Accident at Work – A Guide to Claiming Compensation For Your Injuries
Basic Requirements for your Accident at Work Claim:
If you have been involved in an accident at work, the circumstances and your injuries must meet set criteria in order to initiate a claim for compensation with the assistance of a solicitor.
Firstly, your injuries should last for at least 1 month. This is because anything less than that would be considered a ‘minor injury’ of which many firms of solicitors are unable to deal with.
Secondly, you must be able to prove that your employer did – or failed to do – something which was the direct cause of your accident (breaching their duty of care) and that the injuries sustained were as a direct result of the accident (causation).
You must also ensure to act as soon as possible as in most circumstances there is a 3 year time limit, from the date of accident, in which you are allowed to bring legal proceedings for your claim. If this 3 year period expires, then you will likely be barred from being able to take any action.
There are a number of government set regulations that your employer should follow to ensure your, and your fellow workers’, safety whilst at work. If it appears likely that they have not complied with these regulations, and that this was the cause of your accident, then this could be evidence of a breach of duty of care and the basis for bringing a claim for compensation against them.
Some of the most common regulations include:
- The Workplace(Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
- The Managementof Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- The Manual HandlingOperations Regulations 1992
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
- The Working at Height Regulations 2005
What you should do:
It is important that you report your accident to your employer as soon as possible, ensuring that an accurate record of the event is placed in the accident book. If possible, it is also helpful to take photographs of the accident locus depicting the defect/hazard which caused your accident.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible from not only your employer’s first aider, if they have one, but from your GP surgery and/or hospital depending on the severity of your injuries. If your symptoms do not resolve as anticipated, you should seek further medical attention to ensure you get the advice and any further treatment needed to assist in your recovery.
The contemporaneous records will assist in proving when and how your accident occurred, and also the extent of the injuries you sustained should you ever become required to do so.
The Benefits of Seeking Legal Advice:
If you wish to pursue a claim for your accident at work, it is important that you do so as soon as possible as the claim process can take anywhere between a year and a few years depending on the complexities of the case.
There are a number of benefits in going through this process with legal representation, rather than going it alone. These include:
- It takes a lot of the stress and work away from you as your solicitors will provide guidance and do a lot of the work for you.
- Your solicitors deal with claims such as yours on a daily basis, so are experts in this area of law.
- Your solicitors will have access to more information, guidelines, case law, etc. than you, so will be able to carry out any research necessary to provide tailored advice.
- You will normally be able to enter into a ‘no win no fee’ agreement for your claim, so there is little risk to you should the matter not succeed.
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