If you get hurt on the job, you have every right to sue your employer as long as your claim meets certain necessary criteria. One being that the accident at work in which you suffered injuries happened in the past 3 years and second that it occurred due to the negligence either of an employer or because of the actions of a work colleague.
If you were injured at work because your employer failed in their duty to keep you safe, you would have every right to sue them and receive a level of compensation that suits the injuries and damages you sustained. To find out more about whether you can sue your employer for getting hurt on the job, please read on.
Was the Accident Reportable to RIDDOR?
Certain accidents at work must by law be reported to RIDDOR and if an employer fails to do so, they could receive a substantial fine from the enforcing authorities. This can be anything up to £20,000 for not reporting an accident and injury to RIDDOR. Employers must report the following:
- All major injuries
- All dangerous incidents that occur in the workplace
- All injuries that prevent workers from carrying out their normal daily duties for more than 3 days
- All diseases
It is always worth making sure that an employer has reported any of the incidents above to RIDDOR which as an employee, you have every right to do. If you find that the incident has not been reported, you should discuss the matter with a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims and employment law.
Your Employer’s Responsibility for Health and Safety in the Workplace
All employers have a duty to carry out regular risk assessments in the workplace. They must also set in place measures to reduce the risk of employees and visitors being injured. Other measures that employers should set in place are as follows:
- To establish how many people should be designated as “first aiders”
- To determine what type of first aid facilities and equipment are needed in the workplace
Should an employer fail in their duty to follow Health and Safety Executive regulations, and you are hurt on the job, they could be held liable for your injuries. An employer must adhere to the following:
- To keep an up-to-date record of all accidents and near misses in the workplace
- To keep an accident report book up to date – very small companies are exempt from keeping an accident report book
Should your employer be in breach of any of the above which results in you getting hurt on the job, you could have every right to sue for compensation. However, all employees have a duty to ensure their own safety when at work by acting reasonably while carrying out the jobs they are tasked to do on a daily basis.
Would I Be Entitled to Sick Pay?
Getting hurt on the job can mean you have time off work in which case and providing you are an employee, you would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). With this said, some employers pay more in the way of sick pay to their employees even when they are off work due to injuries they sustained in an accident at work. You would find out whether this is so by reading your employment contract.
Should I Sue My Employer For Getting Hurt on the Job?
If you feel that your employer was negligent in their duty which resulted in you getting hurt on the job, you should discuss the circumstance surrounding your case with an accident at work lawyer who would determine whether you have a strong claim. This type of personal injury claim can be complex and establishing liability often proves challenging.
However, once a solicitor has assessed your claim and decided that your employer could be deemed liable for your getting hurt on the job, they would take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. This would allow a solicitor to contact your employer’s insurers alerting them to the fact you intend on filing for compensation.
Your employer must by law, have valid liability insurance in place and should display the certificate in the workplace so that it is clearly visible to all. If the certificate of liability insurance is not on display, your employer should provide you with their insurance details when you request them.
What To Do After Getting Hurt on the Job
You should always follow the workplace procedure following an accident at work that results in you getting hurt on the job. With this said, there are specific things that you should do when you are injured in an accident at work which are as follows:
- You should ensure there is a record of the incident and your injury in the accident report book and if there is no book, make sure you send a letter or email to your employer detailing the accident and your injuries. You should keep a copy of this for your own records
- If the accident is reportable to RIDDOR, make sure this has been done
- Look at your employment contract or statement of employment to see what sick pay you may be entitled to receive after getting hurt on the job
- Should your employer dispute your claim, make sure you attempt to sort it out before seeking legal advice
If your employer makes it hard for you to report an accident at work or a near miss, you should discuss your concerns with a solicitor who specialises not only in employment law, but accident at work claims too.
What Can I Include in My Claim After Getting Hurt on the Job?
After getting hurt on the job and providing you can prove your case against a negligent employer, there are certain things that you can include in your claim. When calculating the amount you could receive in a successful claim, the two categories that are used are as follows:
- General damages
- Special damages
When calculating general damages, a court or your employer’s insurers would take the following into consideration:
- The extent of your injuries and how your life has been impacted
- The amount of time required off work
- Whether your injuries are so severe that you would require ongoing treatment
- Whether you would be able to enjoy the activities you enjoyed prior to being injured in an accident at work
- Whether you would be able to work again
When calculating special damages, this is much simpler because it covers the out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of getting hurt on the job. As such, special damages would include the following:
- Travel expenses to receive treatments
- Medical expenses
It is essential to keep all of your receipts as these would be needed as proof of the expenses you incurred as a direct result of getting hurt on the job.
What are My Workers Rights After Getting Hurt on the Job?
You have certain rights following an accident at work and getting hurt on the job could mean that you are put under a lot of financial pressure. As such, you have every right to the following:
- To seek the level of compensation you rightly deserve for the injuries and out of pocket expenses you incur through no fault of your own
- Not to worry that your job is at risk should you decide to sue your employer for compensation
Should your employer treat you detrimentally because you file an accident at work claim against them, you should get in touch with a solicitor who would provide essential legal advice on how best to proceed before you do anything which includes resigning from your job.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor When Suing an Employer?
There are many benefits to working with an accident at work lawyer when suing an employer for negligence in the workplace. Not only does it mean you have essential legal advice on how to go about making a claim, but it also allows you to concentrate on your recovery after getting hurt on the job. Solicitors have vast experience when it comes to working with clients on accident at work claims and they have access to legal libraries all of which can help speed up what is often a complicated legal process.
The solicitor would also ensure that you receive the correct compensation for the injuries you sustained in the workplace by negotiating directly on your behalf with your employer’s insurance company. This alone can speed up the process, bearing in mind that an employer may dispute your claim from the outset. As such, the solicitor would gather all the information and evidence needed to prove your case against an employer so it is upheld by a judge should your claim go to court. It is worth noting that the majority of personal injury claims (95%) are settled out of court by an employer’s insurance company.
How Long Do I Have to Sue My Employer for Getting Hurt on the Job?
Personal injury claim time limits are as follows:
- 3 years from getting hurt on the job
- 3 years from the date you were diagnosed with a work-related medical condition
- 3 years from when you turn 18 years of age if the injury sustained occurred when you were under the age of 18
It is best to start an accident at work claim against an employer sooner rather than later, the reason being that should your employer dispute your claim, it can take more time proving that they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe in the workplace.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Suing Them?
Your job is safe even if you decide to sue an employer for getting hurt on the job because it is part of your worker’s rights to seek compensation. The only time an employer can fire you is when there is good reason for doing so other than the fact that you are suing them for being injured in an accident at work. If your employer chooses to sack you for no good reason, you could be entitled to file an unfair dismissal claim against them and as such, you should discuss this with a solicitor who specialises in employment law.
Would a Solicitor Work With Me on a No Win No Fee Basis?
Once a solicitor has determined that you have a strong claim against a negligent employer which they would do by offering an initial, free, no obligation consultation, they would typically offer to represent you when suing an employer for getting hurt on the job, on a No Win No Fee basis. The solicitor could then begin work on your case without the need to request a retainer or upfront fee.
No Win No Fee structures were set in place to help people when it comes to receiving legal representation that they would not otherwise be able to afford. A solicitor would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with you that sets out the amount you would only have to pay on a successful claim. This is referred to as a “success fee” or percentage of the amount you are awarded which is deducted directly from the compensation you receive. Should your hurt on the job accident claim not be successful, you would not have to pay the success fee for the legal services a firm of solicitors provided.