If you trip and fell over at work due to an error on the part of a work colleague, you could be entitled to file an accident at work claim for injuries sustained due to their negligence and the person you would sue could be your employer. Some working environments put you more at risk when it comes to injuries sustained in trip and fall accidents but it can happen to any employee in any working environment too.
You may slip on a wet floor or trip over wires or obstacles that have not been correctly put away injuring yourself in the process. To find out more about how to file a trip, slip and fall at work claim, please read on.
An Employer’s Duty to Reduce the Risk of a Fall At Work
Employers by law, have a duty of care towards you as one of their employees. The law requires that employers must set in place reasonable measures to ensure that workers and people visiting the workplace, are kept safe from harm and injury. These safety measures protect you from being involved in a workplace accident which includes you falling and injuring yourself while you are carrying out your work for an employer whether this is “onsite” or “offsite” due to the negligence of a fellow worker.
Your employer’s responsibilities towards you as an employee includes adhering to the following:
- To regularly and routinely carry out maintenance work and repairs to a working environment when necessary and to ensure that all furniture, flooring, chairs and carpets are kept in good condition and to make sure that equipment is correctly maintained and stored away
- To ensure that all areas in a working environment are kept clear of obstacles that could result in employees and other people tripping over and injuring themselves
- To install anti-slip flooring where necessary and to erect handrails and guardrails on all sloping surfaces and work areas where there is a higher risk of employees and other people tripping and injuring themselves
- To make sure that scaffolding, ladders and all tools and equipment used in height-related work are in good condition, secure and sturdy
- To provide employees and visitors to a working environment adequate anti-slip footwear where necessary which includes on wet, icy or other slippery floor surfaces
Should you fall and injure yourself while you are at work due to the fact that an employer failed in their duty to protect you, it may be possible to claim compensation from them by filing an accident at work claim, even if a work colleague was responsible.
Your employer must also by law, have valid liability insurance issued by a recognised insurance provider. As such, when you claim accident at work compensation from your employer whether your case is disputed or not, it would be the insurance company that handles all aspects of your claim from the outset. It would be down to the insurer to pay the trip and fall at work compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim.
How to Claim Accident at Work Compensation for a Fall at Work Injury
An employer could choose to deny liability for the fall injury you sustained at work and may even attempt to hide or cover up the fact they did not adequately protect you in the workplace. As such, it is essential that you provide as much evidence of employer negligence as you can when filing an accident at work claim against them. The more proof you can provide relating to your fall in the workplace, the stronger your case would be and the more chance there would be that a solicitor would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis.
The sooner you can start gathering the evidence needed to prove your case after a fall at work that left you injured, the sooner you can get an accident at work claim under way and the faster you would be awarded compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you endured because of an error on the part of a work colleague.
What You Should Do After a Fall at Work That Left You Injured
As previously touched upon, for an accident at work claim to be valid, you would need to provide as much evidence of employer negligence as possible. You would also need to meet specific criteria which is that you sustained your injuries in the last 3 years and that the accident occurred in the workplace through no fault of your own but because of an error made by a fellow worker. The proof that is required is as follows:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of where the workplace accident occurred that show clearly why you fell and injured yourself whether it was because of a torn carpet, an obstacle or broken flooring to name but three reasons why the accident may have happened
- If there is CCTV footage, request a copy from your employer who is obligated to oblige within an acceptable period of time
- Make sure the accident has been officially recorded whether in an Accident Report Book or by some other official means whether by personal email or letter to your employer or person in charge. Make sure you keep a copy of the report for your own records as this would be needed when filing an accident at work claim
- Make sure you seek medical attention and request an official report of the extent of the injuries you sustained when you fell in the workplace. Although there may not be any obvious injuries, you could well have sustained internal damage which may only become apparent days later
- Keep a record of all out of pocket expenses and other costs you incur as a direct result of sustaining a workplace injury
Can I Include All My Financial Losses and Damages in My Fall at Work Claim?
Providing the costs and out of pocket expenses you incurred are as a direct result of the fall at work injuries you sustained, you could claim them back as part of the compensation you seek. These would be broken down into two separate parts as follows:
- General damages compensate you for the injuries you sustained, your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The level of fall at work injury compensation you may be awarded would depend on the extent of your injuries and how your life and ability to work have been negatively impacted
- Special damages are awarded to compensate you for all the expenses and other costs you had to pay out due to the injuries you sustained in a fall at work. As such, the amount you may be awarded is much easier to calculate because special damages are based on “actual” expenses. This may include travel and medical expenses you had to pay out because of your injuries which you would not otherwise have had to pay. They also cover care costs and all other expenses you incurred because you suffered a fall at work that left you injured
What are My Workers’ Rights Following an Accident at Work?
If you were injured in a workplace incident whether your injuries are slight or a lot more severe, you have certain rights which includes the following even if the incident was caused by a work colleague:
- To file an accident at work claim against your employer and to seek compensation for the injuries sustained and the out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result
- That you cannot be sacked because you file a personal injury claim against your employer
If an employer says you cannot seek compensation from them by filing an accident at work claim or they tell you that you may be made redundant or sacked if you do, your employer would be acting unlawfully and as such, you could file further legal action against them.
What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities Towards Me in the Workplace?
There are employment laws, Health and Safety Executive regulations and other laws that protect you in the workplace which all employers must respect. These laws are there to ensure that you are kept as safe as possible while you are in the workplace. Employers have a duty of care to protect you when you are in their employment and must do the following to reduce the risk of harm and injury coming to you while you are at work:
- That all employees and other workers are aware and abide by the working practices and procedures as laid out in the workplace
- That you are provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) so that you can carry out a job as safely as possible
- That you are adequately trained to carry out a job and that ongoing training is regularly scheduled
- That risk assessments are done on a regular basis to identify all hazards to employees and other people who visit a working environment
- That all tools, machinery and equipment is maintained in good working order
Should you suffer an injury in an accident at work because your employer did not keep you safe from injury and harm because they ignored the guidelines as set out by law and the Health and Safety Executive, you could file for compensation. The reason being that your employer could be held responsible for the injuries you sustained while working for them.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Claim For an Injury Caused By a Work Colleague?
You cannot be sacked for filing an accident at work claim against your employer because a work colleague caused you to trip and fall which resulted in you sustaining injuries. Should your employer fire you, they would be acting unlawfully and as such, you may be entitled to seek further compensation from your employer. As such, you should contact a lawyer who would instruct you on how best to proceed with your claims.
How Long Do I Have to File a Trip and Fall Claim Against My Employer?
The time limit relating to personal injury claims must be respected for a case to be valid and upheld if it goes before a judge in court. Failing to abide by the strict 3 year time limit may end up with an accident at work claim being “statute barred”. As such, the sooner you start your claim, the better because it takes a lot of time and effort to gather all the proof needed to validate a case. The statutory 3 year time limit begins at different times depending on several things which are detailed below:
- The time limit starts from the date of your injury in the workplace
- The time limit begins from the date a medical professional linked a medical condition to the injury you sustained in an accident at work
- The time limit starts from the day you turn 18 years of age should the workplace incident have happened before this date
How Can I Win a Fall at Work Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims can be complex and you need to know what evidence is required to support your case. There are legal requirements that must be met for your claim to be upheld whether liability is admitted or not. A solicitor with vast experience of representing workers and other people file personal injury claims would know how to put forward a compelling argument which would counter any arguments that may be presented by an employer’s liability insurance provider.
In short, it is better to seek legal representation sooner rather than later to avoid falling foul of the strict statutory 3 year time limit which must be adhered to if you want to file an accident at work claim against an employer who could be held liable for the injuries you sustained in the workplace through an error or misjudgement on the part of another employee or work colleague.
With a solicitor fighting your case on your behalf, you would have a much higher chance of winning your claim for injuries you sustained through the fault of a work colleague. Once a solicitor has assessed your case and had time to go over all the evidence you provided and decided that you have a strong case, they would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you would not have to find the money to pay an upfront fee to the solicitor for them to begin representing you.
Should I Sue My Employer If a Work Colleague Was at Fault For My Fall at Work Injury?
All employees worker’s rights are protected by law in the UK which covers when injuries are sustained whether through employer negligence or because of an error/mistake on the part of a work colleague. Employers have a legal duty to hold valid liability insurance in place to cover such eventualities as harm and injury to employees and other people who visit a working environment.
It is the insurance company, which must be a “recognised” liability insurance provider, that handles all personal injury claims filed against employers. As such, should your claim be upheld whether disputed by an employer or not, it is the insurer who pays out the accident at work compensation on a trip and fall injury you sustained in the workplace through no fault of your own but through the error or mistake of a work colleague.
Should your employer admit liability for the injury you sustained, the insurer would typically offer you an “out of court settlement” preferring for you case not to go before a judge. However, if your employer denies responsibility, you may have to attend a court hearing. It is also worth noting that should an insurance company offer to settle your claim out of court, you should discuss the amount being offered with the solicitor who represents you prior to accepting this “initial” offer. The reason being that a lawyer would be able to negotiate a higher amount of accident at work compensation for you on your behalf.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Claim?
If you have been injured in a workplace accident and you would like to seek compensation from an employer, you should contact a solicitor who specialises in work-related personal injury claims. An experienced lawyer would tell you if your claim is valid and would do so by offering you an initial, free consultation. Once a solicitor has determined that your employer could be held liable for the injuries you sustained at work, they would offer to start investigating your claim without requesting an upfront payment from you. The solicitor would draw up a Conditional Fee Agreement which you would sign.
This legal document, the No Win No Fee agreement, is a legally binding contract that sets out the Terms and Conditions. The agreement also sets out the “success fee” that would only be payable by you when you are awarded the accident at work compensation for the trip and fall injury you sustained in the workplace due to an error of a fellow worker.
There are many benefits to contacting a solicitor sooner rather than later with the first being that an experienced lawyer knows about the all-important “pre-action protocols” that must be respected when filing an accident at work claim against an employer. Other advantages of having a No Win No Fee solicitor representing you from the outset of filing your claim against your employer includes the following:
- Lawyers have the right to refer to legal libraries when needed which they can do when researching your accident at work claim against your employer for injuries you sustained because a fellow worker caused the incident
- Lawyers have vast experience in communicating with insurance providers when it comes to respecting the timescales for responding to letters they are sent relating to your accident at work claim. This can help speed up what can otherwise be a longer process
- A lawyer would be able to tell you how much accident at work compensation you may be awarded in a successful work-related personal injury claim
- A lawyer would make sure that you are examined by an independent medical professional who would issue a detailed report of the injuries you sustained in the workplace
- A lawyer would ensure that you receive interim payment should a final settlement take longer to reach due to your case and your injuries being more complex
- A lawyer would work hard to reach an acceptable level of accident at work compensation for you
Should you require ongoing care because your injuries are severe, a solicitor would ensure that the cost of the long-term treatment you need would be factored into the accident at work compensation you are awarded having been injured in the workplace due to the error of a work colleague.
To find out more information on Health and Safety in the workplace and your employers’ responsibilities, please click on the link below:
If you would like more information on what a Conditional Fee Agreement involves, the following link takes you to the Gov.uk website where you will find essential reading on the topic if you are considering working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis:
If you were involved in an accident at work and you would like to know more about “reportable” incidents, injuries and diseases, the following link provides valuable reading on which workplace accidents, injuries and diseases must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive: