If you suffer a compound fracture in the workplace, this type of injury can be extremely painful as well as debilitating. There is also a high risk of infection because where compound fractures occur, the skin is broken leaving the bone exposed. Compound fractures are always treated as a medical emergency because the risk of infection is so high. On top of this, anyone who suffers this type of injury in the workplace is also at much greater risk of going into shock.
To find out more about filing a compound fracture claim against an employer and whether your case would be taken on by a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis, please read on.
Accident at Work Statistics in the UK
A report issued by the Health and Safety Executive for the year 2016/17, established that each year 600,000 workers are involved in workplace accidents that leaves them injured. If you suffered a compound fracture in an accident at work and you believe your employer could be responsible for the serious injury you sustained, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case because you may be entitled to sue your boss for compensation.
Would My Compound Fracture Claim Against My Employer Be Valid?
If you were in a workplace accident that left you with a compound fracture and the incident occurred in the last 3 years through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to file an accident at work claim against your employer. Even if the incident that left you with this type of serious injury was caused by a fellow worker, you may be entitled to seek compensation from your employer because they are responsible for the actions of all employees in their employment.
If you feel you may have been partly responsible for the injuries you sustained while at work, you should still contact a personal injury lawyer because you may find that your employer could be held partly responsible for the injuries you sustained. Should this be the case, your claim would fall under “contributory negligence” and the amount you may be awarded if your case is upheld would reflect the level of contributory negligence that is attributed to you.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Compound Fractures in the Workplace?
Compound fractures are common injuries that are reported in the workplace. You may work machinery and your arm or hand gets trapped. The result is fractured and crushed bones that break through the skin leaving the bone exposed to air and therefore more at risk of developing an infection. Compound fractures can result in tremendous as tissue damage too. Other common causes of compound fracture injuries in the work environment include the following:
- Falling from a height and falling on a hard surface below
- Being hit by a moving vehicle in the workplace like a forklift truck
Compound fractures must be treated as medical emergencies because of the risk of infection and tissue damage. Any delayed treatment of this type of serious injury can result in complications and the risk of developing MRSA. Incorrect treatment can also result in the damaged bones not knitting correctly which as a result causes permanent weakness in the affected bones.
The Consequences of Sustaining a Compound Fracture Injury in the Workplace
If you sustain a compound fracture injury in an accident at work, the damage caused to bones and surrounding tissue can prove permanent. You may have to contend with the following:
- Scarring following the surgery you had to undergo to repair the damage done
- Reduced mobility whether in your legs, hands, arms or other area of your body
- Trouble holding things and operating equipment should you have suffered a compound fracture of the hand
- A higher risk of suffering from arthritis later in your life
If you develop an infection, it could lead to complications which includes the fact that affected bones would not heal or knit correctly. Surgery is often required to stabilise a bone and to repair damaged muscles and it typically involves using pins to hold damaged bones in place. You could also need to undergo physiotherapy as a means to restore the mobility in an affected area of your body.
A compound fracture would leave you unable to work and depending on the severity of your injury, could put you out of action for weeks or even months. You may not be able to work again. As such, you would not bring in your normal wage which could leave you either having to dip into your savings or unable to pay your monthly outgoings. Filing an accident at work claim against a negligent employer would take all the financial pressure you may have been put under off the table leaving you to concentrate on your recovery.
What Level of Compound Fracture Compensation Would I Receive?
All personal injury claims are unique which means the level of compound fracture compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim against your employer, would depend on the severity of the injuries you sustained and whether you may have a permanent disability as a consequence. When it comes to compensation for the pain and suffering you may have endured, these would come under “general damages” and the amount you may receive would be based on the compensation guidelines issued by The Judicial College which is a sliding scale. As such, you may be awarded several hundred pounds to several thousands of pounds. An example being that for a moderate compound fracture, you may receive anything from £8,000 to £15,000.
You would also be awarded “special damages” which compensate you for all the expenses and costs you have to pay out because of the compound fracture you sustained in the workplace. Special damages include the following:
- All of your medical expenses which includes things like prescriptions, medical care that is not covered by the NHS and all other medical related costs that you incurred because of your compound fracture which includes physiotherapy and other rehabilitation therapies you may require
- Travel costs that you incur when going to and from hospital or other medical care facilities
- The cost of any mobility aids that you may need
- Your loss of earnings and future earnings
- All costs related to ongoing, long-term therapy as well as accommodation
- The cost of home adaptation should this be necessary
How to Start Your Compound Fracture Claim Against Your Employer
If you sustained a compound fracture in the workplace and want to claim compensation for your pain and suffering, you should contact a personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later. The solicitor would assess your case by offering you a no obligation, free consultation whether over the phone or in a meeting, should your case be more complex. You would not be under any obligation to continue your case against your employer should you not wish to.
Once an accident at work solicitor has assessed your claim and believe that you have a strong chance of winning, they would typically offer to work on your personal injury claim against your employer without the need to request that you pay them an upfront fee. This would entail signing a No Win No Fee agreement with the solicitor who could then begin investigating your compound fracture at work claim. This they would do by communicating directly on your behalf with your employer and their liability insurance providers.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is a legal contract between yourself and your solicitor. It lays out the terms and conditions of the agreement and the percentage that you would have to pay them but only if your claim against your employer is successful. If your case is not upheld whether it goes before a judge or not, you would have nothing to pay for the legal services that the solicitor you contacted provided because you signed the agreement that stipulated that you would only pay the “success fee” if you win your case. Should a personal injury lawyer feel that your case is weak, they would typically advise you that to drop your accident at work claim against your employer.
What is the Statutory Time Limit to Filing a Compound Fracture Claim Against My Employer?
You must respect the 3 year statutory time limit if you want to seek compensation from your employer for a compound fracture injury you sustained while working for them. Should you wait for too long, you may find that your case would be “statute barred” because you ran out of time. Gathering all the evidence and medical proof of the injuries you sustained can be time consuming and as such, it is better to begin a claim as soon as you can by contacting a personal injury lawyer. With this said the 3 year time limit can begin at different times depending on the circumstances surrounding the workplace accident that left you with a compound fracture which is detailed as follows:
- 3 years from the actual date that you sustained a compound fracture in the workplace
- 3 years from your 18th birthday if the workplace accident that left you with this type of serious injury happened before that date
- 3 years from the actual date that a doctor or other medical professional diagnosed you as suffering from a health issue that they can directly link the compound fracture you sustained in an accident at work
Should I Seek Compound Fracture Compensation From My Employer?
As previously mentioned, employers must by law ensure that all employees and other people are kept safe from injury and harm while they are in the workplace and failing to do so, could mean that an employer would be seen as negligent in their “duty” to do so. Even if a fellow worker caused the incident that left you with a compound fracture, your employer could still be deemed liable because employers are responsible for all the actions of workers in their employment. You may have been partly responsible for sustaining a compound fracture, but your employer may also be partly responsible which under the law would be viewed as “contributory negligence”.
As such, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor who has vast experience when it comes to assessing who may be held responsible for the compound fracture you sustained at work. Your employer is also legally required to hold liability insurance which covers this type of incident in the workplace. The policy must meet the legal requirement of £5 million and your employer should display the certificate in a prominent place in the workplace.
When you request details of your employer’s insurance provider, they must provide you with the information in a timely manner if you are injured in the workplace and suffer a compound fracture.
It would be your employer’s insurance provider that would handle your accident at work claim from start to finish and the compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim would be paid out by the insurance company, with 95% of personal injury claims being settled before they go to court when defendants, in this case your employer, admits liability for the injuries sustained.
Could I Lose My Job for Filing a Compound Fracture Claim?
If you are fired from your job by your employer because you seek compensation for a compound fracture you sustained, you could be entitled to file an “unfair dismissal” claim against them on top of your compound fracture claim. The reason is that your employer would be acting unlawfully if they sack you without another “good and valid” reason for doing so. Your employer cannot by law, treat you unfairly or detrimentally because you file an accident at work claim against them either. If you feel that this is the case, you should discuss your concerns with an employment law solicitor who would advise you on how best to proceed with further legal action against your employer.
Do I Have Worker’s Rights If I Suffer a Compound Fracture at Work?
All of your worker’s rights are protected and this includes when you are injured while you are at work. If you suffer a compound fracture and seek compensation from your employer, they cannot treat you unfairly or detrimentally for doing so. Your worker’s rights include the following:
- That you can sue your employer for compensation for pain and suffering you endured because of a compound fracture injury sustained at work
- That your job is safe even if you file an accident at work claim against your employer
Does An Employer Have Any Legal Responsibilities in the Workplace?
All employers must by law ensure that the risk of harm and injury to employees and visitors to a work environment is kept to a minimum by setting in all reasonable measures to prevent an accident at work from happening. Other responsibilities that fall to your employer include the following:
- That adequate training which include ongoing training is provided to all employees
- That all equipment as well as machinery and tools are kept in good working order
- That working practices and procedures are made clear to all employees
- That personal protective equipment (PPE) is kept in good condition and accessible to all employees when needed
- That risk assessments are regularly carried out in a work environment
- That reasonable measures are set in place to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace
- That all employees and visitors to a workplace are made aware of any hazards and dangers
If you suffer a compound fracture in a workplace accident because your employer ignored Health and Safety regulations and other laws that protect you from harm, your employer could be held responsible for the injuries you sustained.
What Advantages Does a Personal Injury Solicitor Offer When Filing a Compound Fracture Claim?
A personal injury solicitor has many years’ experience in representing people who are injured in the workplace. They know about all the legal pitfalls that can end an accident at work claim before it even starts. If you sustained a compound fracture in a workplace accident, contacting a lawyer would allow them to assess whether you have a strong claim and determine whether your employer could be deemed negligent in their duty to keep you safe from injury, would mean that your case against them stands a good chance of being successful from the outset.
Other benefits of having an accident at work lawyer represent you when filing a compound injury claim against an employer would include the following:
- You would be offered a free, initial consultation which allows a lawyer the opportunity of assessing your case. You would be under no obligation to continue with a claim if you do not feel comfortable doing so as this first meeting whether on the phone or in person bears no obligation on your part
- Personal injury solicitors can access legal libraries
- An experienced accident at work lawyer would know all about the pre-action protocols that all parties must abide by and would respect the statutory 3 year time limit to filing personal injury claims
- The solicitor would let you know at the earliest opportunity how much you may be awarded in a successful compound fracture claim
- An experienced lawyer would handle all aspects of communication between your employer, their insurance providers on your behalf
- A solicitor would arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical professional and the detailed report of your compound fracture injury would be the used as a basis when calculating the amount of general damages you would be awarded in a successful accident at work claim file against a negligent employer
- The solicitor would ensure that any costs relating to ongoing treatments and therapies is included in the special damages you are awarded
- Should the compound fracture you sustained at work be severe and your case goes on longer than usual, the solicitor would ensure that you are awarded interim payments until a final settlement is agreed
- The solicitor would ensure that the level of compound fracture compensation you are awarded is acceptable
Would a Personal Injury Solicitor Represent Me On a No Win No Fee Basis?
As previously touched upon, once a personal injury solicitor is happy that you have a strong claim against your employer who could be held liable for the injuries you sustained while you were in their employment, they would agree to represent your case on a No Win No Fee basis which, in short, means that you would not have to pay the solicitor an upfront fee nor would you have to pay them any ongoing fees as your accident at work claim against your employer progresses either.
The reason being that you would sign a CFA, a Conditional Fee Agreement with the solicitor you choose to represent you. This legal contract sets out the “success fee” which you would only have to pay the solicitor if your claim against your employer is successful, hence the name. The amount you agreed to pay the lawyer would be deducted from the amount you are awarded. Should you lose your case, the success fee would be waived because the solicitor in signing the No Win No Fee contract with you, agreed to take on your case and only be paid if your compound fracture claim was upheld.
If you suffered a compound fracture at work and would like more information on Conditional Fee Agreements that you could enter into with a solicitor, the following link provides essential reading on the topic:
If you would like more information on the 3 year statutory time limit associated with personal injury claims, please follow the link below: