Injury claims at work - your FAQs
When can I make an accident at work claim?
You can claim for many different types of accidents at work, whether you have sustained injuries while operating machinery, while lifting heavy objects, in a fall from a ladder or a height, through slips or trips, or when operating machinery.
The key to making an eligible claim is being able to prove that your accident or injury was caused or exacerbated by failings on the part of your employer, or a colleague. These may include:
- Dangerous, unsafe or poorly planned working practices, including a lack of proper risk assessment
- Lack of suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Unsuitable, badly enforced or unexplained safety processes
- Badly maintained or faulty equipment
- Personal negligence on the part of a manager or colleague
UK health and safety regulations are in place to set a minimum legal standard for the state of your working environment, including controlling access to hazardous substances, providing safeguards for manual handling, managing noise levels in the workplace, and regulating the amount of training to be given to employees.
If any of these regulations are breached and this results in an accident or personal injury to an employee, then the employer will be liable.
How long do I have to make an accident at work claim?
As a rule, you have three years from the date of your accident, or since you received a diagnosis of your work-related medical issue, to lodge your claim at court. There are a handful of exceptions to this:
- If someone has suffered a brain injury or mental trauma that means they now lack mental capacity to make a claim themselves, there is no time limit for a loved one to make a claim on their behalf
- If your injury was caused by a defect or manufacturing fault with some equipment, the time limit may be different, and will need to be checked
- If the accident was suffered while working abroad, the time limit may vary according to overseas laws
In all cases, it is best to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible to make sure you do not run out of time.
Will my claim have a financial impact on my employer?
In the vast majority of cases, your employers will have insurance in place to cover claims made by their workers for accidents at work, so it is unlikely to cost them anything directly.
The same will apply even if the accident was caused by a colleague, so you will not need to worry about the business being endangered if you make a claim, or any particular individual being penalised.
How much compensation can I claim?
There is no fixed amount of compensation you can expect to receive for your accident at work claim, as each case depends upon the nature of the injury and how it affects you.
You can receive compensation for the injury you sustain, as well as past and future loss of earnings, medical and care costs, rehabilitation costs, out-of-pocket expenses etc. If your ability to work is restricted as a result of your accident, you can also be compensated for this.
By speaking to a legal professional, you will be able to get a clearer picture of how much compensation you might expect to receive, based on the details of your case.
How long will my accident at work compensation claim take?
Because each case is different, there is no fixed timescale for the accidents at work claims process. Most cases take between nine months and two years to settle, but it is possible to receive some earlier payments throughout the lifecycle of the claim, if they are needed to cover expenses such as lost wages or medical treatment costs.
How much of my compensation will I keep?
If your claim is being dealt with on a no win, no fee basis by Clough & Willis, you should be able to keep at least 75% of your eventual compensation payout. With this kind of arrangement, you will only need to pay if your claim is successful.
Will I lose my job if I make a claim?
Bringing a claim against your employer should not make any difference to your job security. You are entitled by law to make a claim, and your employer would be expected to pass the claim over to its insurers to deal with, with no professional repercussions for you.
In the unlikely event that your employer sacks or acts against you for bringing a claim, it will almost certainly be an unfair dismissal or an infringement of your employment rights, meaning you would be entitled to take your case to an Employment Tribunal.
Will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of accidents at work claims are settled without the need to go to court. This means you are likely to be able to receive the compensation you deserve, without the stress of having to go through the entire court process.
For more information on any of the above issues, or to make an appointment call Chris Macwilliam at Clough & Willis on 0161 764 5266.