What Damages and Losses Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?

If you were involved in a workplace accident that left you injured or you developed a work-related medical condition, under UK law you are entitled to claim compensation from an employer providing your case meets specific criteria. To find out what sort of damages and losses can be included in an accident at work claim, please read on.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What UK Law Entitles You to Claim For in an Accident at Work Claim

Having been injured in an accident at work or because you developed a medical condition that can be linked to the work you do, the law in the UK entitles you to claim financial compensation for the pain, suffering, loss of amenity and out of pocket expenses you had to deal with. You are entitled to claim for the following:

  • All financial losses directly associated with the workplace injuries sustained or medical condition you developed which includes future losses too
  • Any loss of wages due to having time off work to recover from the injuries you sustained
  • The expenses you had to pay out for treatments and therapies
  • All other costs and expenses that can be linked to the injuries you suffered while at work

Personal injury compensation comprises of two separate elements which are as follows:

General damages

  • These are awarded for the “pain, suffering and any loss of amenity”. In short, the general damages you could be awarded should your accident at work claim be successful would be based on the extent and seriousness of the injuries you sustained and how your symptoms may negatively impact your future life

When it comes to pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA), the pain and suffering part of the amount you may be awarded would be for the past, present and future psychiatric and physical symptoms you may experience as a result of having been injured in an accident at work.

The loss of amenity element that is included in general damages are awarded in personal injury claims to compensate you for any “loss of enjoyment of life” or how your ability to do everyday chores and tasks is negatively impacted by the injuries you suffered.

When trying to work out how much personal injury compensation you may be awarded in general damages, there are guidelines published by the Judicial College which set out the amounts injured parties may be awarded in successful personal injury claims.

It is worth noting that when assessing pain, suffering and loss of amenity, the fact you may suffer from a pre-existing medical condition/disability would be taken into consideration and the same is true if the workplace injury you sustained accelerated your pre-existing health issue.

Another point that would be taken into consideration would be your sex and age which could also affect the amount on the general damages you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim against a negligent employer.

Loss of Amenity Examples:

  • An employee who works in a factory has lost part or all of their hearing due to the fact they were not provided with adequate personal protective equipment in the form of ear protection. The result is that the worker cannot listen to music, watch television – the employee would be compensated for this loss of amenity
  • A taxi driver suffers a catastrophic injury to a leg and can no longer play football – the driver would be compensation for this loss of amenity

The way loss of amenity is calculated can be challenging as it is hard to place a financial value on anything that is not “tangible”. As such, you would need to provide evidence that the quality of your life was diminished by the fact you suffered an injury in the workplace which can be achieved by producing testimony from friends, family and other people. Photos and video evidence is also invaluable when it comes to assessing how much you may be awarded for the loss of amenity you have to endure.

Special damages

  • These are easier to work out because they are calculated on “actual” expenses and costs you incurred due to having been injured in the workplace. Special damages would include loss of earnings, loss of future earnings, the cost of a carer should this be necessary, the cost of medical treatment which includes prescriptions, physiotherapy and other therapies you may need, the cost of modifying your home should this be necessary due to the injuries you sustained, travel costs whether you go by car, taxi, bus, train or other means
  • Special damages also include all other costs and expenses that are incurred due to having been injured in the workplace and this includes electricity bills and heating bills being higher because you had to remain at home during your recovery.
  • Should you need the assistance of a full time carer the cost can be claimed in an accident at work claim and would be part of the special damages you may be awarded. If your injuries are substantial and you are no longer able to live in your home, you can claim the cost of having to go into a care home

When calculating the special damages you could be awarded in a successful claim, the largest portion of the compensation you receive is typically your loss of earnings. Should you not have been able to work for a period of time, you may have only received Statutory Sick Pay and not be able to bring home your normal weekly or monthly salary.

Your employer may pay you a basic wage while you are off work recovering from the workplace injuries you sustained, but you could lose out on perks, overtime and any other allowances you may have been entitled to had you not been injured in the workplace. As such, you can include these losses in your accident at work claim and they would be included in the special damages you are awarded.

Having to attend medical appointments for much needed treatment can also add to your financial losses whether you have to go to a hospital, physiotherapist or specialist. As such, the travel expenses you incur would be compensated in the special damages you are awarded. It is also worth noting that should you require any medical aids and equipment you would be reimbursed the cost of the items in the special damages you receive.

Should any of your property which includes things like clothing, glasses and other items be damaged or ruined in the workplace accident, you can include the cost of replacing these in your accident at work claim and the amount would be included in the special damages you are awarded.

If your injuries are severe and you require ongoing medical assistance, you can claim care costs and this includes when you are helped and cared for by family members or friends who you do not pay.

An accident at work lawyer would provide you with essential advice on what you may be able to claim in special damages bearing in mind that you must provide all the receipts as proof of your expenditures which can be directly linked to the injuries you sustained in a workplace accident.

What are My Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work That Was Not My Fault?

If you are involved in a workplace accident and you are injured whether the injuries you sustain are minor or catastrophic, you have the right to seek compensation from your employer providing your claim meets specific criteria. This is that the incident occurred in the last 3 years and it was caused by a third party. However, if you were partly responsible, your employer could be deemed partly liable for the injuries you sustained too. Your rights are as follows if you are injured in the workplace:

  • You have the right to seek compensation
  • You can file an accident at work claim against your employer without the worry of being sacked from your job

Your employer would be acting unlawfully if they sacked you, threatened to make you redundant or tried in any way to prevent you from seeking compensation after you were injured in an accident in the workplace. If this should be the case, you should contact a lawyer who would provide essential legal advice on whether and how to take out further legal action against your employer.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities in the Workplace?

Employers must abide by all legislation, regulations and laws that are set in place to protect employees and people in the workplace. Failing to adhere to Health and Safety regulations that result in accidents at work that leave you injured, would mean that an employer could be held liable. As such their insurance providers would pay the personal injury compensation that is awarded.

An employer’s responsibilities in the workplace include the following:

  • To provide adequate working procedures and practices to all employees
  • To ensure that all employees and other workers are given adequate and ongoing training so they can carry out their jobs safely
  • To provide the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees and other workers. The PPE must be correctly stored and replaced with new when necessary
  • To ensure that regular risk assessments are carried out in the workplace so that hazards and dangers can be identified. Once identified, reasonable measures should be set in place to reduce the risk of employees and other workers from being injured while carrying out their jobs
  • To make sure that all machinery, equipment and tools are in good working order

Should an employer fail to keep you safe from harm or injury while you are in their employment and you are involved in a workplace accident that results in you being injured through no fault of your own, your employer could be deemed liable. As such, you would have the right to seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim against them.

Should I File an Accident at Work Claim Against My Employer

All employee’s rights are highly protected in the UK and this includes when injured in the workplace or if they develop a work-related health condition. Your injuries may be minor or they could be a lot more severe which could mean you are no longer to carry out the job you used to do.

Even if you suffered minor injuries in a workplace accident, you may not be able to work for several weeks during your recovery. This can put you and your loved ones under financial pressure because you would not be able to bring in your normal weekly or monthly wage.

Filing an accident at work claim against an employer can make life a lot easier when it comes to finances and it allows you to place your full focus on recovering from the injuries you sustained through no fault of your own while you were at work. If you think you may be partly responsible for your injuries, you should still discuss your case with an accident at work lawyer because your employer could be deemed partly responsible for any injury you sustained.

Under UK law, all employers must hold liability insurance and the policy must be issued by a recognised provider for it to be valid. The cover must also meet the legal requirement which currently stands at £5 million. When you file an accident at work claim against an employer for injuries sustained when you are in their employment, it is the insurer who deals with your case whether your employer argues they are not responsible or they accept liability. As such, it is the liability insurance provider who pays out your accident at work compensation and not your employer.

Are There Benefits to Having a Solicitor Represent Me on an Accident at Work Claim?

One of the many advantages of having an expert solicitor represent you when you file an accident at work claim against a negligent employer, is that they would work very hard to ensure that you are awarded the right level of compensation both in general damages and special damages. Other benefits of working with an accident at work lawyer include the following:

  • A solicitor would first assess your claim in an initial consultation which is typically free of charge and you are under no obligation to continue with a claim should you not wish to proceed
  • A solicitor would arrange for you to be examined by an independent consultant/specialist who would provide a detailed medical report on the workplace injuries you sustained. This report would be used as a basis for the amount of general damages you would be awarded in a successful accident at work claim
  • A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis which means you would not pay any upfront fee or ongoing fees either
  • Lawyers can access legal libraries when needed which they can then base your claim on
  • A solicitor would respect pre-action protocols and would make sure the 3 year time limit that is associated with personal injury claims is respected too
  • A solicitor would investigate an employer’s claims that they are not liable for the injuries you sustained and would work hard to get them to admit responsibility
  • A solicitor would also ensure that you receive interim payments should your claim take a longer time to reach a final settlement
  • A solicitor would ensure that the level of accident at work compensation you receive is acceptable
  • A solicitor would also arrange for you to receive ongoing treatment should this be necessary

Is There a Time Limit Connected to Accident at Work Claims?

Accident at work claims like personal injury claims are governed by a strict 3 year time limit. However, there are exceptions as to when the time limit starts which is detailed below:

  • 3 years from the date you were injured in an accident at work
  • 3 years from your 18th birthday should the workplace accident have occurred when you were under the age of 18
  • 3 years from the day you were diagnosed as suffering from a medical condition that can be linked to injuries you sustained in a workplace accident

Can My Employer Fire Me For Seeking Damages and Losses in an Accident at Work Claim?

Worker’s rights are protected and as such, if you choose to file for damages and losses by making an accident at work claim against your employer, they cannot sack you for doing so because your employer would be acting unlawfully if they did. You cannot be treated unfairly or detrimentally either and if you are, you should legal advice from a solicitor because you could be entitled to seek further compensation from your employer.

Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Claim?

No Win No Fee agreements were set in place to help workers and other people who suffer injuries or harm through no fault of their own, the opportunity of seeking compensation from a negligent third party. A solicitor would first need to assess your accident at work claim to establish that your employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained. Once this has been determined, the lawyer would agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis and would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with you.

The CFA or No Win No Fee agreement as the legal contract is often referred to, sets out all the terms and conditions of the agreement which includes the amount you would have to pay the solicitor but only if your case is upheld. The percentage you agreed to pay in the CFA, would be deducted from the accident at work compensation you are awarded.

Should your case be unsuccessful and you are not awarded any compensation for the injuries you sustained, you would not have to pay the solicitor for the legal representation they provided. In short, you only pay the lawyer if your accident at work claim is successful and you are awarded the damages and losses you sought from your employer.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

If you would like more information on claiming compensation for an injury you sustained in the workplace, please follow the link below:

More about claiming personal injury compensation for a workplace injury

To find out more information about Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), the link below provides essential reading on No Win No Fee agreements:

More about No Win No Fee agreements

Can I Speed Up My Accident at Work Claim Against My Employer?

If you were injured in a workplace accident or you developed a work-related medical condition and feel that your case is taking too long to settle, you may be wondering whether you can do anything to help speed up the legal process. When it comes to accident at work claims, seeking legal advice sooner rather than later can speed up what is often a lengthy legal procedure considerably.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Instructing an Accident at Work Solicitor to Handle Your Claim Against an Employer

As previously mentioned, the sooner you instruct an accident at work solicitor to investigate your claim, the sooner your case would be handled and settled. A lot of the time, injured parties delay filing a personal injury claim for a number of reasons which are as follows:

  • A worry of how seeking compensation for a workplace injury may affect how an employer may react and a fear of losing a job or being made redundant
  • Not knowing who could be responsible for the workplace accident and whether the injured party is partly to blame for the injuries they sustained

If you feel anxious about filing for compensation, discussing your concerns with an accident at work lawyer could help you understand the legal requirements and the process of determining who could be held liable.

A solicitor who has vast experience in handling accident at work claims for employees understands what is required when it comes to respecting pre-action protocols which are critical.

Should an employer deny liability, the sooner a solicitor can commence an investigation into their responsibility for the injuries you sustained or the work-related medical condition you developed, the sooner they would get your claim heard and settled.

Respecting the 3 Year Time Limit Associated with Accident at Work Claims

There is a strict 3 year statutory time limit that must be respected for an accident at work claim against an employer to be valid. Gathering all the evidence and proof required takes time and effort. Therefore, any sort of delay in instructing a solicitor could mean that you may run out of time. In short, if you would like to see an earlier settlement on an accident at work claim, it is far wiser to contact a lawyer as soon as you can when you are injured in a workplace accident.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a solicitor would need to investigate your claim before they would agree to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. This can take time so it is best not to wait for too long or to wait for the last minute before deciding to seek compensation from an employer.

Gathering the Required Proof and Evidence When Filing an Accident at Work Claim

The sooner you can gather all the proof and evidence that is needed when filing an accident at work claim, the better and the faster a solicitor would be able to determine whether you have a strong case and that your employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained.

You should keep all receipts for the expenses and other costs you incurred as a direct result of having been injured in the workplace. This includes travel costs and medical expenses. When it comes to losses, you can claim for damage to any property or belongings too. The accident at work solicitor you contact would typically send out a “pack of documents” which you would need to fill out and return to them as soon as possible. This would include the following:

  • The instruction form
  • A verification of ID form
  • The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) otherwise referred to as a No Win No Fee agreement

A solicitor would not commence work on your accident at work claim until they receive these documents duly filled out. In short, the sooner you return the documents to a solicitor, the quicker they can start investigating your case.

Getting a Detailed Medical Report of the Workplace Injuries You Sustained

If you had to be taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of a local hospital to be treated following an accident at work, you would already have a medical report which you should request from the hospital where you were initially treated.

However, you should also request for the solicitor you contact to arrange for you to be examined by an independent consultant or specialist as soon as possible. The detailed medical report would be crucial when it comes to establishing the extent of the injuries you sustained. The information in the report would be used as a basis for the amount of general damages you could be awarded in a successful personal injury claim against your employer.

Dealing With Your Employer’s Liability Insurance Provider

When it comes dealing with your accident at work claim, this would be up to your employer’s liability insurance provider who would handle all aspects of the case from the outset. Insurance companies are renowned for their delay tactics which includes paying out compensation to injured parties. As such it is best left up to an accident at work lawyer when it comes to communicating with the insurance company who may challenge your claim.

