Employers are legally obliged to ensure that your work environment is safe, but at the same time, employees must adhere to the procedures, policies and rules that are set in place by employers too. No matter how safe a work environment is, accidents happen and the reason could be due to employer negligence or because a fellow worker made a mistake that ended up with you sustaining a workplace injury. With this said, even if you were partly responsible for the accident at work, your employer could be held partly liable too.
To find out more information on what happens when an employer denies liability for an accident at work that left you injured, please read on.
How to Establish Liability For An Accident at Work
If your employer denies liability for the injuries you sustained in the workplace, you should contact a personal injury solicitor to discuss the circumstances that led up to the incident. Lawyers have years of experience when it comes to establishing who may responsible for the injuries employees sustain whether they were partly responsible, whether a fellow worker caused the incident or whether it was through employer negligence.
Very often, it only takes a letter from the solicitor you contact when thinking about claiming compensation for an employer for them to accept they were responsible for the accident at work that left you injured. With this said, if the circumstances that led up to the incident are less obvious, it could make it easier to for your employer to deny liability in which case, an experienced personal injury lawyer would typically advise that you file a lawsuit against your boss but only if they believe that you have a strong case. This could mean that reaching a final settlement may take longer than if your employer accepted responsibility for the workplace injuries you sustained.
It is also worth noting that liability insurance companies are often the ones who encourage employers to deny responsibility for workplace injuries sustained by employees. With this said, even an insurer would change their minds when they receive a letter from your solicitor especially if you have a strong case that proves employer negligence. The outcome is that the insurer would offer an out of court settlement to prevent your case going before a judge. Should your accident at work claim be upheld by a judge, the insurance company would not only have to pay their own court costs, but yours too. This is one of the reasons why 95% of personal injury claims never get to court.
Can I Claim Losses and Damages If My Employer Denies Liability?
Once an experienced personal injury lawyer establishes that you have a strong claim and that your employer could be deemed negligent in their duty to ensure that a work environment was safe which resulted in you suffering an injury whether minor or more severe, you could add both your losses and your damages to your personal injury claim.
You would be compensated general damages for the injuries you suffered and the amount you receive would reflect how bad your injuries were and how they negatively impact your life and ability to work again. Should this be the case, an accident at work lawyer would work hard to prove employer negligence and that you are awarded a level of accident at work compensation that your injuries merit.
You would be awarded special damages to compensate you for all the expenses you had to pay out as a result of having been injured in the workplace. This would include the travel costs you incurred going to and from hospital or other medical facilities to receive treatment or therapy, your medical expenses which would include the cost of prescriptions and other medical expenses you had to pay out as a consequence of your workplace injuries. Other losses that would come under “special damages” would include the following:
- Care costs should your injuries mean that you require help around the home during your recovery
- Home adaptations if your injuries are such that your house needs to be modified
- All other expenses you had to pay out as a direct result of having been injured in a workplace accident
Because special damages that are awarded in successful accident at work claims are based on “actual” expenses, you must keep all relevant receipts which would be required as proof of the costs you incurred due to the injuries you sustained in the workplace. You would need to provide the receipts along with the other evidence relating to the accident at work you were involved in, keeping copies for your own files.
Is It Worth Suing My Employer if They Deny Liability?
Even if your employer does not accept responsibility for the workplace injuries you sustained, you should still contact a personal injury solicitor because the expert legal advice they can offer could mean your employer has a change of mind. As previously touched upon, all too often it is enough for an employer to receive a letter from the lawyer who represents you, for them to accept that the responsibility for the injuries you sustained, falls to them.
All employers are legally obliged to have insurance and the policy must be issued by a provider that is recognised insurance company. The policy must meet the legal £5 million requirement and the certificate should be displayed in the workplace. Your employer must provide you with the details of their insurers when you request the information too. When you claim compensation by filing an accident at work claim against your employer, it is the insurer who pays out the amount you are awarded. The insurance provider handles every aspect of the claim which includes whether your employer denies liability for the injuries you sustained or not.
The majority of personal injury claims are settled before they go to court, but if your employer does not accept liability and your solicitor believes they could be held responsible because your case is strong, the solicitor would typically advise that you start court proceedings against your employer. Should this be the case, as previously mentioned, a final settlement may take longer to reach. It would also mean that you may have to attend court and as such it is very important that you follow your personal injury solicitor’s instructions closely.
Do I Have Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work?
Worker’s rights are protected by law which means that if you are injured in an accident at work, you can do the following without worrying that you would lose your job:
- Seek compensation for the injuries you sustained by filing an accident at work claim against your employer
An employer who threatens you with the sack or redundancy would be acting unlawfully because they would be breaching your employee rights. This could entitle you to file more legal action out against your employer. As such, you should contact an employment law solicitor who would be in the best position to advise you on how best to proceed.
Does My Employer Have Responsibilities in the Workplace?
Employers must ensure that a workplace is safe. They must also take all reasonable measures to keep employees and other people who visit the workplace safe from injury and harm. Employers must adhere to Health and Safety Executive regulations and other laws that are there to protect you. If an employer ignores the law and Health and Safety regulations which results in an workplace accident that leaves you injured, they could be held liable. Your employer’s responsibilities towards you in the workplace include the following:
- To ensure that you are fully award of all working practices and procedures
- That you are fully trained to carry out a job and use machinery, equipment and tools
- To ensure that ongoing training is provided to all employees and other workers
- To provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary so that you can carry out a job safely
- To carry out risk assessments to identify hazards and dangers
- That all equipment, tools and machinery is in good working order
Should your employer have failed to do any of the above and as a consequence you were involved in a workplace accident that left you injured, your employer could be held responsible and therefore, you could be entitled to seek accident at work compensation from them.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Claim?
Having the legal expertise that a personal injury lawyer can provide offers many advantages which includes the following:
- Personal injury lawyers provide a free initial consultation which allows them the chance to assess your claim without requesting that you pay a fee for them to do so
- A personal injury solicitor would represent you on a No Win No Fee basis once they are satisfied you have a strong claim against your employer
- A personal injury solicitor can access legal libraries when required
- A lawyer would let you know how much accident at work compensation you would be likely to receive
- The lawyer would handle all aspects of your claim which includes communicating with your employer and the insurance company
- Your lawyer would work hard to prove that your employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained while working for them even if your employer denies responsibility by investigating the circumstances that led to the incident happening
- The lawyer would arrange for an independent medical professional to examine you so they could produce an official report detailing the extent of your injuries which would be used as a basis for the general damages you would be awarded in a successful claim against your employer
- A lawyer would also ensure that you receive interim payments should your case go on longer than anticipated due to the complexities of your injuries
- A personal injury solicitor would make sure that the accident at work compensation you receive is fair
Another great advantage of having a personal injury solicitor represent you is that should your injuries be so severe that you require ongoing, long-term treatment the cost of this would be included in the compensation you are awarded and this includes physiotherapy and other medical care that is required.
Is There a Time Limit To Making an Accident at Work Claim?
You would have 3 years to file an accident at work claim against your employer and if you believe they would not accept responsibility for the injuries you sustained, it is better to seek legal advice sooner rather than later because gathering all the evidence and information needed to prove employer liability can take a lot of time and effort. With this in mind, there is a 3 year statutory time limit to filing personal injury claims which must be adhered to or your claim could end up being “time barred”. When a time limit begins is detailed below:
- 3 years from the date of your accident at work injury
- 3 years from the time a medical professional diagnoses you as suffering from a health issue that is linked to the injury you suffered in the workplace
- 3 years from your 18th birthday if the incident at work occurred before this time
If you suffered a workplace injury and your employer denies liability, the sooner you seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you would be able to establish employer negligence and get your accident at work claim against them started and the faster you would receive accident at work compensation for the injuries you suffered and the financial losses you had to endure.
Could My Employer Fire Me For Filing an Accident at Work Claim?
As previously mentioned, your worker’s rights are protected and this includes when you get injured in the workplace. As such, you have the right to do the following:
- To file an accident at work claim against your employer
- To seek compensation and be awarded an amount to suit the workplace injuries you suffered through no fault of your own
If your employer attempts to prevent you from filing an accident at work claim against them or they try to fire you, or treat you unfairly or detrimentally, they would be acting unlawfully and as such, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in employment law because you may be entitled to file further legal action against your employer. This could include a detriment claim and an unfair dismissal claim and you would be awarded compensation for your employer’s unlawful behaviour towards you.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Claim If An Employer Denies Liability?
Providing an personal injury solicitor believes that you have a strong claim and that your employer could be deemed negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury while you were in their employment, they would agree to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. However, you must provide as much evidence as you can to prove that your employer did not keep you safe in the workplace and this includes providing details of the circumstances that led up to the workplace accident that left you injured. Other evidence that you would need to provide the solicitor is as follows:
- A medical report of the injuries you sustained – this is the initial report that was carried out by the first doctor who examined you whether in an Accident Emergency department of a local hospital or your own GP
- The official report as detailed in the Accident Report Book. If one does not exist in the place you work, it can be a letter or personal email that you sent to your employer as soon after the workplace incident as possible
- Photos of the injuries you sustained preferably before you were treated by a medical professional
- Witness statements and their contact details
When employers deny liability for injuries that employees sustain in the workplace, it is usually under the advice of their liability insurance providers. When an official letter from a personal injury lawyer is sent to an employer, it often provokes a different response which means that your employer then admits responsibility for the accident at work injuries you suffered while in the workplace.
However, if the circumstances surrounding the accident at work you were involved in are more complicated and therefore would allow an employer to deny liability, you may find that your personal injury lawyer recommends that you file a lawsuit in the courts against your employer but only if the solicitor believes you have a very strong chance of winning your claim.
Should the solicitor you contact believe your case is strong, they would agree to represent you without requesting a retainer and would sign a No Win No Fee agreement with you which allows them to begin their investigations straight away. There would be no ongoing fees to find either as your case progresses whether through the courts or not. If your lawyer thinks your employer’s case is stronger than yours, they would advise you that it may be better to drop your claim and there would be no fees to pay if this is so either.
Because the statutory 3 year time limit must be adhered to, it is much better to begin your accident at work claim against an employer who denies liability for injuries you sustained sooner rather than later. The reason being that the lawyer who represents you would need to investigate all aspects of your case before they would be able to establish whether your employer could indeed, be held responsible for the workplace injuries you sustained while in their employment.
If you were injured in a workplace accident and your employer denied liability, you can find more information employer’s duty of care in a work environment by clicking on the link below:
To find out more about your worker’s rights, please follow the link below: