To claim work accident compensation, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will handle the claims process on your behalf, getting you compensation for your pain, suffering and financial damages. Most claims are made on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, meaning you do not have to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful.
Speak to our personal injury solicitors
If you would like to make a work accident claim, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We offer a free, no-obligation enquiry with a specialist personal injury solicitor. We have offices across the country, so no matter where you live, we can help you with a no win no fee work accident claim.
What to do after an accident at work
If you have been injured at work, you might be unsure what to do next. Although accidents at work do happen, they are not a frequent occurrence. You might not have been in this situation before, and your family and friends may not be able to offer any advice. To confuse matters, there may be a degree of finger-pointing at your workplace, with you, your employer and your colleagues all blaming each other.
Whatever the circumstances, if you have been injured at work, there is a very clear course of action that you should take:
1. Seek medical advice
Your health is always the top priority. If you have suffered an injury at work, seek medical advice straight away. This is particularly true if you are involved in a traumatic accident, as adrenaline can mask the true extent of your injuries. Even if you think the injury is not serious or has developed gradually over time, we still urge you to visit a doctor. Medical assistance can improve your prognosis, limiting the extent of your injuries and providing you with a clear treatment plan.
Seeking medical advice will also work in your favour if you later make a claim. This is because it demonstrates a link between the accident and your injuries.
2. Record the accident
Next, you should record the accident in your company’s accident handbook. If you are not well enough, ask someone else to do it for you. Be sure to request a copy of the entry and amend any incorrect details.
According to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, employers must keep an accident book. If your company does not have one for any reason, we advise that you send an email to your manager, setting out the details of the accident. This should include when and how the incident happened, who else was involved, and the nature of your injuries.
Some work accidents should also be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), including fatal accidents and accidents leading to an absence of seven consecutive working days.
3. Collect evidence
When you are able, you should try to collect evidence relating to the accident. This might mean photographing the area in which the incident took place. Or, it could mean getting the names and contact details of witnesses who saw the accident happen. If you have been worried about the safety of your workplace for some time, you might even have old emails that show you raised concerns, but no action was taken.
Because memories can fade, it is a good idea to write down exactly what happened before, during and after the accident. You can rely on this account later, should you be asked to recollect what happened.
If you have incurred any financial losses because of your injuries (or you continue to incur losses), you should also keep any evidence that proves these losses. This includes receipts and payslips.
4. Speak to a personal injury solicitor
Then, speak to a personal injury solicitor to discuss your next steps. You can choose any personal injury solicitor, so long as they operate in your jurisdiction. In other words, if you live in England or Wales, you need a solicitor based in either England or Wales. You should also select a reputable law firm with a specialist personal injury department.
Some trade unions offer their members legal assistance, so you may also want to contact your trade union for advice.
If you decide to contact us at Ashmans Solicitors, we will talk to you about your work accident. This is nothing to be worried about. We are here to help you if we can. We will talk to you about how the accident happened and what injuries you sustained. We will establish exactly who is responsible for your work accident and whether you are entitled to claim compensation.
It is worth noting that at Ashmans Solicitors, this enquiry is completely free of charge and obligation.
Who can make a work accident claim?
You will be able to claim work accident compensation if:
- Your employer failed to take reasonable steps to protect your health and safety at work;
- These failings caused you to suffer an accident and injury; and
- Your accident happened in the past three years
It is not always obvious if you meet the criteria for making a work accident claim. In fact, you might consider that your colleague is at fault for your accident. However, your employer may still be held to account for failing to employ a competent workforce. A solicitor can clarify your legal position, explaining the options open to you.
Do I need a work accident solicitor?
If you do have grounds for a work accident claim, you might wonder whether you really need a personal injury solicitor for the claims process.
The choice is ultimately yours, but it is very unusual for claimants in England and Wales to manage their own claim. Also, there is really no need. Most solicitors (including Ashmans Solicitors) run work accident claims on a no win no fee basis. This offers you financial protection because you do not pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful.
It is also in your best interests to have the support of a legal expert. Your employer will rely on their insurance company to manage the claim, and their insurance company will have its own legal team. If you do not have your own solicitor, it will make for a very uneven playing field. Your work accident claim could fail as a result, or you may be denied the correct sum of compensation.
The work accident claims process
Nevertheless, you might still be interested to know what the work accident claims process involves. Every claim is different, but typically involves the following steps:
- Obtain your medical records – your solicitor will ask for a copy of your medical records. If you did see a doctor about your injuries, this can be used as evidence
- Take witness statements – your solicitor will take witness statements from you and anyone else who can help support your claim.
- Get a medical report – your solicitor will arrange a convenient time for you to see a medical expert. This expert will write a report on your injuries and your prognosis.
- Send a Letter of Claim – your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to your employer, telling them that you intend to take legal action for your injuries.
- Make a Schedule of Damages – your solicitor will create a document that outlines all the financial losses you have incurred since the accident.
- Negotiate a compensation settlement – your solicitor will invite your employer to accept fault. Even if fault is denied, the two sides can negotiate a suitable compensation settlement.
- Receive your compensation – once a sum of compensation has been agreed, you will receive the full and final settlement of your claim.
Do I have to leave my job to make a work accident claim?
No, you do not have to quit your job if you want to make a work accident claim. You can make a claim against your current or former employer – it does not matter which, so long as you have not missed the deadline for making a claim.
Understandably, you might feel awkward claiming against your employer, or relations may have become difficult in the aftermath of your accident. So, you can hand your notice in if you wish. But remember, your employer cannot treat you less favourably, just because you are exercising your right to claim compensation. If this happens, you need to tell your solicitor.
Start your work accident compensation claim
Therefore, in order to claim work accident compensation, you need to contact a specialist personal injury solicitor for advice. Ideally, you should do this as soon as possible. Work accident claims must be made within three years of the incident, or they are statute-barred. This means you will be unable to claim compensation if you miss the three-year deadline. More advice on how long to make an accident claim.
If a personal injury solicitor advises that you have grounds to make a work accident claim, he/she will do all the work for you.
Speak to our personal injury solicitors
To find out if you can make a work accident claim, call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.