One of the most common accidents at work involve slips, trips and falls and although many injuries sustained are minor, some can be a lot more severe causing serious head injuries, broken bones, back injuries and could even be fatal. If you suffered an accident at work that left you injured, you could be entitled to file a slip, trip and fall claim against a negligent employer even if a work colleague was responsible for the incident occurring.
The Most Common Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace
The most common reason for a slip, trip and fall accident at work that could leave you with a minor or more severe injury, occurs when floors are slippery or wet. A slippery surface could be the result of not cleaning up spillages as soon as they happen. An employer or person in charge, must put appropriate signs when a floor is wet otherwise if you slip, trip and fall injuring yourself in the process, they could be held liable and would have to pay you the compensation you deserve for all the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incur as a direct result of being injured at work.
However, other workplace areas can be slippery which is especially true of loading bays and other high traffic areas. If you work in an area where the floor surface is slippery or wet, an employer must provide you with appropriate anti-slip footwear so that you can carry out your job safely. Should you trip on something that was left in your way because the work area was untidy or because a cover was not replaced correctly on a drain, you may be entitled to file for compensation should you suffer any sort of injury that prevents you from working. Again, an employer would be held liable for your injuries.
UK employers are legally required to ensure that workplaces are kept tidy and free from loose wires, equipment/tools left on a floor or anything else that might result in you having an accident at work that leaves you injured.
Accident at Work Statistics
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that over 600,000 employees were injured at work from 2016 to 2017. The accidents that occurred were as follows:
- 22% of employees were injured when manually handling something at work
- 29% of people suffered injuries through slip, trip and fall accidents
- 10% of employees were injured when coming into contact with machinery and moving vehicles
- 7% of workers were injured when falling from a height
How Much Compensation Could I Receive for a Slip, Trip and Fall Injury?
The level of compensation you may be awarded in a successful slip, trip and fall claim would depend on the severity and complexity of your injuries. Each case is treated as unique and a court would factor in several things when calculating the amount of compensation you may receive. This includes the following:
- The severity of your injuries
- The amount of time you were off sick due to your injuries
- The out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of your slip, trip and fall injury
- Whether you require ongoing treatment
- Whether your injuries are so severe, you would not be able to work again
How Do I Start a Slip, Trip and Fall Claim?
Should you have suffered a slip, trip and fall accident at work, there are certain things you should do even if at first you are not thinking about filing a personal injury claim against your employer. The steps you should take are as follows:
- Seek medical attention as soon as you are able to
- Make sure the slip, trip and fall accident is recorded in the Accident at Work Book – if none exists, write down all the details of the accident and your injuries and send this to your employer making sure you keep a copy for your own records
- If necessary, make sure the incident gets reported to the Health and Safety Executive
- Take witness statements and note down their contact details
- Take photos of where the slip, trip and fall accident occurred
- Take photos of your injuries
Should you not be able to do any of the above because you injuries prevent you from doing so, you should ensure someone else does this on your behalf because this evidence will prove and strengthen your slip, trip and fall claim against a negligent employer.
Should I File a Slip, Trip and Fall Claim Against my Employer?
You may be worried about filing a slip, trip and fall claim against your employer, but if you suffered an injury whether minor or more severe that prevented you from working, you have every right to claim compensation for your injuries. The reason being that your employer could be found negligent in their duty of care to keep you safe from harm in the workplace. If you are unable to work for a period of time, it could put a you in financial difficulties and being awarded the level of compensation you rightly deserve can prevent this from happening.
What are My Rights Following a Slip, Trip and Fall at Work Accident?
All employees are protected by law when it comes to being injured, developing an illness or disease in the workplace. Employers must legally keep you safe from harm while you are at work and if they fail to do so and you are injured, your rights are as follows:
- That you receive the level of compensation you rightly deserve following a slip, trip and fall injury
- That your work environment is safe for you to work in
- That your job is safe even if you decide to file for compensation following a slip, trip and fall accident
Your employer is legally responsible when it comes to carrying out risk assessments of the workplace and to set in place measures to reduce the risk of you being injured once hazards and dangers are identified.
Could I Be Sacked for Filing a Slip, Trip and Fall Claim Against My Employer?
As previously mentioned, your employer cannot by law fire you for making any sort of claim for compensation against them and this includes slip, trip and fall accidents that leave you injured. If your employer sacks you for filing a claim, you could sue your employer for unfair dismissal and file a personal injury claim against them for the injuries you sustained.
How to Start a Slip, Trip and Fall Injury Claim
You should gather as much evidence as possible before filing a slip, trip and fall claim against a negligent employer. The best course of action is to seek legal advice as early as possible and to follow their instructions on what is needed as proof that you suffered an injury through a slip, trip and fall accident in the workplace through not fault of your own. Because work-related injury claims are complex legal procedures, it is best to work with a solicitor who specialises in work-related claims and who understands the legal process involved. This increases your chances of filing a successful slip, trip and fall claim against your employer.
For your slip, trip and fall claim to be successful, you must provide as much evidence as possible of the accident and your injuries which includes the following:
- Details of where the incident occurred
- Details of the injuries you sustained
- Whether the incident was reported to the Health and Safety Executive where appropriate
- Whether the incident was recorded in the Accident Report Book
- Witness details including their contact details
- Hospital or doctor’s report of your injuries
- Out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of your injuries
All of the above is needed to not only prove and strengthen your slip, trip and fall claim, but also to calculate how much compensation you may be awarded on a successful claim against a negligent employer.
Working with a No Win No Fee Solicitor on a Slip, Trip and Fall Claim
Because work-related personal injury claims tend to be complex, you should seek legal advice as early as possible because it can take a long time to gather all the information and evidence needed to prove and strengthen your claim bearing in mind there is a 3 year time limit that must be adhered to. Working with a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims makes the whole legal process a lot easier to understand and improves your chances of winning your case and receiving the level of compensation you rightly deserve for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred.
A solicitor would offer a free initial consultation which allows them the opportunity of assessing your claim and once it is established you have a strong case against an employer who failed to keep you safe from harm in the workplace, they would typically offer to work on a No Win No Fee basis. As such, you would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement which is a legal contract that sets out the agreed “success fee” you would have to pay on a successful slip, trip and fall claim. The agreement also sets out the “terms and conditions” of the contract. Should your claim not be successful, you would not have to pay anything to the solicitor but if your slip, trip and fall claim is successful and you receive the compensation you deserve, the solicitor would deduct their fee from the amount you are awarded.