All employers in the UK must ensure that staff whether full-time, part-time, agency workers or contractors have a safe environment to work in. Under the law, employers have a duty of care to make sure that you as an employee are fully aware of any risks that may be present in the workplace by carrying out regular risk assessments. An employer would be deemed “negligent” if they failed in their duty to provide a safe working environment that resulted in a work-related accident that left you injured.
Reasons Why an Employer May be Deemed Negligent
There are a number of reasons that may lead to employer negligence and this includes the following:
- Your employer did not provide you with adequate and appropriate Health and Safety training which they are bound to provide to all employees under UK law. Correct H&S training ensures you are able to carry out your job to the best of your ability safely
- Your employer did not maintain and regularly service equipment or machinery which they must do in accordance to any manufacturer’s guidelines
- You worked with machinery that was faulty or equipment/machinery that you were not adequately trained to work with
- Your work environment was not safe because of uneven floors, slippery floors or other hazardous conditions
- You were not given the correct safety equipment for the job you were doing
- You contracted a work-related illness or disease
- You were involved in an incident involving a vehicle used in the workplace
- Your employer hired someone without carrying out the appropriate background check and who then created problems in the workplace
How to File a Negligence Claim Against Your Employer
If you were involved in a work-related accident that left you injured and you believe the incident could have been avoided and that it was due to employer negligence, you should contact a solicitor who specialises in negligence claims as soon as possible. However, there are specific steps you should take following the incident which includes the following:
- Seek medical attention as early as possible even if you think your injuries are minor
- Make sure the incident is recorded in the Accident Report Book – if you are unable to do so because of your injuries, ask that a work colleague does this for you. If there is not Accident Report Book, you or a work colleague should write down the details of the incident and your injuries and send a copy to your employer, making sure you keep a copy of the report for your own records
- Take as many photographs of the accident as possible detailing when and where it occurred
- Take photos of your injuries
- Request CCTV footage of the incident if available
- Keep all medical records of your injuries
- Take witness statements and note down contact details
- Keep records of all the expenses you incurred as a direct result of your injuries – this includes the cost of travelling to hospital or other medical facility to be treated, the cost of prescriptions and the cost of care you may need during your recovery
How to Start a Negligence Claim Against Your Employer
Once you have been treated for your injuries and you are thinking of filing a negligence claim against your employer, you should contact a personal injury solicitor who specialises in this type of work-related injury claim. The reason being that there is a strict time limit of 3 years associated with employer negligence claims and because the process can be complicated, it is best to take legal advice and start a claim as soon as possible. With this said, for industrial disease claims, the time limit may be extended.
You would need to gather as much evidence and proof that the accident and your injuries/illness/disease was caused due to employer negligence which a personal injury solicitor would assist you in doing which would help eliminate any chance of delays in the legal process. It is worth noting that many negligence claims do not get to court because a lot of employers prefer to “settle out of court” to avoid the court costs. However, if your employer denies “negligence” and deems they are not liable for the accident or your injuries, the case would go before a Judge which means presenting all the relevant evidence required to prove your claim.
Working with a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis on Your Employer Negligence Claims
Seeking legal advice when it comes to employer negligence claims can be expensive which is why many people throughout the UK decide to work with a firm of solicitors on a No Win No Fee basis. This allows a solicitor to begin work on your claim without having to request a retainer or upfront fee to do so. The team at LegalExpert.co.uk work on a No Win No Fee basis and have successfully proved employer negligence for many clients in the past.
You would sign a contract which is referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The contract lays out the percentage you would pay a solicitor on a successful employer negligence claim. Should your claim be unsuccessful, there would be nothing to pay for the firm’s legal representation. This takes all the financial pressure of seeking legal advice when you need it most off the table, more especially as the percentage you would have to pay is deducted from the amount of compensation you are awarded in a successful employer negligence claim.