Accident at Work
If you’ve had an accident at work, then depending on what happened you might be entitled to claim compensation. The British workplace is safer than ever due to the work of the Health and Safety Executive, but that doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. There are obvious risks in occupations such as construction or farming, but people who work in offices might also be injured through no fault of their own. Getting better is the main concern of most people after injury, but getting the compensation you’re entitled to might not be as tricky as you thought.
Grounds for a claim?
Not every accident at work will automatically give grounds for a compensation claim. If, for example, you’re shown how to lift properly, or wear protective gear correctly and you choose not to, your employer can’t be held responsible if you then hurt yourself. In order to have grounds for a successful claim, you’ll need to show that your employer was in some way negligent, by not maintaining equipment, assessing risk or giving you the right training to do the job. The accident also has to have happened recently, within the last three years. You also must have suffered some sort of “loss” as a result of the accident, whether that be financial if you’re unable to work, or loss of enjoyment of a favourite hobby which you’re no longer able to do.
Managing a Claim
Most people who have suffered an accident at work don’t have the legal knowledge to manage a claim through to completion, deal with insurers or negotiate with lawyers, so choose to ask a no win, no fee solicitor to help them out. This type of arrangement means that you don’t have to pay any legal fees up front, and the lawyer only gets paid their fee when you receive your compensation. Solicitors who are experienced in personal injury claims are the experts; they know how to pull together the strongest case, and what evidence in the way of medical reports might be needed. On most cases, you won’t have to worry about going to court. Only a tiny percentage of claims – less than 1% by most estimates – end up in court and that’s usually when there’s a new point of law to be tested by a judge. Your solicitors will negotiate with the other party’s solicitors to reach an agreement which everyone is happy with.
The amount of money you can expect to achieve through a claim after having an accident at work will vary hugely depending on how badly injured and affected you are. If you’ve been injured so badly that you have no prospect of being able to return to employment and require nursing care, the compensation could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Less serious accidents with less of an impact will attract lower payouts. A good solicitor who has handled many of these types of claims in the past should be able to give general guidance of the level of compensation expected, and keep you updated as the claim progresses.