Suffering a severe head injury at work can have serious consequences not only to your working life, but to your future life and well-being. Even a minor injury to the head can have a negative impact on your overall health in the immediate and long-term future.
Seeking compensation for a head injury at work can alleviate any financial burden you may have to contend with and could be vital when it comes to ensuring you can afford the care needed for the remainder of your life. To find out more about how to claim compensation for a head injury at work, please read on.
What are My Employer’s Responsibilities Towards Me in the Workplace?
Employees’ rights are highly protected and there are many laws and legislation that set out an employer’s responsibilities towards you when you are in their employment. Employers must adhere to these regulations which includes those that the Health and Safety Executive have set in place to protect you as an employee while carrying out your daily duties. The law requires that your employer abides by the following rules and regulations:
- You are provided with detailed working practices as well as procedures that must be adhered to in the workplace
- You are provided with adequate and ongoing training for the jobs you are tasked to do during the course of a normal working day
- You are provided with the correct and adequate personal protective equipment which must be properly stored and maintained
- The equipment, machinery and tools that you use are properly maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
- To replace equipment, machinery and tools when necessary
- To ensure that risk assessments are regularly carried out in the workplace with an end goal being to identify dangers, risks and hazards
- To set in place measures to reduce the risk of injury and harm to employees
If you sustain a head injury at work because your employer failed in their duty to keep you safe while you were in their employment and carrying out your normal daily duties, you have the right to seek compensation from them.
Would My Head Injury at Work Claim be Valid?
You would need to provide evidence that you sustained your head injury at work and that the incident occurred in the last 3 years. You would also need to show that your injuries could have been avoided and that the accident was due either to employer negligence or because of an error or misjudgement made on the part of a work colleague.
A solicitor who specialises in accidents at work, would offer an initial consultation to establish whether you have a strong case against an employer and if they find that you do, they would typically offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis.
What Can Be Included in a Head Injury Claim Against an Employer?
When calculating an accident at work claim there are two important parts that are taken into consideration. These are “general damages” and “special damages”. It is also important to note that all personal injury claims are different and as such the amount of compensation that may be awarded could differ from case to case. When it comes to general damages, the following is factored into the amount you may be awarded:
- The extent of your head injury and how your working life has been impacted
- The time you have off work to recover from your injuries
- Whether your injuries are such that you would not be able to work again
- Whether your injuries prevent you from enjoying activities and hobbies you took part in prior to being involved in an accident at work
When it comes to special damages, these are easier to calculate as they are based on the actual expenses that are incurred as a direct result of having suffered a head injury at work. Special damages are calculated by factoring in the following:
- Travel expenses to and from a hospital or other medical facility to receive necessary treatment and therapies. This covers whether you get there by car, taxi, train or bus
- Medical expenses incurred
- Care costs whether this is because you have to go into a home or need daily help and care around the home because your head injuries are so severe, you cannot take care of yourself
It is essential for all receipts of outgoings to be kept as these would be needed to calculate how much you may be awarded in special damages in a successful head injury at work claim.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive for a Head Injury at Work?
The amount of compensation you may receive in a successful head injury at work claim is based on several factors. This includes general and special damages. With this said, the Judicial College produces guidelines for the amount of head injury compensation you may be awarded which can be anything from £13,000 to £354,260 depending the severity of the head injury you sustained.
As a rough guideline, the amount you may receive for a head injury at work is as follows:
- Extremely severe brain damage which is life-changing resulting in full-time care, you could be awarded anything from £247,280 – £354,260
- Moderately serious brain damage that leaves you disabled and therefore dependant on other people which means you need constant looking after and ongoing medical treatments whether your injuries are physical or they are cognitive, the compensation you may receive is anything between £192,090 and £247,280
- Moderate damage to the brain but with less serious consequences as detailed above but where there is a risk of personality change, vision and speech issues and the risk of suffering from epilepsy, you may be awarded anything from £131,620 and £192,090
- Moderate damage to the brain where intellect is impacted to a moderate degree and the chance of returning to work is minimal as well as a higher risk of epilepsy, you may receive anything from £79,530 and £131,620
- Moderate damage to the brain which negatively impacts your ability to concentrate and your memory and which reduces the chance of you returning to work but where you are less dependent on other people, the amount of compensation you may be awarded could be anything from £37,760 and £79,530
- Less severe damage to the brain where recovery is positive but where mood swings and concentration as well as memory issues may be a problem, the amount of compensation that you could receive would be anything from £13,430 and £37,760
- Minor damage to the brain or head injury, the amount of compensation that may be awarded is anything from £1,940 and £11,200
The amount of compensation you may be awarded for a serious head injury sustained at work, would go a long way in funding necessary changes to a living environment and covering the cost of medical treatments and therapies that would be required on an ongoing basis.
Should I Sue My Employer If I Sustain a Head Injury at Work?
If you sustained a head injury at work, even if the injury is deemed minor, the consequences can lead to long-term problems which includes your ability to concentrate. Every employee who is involved in a workplace accident that leaves them injured, has the right to seek compensation for the suffering, pain and expenses they had to deal with through no fault of their own.
As such, if you were injured in an accident at work and you believe the incident that left you with a head injury could have been avoided, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor who would assess the circumstances surrounding your claim before offering valuable advice on how best to proceed.
It is also worth remembering that your employer must have liability insurance and that the policy must be underwritten by a recognised insurance provider. The policy must also meet the £5 million legal requirement when it comes to the level of cover it provides.
What are My Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work?
As previously mentioned, your worker’s rights are highly protected in the UK and there are many laws to ensure this is so. Should you have suffered any sort of head injury at work, you have every right to seek compensation providing you can meet specific criteria which includes that the incident happened in the last 3 years through no fault of your own. Following a work-related accident that leaves you with a head injury, your rights are listed below:
- That your job is safe if you file an accident at work claim
- That you can seek compensation for the head injuries you sustained
If an employer tries to stop you from claiming compensation or you are threatened with the sack or redundancy because you do, the best thing to do is contact a lawyer who specialises in accident at work claims and employment law.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Claim?
When it comes to filing an accident at work claim, seeking the advice and representation of a solicitor offers many advantages and benefits. Work-related personal injury cases can be complex more especially if an employer disputes a claim.
It is also worth noting that head injury at work claims can be complex with many injured workers needing ongoing treatment when the damage sustained is severe. As such, a lawyer with vast experience in handling this type of claim would make life a lot easier both for the person who has suffered a head injury and their families and close friends.
The benefits of having an accident at work lawyer represent you in a head injury at work claim are listed below:
- Lawyers have access to legal libraries which they can base details of your case on
- A solicitor would offer you an initial, free, no obligation consultation which allows them to assess the strength of your claim
- Once a solicitor is satisfied you have a strong case against your employer, they would enter into a No Win No Fee agreement with you
- You would not have to pay an upfront fee or any ongoing fees either
- A solicitor would handle your claim from start to finish and would negotiate a fair level of compensation for you, with 95% of all personal injury claims being settled before they even get to court
- A solicitor would arrange for you to be examined by a specialist/consultant whose medical report would be used to negotiate the amount of compensation you may be awarded
- The “success fee” is deducted from the amount you are awarded
Accident at work claims can be complex more especially if the head injuries you sustained were severe and as such you require ongoing treatment and therapy. A solicitor would ensure that you receive interim payments to ensure that you and your loved ones are not put under any sort of unnecessary financial pressure.
What is the Time Limit to Filing a Head Injury at Work Claim Against an Employer?
The statutory time limit for all work-related and other personal injury claims must be adhered to for a claim to be valid. Waiting for too long could mean you lose out on receiving the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Accident at work time limits are detailed below:
- 3 years from the day you sustained a head injury at work
- 3 years from the day you were diagnosed as suffering from a medical condition that can be directly linked to you having sustained a head injury in the workplace
- 3 years from your 18th birthday should you have suffered a head injury at work prior to you being 18 years of age
To avoid running foul of the statutory accident at work 3 year time limit, you should seek legal advice sooner rather than later because gathering all the evidence needed to prove your case can take a long time. This includes specialist medical reports on your injuries as well as proof that your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe in the workplace.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Head Injury Claim Against Them?
You do not have to worry about losing your job should you sustain a head injury at work and seek compensation from an employer. Should an employer threaten to sack you or to make you redundant, you should contact a solicitor before taking any further action which includes resigning from your job.
The reason being that it is against the law for an employer to treat you detrimentally or to threaten you with the sack or redundancy if you seek compensation for an injury you suffered in the workplace. As such, you may be entitled to take out further legal action against your employer.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Head Injury at Work Claim?
A No Win No Fee solicitor would need to satisfy themselves that you have a strong case against a negligent employer before signing a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with you. This is easily done in an initial consultation that solicitors offer free of charge so you do not have to worry about finding the funds to pay for the first meeting or telephone conversation with the lawyer you contact.
Once a lawyer has determined that your head injury at work claim would stand a very good chance of being upheld in a court, bearing in mind that most personal injury claims are settled prior to be heard by a judge, they would request that you sign the No Win No Fee agreement (CFA) which is a legal contract that lays out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement and the percentage you would have to pay on a successful claim. Should you lose your head injury claim against your employer, the “success fee” would not have to be paid. If you win your case, the percentage you agreed to pay for the legal representation you received, is taken out of the compensation you receive on a successful head injury claim.
To find out more about head injuries and what should be done following a workplace accident that involves a worker suffering a traumatic injury to the head, please follow the link below:
For more information on the statutory time limit for filing an accident at work claim against a negligent employer, please click on the link below: