Suffering a brain injury at work can negatively impact every aspect of your life and could leave you with a permanent disability. As such, it is essential that you have the right legal advice when it comes to seeking the correct level of compensation from a negligent employer. It ensures that your life is made as comfortable as possible should you have had the misfortune of suffering a brain injury at work through no fault of your own in last three years that left you unable to work or live a normal life.
Do You Have a Valid Brain Injury Claim?
If you were in a work-related accident in which you sustained a brain injury and the incident occurred in the last 3 years, providing you can prove employer negligence, you could be entitled to file a brain injury claim against them. The same is true if the accident was caused by a work colleague in which case, your employer may still be held liable for your brain injury. It is worth noting that the time limit of 3 years is longer where children are concerned.
The best course of action when suffering this type of serious injury in the workplace, is to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in brain injury claims and to do so as early as possible.
Who Can File a Brain Injury Claim?
Any employee who suffers a brain injury in an accident at work would be entitled to file a claim for compensation providing it can be proved the incident occurred through the negligence of a third party, whether an employer or work colleague. With this said, if you are a family member or loved one of someone who has sustained a brain injury at work, you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation on the injured party’s behalf.
How Much Brain Injury Compensation Might I Be Awarded?
The amount of brain injury compensation you may be awarded would depend on the severity and complexity of your condition. Should you or a family member/loved, have sustained a catastrophic brain injury, then care and assistance might be necessary on an ongoing basis for the remainder of your or their lives. If the brain damage is less severe, you may find that you or the person injured in an accident at work might only be incapacitated for a shorter period of time.
General damages that are awarded on a successful brain injury claim could be anything from £2,000 for a minor injury to the head right up to over £320,000 for a more severe injury that leaves you with brain damage. On top of the general damages you may be awarded, a court could award special damages too which would cover all the out-of-pocket expenses you or a loved one incurred as a direct result of their brain injury.
With this said, you may be awarded an initial lump sum which would cover the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you had to endure and that an additional amount of compensation could be awarded to cover any life-changing things that negatively impact your daily life which could include the following:
- Future medical costs for necessary treatments
- Care costs should you have to go into care or need to have daily care around your home because you cannot carry out normal daily chores on your own
- Alterations to your home to accommodate your needs
- Financial losses because you are unable to work again
Accidents at Work Statistics
According to Health and Safety Executive statistics, 600,000 employees and workers suffer some kind of injury when involved in an accident at work. Should you have sustained a brain injury at work, you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation if you believe the incident occurred due to the negligence of your employer.
Employers in the UK are legally required to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace. They must by law abide by all the Health and Safety Executive regulations that are set in place to keep employees safe while at work. With this said, it could be that a manager or work colleague was not totally “at fault” for an accident that left you injured occurring but this does not mean you would not be entitled to file a brain injury claim against your employer.
However, your employer must by law carry out regular risk assessments of the workplace to identify any dangers and hazards that employees may have to contend with on a daily basis. Once identified, employers should set in place measures to minimise the risk of employees being injured by providing the correct personal protective equipment and adequate training for the job you and your work colleagues are tasked to do. Should your employer fail in their duty to keep you safe from injury and harm, they could be deemed negligent should you suffer a brain injury at work through no fault of your own.
What if My Brain Injury was Caused By a Work Colleague?
As previously mentioned, if you were involved in an accident at work that was caused by a work colleague and you sustained a brain injury, your employer could be held liable. This is known as “vicarious liability” and it covers workplace accidents that are caused by other employees whether through error or bad judgement.
What if I Am Partly Responsible for My Brain Injury?
Even if you were partly responsible for an accident at work that left you with a brain injury, you may still be entitled to file a claim against your employer. A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims that deal with brain injuries, would establish if there is a case for a “split liability” agreement. If so, you would receive a level of compensation to match the level of liability you have in the accident at work occurring. An example being that if a court deems you were 25% responsible, you would be awarded 25% less in the way of compensation.
Should I File a Brain Injury Claim Against My Employer?
Any sort of brain injury can negatively impact your daily life whether for a short period of time or more long-term. Not being able to work, could put you or your loved ones under tremendous financial pressure and unable to pay a mortgage and other monthly bills. Filing a brain injury claim against a negligent employer, would help you financially taking all the worry of how to pay future living costs. On top of this, once an accident at work solicitor has assessed your case, they would offer to represent you without having to request an upfront fee if you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement with them. This means you would not have to worry about paying a retainer for the solicitor to start working on your brain injury claim. The reason being the solicitor would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis.
What Are My Rights Following an Accident at Work?
As an employee you have an accident at work that leaves you with a brain injury whether minor or a lot more severe, you have certain rights which are detailed below:
- That you can file a brain injury claim against a negligent employer without the fear of losing your job
- That you are awarded a level of compensation that suits the severity of your brain injury
Your employer must abide by the law and legislation as set out by the Health and Safety Executive and failure to do so could result in them being deemed negligence should you suffer an accident at work that leaves you with a brain injury.
What Steps Should I Take Following an Accident at Work that Left me With a Brain Injury?
Should you be involved in an accident at work and you sustain a brain injury, there are specific steps that you must take whether you are planning to file a personal injury claim against a negligent employer or not. It would be fair to say that following the incident, you may not want to think about claiming compensation straight away, but once your injuries are correctly diagnosed, this may change. With this said, the first and most important thing to do is to seek medical attention as a matter of urgency. The steps that must take following an accident in the workplace are detailed below:
- Ensure the incident is reported to the right person/people
- Ensure the accident is recorded in the Accident Report Book and if one is not available or your injuries prevent you from doing this, make sure a work colleague or someone else makes a record of the accident, where it occurred and the injuries you sustained
- If necessary, the incident must be reported to RIDDOR
- Get witness statements and their contact details
- Ensure photos are taken of where the accident occurred and of the injuries you sustained
What Can be Included in a Brain Injury Claim?
Following an accident at work that leaves you injured, whether your injuries are slight or severe and you decide to file a brain injury claim against your employer because you believe they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe from injury and harm, there are specific things that can be included in your claim so that you are awarded the level of brain injury compensation you rightly deserve. These are detailed below:
- General damages
- Special damages
General damages in more detail could include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of amenity
Special damages may be awarded which could include the following:
- Medical expenses you incurred as a direct result of suffering a brain injury
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings should you not be able to work again
- Care costs if you need daily assistance at home or if you have to go into a care home
Could I Be Awarded an Interim Payment in a Brain Injury Claim?
Because brain injury claims can involve long-term treatment and because they are often complex, long-drawn legal processes, a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims would negotiate an interim payment for you. This is to help you financially until you receive a final settlement whether a court rules in your favour and awards you a level of compensation you rightly deserve, or your employer’s insurers offer to settle your brain injury claim out of court.
Is There a Time Limit to making a Brain Injury Claim?
As with most accident at work claims, the brain injury time limit stands at 3 years from the date you sustained your injury. This is the statutory time limit that must be adhered to. Failing to file a claim before the time limit expires, could mean you would lose out on receiving the compensation you deserve even if you can prove employer negligence. In legal terms, this is known as a claim becoming “statute barred”.
However, in some cases where the damage is not diagnosed until much later, the time limit could begin from the date a medical professional diagnosed your condition which is referred to as “date of knowledge”.
How Do No Win, No Fee Agreements Work on Brain Injury Claims?
Once a solicitor has assessed your brain injury claim and believes that you have a strong case against a negligent employer, they would typically offer to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with you. This is a legal contract that outlines the Terms and Conditions of the agreement as well as the percentage you would pay on a successful brain injury claim. This is referred to as a “success fee” because should your case not be successful, you would have nothing to pay for the legal representation you received. This is known as working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.