If you work on a building site and suffer an injury while carrying out your job, you could have the right to seek compensation providing your claim meets specific criteria. You can suffer many types of injury when working on a building site which includes falling from a height, being injured by machinery or because you slip, trip and fall. You may not have been given sufficient training to carry out a specific building site job and as a result, suffered an injury.
To find out more about claiming compensation for a building site injury, and how to file a claim against an employer, please read on.
Building Sites Are High-Risk Working Environments
Building sites are considered to be high-risk working environments and as such there are many Health and Safety Executive regulations that have been set in place to reduce the risk of injury to workers and other people. These regulations and in particular the laws that cover the construction sector, are there to help reduce the risk of anyone suffering an injury while working on a building site but accidents do still happen.
Should an employer fail to adhere to the regulations and you suffer any sort of building site injury whether your injuries are minor or more severe, the employer could be deemed negligent in their duty which is to keep you safe while you are in their employment and carrying out the jobs you were tasked you to do.
Safety On Building Sites, Who is Liable?
When it comes to safety on a building or construction site, there may be several people who are responsible. Should you be injured on a building site, any one of these people could be held liable if health and safety and other regulations were ignored. Building site managers, constructions regulations coordinators, construction designers and construction companies can all be held liable for any injuries you sustain if you are involved in a building site accident. As such, establishing who could be held responsible is of paramount importance.
If you were injured in a building site accident, discussing the circumstances leading up to the incident with an experienced accident at work lawyer would help determine who may be held to blame for the injuries you sustained. A solicitor has vast experience when it comes to representing building site workers who suffered injuries and know how to investigate the circumstances leading up to the incident. Below are various scenarios that show how liability may fall to different individuals who control workers on a building site:
- A site manager did not follow safety guidelines that were provided by a client. This could mean the site manage could be held liable for the injuries you sustained
- A construction regulations coordinator did not respect essential health and safety regulations and standards which means they could be held liable for the building site accident that left you injured
- The project designer ignored health and safety standards as laid out by a client which means the designer could be deemed liable for your building site injuries
- The construction company/client overlooked or ignored the safety recommendations that a constructions regulations coordinator provided which means the construction company company/client could be held liable for the building site injuries you sustained
What To Do Following a Building Site Accident That Left You Injured
As with any workplace accident, there is a specific procedure that you must follow if you are involved in a building site accident that leaves you injured. This is as follows:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you think the injuries you suffered are relatively minor
- Make sure the incident is officially recorded and reported to RIDDOR if is was a reportable building site accident
- Gather witness statements and their contact details
- Take photographs of where the building site accident occurred and if you are unable to do this, ask a trusted work colleague to do this for you
- Get CCTV footage of the incident if available. An employer must provide the footage in a timely manner once you request it
- Gather evidence of employer negligence – this could be that you were not given sufficient training to carry out a specific job on a building site or that the necessary risk assessments were not carried out which are just two examples that could prove your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe at work
- Get a medical report detailing the injuries you sustained making sure that even minor symptoms are recorded
The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your building site injury claim would be and it increases the chance of a solicitor representing you on a No Win No Fee basis.
Would My Building Site Injury Claim be Valid?
For your building site injury claim to be valid, you would need to provide evidence that the accident occurred through no fault of your own and that the incident happened in the last three years. Your employer has a legal duty to keep you safe while you are in their employment and working on a building or construction site. There are many specific laws in place that cover the construction sector which is deemed one of the more dangerous working environments to work in.
An employer could be deemed negligent in their duty to keep you safe while working on a building site if they failed to do the following:
- Provide you with sufficient and adequate training to carry out a job or to work equipment, machinery and/or tools
- To ensure that equipment, machinery and tools are kept in good working order
- Allowing the use of faulty equipment, machinery and tools on a building site
- Refusing to allow you to take regular breaks on a building site
- Having unsafe working practices/procedures in place
- Letting someone who is not fully qualified to work on a building site putting your safety at risk
- Not carrying out necessary risk assessments before allowing a building site job to be carried out
- A failure to respect and act on the results of any risk assessments that were carried out on the building site
What Are the Most Common Building Site Injuries and Accidents?
You can suffer an injury in a building site accident in many different ways which includes the following:
- Having to work in harsher weather conditions
- Not being allowed to take sufficient breaks
- When machinery, tools and equipment malfunctions because it has not been correctly maintained in good working order
- Insufficient training to use machinery, tools and equipment commonly used on a building site
- Accidents involving vehicles commonly used on construction and building sites
- Materials falling from a height
- Slip, trip and fall accidents which are extremely common on construction and building sites
What Can Be Included in a Building Site Injury Claim?
If you decide to file a building site injury claim against an employer, there are specific things that can be included which not only covers the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you may have to endure, but also the out of pocket expenses you incurred. Personal injury compensation is divided into two categories.
General damages are awarded as a way to compensate you not only for your injuries which caused you pain, suffering but also for the loss of amenity you had to endure having been injured in a building site accident. The amount you could be awarded would depend on the severity of your injuries and how your future life may be negatively impacted. As such, it is more challenging to calculate how much building site injury compensation you may receive in a successful claim, bearing in mind that all claims are treated as unique.
With this said, the Judicial College Guidelines provides an idea of how much you may be awarded for specific injuries you may have sustained in a building site accident, but the amounts provided in The Judicial College Guidelines, do not include the “special damages” you may receive should your building site injury claim be upheld.
You would be awarded special damages in a successful building site injury claim which are easier to calculate. The reason being that special damages are calculated on the exact expenses you incurred because you sustained injuries on a building site. The sort of expenses that you can include in your claim against a negligent employer include the following:
- All your medical expenses which includes the amount you paid for prescriptions, treatments/therapies and other medical costs you had to pay out
- All your travel expenses which covers the cost of getting to and from a medical facility whether a hospital or other type of clinic. You can claim travel costs whether you go by car, train, taxi, bus or other means
- Care costs if you need help with daily chores around the home during your recovery and this includes if you are being cared for by friends or family members that you do not pay
- Home adaptations should your building site injuries be such that your home needs to be adapted to make it easier for you to move around
- The extra money you had to pay for heating, electricity and gas because you had to stay at home during your recovery
- The cost of any medical aids and equipment
- Your loss of earnings
- Any loss of future earnings should you not be able to work again
- The cost of specialist treatment which includes physiotherapy
- The cost of damage to clothing, personal belongings which includes things like spectacles
Because the special damages you may be awarded are based on actual expenditure, you have to provide evidence of your expenses which means keeping all records and receipts which an accident at work lawyer would need to strengthen your claim against a negligent employer and to establish how much building site injury compensation you could receive in special damages.
Is It Right to Sue An Employer For a Building Site Injury I Sustained?
As previously mentioned, a construction or building site is deemed one of the most hazardous working environments. As such, many accidents occur every year even though there are many health and safety regulations and other laws in place to protect you. If you are injured on a building site, you may find that you are unable to work whether this is for a shorter period, much longer or ever again should your injuries be catastrophic.
All workers in the UK have rights which are very protected and this includes when they are involved in any sort of workplace accident. Should you have sustained an injury on a construction or building site, you have the right to claim compensation from an employer. If you think you are partly responsible for your injuries, you should still discuss your case with an accident at work lawyer who may find that “contributory liability” on the part of your employer. Should this be the case the amount of building site injury compensation awarded would take into account your level of responsibility.
Should the accident have been caused by a workmate, your employer could still be held responsible for the injuries you sustained which is referred to as “vicarious liability”. Vicarious liability means that employers can be held liable for the actions of other employees should you have been injured in a workplace accident. As such, you could be entitled to file a building site injury claim against an employer even if a work colleague cause the accident.
Employers throughout the UK are required to hold valid insurance which must meet the legally required cover of £5 million. The policy must be issued by an insurance company that is recognised as a provider and an employer should display it in a prominent place within a working environment. As such, when you file any sort of accident at work claim against an employer, it is the insurance provider who deals with your case and it is the insurance company that pays out the compensation you may be awarded should your building site injury claim be upheld with 95% of all undisputed personal injury claims being settled before they go before a judge.
Do I Have the Right to Sue My Employer For a Building Site Injury?
If you were injured on a building or construction site in the last three years and you believe it was due to either employer negligence or because of an error on the part of a work colleague, the law entitles you to seek compensation. As such, you have the right to file a building site injury claim against the party responsible for your injuries. You have the right therefore, to do the following:
- To file an accident at work claim and to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained without fear of being treated detrimentally or unfairly
- To know that your job is safe if you make a personal injury claim
If an employer objects to you filing for compensation, if they sack you or threaten you with redundancy, you may be able to take further legal action out against them. As such, you should discuss your case with an experienced lawyer who would provide you with essential legal information on how best you should proceed.
Is There a Time Limit Associated With Building Site Injury Claims?
If you are considering filing for compensation because you were injured on a construction or building site, you would have 3 years to do so. However, because this type of work-related personal injury claim can be challenging and gathering all the proof and information that is required to validate a claim can take a lot of time and effort, it is far better to begin the process sooner rather than later.
With this said, the 3 year time limit would begin as follows:
- From the date you were injured on a building site
- From the date of your 18th birthday if you were injured prior to this
- From the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a medical condition that can be linked to the injury you sustained while working on the building site
Can I Lose My Job For Filing a Building Site Injury Claim Against an Employer?
You cannot be fired just because you file an accident at work claim for being injured while working on a building site. Your employer would need to provide another reason for sacking you and it would have to be a “good and valid” reason for doing so. If they cannot provide a good reason for firing you, it could mean that you would be entitled to file an unfair dismissal claim against them on top of your building site injury claim.
Would a No Win No Fee Solicitor Work on My Building Site Injury Claim and What Are The Benefits?
Once a lawyer is happy that your building site injury claim is valid and that your employer could be held responsible for the injuries you sustained because they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe while in their employment, they would typically offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis. Having legal representation from the outset of making an accident at work claim against an employer offers many benefits and advantages which includes the following:
- You would not have to pay the solicitor an upfront fee or ongoing fees as your case progresses when you enter into a CFA. This allows you to place all your focus on recovering from the injury you sustained on a construction or building site
- All communication and negotiations would be handled on your behalf by an experienced accident at work lawyer
- You would be informed on how much you may expect to receive in compensation for the injuries you sustained
- You would have access to an independent medical specialist who would provide a detailed report on the injuries you sustained and how they impact your overall health, well-being and future life. This report would be used as a basis for the amount of damages you may be awarded
- All pre-action protocols and statutory time limits associated with accident at work claims would be respected
- Should your injuries require that you receive ongoing treatment, you would be provided with long-term medical care that would be arranged by the solicitor who represents you
- You would receive a level of compensation to suit the injuries you sustained
- You would receive interim payments which the solicitor would negotiate for you should a final settlement take longer to reach
Because personal injury claims can be complex, it is important to get things right from the outset to avoid any delays or having your case turned down before you have a chance for it to be heard. Working with an accident at work lawyer sooner rather than later would ensure that you do not fall foul of the statutory time limit and would ensure that the evidence and other information that is required to prove your case and your employer’s liability is gathered in a timely fashion. This in turn, ensures that you receive the level of building site injury compensation you rightly deserve.
If you would like more information on the Health and Safety Executive regulations that govern construction and building sites as well as other laws relating to protecting you while you are onsite, please follow the link below:
To learn more about your worker’s rights, please click on the link below: