Being involved in a workplace accident can mark you both psychologically and physically, it can leave you unable to work during your recovery. However, if you hurt yourself at work and your injuries are severe, you may not be able to work for months and sometimes ever again. Providing your case meets specific criteria, you can claim compensation from an employer if you suffer an injury in the workplace because you have the right to file a personal injury claim for the distress and discomfort you endured through no fault of your own.
To find out more about claiming compensation from an employer if you hurt yourself at work, please read on.
Do I Have Rights If I Hurt Myself at Work?
You have rights in the workplace and this includes if you are hurt while carrying a job that an employer asks you to do. Your rights are the same whether you are a permanent employee, temporary worker, an agency worker or you work for an employer under their control as a contractor.
Many employees ask the question “if I hurt myself at work, can I claim compensation?” and the answer is that providing your case meets the necessary criteria, you have the right to do the following:
- Seek medical attention. Your employer cannot stop you from seeking treatment if you hurt yourself at work and if they do, they would be in breach of the law. As such you should seek legal advice from a solicitor who handles employment law cases so they can advise you on how best to proceed
- Ensure that an official report has been sent to your employer or that the incident was correctly recorded in an Accident Book, should there be one in the workplace. You have the right to check the information has been correctly recorded if someone else wrote the accident report for you
- Confirm that you qualify for sick pay whether an employer pays “extra” sick pay which would be written into your contract of employment
- Receive Statutory Sick Pay – SSP as long as you meet the necessary criteria to qualify. You can check to see whether an employer has registered you by contacting your local benefits office
- Attend scheduled medical appointments – an employer must respect the fact that you may need to attend check-ups and other therapies. Your boss cannot stop you from doing so
- Take enough time off to fully recover from the injuries you sustained when you were hurt at work – an employer cannot pressure you to return to work if you are not fully recovered. If your boss does insist that you do, you should seek legal advice because your employer would be acting unlawfully. You should only return to work when a doctor signs a “fit note” stating that it is safe for you do so
- Seek lighter duties when you return to work which an employer must respect if they are able to. Employers are legally obliged to accommodate you where feasibly possible when you return to your job having suffered an injury in an accident at work
- Seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim against an employer providing you can show that the incident was not caused by you but through employer negligence or the error of a fellow worker. You may be partly responsible for the injuries you sustained but your employer could be deemed partly liable too which is known as “contributory negligence”. As such, you would still have the right to seek compensation from your employer bearing in mind that the amount you receive would take into account the level of responsibility you had in the workplace injuries you suffered
Would My Accident at Work Claim be Valid if I Hurt Myself at Work?
A lot of workers who are injured in the workplace ask, “I hurt myself at work can I sue?” and the answer is that providing you can prove that you are not at fault, you have the right to sue an employer and be awarded the compensation you deserve. The criteria that has to be met includes the following:
- That the accident at work in which you were injured was caused by someone else whether it was through the negligence of an employer or because a colleague make a mistake
- That you were partly responsible for the incident, but your claim involves “contributory negligence” on the part of your employer
- That the incident happened in the last 3 years although the time limit that is associated with personal injury claims can begin at different times depending on the circumstances that surround the accident that left you injured
The more proof you have regarding the incident in which you were injured, the stronger an accident at work claim against an employer would be. It is also worth noting that the more evidence you have of employer negligence, the more chance there would be that a personal injury lawyer would represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
If I Hurt Myself at Work, What Responsibilities Does My Employer Have Towards Me?
Your employer is obliged to keep you safe in the workplace which is a legal requirement in the UK. If an employer fails to set in place safety measures as per the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and as a consequence you hurt yourself at work, they would be in breach of their “duty” and as such, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim with an end goal being to be compensated for the injuries you suffered.
Employers could be deemed liable if you hurt yourself at work if the following applies to your case:
- An employer did not provide you with adequate training
- You did not receive the correct training to use specific equipment, machinery or tools
- You did not receive an induction when introduced to a work environment which could include hazard avoidance as well as accidents in the workplace protocols
- You did not have access to industry-standard protective equipment when carrying out a job
- Machinery, equipment and tools were not kept in good working order
- You were not told where the Accident Book was kept or you were not told how accidents in the workplace should be reported
- Staffing levels were inadequate and there was a lack of first aid officers present
- An employer did not act on reports that were made relating to any potential hazards present in a work environment
Do I Have the Right to Claim Compensation When I Hurt Myself at Work?
As long as your accident at work claim meets all the requirements associated with this type of case, you have the right to seek compensation from your employer for all the discomfort and distress you had to go through. The money you would receive in compensation would help you practically and financially because you would be reimbursed not only for all the out-of-pocket expenses you paid out but for your injuries too.
The amount of compensation you receive would help towards the following:
- Therapies and ongoing treatment you may need having been injured in the workplace which could help you recover that much faster
- Care costs should the injuries you sustained be such that you require help around the home
- Home and vehicle adaptations
Does My Employer Pay the Compensation if I Hurt Myself in the Workplace?
When you are awarded compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace, it is your employer’s liability insurance provider who pays the amount you receive whether your case goes to court or the insurer offers to settle a case before it goes before a judge. Your employer must, by law, hold valid insurance to cover both accidents at work that leave employees as well as other workers injured and work-related medical conditions that staff may develop as a result of the jobs they do.
The liability insurance cover is compulsory in the UK and it must meet the legal threshold of £5 million. Should an employer fail to have the insurance cover in place, they run the risk of receiving hefty fines which would be levied against them by enforcing authorities.
How Would a Personal Injury Solicitor Prove Employer Negligence if I Hurt Myself at Work?
Accident at work claims can be complex and you need to have sufficient evidence to support a case for your claim to be upheld. The stronger the evidence is, the more chance you have of winning personal injury compensation. Gathering the required proof can take a lot of effort and organising which comes at a time when you need to focus on recovering from the workplace injuries you sustained. Seeking legal advice from the outset can make the process a lot easier to do and understand.
The sort of evidence you would need to gather to prove your claim would be as follows:
- Proof that the accident was recorded whether in an Accident Book or by some other official means
- Photos of where the incident occurred
- If available, CCTV footage of the accident that left you with injuries
- Photos of the workplace injuries you sustained
- Medical report detailing your injuries – you may need to provide several medical reports if your injuries are severe which should include a prognosis
- Witness statements
- Witness contact details
You may believe that you are partly responsible for the workplace accident that left you injured but you should seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer because they may find that your employer too could be held partly liable which is referred to in law as “contributory negligence”. Should this prove to be the case, you would be able to seek compensation from an employer bearing in mind that the level of accident at work compensation you receive would factor in your level of responsibility. An example being that should you be deemed to have had 25% liability, the amount you receive would reflect this and as such you would get 75% of the amount awarded.
What Evidence Do I Need to Provide If I Hurt Myself at Work and Want Compensation?
The more proof you can provide that you hurt yourself in an accident at work through no fault of your own (or you were partly responsible), the stronger your case against an employer would be. The sort of evidence that would add weight to your claim would include the following:
- That there is a record of the accident that left you injured
- A medical report of the injuries you suffered
- As many witness statements as you can provide with their contact details
- Photos of the injuries you suffered
- Photos or CCTV footage (if available) of the workplace accident
What Procedure Should I Follow if I Hurt Myself at Work?
Once you have sought medical attention for your injuries, you should always follow the accident at work procedure that is set out by your employer. If you have suffered severe injuries which meant you had to be immediately hospitalised, you should make sure that the incident was correctly recorded whether in an Accident Book or by some other official means as soon as you are able to.
You should also check that an incident has been reported to RIDDOR should the accident and your injuries have been “reportable”. Should you find that your accident at work and the injuries you sustained have not been correctly recorded, you have the right to correct the information before signing anything.
What Are the Chances of My Claim Being Successful if I Hurt Myself at Work?
If you can provide enough evidence to prove your claim of employer negligence, a personal injury lawyer would be able to advise you on whether you stand a good chance of winning your case. The solicitor you contact would also be able to inform you on how much accident at work compensation you could be awarded which they would do as soon as possible having referred to previous similar cases and the Judicial College Guidelines.
What Level of Accident at Work Compensation Could I Receive if I Hurt Myself at Work?
If your accident at work claim against your employer succeeds, the amount you receive would depend on several things which are as follows:
- The level of your injuries and how they impact your life and ability to work in the future
- The loss of earnings and future earnings you incurred
- Your out of pocket expenses – which must be directly linked to the injuries you suffered in the workplace. This includes all future medical care you may require whether it is physiotherapy or rehabilitation therapies
Solicitors and courts use the Judicial Guidelines when calculating the level of “general damages” you could receive. However, on top of this you would be awarded “special damages” to reimburse you for all the expenses you had to cope with having been injured in a workplace accident for which you were not at fault (or partly responsible).
Are There Any Benefits to Having a Lawyer Represent me If I Hurt Myself at Work?
Lawyers who specialise in accident at work claims on behalf of injured workers, have the necessary legal expertise to investigate cases in a timely manner. They are aware of all the legal pitfalls associated with personal injury claims which includes the strict 3 year time limit that must be respected to avoid a claim being “time barred”. In short, if you wait too long, you may no longer be able to proceed with an accident at work claim even if you can prove employer negligence.
You may ask what happens if I hurt myself at work and a solicitor would walk you through the process of filing for compensation. Another question that injured employees often ask is “if I hurt myself at work, can I sue?”. A personal injury solicitor would investigate your case to establish whether employer negligence can be proved. Even if your injuries were caused by the actions of a fellow worker, your employer could still be held responsible.
There are many other benefits that a lawyer would bring to the table which would include but is not limited to the following:
- An appointment with an independent medical expert would be organised for you so that they can provide a detailed medical report on the extent of your injuries. This report would be an essential part of the evidence needed when filing an accident at work claim against an employer
- When researching your case, a personal injury lawyer has the required legal expertise to determine whether an employer was negligent in their duty towards you. They would also reference legal libraries when investigating your claim and to establish how much accident at work compensation you could be entitled to receive
- All pre-action protocols would be respected as would the strict statutory 3 year deadline
- A personal injury solicitor would handle every aspect of your case which includes all communications between your employer and their liability insurance provider
- You would be provided with essential legal advice on whether to accept an initial settlement from an insurer or whether by doing so, you would unsettle your claim
- The solicitor would ensure that should you require long-term medical care, the cost of the treatments would be factored into the accident at work compensation you are awarded
Should I Accept an Initial Settlement if I Hurt Myself at Work?
Many liability insurance providers try to settle accident at work claims as quickly by offering early settlements. These are typically much less that you may be entitled to receive having hurt yourself at work. As such, you should always discuss the amount with your solicitor who would typically recommend that you hold out for more to get the accident at work compensation which you rightly deserve.
Even if you think the settlement that you are being offered is generous, a personal injury solicitor would enter into negotiations to ensure that the amount offered suits the level of injuries and out of pocket expenses you had to cope with. Another thing to bear in mind is that should you accept the initial offer, it would mean that it would disqualify you from seeking further compensation later on should you develop a medical condition that can be linked to the injuries you suffered in the workplace.
Working With an Accident at Work Lawyer if You Hurt Yourself at Work
Accident at work claims are complex legal procedures more especially if an employer denies liability. There are many legal pitfalls to avoid which could end up invalidating a claim from the outset if you are unaware of them. A personal injury lawyer with vast experience in handling personal injury claims can make the process a lot easier to follow and can help speed up the process.
Gathering all the evidence required to prove employer negligence and obtaining specialist medical reports takes time and effort. It is crucial that the statutory time limit be respected which in short means, the sooner a claim can be set in motion, the sooner a case would be settled without the risk of running out of time. Discussing an accident at work claim with a personal injury solicitor from the outset will ensure that should your claim for accident at work compensation prove valid, the sooner a settlement can be reached whether through the courts or by negotiating directly with an employer’s liability insurance provider.
To read more about contributory negligence if you think you were partly responsible for the injuries you sustained in an accident at work, please follow the link below:
If you were injured in an accident at work and would like to know more about Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) eligibility, the following link will take you the Government website where you will find more information on the topic:
Specific accidents and near misses are reportable by law to the RIDDOR, to find what which incidents have to be reported to the authority by your employer or the person in charge, please follow the link provided below: