If you were involved in an accident at work that left you injured and the company or business you worked for went into liquidation, ceased trading or was dissolved, you could still file a personal injury claim. However, the legal process can be complex for various reasons one of which is that it may be more difficult for the solicitor who represents you to track your boss down. This is true of companies that ceased trading, went into liquidation or which were dissolved.
To find out more about filing personal injury claims against an employer whose company or business ceased trading, no longer exists or which has gone into liquidation or been dissolved, please read on.
I Had an Accident at Work and the Company has Ceased Trading Can I Still Claim Personal Injury Compensation?
If you suffered a work-related injury through no fault of your own and the business/company has ceased trading, claiming compensation can be more complicated than if the business was still trading. With this said, your ability to file a personal injury claim would depend on how your boss wound up the business which is detailed below:
- Whether the company you worked for has ceased trading, in which case it can be virtually impossible or at least extremely difficult to file a claim for compensation for a work-related injury your sustained while the business was still trading. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible because without legal representation, the chances of successfully filing a personal injury claim against a third party is minimal if not impossible
- Whether the company you worked for when you were involved in an accident that left you injured has gone into liquidation and a framework has been set in place, your chances of filing a successful claim are vastly improved, but you would be well advised to seek legal representation as soon as possible
If you are not sure what the situation is relating to the company you worked, it is best to seek legal advice sooner rather than later because of the strict time limit of 3 years which is associated with work-related personal injury claims.
My Employer Was a Sole Trader, Can I Still File a Work-related Personal Injury Claim?
If your employer was a sole trader and you were injured while in their employment, you would be entitled to file a personal injury claim for damages. With this said, it is still better to seek legal advice and representation as soon as possible which would give you a better chance of filing a successful claim against a negligent third party.
What Does it Mean When a Company Goes into Liquidation?
When a company or business goes into liquidation it means that it is deemed to no longer be a financially viable concern. As such, a decision has been made to wind the business up in a responsible manner. The company would still pursue any debtors for money owed and would still do its best to repay all the money the company owes its creditors. With this said, your chances of filing a successful personal injury claim against a company or business that has gone into liquidation are less than if your claim was against a company that was still up and running.
What Does a Dissolved Company Mean?
When a company is “dissolved”, it means the business has ceased trading and filed for “dissolution” which would be officially done through Companies House. The government would be notified that the company has ceased operating. When a company is dissolved, it means that provisions for liquidating all assets would have been set in place with an end goal being to settle as many of the company’s debts as possible.
What to Do If You Were Injured in an Accident at Work and the Company Has Ceased Trading
It is best to seek legal advice if you intend on filing a personal injury claim against a company that has ceased trading and the same can be said if the business went into voluntary liquidation or simply closed its doors. A company that ceased trading may not have made provisions to fulfil corporate duties or set in place a way of disbursing debts which can make the whole legal process of claiming compensation a whole lot harder.
With this said, if the company had insurance at the time of your injury, you may still be able to file for compensation for the injuries you sustained, providing a solicitor can trace the company’s insurers. To assist the solicitor, you should gather as much information about your accident and your injuries as possible which should include the following:
- A detailed account of when your accident occurred which includes when and where it happened
- The contact details of your employer, the company name and if possible, the company’s insurers
- The details of the official liquidator – should the business have gone into liquidation
- A detailed account of any financial losses you incurred as a direct result of your injuries
- A detailed medical report of your injuries which should include any short-term pain you suffered as well as any long-term damage you may have to live with
All of the above would help a solicitor and the information would also strengthen your personal injury claim against a company that has ceased trading which in short, means you have a better chance of being awarded the level of compensation you rightly deserve.
What to Do When Claiming Personal Injury Against a Company That Has Gone into Administration
It would be fair to say that filing a personal injury claim against a company that has gone into administration is more complex. However, if an official administrator has been appointed, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation for any injuries you sustained. With this said, the chances of your claim being successful are never as good as claims filed against a company that is still trading. As such, seeking legal representation is of paramount importance and this should be done as early as possible to prevent falling foul of the 3 year time limit associated with work-related personal injury claims.
A solicitor working on your behalf would assess two key facts about your claim for it to stand a chance of being successful which are detailed below:
- If the company you were working for had employee liability insurance in place when the personal injury claim was filed
- What the excess on employee liability insurance is set at
If the company you worked for had employee liability insurance, there is a good chance you would be able to file a successful personal injury claim against them. However, if the excess is more than the compensation you are claiming it would negate your claim. To find out more, it is best to seek legal advice because even if you have a valid claim, you may not be able to file a personal injury claim if the excess is more than the total amount of your claim.
What to do When Claiming Compensation Against a Company in Voluntary Liquidation
When it comes to suing a company that has gone into voluntary liquidation, this is quite different to filing a claim against a company that has ceased trading. When a company goes into liquidation, a plan would have been set in place for creditors to recoup any moneys that are owing and this incorporates personal injury claims. However, if the business was a Limited Company, the limited company would be the “legal entity” responsible for settling claims filed against them and if the “entity” no longer exists, there is no “route” left to file a personal injury claim. With this said, if it can be proved that a director was directly responsible for an accident that left you injured due to gross negligence, you may be able to file a claim against them although the chances of success are low.
What I Include in My Work-related Personal Injury?
There are specific things which can be included in a work-related personal injury claim filed against a company that has gone into liquidation or which has ceased trading. This typically includes the following:
- General damages – this covers both immediate pain and suffering you had to endure as well as the long-term health issues you may suffer from as a direct result of your injuries whether physical or psychological. It can also include the fact the quality of your life may have been negatively impacted
- Special damages – this includes any financial costs you incurred as a direct result of your injuries and the psychological damage suffered. It covers out of pocket expenses, travel costs and the fact special equipment has to be installed in your home to accommodate your injuries
- Medical expenses – this covers initial treatment received for injuries sustained through no fault of your own right through to treatments you need on a permanent basis
- Travel expenses – this covers all travel expenses you incur for visits to a hospital, clinic or other medical facility to receive treatments for your injuries
- Care costs – this covers the care costs should you need to be in a specialist medical care facility or have someone come to your home to take care of you because your injuries prevent you from carrying out normal day to day tasks on your own
How Do I Begin My Personal Injury Claim Against a Company in Liquidation?
Because personal injury claims against a company that has gone into liquidation or which has ceased trading is complex, it is best to seek legal advice as early as possible. A solicitor who specialises in this type of claim would assess your case which they would do by asking the following questions:
- When did the accident occur and where did the incident happen?
- The reason why you hold the company responsible?
- Was the incident recorded in the Accident Report Book and do you have a copy?
- Do you have any witness statements confirming the accident occurred and that you were injured?
- Have you got details of the company’s insurers?
- Have you had any communication with the company prior to contacting a solicitor?
The solicitor would offer a free no obligation consultation to determine whether you have a strong case to file a personal injury claim and once they establish this, they would offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis, taking all the financial pressure of funding legal representation off the table.
Getting Help with a Personal Injury Claim Against a Company That has Ceased Trading or Gone into Liquidation
As previously mentioned, this type of personal injury claim can be a complex, long drawn out legal process and it is important to get things right from the word go. Working with a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims against a company that has gone into liquidation or which has simply ceased trading, goes a long way in establishing whether you have a valid claim and if it is possible to claim compensation from a company that no longer exists.
Working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis means you get all the professional legal help you need without having to worry about paying a retainer or upfront fee. You would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which would set out an agree percentage the solicitor would be paid, but only if your personal injury claim against a company that has ceased trading or gone into liquidation is successful. If your claim is unsuccessful, there would be nothing to pay for the legal representation you received at all.