There may be some cases where you are at fault for an accident at work, for example, if the incident was caused as a result of an error you made. However, even if you believe you are responsible, you could still be entitled to receive accident at work compensation.
To be eligible, you would need to prove that the accident was caused as a result of inadequate training or because you were not given adequate personal protective equipment to carry out a job which means your employer would be in breach of their duty to keep you safe in the workplace. It is unlikely that you will be able to claim compensation if you are completely to blame for the accident and an employer can prove they provided adequate training and PPE, but it is still always worth discussing your case with an accident at work solicitor.
Can I File an Accident at Work Claim if I am Partly Responsible?
Accident at work claims are often successful amongst those who are partly to blame for an accident. If you are partially responsible for causing an accident in the workplace, you could make a claim against your employer. For example, if 30% of the fault lies with you, and another person is 70% to blame whether it is your employer or a work colleague, the amount of compensation you receive may be reduced by 30% to account for your share of the fault. It is worth noting that determining the amount of blame can be a complex process. As such, it is always best to discuss your case and the circumstances surrounding an accident at work with a solicitor who specialises in this type of claim.
In order to make a successful claim for an accident at work where you are partly responsible, you would need to prove that a portion of the blame lies with another person which could be a work colleague or an employer. However, you are not automatically entitled to receive compensation, even if the accident was not your fault. You must fully demonstrate that someone else is legally liable. As such, it is important to speak to an accident at work solicitor who would be able to establish whether you can make a claim and whether you are partly liable along with another third party.
How Do I Establish Who Is Liable for an Accident at Work?
In some accidents in the workplace, liability is obvious. However, in other circumstances, you may be left wondering, “Was the accident my fault?” Whatever the nature of the incident, you should seek advice from a solicitor. Personal injury claims are often complicated, and it may not be that obvious as to whether you would be eligible to file for compensation. An experienced accident at work solicitor would be able to offer advice regarding your individual case. They would let you know whether you have a strong chance of filing a successful claim against an employer because they were in breach of their duty and therefore even if you were the cause of an accident, the blame would fall to your employer.
What Should I Do Following an Accident at Work?
You should follow your company’s accident at work procedure by reporting the incident to your employer as soon as possible, even if you think you are responsible. You should also make sure the details of the workplace accident is recorded in your company’s accident book and that you can check the details to make sure they are correct. If there is no accident report book, you should still follow the company’s accident at work procedure, before making a personal record of the accident and sending it to your employer. You should also keep a copy for yourself. If your injury makes it difficult to report the accident yourself, ask another person to record it on your behalf.
Following your accident at work, you may not feel that your injuries are particularly serious. You should, however, still be examined by a doctor who would assess your injuries before writing an official medical report which would be required later if you decide to make a claim for compensation against your employer. You may also need the medical report should you want to make a claim for benefits. Further information about benefits for industrial injuries and the accident at work time limit can be found on GOV.UK website.
You could also seek advice from your Health and Safety Executive representative or contact a trade union representative if you believe the conditions of your workplace are unsafe putting you in serious or immediate danger of suffering an accident at work. By law, you are entitled to protect yourself at work and in some cases, this could mean taking a leave of absence until the health and safety issues are rectified.
Does My Employer Have to Provide Adequate Training?
Your employer has a legal duty to put into place all measures necessary to ensure your health, safety and well-being at work. By law, your employer must abide by current health and safety and employment laws, as well as health and safety executive legislation. It is your employer’s ethical and moral duty to take every reasonable measure to prevent injuries of any kind occurring in the workplace, and they must meet their responsibilities when accident at work claims are filed against them should they be deemed liable.
Your employer’s duty of care towards you and all other employee typically includes the following:
- Providing a clear definition of duties and carrying out regular risk assessments
- Ensuring safe working conditions
- Providing sufficient ongoing training and to carry out regular performance reviews
- Ensuring no excessive hours are worked by any employees
- Providing suitable rest areas for breaks
- Protecting staff from harassment or bullying by work colleagues and/or other parties
- Ensuring discrimination does not occur in the workplace
- Offering clear routes of communication so that employees can raise issues or concerns when they deem it necessary
- Consulting employees on any issues or concerns they may have
Your employer may be in breach of their duty of care putting you at risk of suffering an accident at work if they fail to carry out any reasonable measures to protect you from injury and harm. It is also worth noting that you are also responsible for your own well-being and safety in the workplace. It is also worth noting that by law, you are entitled to refuse to carry out any duties that you believe are unsafe, without the fear of being fired or the threat of disciplinary action being taken out against you.
Does My Employer Have to Provide Me With Adequate Personal Protective Equipment?
Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, your employer must provide you with personal protective equipment (PPE) if you are exposed to health and safety risks at work which includes working with hazardous substances. They must also provide adequate protective wear like goggles, gloves, hard hats, non-slip footwear and other clothing that offers adequate protection in the workplace. This legal requirement is only exempt if the health and safety risk is sufficiently controlled by an equally or more effective means of protection.
In order to reduce the risks of an accident at work, an employer must ensure that all personal protective equipment is readily available in the workplace and that you are given clear instructions on where you can find it when needed. PPE must also be correctly stored and maintained. Under Section 9 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, an employee cannot be charged for the provision of personal protective equipment which is used only in the workplace. Section 9 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 prevents your employer from levying any charges for specific requirements of the “relevant statutory provisions”. These “specific requirements” include the provision of personal protective equipment.
Should I File an Accident at Work Claim if I am Responsible?
Even if you believe you could be responsible or partly responsible for an accident at work in which you suffered an injury whether minor or more catastrophic, you should still follow the correct procedure when it comes to reporting and recording the incident. You should also gather as much evidence and proof as you can relating not only to the incident and the circumstances around which it occurred, but also of all the injuries you sustained and the treatment you would require during your recovery.
You should always contact an accident at work solicitor who would be in the best position to assess your case before advising you whether you have a strong claim against an employer and how best to proceed.
Would a Solicitor Work On a No Win No Fee Basis?
If you have suffered an accident at work, you may be hesitant when it comes to filing a claim against your employer because of the cost involved. You may also not make for a claim because you believe you have gone over the statutory accident at work time limit. You may even think, that the “accident my fault?” and therefore you would not be entitled to file for compensation.
However, the cost of hiring an accident at work solicitor need not be a concern and should not prevent you from making a compensation claim against an employer, even if you believe you were at fault or partly responsible for the accident occurring. The reason being that many solicitors offer a No Win, No Fee service, which means you would not have to pay an upfront fee for them taking on your case.
If you decide to work with an accident at work solicitor, you would typically be offered a free initial, no obligation consultation. If your solicitor believes that you have a strong case to claim compensation against an employer even if they believe you were responsible for the accident occurring, you would be asked to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which allows a solicitor to begin working on your case without requesting an upfront fee or retainer. In such a case, the Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a legal contract, sets out the Terms and Conditions as well as the percentage you agreed to pay a solicitor for the legal services they provide when filing an accident at work claim.
You would only pay a No Win No Fee solicitor if your claim is successful. The amount you pay is referred to as a “success fee”, and the amount is directly taken from the compensation you receive whether it is awarded by a judge or in an “out of court settlement”. Should your accident at work claim not be successful, having entered into a CFA with the solicitor, there would be nothing to pay for the legal services they provided.