The insurance company may offer an initial low-ball settlement which your solicitor would typically advise you to refuse, knowing that it would be more than possible to get the insurer to up the amount at a later date. It is worth noting that “early settlements” offered by insurance companies are typically made “without prejudice”.  In short, this means that even though a settlement is offered, it does not mean that your employer or the insurance company admits liability for the injuries you sustained in the workplace.

An experienced accident at work lawyer would be in a position to know whether it is wiser to accept an “early settlement”, or whether you should hold out for a higher offer because they believe there is a strong possibility of this happening. Your solicitor may even think that your accident at work claim should go to court, bearing in mind that this would mean that it would take considerably longer for a settlement to be reached.

How Long Does it Usually Take for an Accident at Work Claim to be Settled?

Every claim is different and as such, the time it takes to reach a settlement can vary from case to case. Should your employer deny liability for the injuries you sustained at work, it would take longer than if they accept responsibility. With this said, most accident at work claims are settled in anything from 6 to 9 months.

There are several  factors that could affect how long it would take for your claim to be settled which are detailed below:

  • The extent and seriousness of the workplace injuries you sustained or the work-related medical condition you developed
  • The circumstances leading up to the accident at work that left you injured or suffering from a medical condition
  • How long it takes you to gather all the medical evidence and reports that are required
  • Whether your employer denies liability for the workplace injuries you sustained

How The Workplace Injuries You Sustained Could Affect the Duration of an Accident at Work Claim

The extent of the injuries you suffered in an accident at work is a key factor as to how long it could take to reach a final settlement. The solicitor who represents you, may recommend that you wait until the full extent of your injuries are known and to only accept a settlement when these are officially recorded.

In short, it could take anything from a few weeks to several months for the full extent of your injuries to be known and in some exceptional instances, it can take several years. Should this be the case, a solicitor would work hard to ensure that you are awarded interim payments until a final settlement can be reached.

How the Circumstances That Lead Up to An Accident at Work May Affect the Duration of a Claim

The solicitor who handles your accident at work claim would follow all Pre-Action Protocols which they could do through the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal online. Your employer’s liability insurance provider then has 35 days to go over the evidence and to make an offer which is referred to as a “total consideration period”.

It is worth noting that the time limit of 35 days can be extended and is subject to “various conditions”. Should your accident at work claim be settled through the “Claims Portal”, it should take anything from 4 to 9 months providing you accept the settlement that is offered by the insurance company.

When Would I Receive Compensation if I Accept an Accident at Work Offer?

If your employer’s liability insurance provider admits liability and agree that your accident at work claim against an employer can be processed, you may receive the settlement within a few days. However, it generally takes anything from 2 to 4 weeks for the accident at work compensation to be processed.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Would it Take Longer to Receive Compensation if My Employer Denies Liability?

If your employer denies liability for the injuries you sustained at work, it may be necessary for your personal injury claim to go to court and be heard by a judge. Should this be the case, it can take that much longer to reach a final settlement.

What Would Happen If I Want to Settle My Accident at Work Claim Quickly?

Even when you choose to have an accident at work solicitor represent you when filing for compensation from an employer, you still have the choice to settle when you want to. However, you may find that an experienced solicitor would recommend that you do not accept an “early offer” from an insurance provider because they believe they could negotiate a much higher amount for you. But the final decision would be up to you as to whether you instruct your solicitor to accept a first offer or not.

What Type of Damages and Losses Could I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?

You can include specific damages and losses in an accident at work claim and as with all personal injury claims, these are awarded to cover two elements which are as follows:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

The amount you may be awarded should your claim be successful would depend on many things which includes the following:

  • The extent of your injuries, how long you take to recover and whether you would be able to fully recover so you can work again
  • Whether you require ongoing treatment and medical care

General damages

These are awarded as a way to compensate you for pain, suffering and loss of amenity having been injured in an accident at work through no fault of your own or because you were partly responsible for the injuries you sustained. It can be harder to calculate how much you may be awarded in general damages because the amount is based on the extent and seriousness of your injuries bearing in mind that every accident at work claim is treated as being unique.

Special damages

These are awarded as a way to compensate you for all the money you had to pay out due to having been injured in an accident at work. The amount you are awarded is easier to calculate because special damages factor in “actual” expenses and costs incurred which is why receipts must be kept and provided as proof of your expenditure. The following can be included in your claim:

  • The expenses you incurred travelling to and from treatments whether they take place in a hospital or other medical facility. You can claim travel expenses you go by taxi, bus, train, car or by other means
  • Medical expenses which includes the cost of your prescriptions and other things related to the treatment and medical care you receive
  • Care costs should your injuries require that you have help in the home or because you have to go into a care home
  • Loss of income for the time you had off work to recover from your injuries
  • Loss of future income should you be unable to work again
  • The cost of adapting your home should this be necessary
  • The extra you had to pay for heating your home and the electricity used because you were at home recovering from the workplace injuries you sustained

As previously mentioned, it is much easier to estimate and calculate the amount of special damages you may be awarded in a successful claim, but you must produce relevant receipts which would be needed as proof of your expenditure.

Is There a Time Limit For Accident at Work Claims to be Filed?

The statutory 3 time limit for filing an accident at work claim must be respected for a case to be valid. With this said, the sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the better because gathering all the information and necessary evidence to prove a claim, can take a lot of time and effort. The 3 year time limit, however, starts at different times depending on certain things which are explained below:

  • The 3 year time limit begins from the date you were injured in the workplace
  • The 3 year time limit begins from the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a health issue that can be linked to the injury you sustained at work
  • The 3 year time limit begins from the date of your 18th birthday if the workplace accident occurred prior to you being 18 years of age

Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Claim Against Them?

You cannot be fired for filing a personal injury claim against an employer. Your employer must have another “good and valid” reason for sacking you other than the fact you seek compensation for workplace injuries you sustained. An employer would be acting unlawfully if they treat you badly or attempt to sack you and as such, you should seek legal advice because the chances are that an experienced employment solicitor would recommend you take further legal action out against your employer.

Is It Worth Suing an Employer for a Workplace Injury?

If you sustain a workplace injury, you may be off work during your recovery. This means not being able to bring in a wage which could put you under financial pressure at a time when you need all your strength to get you back on your feet. Your injuries may be such that you are unable to work for a considerable time or maybe you would not be able to work again.

Seeking compensation for workplace injuries can help you through a difficult time and providing your case against an employer is deemed valid, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and receive compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Employers are legally obliged to take out liability insurance to cover such eventualities whether it is an employee or other person who is injured in the workplace through no fault of their own. The insurance must meet the legal requirement of £5 million and the policy must be issued by a recognised insurance provider. Should an employer fail to have the necessary liability insurance in place, they would be liable for hefty fines issued by enforcing authorities.

As such, when you file an accident at work claim against an employer to seek compensation for injuries you sustained, it would be the insurance company who deals with all aspects of your case which includes paying out the personal injury compensation you may be awarded whether through the courts or in an out of court settlement.

What are My Workers Rights If I Am Injured in an Accident at Work?

You have the right to do the following should you have been involved in a workplace accident and been injured:

  • To seek a level of compensation to suit the workplace injuries you sustained
  • To file an accident at work claim against your employer without the fear of being sacked from your job for doing so

Worker’s rights are protected and should an employer attempt to stop you from seeking compensation or they threaten you in any way, they would be acting unlawfully. As such, you may be entitled to take further legal action out against them which an employment solicitor may advise you do to before doing anything else.

What Advantages Are There to Working With a No Win No Fee Lawyer?

There are many benefits to working with an accident at work lawyer on a No Win No Fee basis, but the major one is that an experienced solicitor would arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical professional who would produce a report detailing the extent of the injuries you sustained in a workplace accident. With this said, a solicitor would first need to establish that you have a valid case and that your employer could be held responsible for the injuries you sustained. This would be achieved in an initial consultation that is typically free of charge.

Other benefits and advantages of having an accident at work solicitor represent you when you seek compensation from an employer includes the following:

  • Lawyers have the right to access legal libraries. These can be referenced when representing you on an accident at work claim
  • A solicitor knows that pre-action protocols must be respected
  • A solicitor would let you know as soon as possible the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim against a negligent employer
  • The 3 year statutory time limit would be respected reducing the risk of running out of time to claim compensation for injuries you sustained in a workplace accident
  • A solicitor would ensure that you receive the right level of compensation and would negotiate interim payments if your case is complex and therefore may take longer to reach a final settlement

One of the advantages to having an accident at work solicitor represent you is that they would ensure that you receive ongoing specialist care should your injuries be severe and therefore require long-term treatment. The main benefit, however, is that an experienced lawyer would make sure that the legal process of filing an accident at work claim against an employer runs smoothly from the outset which in the end would help speed up the process considerably.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

If you would like more information on how to file for compensation from an employer, the following link provides essential reading:

More about filing for personal injury compensation against an employer

If you would like to know more about your employer’s responsibilities towards you in the workplace, please follow the link below:

More about an employer’s responsibilities in the workplace

Would The Accident at Work Compensation I Get Affect My State Benefits?

If you were involved in an accident at work and you filed a successful personal injury claim against your employer, you may be wondering if having been awarded a lump sum in compensation it would affect your future entitlement to receive means tested state benefits that you currently get. The answer is that your income or housing support benefits may well be affected if you are awarded personal injury compensation, to find out more please read on.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

In What Circumstances Can I File a Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer?

All employees are entitled to seek compensation for injuries or harm they were subjected to in the workplace whether the damage sustained in physical or psychological. However, your claim would need to meet specific criteria which is as follows:

  • That the accident at work occurred in the last 3 years
  • The incident and the injuries you sustained were caused through no fault of your own

However, it is worth noting that even if you were partly responsible for the accident at work, your employer may still be held liable for the injuries you sustained. As such, it is best to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer who would determine your employer’s level of responsible as well as your own.

How Is Personal Injury Compensation Calculated?

Personal injury claims are calculated in two parts, but the amount of compensation you may receive would be based on the extent of the injuries you sustained in the workplace. As such, the amount of personal injury compensation you may be awarded would be based on the following:

  • How your injuries would impact your future life
  • If your ability to work again is affected
  • Future prognosis
  • All the expenses and costs you incurred as a result of having sustained an injury in the workplace

Should you have been awarded a lump sum in a successful personal injury claim, you may find that it could affect your state benefits which not only includes the amount you may be able to claim, but also the benefits you may be entitled to receive.

How Would Personal Injury Compensation Affect My State Benefits?

When calculating “means assessed” state benefits, your income, savings as well as any assets you may own would be taken into account. This would determine whether you would be able to claim them. This is referred to as being your “capital”. The amount you are awarded in a personal injury claim would be added to your “capital” and if this exceeds the specific financial thresholds, it could affect the amount of state benefits you would be entitled to claim.

When assessing a person’s eligibility to claim state benefits, the first £6,000 of your “capital” is disregarded. Should the amount of compensation you are awarded be low and as such does not take you over the limit of £6,000, your eligibility would not be affected.

However, should you receive more in the way of personal injury compensation in a successful claim and as a result, it takes you over the £6,000 threshold, your state benefits would be reduced as follows:

  • For every £250 over the £6,000 threshold, the amount you would be entitled to claim in state benefits would be reduced by £1 per week

Should your “capital” be over £16,000 you would not be able to claim state benefits which would be suspended until such time as your capital falls below £16,000. Once this happens, you would be entitled to make a new application to receive state benefits.

Are State Benefits I Receive as a Result of My Injuries Affected By Personal Injury Compensation?

If you were diagnosed as suffering from a work-related medical condition/disease and as a result you receive state benefits as a direct result, the amount you get could be deducted from the final personal injury settlement you receive. The money that is deducted would be paid by way of reimbursement to the government. Payments that would be included are as follows:

  • The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme
  • The Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979

What Benefits would be Affected if I Receive Accident at Work Compensation?

As previously mentioned, the means tested benefits you receive could be affected and reduced accordingly if you are awarded personal injury compensation and includes the following:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Pension Credit

With this said, some benefits you may receive would not be affected by the fact you are awarded personal injury compensation for an injury sustained at work and this includes the following:

  • Incapacity benefit
  • Disability living allowance

Would Anything Else be Affected If I Am Awarded Accident at Work Compensation?

If you are awarded a lump sum in a successful accident at work claim, there are other things that may be affected and this includes the following:

  • Your entitlement to receiving free prescriptions
  • Your entitlement to free dental treatment
  • Your entitlement to free eye tests
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

It is also worth noting that having been awarded a lump sum in compensation for an injury you sustained in the workplace, it could also have an impact on how much you are allowed to receive towards home care.

Who Gets Notified if I File a Personal Injury Claim?

When you file an accident at work claim to seek compensation for an injury you sustained, your employer’s insurance provider would inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the insurer would also inform the DWP should you receive any interim payments until a final settlement is reached.

However, it is up to you to inform the benefits agency of any changes in your financial circumstances. Should you fail to let them know, you run the risk of being accused of fraud.

What Can I Do To Prevent Losing My State Benefits if I Receive Personal Injury Compensation?

If you are awarded a lump sum in a successful accident at work claim, the best course of action is to have a specialist solicitor set up a “personal injury trust” for you which would mitigate any risk that the amount you receive in compensation would affect any benefits you receive.

A personal injury trust is as follows:

  • The trust is managed by 2 or more trustees and you have the option to be one of them
  • The “trust account” is independent of your existing bank account
  • Any money that is held in “trust” is held apart from any of your other assets
  • You can only pay the amount of accident at work compensation you receive into the trust account which would be taxed like other savings you may have
  • You are allowed to withdraw funds from the “trust” account, but it is important that any amounts you draw do not take you over the “savings” limit
  • Any money that is held in your “trust” account is safeguarded from any care costs should you need residential or social care

Setting up a trust allows you to receive a lump sum in accident at work compensation straight away, but the amount must not take you over the capital limits. You can invest the rest. The money that you invest would not be factored into whether you would be eligible to receive state benefits. You are also allowed to withdraw a small amount from your trust every year should you need to cover certain expenses.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Should I Ask a Solicitor to Set up a Personal Injury Trust For Me?

If you think you may have to claim benefits in the future or you currently receive state benefits, the best course of action if you are going to receive a lump sum in accident at work compensation would be to ask an experience solicitor to set up a personal injury trust for you especially if the amount you receive is substantial. It is worth noting you can file an accident at work claim and be awarded compensation before deciding to set up a personal injury trust account.

Are There Any Other Benefits to Setting Up a Personal Injury Trust?

Another advantage of setting up a personal injury trust is that it would protect your accident at work compensation from a third party claiming any of it. An example being should you go through a divorce, the money that is held in your trust would be ring fenced and would therefore not be factored into a final divorce settlement

What is the 52 Week Period of Grace For Accident at Work Compensation?

Whether you receive a final personal injury compensation settlement or an interim payment, you would have 52 weeks’ grace before the lump sum you are awarded would be included in your benefits entitlement. This would allow you the time to set up a personal injury trust without the worry of a lump sum received in compensation affecting any means tested and other benefits you currently receive.

It is worth noting that should you spend any money that you receive in compensation within the 52 week period, your expenditure would come under scrutiny. You may find that you would be penalised if it is found that you spent the money quickly to reduce the risk of a lump sum negatively impacting the state benefits you receive.

Should you decide to spend your compensation after the 52 week period expires and you are still claiming benefits, it could be deemed to be a “deprivation of capital”. In short, a benefits agency may see your actions as a way of reducing your capital so that it falls within the benefits entitlement limit and that you did so deliberately. As such you may end up being penalised for your actions.

You must always be honest about your circumstances bearing in mind that government departments would be notified of the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim and this includes when you are in receipt of any interim payments.

What Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?

The way compensation is calculated in accident at work claims is as follows:

  • General damages are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss amenities you suffered as a direct result of having been injured in the workplace through no fault of your own
  • Special damages are awarded for all the out of pocket expenses and other costs incurred because you suffered a workplace injury

Should I Sue My Employer If I Am Injured in An Accident at Work?

Employers in the UK have a legal responsibility to keep you safe while you are in their employment. If an employer fails in their “duty” and you suffer an injury in an accident at work that occurred through no fault of your own, your employer could be deemed liable for the injuries you sustained. As such, you have the right to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you had to endure by filing an accident at work claim.

Employers are required to have liability insurance in place which is a legal requirement. The policy covers accidents in the workplace that result in employees and other people being injured. The policy must be issued by a recognised liability insurance provider and it must meet the legal requirement of £5 million.

When you file an accident at work claim against your employer because you suffered an injury, it is the liability insurance provider who deals with your claim and who pays out the accident at work compensation you are awarded. It is also worth noting that 95% of personal injury claims are settled before they go to court with insurance providers choosing to settle claims before case go before a judge.

Is There a Time Limit to Making an Accident at Work Claim for Compensation?

You must abide by the strict 3 year time limit that applies to all personal injury claims for your case to be valid. With this said, there are exceptions which are detailed below:

  • The time limit of 3 years begins from the day you are diagnosed as suffering from a work-related medical condition that can be linked to the accident you suffered
  • Should you have sustained your injuries in the workplace before you were 18 years old, the 3 year time limit starts from the day you are 18 years of age

Do I Have Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work?

As previously mentioned, your worker’s rights are protected and this also applies should you be injured in an accident in the workplace. You have the “right” to the following:

  • Seek compensation from your employer providing your claim meets specific criteria
  • To file an accident at work claim without having to worry about losing your job or being treated badly

If your employer objects, you should contact an solicitor who specialises in employment law because you could be entitled to sue your employer for acting unlawfully.

What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities Towards Me in the Workplace?

Your employer must ensure that you are kept safe in the workplace which is a legal requirement that must be adhered to. Employers must follow and abide by all regulations, laws and legislation that is set in place by enforcing authorities and the Health and Safety Executive. Your employer’s responsibilities towards you are as follows:

  • That you are provided with adequate and ongoing training so that you can safely carry out the jobs you are tasked to do in the workplace
  • That all equipment, machinery and tools that you use are in good working order and correctly maintained to reduce the risk of you injuring or harming yourself while carrying out a job
  • To carry out risk assessments on an ongoing basis to identify hazards you may encounter and to set in place reasonable measures to reduce the risk of you harming yourself
  • To ensure you are given detailed working procedures before carrying out jobs
  • To ensure that you are given the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and that it is correctly stored, maintained and replaced when necessary

Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on an Accident at Work Claim?

Working with a specialist accident at work lawyer when filing a personal injury claim against a negligent employer offers many advantages and benefits, some of which are listed below:

  • You would be offered an initial consultation whether this is over the phone or in a meeting at the solicitor’s offices which is typically free of charge
  • If a personal injury lawyer is happy that you have a strong claim against an employer who could be held liable for the injuries you sustained in the workplace, they would offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you would not have to pay the solicitor any upfront fees or ongoing fees as your claim progresses
  • An accident at work solicitor has access to legal libraries which can be referenced when representing your claim
  • A solicitor would ensure that you are examined by a specialist consultant who would provide a detailed medical report on the injuries sustained at work. This report is crucial evidence that would form the basis of the compensation you would receive in a successful personal injury claim against your employer
  • A specialist lawyer with years of experience in handling accident at work claims, would ensure that all pre-action protocols and personal injury time limits are respected
  • A solicitor would ensure that you receive the correct level of compensation
  • A solicitor has the necessary experience to ensure you receive interim payments
  • A solicitor would arrange ongoing treatment should your injuries be severe and therefore you require long-term therapy

Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a  Personal Injury Claim?

Worker’s rights are protected and this includes your right to claim compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace. As such, your employer cannot sack you, make you redundant, treat you detrimentally or unfairly because you file an accident at work claim against them. If your employer does act this way or tries to fire you, they would be acting unlawfully and you should contact a solicitor who specialises in employment law because you could sue your employer.

Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Accident at Work Claim?

Providing a solicitor is happy that your claim against an employer is valid and that you have a strong chance of winning personal injury compensation, they would agree to represent you without the need of asking for a retainer or upfront fee. There would no ongoing fees to find as your accident at work claim progresses either.

No Win No Fee agreements take away the need for you to find the funds to pay for legal representation and you would only have to pay the “success fee” that is laid out in the Conditional Fee Agreement when you are awarded accident at work compensation. The other thing to bear in mind is that the agreed percentage is taken from the amount you receive which in short means you would not have to find the funds to pay the success fee either which is just one of the benefits of having a solicitor work with you on an accident at work claim.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

To find out more about how a lump sump received in personal injury compensation may affect your benefits entitlement, please follow the link below:

More about compensation and state benefits

If you would like to know more about setting up a personal injury trust, please click on the link below:

More about personal injury and other trusts

Can I Sue an Employer for Pregnancy And Maternity Discrimination? – A Guide To Pregnancy And Maternity Discrimination At Work Claims Calculate Amounts

There are laws in the UK that protect you in the workplace if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or you have just given birth and are on maternity leave. If an employer treats you unfairly or detrimentally, under the Equality Act of 2010, you have the right to sue because they would be acting unlawfully. If you feel that you are being treated unfairly and that your employer does not abide by the 52 weeks leave you are entitled to when pregnant, you should contact a solicitor because their actions could constitute pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

The Definition of Unfavourable Treatment In The Workplace

According to a formal report carried out by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in 2015, it was found that every year 54,000 women were forced to resign from a job which constituted pregnancy discrimination and that 1 in 5 mothers were harassed in the workplace because they were expecting with 10% of mothers being discouraged from taking any time off for antenatal care.

The definition of being treatment unfavourably in the workplace because you are pregnant is explained below:

  • Not being considered from promotion or included in any training programmes
  • Working hours are reduced
  • A decrease in pay
  • Made redundant or fired claiming the grounds are pregnancy
  • A failure to carry out necessary risk assessments of the working environment which could hold health and safety risks to pregnant women and unborn babies
  • Being pressured to resign

Should your employer do any of the above, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer who would provide essential advice on how best to proceed with a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against your employer, bearing in mind that there is a strict 3 month minus 1 day time limit that must be adhered to.

What Are My Rights in the Workplace During My Pregnancy and Maternity?

Under UK law, any woman who is pregnant is protected from discrimination and this applies from the moment an employer is told of the pregnancy. It is automatically deemed to be unlawful discrimination should an employer choose to make you redundant because you are pregnant or because you take maternity leave. It is also unlawful for an employer to use any reason that is related to childbirth or pregnancy to fire you or make you redundant.

It is also worth noting that you are under no obligation to formally tell an employer that you are pregnant right up until 15 week’s before your baby is due. This is when you would have to give your employer due notice that you intend on taking the maternity leave you are entitled to. With this said, it is far better to inform your employer sooner rather later so that the necessary measures can be set in place to keep you safe from harm in the workplace during your pregnancy.

As soon as your employer is told of your pregnancy, you are protected by law from being treated detrimentally or unfairly in the workplace. It is during this “protected period” that you should always be entitled to the same benefits and facilities as all the other employees in the workplace who are on the same level as you are. Your “protected period” starts from the time your maternity leave commences right through to when it ends or when you return to work.

It is also worth noting that when you do return to work, you are entitled to do the job and hold the position you had prior to taking maternity leave. Should this not be possible, under the law, you must be offered an equivalent alternative should there be one available for which you should be automatically entitled to fill without the need to apply for it.

Should an employer fail to discuss the possibility of redundancy while you are taking maternity leave, it would be deemed that they actions constituted unlawful pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Other reasons that could constituted unlawful discrimination on the part of your employer includes the following:

  • You are served with a notice of dismissal while you are pregnant without an official written explanation. If your employer fails to offer a “good reason” for your dismissal, it would automatically be deemed as being unlawful discrimination
  • If you are off work because of a pregnancy related medical condition or illness, this cannot be considered as a reason for taking out disciplinary actions or redundancy

It is also worth noting that being pregnant entitles you to receive “reasonable paid” time-off when it comes to antenatal care and related medical appointments. It would be unlawful for your employer to insist that you schedule your antenatal appointments outside of your working hours but you should always give your employer fair warning of when your appointments are scheduled.

An employer cannot refuse to give you assignments or to reduce your workload because your are pregnant. It is also unlawful for an employer to assign you to carry out especially difficult tasks with an end goal being to get you to resign from your job.

If an employer treats you unfairly because you are pregnant or because you want to take maternity leave which you are legally entitled to take, you should contact a solicitor who specialises in pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims as soon as possible before doing anything else.

Your Employer’s Duty To Carry Out Risk Assessments When You Are Pregnant

The Equality Act also stipulates that your employer must carry out adequate risk assessments in working environments where employees include women who are of childbearing age with an end goal being to protect both your health and safety as well as that of your baby’s. This includes setting in place measures to avoid you having to do the following:

  • Standing for long periods of time and that you can sit down when needed and/or take extra breaks when necessary

Should you not be able to take extra rest breaks, an employer must offer you alternative work which must respect existing employment terms and conditions. If this is not feasible, you are entitled to receive full pay during a suspension.

If you feel that your employer is failing in their duty towards you because you are pregnant, you should contact a lawyer and get legal advice who would provide you with essential legal advice on how best to proceed in filing a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against your employer.

What is Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination in the Workplace?

Under the Equality Act 2010 s.18, an employer cannot discriminate against you if you are pregnant or because you choose to take maternity leave or have taken maternity leave. To prove that you have been discriminated against, you would not have to make a comparison with a male work colleague, instead you would have to prove that the way you were treated was directly linked to the fact you were pregnant.

Under the law, you are protected whether you are an employee, casual worker, agency worker, contractor or freelancer from the day you start working for an employer. You are also protected under the Equality Act from being dismissed or treated detrimentally on the grounds of being pregnant or because you take maternity leave which is covered under the following laws:

  • Employment Rights Act 1996 s99
  • Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 reg. 19)

However, this legal protection only applies to “employees” from the day they begin working for an employer. Some examples of being treated unfavourably or detrimentally in the workplace due to being pregnant or taking maternity leave are listed below:

  • Being selected for redundancy because you are pregnant
  • Being dismissed on the grounds of being pregnant
  • Being refused training or promotion
  • Reducing pay or working hours
  • Being put under pressure to resign because you are pregnant
  • A failure to carry out necessary risk assessments where health and safety is a concern

It is worth noting that the report carried out in 2015 by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission found that the main reasons for pregnant women being discriminated against in the workplace were as follows:

  • Being denied a pay increase
  • Being denied promotion
  • Having to accept lower paid work
  • Not having access to training
  • Not being allowed to take time off for necessary ante-natal care

If you experienced any of the above in the workplace when you were pregnant or wanted to take maternity leave, you could have the right to file a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against your employer and you could be awarded compensation whether through a court or in an out of court settlement.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Case Study of Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination in the Workplace

Miss H was offered an alternative to the job she was doing and was to work on a part-time basis. However, she found that the work was not suitable but her manager informed her that she had been chosen for redundancy because she should have been more flexible and that offering her a part-time position because she was pregnant was deemed to be the most suitable route to take.

Miss H took her case to a tribunal where it was found that her employer had not dismissed her unfairly because the correct procedure had been followed. However, the tribunal ruled that she had been discriminated against and she won her pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against her employer.

If you believe you have a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against your employer because they threatened you with the sack, redundancy or because you were forced to take a reduction in pay or working hours and conditions, you should contact a lawyer who would offer essential advice on how to proceed in taking legal action out against your employer.

How to File a Pregnancy and Maternity Claim Against an Employer

For a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim to be valid, you would have to prove that you were treated unfairly or detrimentally because you were pregnant and the same applies if your employer chooses to dismiss you. Providing evidence that your employer treated you unfairly for no other “good reason” than the fact you were pregnant is essential when filing a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against an employer.

If you believe that you have been treated unfairly because you are pregnant, the best thing to do is to seek legal advice. However, if possible, you should attempt to resolve the issue with an employer amicably. Should this fail, you should ask whether there is a “grievance procedure” that you could follow although this can also make it harder to resolve the problem without having the fear of losing your job.

Should your employer choose to fire you because you are pregnant even after attempting to resolve the issue in a friendly manner, there is a strict time limit to filing a discrimination and unfair dismissal claim against your employer which is 3 months less 1 day from the date you were fired from your job.

Should you wish to file a claim through an employment tribunal, the procedure that must be adhered to is as follows:

  • You have to first contact ACAS Early Conciliation and this has to be done before the strict 3 month time limit ends. This could allow you to seek mediation or you may be able to reach an agreement with your employer before your pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim goes to before a tribunal

Should you be fired during your pregnancy or your maternity leave, you must be given reasons for your dismissal and this must be in writing. For an unfair dismissal claim to be valid, you must have worked for an employer for 12 months. However, if you started your job after 6 April 2012, you must have worked for the same employer for 2 years for an unfair dismissal claim to be valid.

However, you would have the right to file a discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity leave from the first day you started working for an employer.

Should your employer refuse to pay you the Statutory Maternity Pay you are entitled to, you can contact the HMRC Statutory Payments Disputes Team where you would be able to claim the pay you are entitled to receive.

Should I Sue My Employer For Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination?

You have the right to file a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against your employer because under the Equality Act, your employer would be acting illegally. You may also be entitled to file an unfair dismissal and detriment claim against your employer because of the way in which you were treated in the workplace. However, there is a strict 3 month less 1 day time limit and specific criteria that must be met for an unfair dismissal claim to be valid.

As such, it is best to seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in this type of claim to avoid falling foul of the strict time limit and the many legal pitfalls that could mean your case is deemed invalid.

Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Claim?

Because pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims are complex, having the legal experience of a lawyer who specialises in this type of case, makes the whole process a lot easier to work through. The many benefits and advantages that a solicitor can provide include the following:

  • You would be offered an initial, no obligation, free consultation which allows the solicitor to assess you claim against an employer and to determine whether your employer acted unlawfully towards you because you were pregnant or wanted to take maternity leave
  • Once a solicitor determines you have a strong case against an employer who acted unlawfully, they would agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis which means you won’t have to pay them a retainer (upfront fee)
  • The solicitor would begin investigating your claim by communicating directly with your employer and would follow all the necessary pre-action protocols
  • Should the solicitor find that you have been unfairly dismissed, they would start legal proceedings against your employer as early as possible because of the strict 3 month time limit
  • Lawyers have access to all the necessary legal libraries which can be referenced when representing you in a pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim
  • The solicitor would ensure that you are kept appraised of the legal process and would endeavour to let you know how much compensation you may be awarded in a successful pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim
  • A solicitor would ensure that you are awarded the level of pregnancy and maternity discrimination compensation you would be entitled to receive

Apart from all of the above, having a solicitor who specialises n this type of complex claim can take all the pressure of having to deal with the legal process off the table. It also means that you would be given crucial legal advice from the outset which would include what evidence would be required to prove your pregnancy and maternity discrimination claim against an employer.

Is There a Time Limit to Making a Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Claim Against an Employer?

There is a strict time limit to filing discrimination claims which must be adhered to. The statutory time limit associated with pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims is set at 3 months minus one day. Should you fail to file your claim before the time limit runs out, your case would not be valid. As such, because the time limit is so short, the best thing to do is to contact a solicitor who specialises in pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims as early as possible.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

If you would like to learn more about the formal investigation carried out by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in 2015, please click on the link below:

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission report on pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace

To find out more information on Statutory Pay Disputes, please follow the link below:

More about Statutory Pay Disputes

If you would like more information on pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace, please follow the link below:

More about pregnancy and discrimination discrimination in the workplace

I Was Assaulted at Work, Can I Sue My Employer?

An employer must by law ensure that a working environment is safe and that employees are not harmed or injured while in their employment. This includes protecting you from being assaulted at work whether it is an employer, work colleague, client or visitor to the premises who acts in this way towards you. If you can prove that your employer failed in their duty to keep you safe from being assaulted at work, you could be entitled to sue for compensation.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Would My Assault at Work Claim be Valid?

As previously mentioned, if you suffered an assault at work and the incident occurred in the last 3 years, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim. However, you would need to have sufficient evidence that the assault happened through no fault of your own for the case to be valid.

A personal injury lawyer would help and advise you on the type of evidence you would need to prove your case against an employer, bearing in mind that there is a very strict time limit associated with this type personal injury claim.

What is the Definition of An Assault at Work?

An assault at work as defined by the Health and Safety Executive which also covers violence in the workplace, is as follows:

  • A situation where one person is threatened, assaulted or abused in relation to their work

It is worth noting that an “assault” does not mean you have to be physically attacked, because you can be verbally abused, attacked whether it is racist, sexist or homophobic abuse.

Assault at Work Statistics

According to a report published in the UK, around 350,000 workers were assaulted in the workplace between the years 2015 and 2016 with just under half being physical attacks and over half of the workers being subjected to verbal abuse and/or threats while they were at work. Although the report suggests that close to 1.4% of workers experienced some kind of assault at work during this period of time, it is thought that the figure could be a lot higher due to the fact that many instances of violence and assault in the workplace go unreported.

What Employees Are Most At Risk of Assault at Work?

Studies have shown that employees who work alone or who work late at night as well as social workers are most at risk of experiencing an assault in the workplace. Other professions that put workers and employees more at risk include the following:

  • People who work with the mentally handicapped
  • People who handle cash and/or valuables
  • Prison officers
  • Police
  • Security guards
  • Nurses
  • People who work in the building trade
  • Carers
  • Train station attendants
  • People who work in the public transport sector

Would My Employer Be Liable For an Assault at Work?

An assault in the workplace is more typically carried out by a work colleague or other person is responsible rather than an employer. As such, holding an employer responsible if you are assaulted at work can prove challenging. With this said, all employer’s have a duty to ensure that a working environment is safe and that the risk of harm and injury to employees is minimal. This means that an employer must do their best to ensure that the risk of being assaulted at work is also kept to the minimum.

Should your employer know that a member of staff has violent tendencies towards you, mitigating the risk of an assault at work would be part of their duty of care to keep you safe from harm while you are in their employment. Another scenario where an employer could be deemed liable for an assault at work taking place would be because an employee was not given adequate training when working with mentally handicapped people or people who are known to have violent tendencies.

As such, an employer must provide extra training, support and the correct tools/equipment with an end goal being to reduce the risk of any sort of assault at work from happening. If they fail to do this, an employer could be held liable should you have been assaulted in the workplace. If you believe that your employer could have prevented an assault on you from happening, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in assault at work claims.

This type of claim can be complex and as previously mentioned, establishing liability can prove challenging. As such, a personal injury lawyer would help you through the process of determining whether you have a strong case against your employer and they would offer essential legal advice on how best to proceed in filing an assault at work claim against your employer.

Should the solicitor you contact find that your employer could not be deemed liable, they would typically recommend that you contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority otherwise referred to as CICA and to then start legal proceedings against the person who assaulted you at work.

Does My Employer Pay the Compensation Awarded in an Assault at Work Claim?

If you were the victim of an assault at work and are considering filing for compensation, you may be wondering whether it would be your employer who has to pay the amount you could be awarded if your case against them is upheld. Employers must by law hold liability insurance and the cover must meet the legal requirement which is £5 million. A recognised insurance company must issue the policy which not only covers accidents at work that leave employees injured but also workers who develop a work-related medical condition and those who are victims of an assault in the workplace.

In short, it is your employer’s liability insurance provider who would pay your assault at work compensation and it is the insurance company’s legal department that would handle all aspects of your claim against your employer.

Can I Still File an Assault at Work Claim Against An Employer Who is No Longer Trading?

Just because your employer may no longer be in business, does not mean you cannot file an assault at work claim against them. The reason being that although your employer may no longer be trading, but their liability insurance providers would still be in business and as such, providing you know who the insurance company is, you can claim compensation for an assault at work.

If you do not know who your employer’s insurance provider is, an accident at work lawyer would be able to find this out through the Employer’s Liability Trading Office or ELTO.

Does An Assault at Work Have to Involve a Physical Injury?

If you experience any sort of abuse, threats of violence or you are verbally attacked in any way while you are at work, whether the assault is sexist, racist or homophobic, it is deemed to be an assault at work on you. As such, you could be entitled to seek compensation providing you can show that your employer could be held liable for not keeping you safe from harm while you were in their employment.

What Should I Do If I Am Assaulted at Work?

If you are assaulted at work whether the attack is physical or psychological, the first thing to do is remove yourself from any danger and to get to a safe place. If you have been physically attacked and injured, you should seek medical attention straight away as a matter of urgency. The procedure following an assault at work you should follow is as follows:

  • Find a work colleague or someone who you can trust and tell them about the assault at work you were subjected to
  • Make sure your employer is made aware of the assault on you and what you intend to do which includes seeking medical care for any injuries you sustained
  • If you suffered a physical injury, seek medical attention and make sure the doctor who treats you gives you a detailed medical report detailing the extent of the injuries you sustained – this would be needed when calculating the amount of compensation you may receive if your assault at work claim is upheld
  • Make sure you note down exactly what happened and do this while everything is still fresh in your mind making sure that you include the smallest of details
  • Get the contact details of anyone who witnessed the assault on you
  • Make sure you contact the Police and that you complete a “crime report” of the incident – this would be needed when you file your claim for compensation
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer who specialises in assault at work claims

If the lawyer you contact feels that your employer cannot be held responsible, you can still pursue an assault at work claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) bearing in mind that an official report of the incident must have been made to the Police as early as possible after the assault at work took place for your claim to be considered by the CICA.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Level of Assault at Work Compensation Could I Be Awarded?

The level of assault at work compensation you may be awarded in a successful case against your employer would depend on several factors. However, you would be awarded “general damages” for any injuries you sustained which includes the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering – this includes physical disfigurement, impairment
  • Mental anguish
  • Any loss of companionship you may have had to endure
  • How much your quality of life has been negatively impacted

The level of general damages you may receive would depend on the extent of your injuries and whether there are any long-term effects that you would have to cope with as a direct result of having been the victim of an assault at work.

You would be also awarded “special damages” which would be to compensation you for the following:

  • Any loss of wages you incurred
  • The loss of any future earnings and capacity to work again
  • The cost of replacing or repairing any damaged property
  • The loss of any irreplaceable items and belongings
  • Your medical expenses
  • The travel expenses you incurred to seek treatment

To be awarded “special damages” in a successful assault at work claim against your employer, you would need to provide receipts of all the expenditures you paid out which relate directly to the injuries you sustained.

Could I Lose My Job If I File an Assault at Work Claim?

You cannot lose your job because you seek compensation by filing an assault at work claim. Your employer would be acting unlawfully should they threaten you with the sack or redundancy because your worker’s rights are highly protected and this includes when you are injured, harmed or assaulted in the workplace.

If your employer objects to you making a claim, you should contact a lawyer who would offer essential legal advice on whether you would be entitled to file further legal action against your employer because they acted in this way towards you.

Should I Sue My Employer If Am Assaulted at Work?

As previously mentioned, your rights as an employee are protected which means that you have the right to seek compensation for any injuries and harm you suffer while working for an employer. As such, you would be entitled to file an assault at work claim providing you can prove that your employer could be held responsible. The incident must also have occurred in the last 3 years through no fault of your own.

Once you file an assault at work claim, your employer’s liability insurance provider would deal with all aspects of the case and this includes settling the compensation you may be awarded when your claim is upheld, whether in a court or in an out of court settlement. It is worth noting that 95% of all personal injury claims which includes work-related cases, are settled by an insurance provider before they go before a judge.

Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on an Assault at Work Claim?

If you were assaulted in the workplace and are considering filing for compensation, there are a lot of advantages and benefits to having a lawyer go over your case. If it is found that your have a strong claim against an employer, an experienced solicitor would typically represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. Other benefits of working with a personal injury lawyer includes the following:

  • A personal injury lawyer would offer you an initial consultation for which there is no charge. Depending on the complexity of your case, this can either be done over the phone or in a face-to-face meeting. The consultation does not oblige you to continue with an assault at work claim and you only have to move forward with your case if you feel comfortable doing so
  • As previously mentioned, once it has been established that you have a strong case, a solicitor would work on your assault at work claim by signing a No Win No Fee agreement which in short, means you would not have to pay for the legal representation you receive until you are awarded compensation whether your case is settled by your employer’s liability insurers out of court or by a judge should your assault at work claim be disputed and therefore goes before a judge in court
  • A solicitor would respect the time limits associated with assault at work claims and would make sure that all pre-action protocols are followed
  • Personal injury solicitors can access legal libraries when needed and can base your claim on cases that have been won by employees in the past
  • A lawyer who works on your case would let you know how much compensation you may be entitled to receive as early as possible
  • A solicitor would work hard to ensure you receive the level of assault at work compensation you would be entitled to and if necessary, the solicitor would ensure you receive interim payments if a final settlement takes longer to reach
  • A lawyer would ensure that you are examined by an independent medical professional who would provide an invaluable report on the extent of the injuries you sustained in an assault at work. The level of general damages you receive would be based on this medical report
  • A lawyer would also ensure that you receive ongoing treatment and therapy should you injuries be such that you require long-term medical care

Is There a Time Limit to Filing an Assault at Work Claim?

An assault at work claim has a strict time limit that must be adhered to. This is 3 years from when the incident took place. However, if you can prove that you developed a medical health issue as a direct result of having been assaulted at work, the 3 year time limit starts from the day you were diagnosed as suffering from a condition and the diagnosis must be carried out by a recognised medical professional. If you were assaulted at work prior to your 18th birthday, the 3 year time limit begins from the day you turn 18 years of age.

Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Assault at Work Claim?

If it is found that your case against an employer, work colleague or other person who assaulted you while at work, a solicitor would agree to work on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. You would not have to pay a retainer for the lawyer to begin their investigations and working on your assault at work claim. There would be no ongoing fees to find as your claim progresses either. The only time you would have to pay for the services the firm of solicitors provided, is when you are awarded the assault at work compensation you sued your employer for.

The No Win No Fee agreement is called a Conditional Fee Agreement and it lays out the Terms and Conditions of the contract which is a legally binding document. It also sets out the agree percentage you would have to pay the firm of solicitors who represent you, but the fee is only payable if you win your assault at work claim. The maximum percentage that can be charged is 25% and this would be deducted directly from the assault at work compensation you are awarded.

Should you lose your case, you would not have to pay the agreed fee to the firm of solicitors that provided the legal services on you assault at work claim. The reason being that when entering into a No Win No Fee agreement with you, the lawyers agreed to waive their charges if you did not win your case which is one of the many advantages of having an personal injury solicitor represent you when filing an assault at work claim.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

To find out more about violence in the workplace, the link below provides a lot of valuable information on the subject:

More about violence in the workplace

If you were the victim of violence in the workplace, it is important to know it is not part of the job. The following link provides essential reading on the topic:

Health and Safety Guide to Violence in the Workplace