If you are a direct employee of the company responsible for the work being carried out on a construction site, a subcontractor or even a member of the public and you sustain any sort of injury while on a construction site, you could be entitled to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained providing your case meets the required criteria that is attached to all personal injury claims.
To find out more about how to claim compensation for a construction site injury, please read on.
The Legal Requirements Associated with the Construction Industry
All construction companies in the UK are legally required to ensure that a work environment is secure and safe for workers as well as visitors to the site. There are Health and Safety regulations that are in place to ensure that workers and visitors to a construction site are kept as safe as possible.
These laws include the following:
• Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002
• Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
• Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
• Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998
• Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
• Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998
• Work at Height Regulations 2005
The Consequences of Being Injured on a Construction Site
All too often construction site injuries are severe and have serious consequences for the people who are involved which includes suffering from psychological trauma. The types of construction site accidents that result in serious injury include the following:
• Falls from ladders
• Falls from scaffolding
• Falls into holes
• Being struck by a falling object
• Being struck by a moving works vehicle
• Operating faulty machinery or equipment
• Because safety guards were not in place or poorly maintained
• Incorrectly labelled chemicals and other hazardous substances/liquids
• Incorrectly stored chemicals and other hazardous substances/liquids
• Exposed electrical wires/circuits
• Insufficient manual handling and lifting training
If you suffered a construction site injury and you can prove employer negligence or that the incident happened because of a work colleague, you could be entitled to seek compensation by filing a construction site injury claim.
Who Is Liable If I Suffer Construction Site Injury?
When it comes to establishing liability if you suffer an construction site injury, it would fall to the employers because they have a legal obligation to ensure that a construction site is safe and secure at all times for both the workers and all visitors to the work environment.
The employers responsible for the construction site injuries you sustained, could be any of the following:
• Construction site management companies
• Construction employers
• The organisation responsible for all health and safety on a construction site
A personal injury lawyer would work hard to establish as to who could be held responsible for the construction site accident you were involved in by investigating the circumstances leading up to the incident and by assessing the evidence that you provide.
Should I Sue for Compensation If I Am Injured in a Construction Site Accident?
Claiming compensation for injuries you sustained in a construction site accident would help you cope with many of the problems you could be forced to deal with and would do so in several of the following ways:
- The compensation you are awarded would pay for any private medical care and treatment you may require and this includes rehabilitation and physiotherapy which could help speed up your recovery
- The amount of construction site injury compensation you receive would make up for all of your lost income and future earnings should your injuries be so severe, you would not be able to work again
- In the event of a fatality, the compensation awarded would help loved ones cope a little better for the loss they suffered
You have the right to seek compensation for injuries you sustained in a construction site accident and if your case against an employer is strong, a personal injury lawyer would be happy to take on your case on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you would not have to worry about paying for legal representation when you need it the most. The solicitor would begin working on your claim without having to request an upfront fee which takes all the financial pressure off your shoulders.
What are My Rights Following a Construction Site Accident?
As previously mentioned, an employer cannot prevent you from seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a construction site accident because if they do, they would be in breach of your worker’s rights. The employer cannot fire you because you file an accident at work claim against them either.
If your boss does treat you detrimentally, unfairly or they threaten you in any way with redundancy or the sack, even if implied, you should discuss your concerns with a solicitor who specialises in employment law. You could be entitled to more compensation from your employer by filing further legal action against them.
What Level of Construction Site Injury Compensation Would I Receive?
The level of construction site injury compensation you may be awarded if you win your case would depend on the extent of the injuries you sustained and how they impact your life as well as your ability to work. When it comes to general damages, these are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you had to endure due to being injured on a construction site. These are calculated using the Judicial Guidelines which are provided as a way of estimating the amount of personal injury compensation you may be awarded.
On top of the general damages you may be awarded, you would also receive “special damages” which are to compensate you for all the expenses and other costs you had to pay out as a direct result of having sustained construction site injuries through no fault of your own.
You can claim the following in special damages:
- Travel costs to and from treatments and therapies whether at a hospital or other medical facility whether you get there by car, taxi, bus, train or other means
- Medical expenses which includes prescriptions, medical aids and other necessary medical costs
- Care costs should your injuries mean that you require help around the home during your recovery
- Home adaptations should your house need to be modified to make it easier for you to move around
- All other expenses that can be directly linked to the construction site injury you sustained
It is vitally important to hold onto all your receipts as these would be required as proof of the out-of-pocket expenses and costs you had to pay as a result of your injuries.
Would My Construction Site Injury Claim Be Valid?
Providing you have enough evidence that the construction site injury you suffered was caused by a third party whether it was through employer negligence or the error/misjudgement of a fellow worker, your claim would be valid and a personal injury lawyer would agree to work on your case by asking you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement with them.
This legal contract is often referred to as a No Win No Fee agreement because should you lose your construction site injury claim, you would have nothing to pay. You only pay the “success fee” that is set out in the CFA you signed when you are awarded construction site injury compensation and the amount would be deducted from the compensation you receive.
For your claim to be valid, you would need to prove that the construction employers as well as, or the site management providers did set the following measures in place:
- That all site workers and staff were given a “safety induction” detailing all aspects of the site on which they would be carrying out work
- That every worker was made aware of hazards, dangers and risks to their health and that they were instructed on how to deal with accidents and where to seek first aid
- That all site health and safety signs are correctly displayed so they are clearly visible to all workers and visitors to a construction site
- That all workers were made aware of their own safety obligations
- That everyone that works or visits a construction site was wearing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- That all workers were given adequate manual handling training
- That site workers were adequately trained and qualified to operate machinery, tools and equipment they were tasked to use on the construction site
- That all tools, machinery and equipment was in good working order and correctly maintained
- That all faulty tools, machinery and equipment was removed from the construction site
- That all dangerous, hazardous, noxious chemicals were handled in compliance with the law (Controls of Substances Hazardous to Health Guidelines- COSSH)
- That all chemicals were stored and controlled in compliance with the law
If you think the construction site management company, the contractor or your employer did not do their duty to keep you safe while on a construction site and that you were exposed to being injured as a consequence, you could be entitled to claim compensation and you should contact a personal injury lawyer to seek advice on how best to proceed in filing a construction site injury claim.
Who Pays The Compensation in a Construction Site Injury Claim?
Employers must hold insurance which covers injuries and work-related health issues that employees and workers can sustain or develop when carrying out the jobs they are tasked to do. This liability insurance must be issued by a recognised insurance provider and must meet the legal requirement of £5 million. The certificate of insurance should be displayed where people can see it and when you are injured in a construction site accident, you can request an employer’s insurance provider’s details which they must give you in a timely manner.
It is the employer’s insurance provider who would handle your construction site injury claim from start to finish which means that it is the insurer who pays out the compensation you would receive in a successful claim whether your case has to go to court because the employer denies liability or in an out of court settlement. Most personal injury claims are settled this way because insurers do not like the risk of losing in court which would mean them paying both the claimants court costs and their own.
Would I Be Fired For Filing a Construction Site Injury Claim?
You cannot be fired because you seek compensation from an employer and if you are, you should seek legal advice straight away. The reason being that your employer would be in breach of your worker’s rights which are that you can file a personal injury claim to seek construction site injury compensation without having to worry about being sacked from your job.
If an employer, whether the construction company or other attempts to sack you because you file an accident at work claim against them, they would be in breach of the laws which protect you from this type of unfair treatment. As such, you should seek advice from a lawyer because you may be entitled to seek further compensation from an employer by filing a detriment claim against them.
Is There a Time Limit Associated with a Construction Site Injury Claim Against an Employer?
Personal injury claims must be filed within a specific time which is the statutory time limit of 3 years. However, it would depend on the circumstances surrounding your construction site accident as to when the time limit would begin. This is as follows:
- The statutory 3 year time limit begins from the date when you sustained a construction site injury
- The statutory 3 year time limit would begin from the date you have been diagnosed as suffering from some kind of medical condition that a doctor or specialist has linked to the construction site injuries you sustained
- The statutory 3 year time limit would begin from the day you are 18 years old should you have been injured in a construction site accident prior to this date
Although 3 years may seem a long enough time to seek construction site injury compensation, gathering all the required evidence and other proof that the accident occurred either through employer negligence can take much longer than first imagined. As such, the sooner a claim is started the less chance there would be of your accident at work claim being “statute barred”.
What Advantages Can a Personal Injury Solicitor Offer in a Construction Site Injury Claim?
Personal injury lawyers have the expertise required to manage construction site injury claims and boast vast experience when it comes to communicating both with employers and their liability insurance providers. Solicitors know what you are entitled to receive in a successful personal injury claim and are aware of all your worker’s rights following an incident that leaves you with a construction site injury.
Other benefits of contacting a personal injury solicitor from the outset of filing your claim includes the following:
- With all the years of experience in dealing with accident at work claims, lawyers can speed up what is often a long and complex legal process. Liability insurance providers have a tendency to drag their feet when responding to correspondence they receive. A personal injury lawyer would ensure that all “pre-action protocols” are respected which encourages insurance companies to respect the time it takes them to respond to letters they are sent relating to your construction site injury claim
- Personal injury lawyers are able to access legal libraries which they refer to and use as precedents for your construction site injury claim
- The lawyer who represents you would work on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis once they are satisfied that you have a strong case and that the employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained in a construction site accident
- The solicitor would let you know at the earliest opportunity how much construction site injury compensation you could be awarded in a successful personal injury claim
- A personal injury lawyer would arrange for your injuries to be examined by an independent medical professional and the report they provide would be used as a basis for the “general damages” you receive in a successful claim
- A solicitor would work hard to ensure that you are awarded a level of compensation for the injuries you sustained that is fair and acceptable
- Should your case be complex and your injuries severe, the solicitor would ensure that you receive interim payments so that you are not put under any financial pressure as your claim progresses
- Should your injuries be so severe that you require ongoing, long-term treatment and therapy, the personal injury solicitor who represents you would ensure that the cost of this is included in the construction site injury compensation you receive
If you were injured in a constructions site accident and would like to seek compensation from a negligent employer, you should discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer who would tell you how to go about making a claim and what evidence would be needed.
Would a Personal Injury Lawyer Represent Me On a No Win No Fee Basis?
Providing you can offer enough strong evidence that your construction site injury was caused through employer negligence or by a fellow worker, a personal injury lawyer would typically offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis which in short, means they would begin investigating your case against the employer without you having to pay them to do so. There would be no upfront fee or ongoing fees to pay as your construction site injury claim progresses either.
Conditional Fee Agreements explain the percentage, the “success fee” that you would have to pay on a successful construction site injury claim. The legal contract between you and the solicitor who represents you also sets out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement which in short, means it tells you what to expect work-wise from a solicitor. The “success fee” which is the percentage you would pay a personal injury solicitor is taken from the money you are awarded in compensation for the injuries you sustained and out of pocket expenses you had to pay out.
Should you not win your construction site injury claim against the employer, the “success fee” would be waived because you entered into a CFA with the solicitor, hence why the contract is more commonly referred to as a No Win No Fee agreement.
If you would like to find out more information on your worker’s rights following a construction site injury you sustained, please click on the link below:
If you would like more information on an employer’s responsibilities on a construction site, please click on the link below: