcare sector.
A personal injury solicitor would investigate your case on a No Win No Fee basis once they have assessed your case and established that an employer could be held liable if you hurt yourself at work. They would do this by offering you a free, initial consultation and should you not wish to continue with your claim, you would under no obligation to do so. The lawyer would answer all your questions which includes queries like “what happens if I hurt myself at work” and “if I hurt myself at work can I sue?”.
Other advantages that an accident at work lawyer would bring to the table includes the following:
- The solicitor would organise an appointment for you to be examined by an independent medical expert and it is the report they produce that would be used to calculate “general damages” you could be awarded if your case succeeds in court or in an out of court settlement
- Lawyers can access legal libraries which they are able to use for reference purposes when investigating your case and to establish how much accident at work compensation you may be awarded
- Solicitors have vast experience and respect time limits as well as pre-action protocols
- A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims has vast experience when dealing with liability insurance providers and employers who may deny liability for injuries you sustained in the workplace
- A personal injury solicitor would work hard to get you the level of accident at work compensation you could be entitled to
One of the biggest advantages of working with a solicitor on an accident at work claim ensures that the cost of any ongoing treatment and therapies you required would be included in the compensation you are awarded taking all the worry of paying for much needed long-term medical care off the table. In short, if you hurt yourself at work and need legal advice on what to do, discussing an accident at work claim with a personal injury lawyer from the outset, can save you a lot of time and worry.
If you were hurt at work and need more information on your rights, please follow the link below where you will find a lot of useful advice:
If you would like more advice on which accidents in the workplace are reportable to RIDDOR, please click on the link below which takes you to the Gov.uk website:
To find out more about an employer’s responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act, please follow the link below: