Workplace accidents on wet floors account for around 90% of incidents that leave workers injured. If you have suffered an injury whether minor or more severe because you slipped on a wet floor at work which left you unable to work, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against your employer. In most wet floor accidents, an injury is obvious, however, in certain instances, the extent of the damage you sustained may not be quite so apparent. This includes if you were concussed in which case the symptoms may only be apparent some time later if you slipped on a wet floor in the workplace.
To find out more on how to prove an employer’s liability and how to begin a personal injury claim against an employer because you slipped on a wet floor in the workplace, this guide provides essential reading on the subject.
Do I Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer for a Wet Floor Injury?
Work-related personal injury claims have a time limit of 3 years attached to them, so if you suffered an injury because you slipped on a wet floor in the workplace and the incident occurred through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation against your employer. It is best to seek legal advice as early as possible and to gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen your claim. A specialist work-related personal injury lawyer would assess your case, bearing in mind that most solicitors offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis when representing you in this type of claim.
What is the Procedure If I Suffer a Wet Floor Injury at Work?
Following an incident in the workplace that left you injured, there are specific things that you should do that help prove and strengthen your claim which are detailed below:
- Seek medical attention even if you believe your injuries are minor
- Report the incident to your employer or the person in charge
- Make sure the incident is written in the Accident Report Book
- Make sure your employer reports the incident to the Health and Safety Executive if necessary
- Get as many witness statements as possible
- Make a record of witnesses names and contact details
- Take photos of your injuries
- Take photos of where the accident occurred
All of the above should be recorded even if at the time of the accident you have not decided to file a claim for compensation for an injury sustained when you slipped on a wet floor at work and suffered an injury.
What if I am A Temporary Employee, Can I Still File a Wet Floor Injury Claim Against an Employer?
All employees are entitled to file a personal injury claim if they suffer an accident that leaves them injured in the workplace. This includes people who work full time, part time, agency/temporary work staff and contractors. An employee may be entitled to claim compensation for an injury sustained at work even if it is their first working day providing the accident was due to the negligence of a third party, whether it’s a work colleague or employer.
Temporary and agency workers
- If you are a temporary or agency worker and you suffer an injury in the workplace, the claim would be filed against the company you are working for rather than the agency that found you the job. However, if the agency is responsible for your working role which includes providing the necessary training, protective clothing and equipment to carry out the job, the agency could be held liable for your injuries and as such, you would file a personal injury claim against the agency and not the company you were working for at the time of the accident
- A lot of self-employed people often carry out jobs in a workplace that is operated or owned by someone else. This includes plumbers, electricians and other people who work on building sites. If you were involved in an accident that left you injured and you are self-employed, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim if you slipped on a wet floor through no fault of your own. The owner/operator could be held responsible for your injury through negligence because they failed to keep the area safe for employees to work in
What are the Most Common Injuries Sustained When Slipping on a Wet Floor in the Workplace?
There are various situations that could cause you to slip on a wet floor which results in you sustaining an injury in the workplace. With this said, the most common injuries sustained in this type of workplace accident are listed below:
- Soft tissue damage and bruising
- Lacerations and cuts
- Fractures and broken bones
- Ligament and tendon damage
- Head injuries
Slipping on a wet floor in the workplace can cause you to suffer minor to more severe injuries which could result in you being off work for months. A minor injury can also mean you are unable to work because of the pain and discomfort you have to put up with in the shorter term. In all accident at work cases, providing the incident occurred through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to file for compensation for the pain and suffering you had to endure and any loss of earnings and out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of your work-related injury.
Will My Personal Injury Claim for a Work-related Wet Floor Injury be Successful?
It is worth noting that just because you slipped on a wet floor injuring yourself in the workplace, it does not automatically mean you may be entitled to file for compensation against a negligent employer. The reason being that wet floor situation must be “reasonably foreseeable”. This means that if it was impossible for an employer or person responsible to foresee an accident occurring, they would therefore not have been in the position to prevent the incident and as such, it would be highly unlikely that you would be able to claim compensation from them.
The success of your wet floor injury claim would depend on how and why the incident occurred. An employer or person responsible may not have had enough time to put up hazards signs because a spillage just occurred. If, however, your employer or person in charge failed to put up necessary signs in a timely manner and you slipped on a wet floor that resulted in you injuring yourself, you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim against them.
In all work-related accidents, it is best to seek legal advice as early as possible so that you do not fall foul of the time limit of 3 years which is attached to personal injury claims. It may sound like a long time but gathering all the necessary information and evidence can be time consuming more especially if your injuries are serious and therefore you need specialist medical reports for the ongoing treatment you may require.
Is There a Time Limit for Work-related Wet Floor Injury Claims?
As previously mentioned, there is a strict statutory time limit associated with work-related personal injury claims which are detailed below:
- 3 years from the date of the incident that left you injured
- 3 years from the date you became aware of your injuries following a work-related incident
What is My Employer’s Responsibility for a Wet Floor Injury?
All employers in the UK have a duty of care under the law to keep employees as safe as possible from being injured or harmed in the workplace. If your employer fails to do so and you slip on a wet floor injuring yourself in any way, they could be held liable for your injuries whether minor or more severe. The reason being an employer could be deemed negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm while you were working. Failing to clean up spillages, put up hazards signs and take the necessary steps to keep a floor safe to walk and work on, is a failure in an employer’s duty of care towards you.
What if a Work Colleague is Responsible for My Wet Floor Injury?
Should you have slipped on a wet floor and injured yourself because of the actions of a work colleague, it is still your employer who would be held liable for your injuries should you decide to file a personal injury claim which is referred to as “vicarious liability”.
What if I am Partly or Fully Responsible for My Wet Floor Injury?
If you were partly or fully responsible for having slipped on a wet floor which resulted in you being injured, you may still be able to file for compensation because a court could rule that you were not given sufficient training or an employer asked you to carry out a job that you do not normally due during the course of your daily job. A court may rule that you and your employer have a “split liability” in this type of incident. The level of compensation a court may award you would depend on how much responsibility you bear for the accident occurring.
What Are My Rights Following a Wet Floor Injury at Work?
All employees have “rights” following a slip on a wet floor in the workplace which are detailed below:
- That you receive the level of compensation you rightly deserve
- That your employer provides safe working environment
- That you cannot be fired for filing a work-related injury claim against an employer
UK law clearly states that employers must carry out regular “risk assessments” to identify any hazards you may have to face in the workplace and that should you suffer an injury due to slipping on a wet floor through no fault of your own, that you are fairly treated should you decide to file for compensation. This is covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which also includes how “spillages” and/or “other slippery debris” must be dealt with promptly. Should you have to work on a slippery floor, an employer must provide you with the necessary non-slip footwear so you can carry out your work safely.
What are the Statistics Involving Wet Floor Injuries in the Workplace?
According to Health and Safety statistics (2016/2017), 600,000 employers suffer an injury or develop an illness in the workplace.
What Can I Include in My Claim for a Wet Floor Injury?
The compensation you may receive if you were injured in the workplace because you slipped on a wet floor would depend on the severity and complexity of your injuries. With this said, you can include the following in your personal injury claim against a negligent employer:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of amenity (your mental or physical capacity to carry out things that you used to do)
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future income if you are unable to work again
- Medical expenses which includes ongoing medical care if needed
- Travel expenses to receive treatment for your injuries
- Care costs
Should I File a Wet Floor Injury Claim Against My Employer?
A lot of people who sustain an injury in the workplace are reluctant to file a personal injury claim against their employers because they feel they may be discriminated against or even sacked for doing so. However, if you slip on a wet floor and are injured, you have every right to claim compensation for your injuries. The money you may be awarded would go a long way in supporting you during your recovery and would take all the financial worries of not being able to pay your way while you are unable to work.
If the injury you sustain means you are unable to work again, the compensation you may be awarded could make your situation a lot more comfortable and could even pay for adjustments needed in your home should they be necessary.
Getting Legal Advice Following a Wet Floor Injury in the Workplace
Personal injury claims can be complex and long-drawn out legal processes. You need to have as much evidence as possible which strengthens your chances of being awarded the level of compensation you rightly deserve if you slipped on a wet floor and were injured. Working with a solicitor who specialises in work-related personal injury slipped on wet floor claims, takes all the stress of knowing what to do and what information is needed off the table.
A solicitor would be able to help when it comes to proving your employer’s liability, what evidence is needed to prove your claim and what the procedure is when it comes to filing a successful work-related personal injury claim. In short, the sooner you seek legal advice the better bearing in mind that many solicitors offer a free initial consultation which allows them the opportunity of assessing whether you have a claim for compensation against a negligent employer.
Once your case has been assessed and the solicitor believes you have a strong case, they would typically offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. You would not have to worry about finding the funds to pay for legal representation having signed a Conditional Fee Agreement that sets out an agreed percentage you would pay your solicitor but only if your claim in successful and the amount would be deducted from the compensation you are awarded. Should you claim be unsuccessful, you would have nothing to pay for the legal representation you received following an injury you sustained when you slipped on a wet floor in the workplace.