You may be wondering who pays when you get hurt at work and the answer is that successful accident at work claims are typically settled by an employer’s liability insurance. All employers in the UK are legally required to have valid liability insurance in place which along with other things, covers legal claims for injuries sustained by employees in the workplace.
However, there are specific criteria that must be met for an accident at work claim to be upheld by a court and to reduce the chance of an employer and their insurers disputing a claim against them. To find out more about who pays when you get hurt at work and the criteria that must be met for an accident at work claim to be successful, please read on.
Your Right to File an Accident at Work Claim Against an Employer
You have every right to file an accident at work claim against your employer providing you have enough evidence that the incident could have been avoided had your employer not been in breach of their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace. All employers in the UK have a legal duty when it comes to ensuring that a work environment is safe by following Health and Safety Executive regulations.
Should your employer fail to keep you safe from injury or ignore measures to reduce the risk of you developing a work-related health issue, they could be held responsible and their insurers would have to pay a level of compensation to suit the injuries you sustained or the medical condition you developed when carrying out your daily duties at work.
It is also note-worthy that should a work colleague have caused the accident that left you injured whether your injuries are only minor or a lot more severe, a court may find that your employer could be deemed liable. The reason being that employers are held accountable for the actions of all their employees and this includes when they cause an accident at work that leaves another work colleague injured.
Your Right to be Correctly Compensated for Injuries Sustained in an Accident at Work
When you are involved in an accident at work, you could suffer physical injuries as well as psychological damage. On top of this, you may have to cope with financial problems due to not being able to work and because you have medical and other expenses to pay out. This can put you under a lot of stress when you should be concentrating on your recovery. Your injuries may be such that you require ongoing treatment and it could even mean that your life is changed forever.
As such, you have every right to seek the level of compensation not only to suit the injuries you sustained, but also to cover the expenses you incurred because you suffered an accident at work through the negligence of a third party and through no fault of your own. It is not an employer who pays the compensation you may be awarded when an accident at work claim is successful, it is their insurers who settle the amount you receive, keeping in mind that most cases by far are settled before they even go before a judge in court.
Your Right to Not be Treated Detrimentally for Filing an Accident at Work Claim
As an employee, you have certain rights which includes not being treated unfairly or detrimentally should you choose to file an accident at work claim against your employer. Other work colleagues should not treat you unfairly either. If you find that you are being treated detrimentally, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in employment law because you may be able to file a claim against your employer because your rights have been breached.
Your Right to Receive Sick Pay Following an Accident at Work
Should the injuries you sustained in an accident at work, prevent you from working, you could also be entitled to receive sick pay (SSP) providing you are categorised as an “employee”. Should you be off work for 4 or more days in a row and your salary is at least £113 a week (before tax), you would be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay.
You may find that your employer offers more in the way of sick pay which would be detailed in your contract of employment. Should this be the case, you would be entitled to receive this amount even if you are not able to work because you were injured in an accident at work.
What Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?
Bearing in mind that it is your employer’s insurers who will pay any compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim, it is worth noting that the method of calculating the compensation awarded on all personal injury claims including those that are work-related, are broken down into two categories which are “general damages” and “special damages”.
These are awarded in order to compensate you for the injuries you sustained when you get hurt at work. They cover not only your physical injuries but the psychological damage you had to cope with too. You can include the salary, bonuses and other perks you lost out on during the time you were off work. General damages can also include all future loss of earnings if your injuries are that severe that you would not be able to carry out your job again.
Special damages are a lot easier to calculate as they are based on “actual” expenses and other out of pocket expenses you may have incurred as a direct result of getting hurt at work. The amount you would be awarded in special damages would include all the travel expenses you paid out, the medical expenses you incurred and any other costs you would not have had to deal with had you not been in an accident at work.
Should I Sue My Employer When I Get Hurt at Work?
Employees who get hurt at work have every right to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and all out of pocket expenses they incur providing specific criteria can be met which are detailed below:
- That the accident that resulted in you getting hurt at work occurred in the last 3 years
- That you were not responsible for the accident that left you injured
- That you have evidence that your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace
- That a work colleague caused the accident through an error they made
Getting hurt at work can put you under tremendous pressure both financially and psychologically. You could find it hard to cope with everyday living expenses and you could have trouble paying regular monthly bills which could include your mortgage. As such, seeking compensation for not only the injuries you sustained, but also for all your financial losses, can take the burden of having to worry about finances off the table.
It is also important to bear in mind that your employer is legally required to have valid employer liability insurance in place which would cover the compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim. It is also worth noting that your employer’s insurers would have to reimburse all NHS treatments and medical care you received should your case be upheld. In short, it is not your employer who pays the amount of compensation you are awarded when you file an accident at work claim against them, but rather the insurance company that holds your employer’s liability insurance policy.
What are My Workers Rights When I Get Hurt at Work?
All employees have certain rights when they get hurt at work some of which are listed below:
- The right to file for compensation following an accident at work that results in injury
- That a job is safe even when an employee seeks compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace
What are the Benefits of Working With a Solicitor on An Accident at Work Claim?
Making an accident at work claim on your own is not as easy as it may first appear. The reason being there are many legal pitfalls which may hinder your case if not dealt with properly. Should your employer dispute your claim, it can make an already complicated process even more complex. As such, there are lots of legal benefits when it comes to working with an accident at work lawyer. These are detailed below:
- You can discuss the circumstances surrounding the accident at work that left you injured with a specialist solicitor during an initial, no obligation consultation which it typically free of charge
- Once your sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a solicitor can start working on your accident at work claim without having to request an upfront fee or retainer
- The “success fee” you would pay for the legal representation a No Win No Fee solicitor provides would be deducted from the amount you receive on a successful accident at work claim
- A solicitor who specialises in work-related accident claims, has access to all the necessary legal libraries
- They would negotiate a “settlement” with your employer’s insurers that correctly reflects the injuries and expenses you incurred
Is There a Time Limit To Claiming Compensation After Getting Hurt at Work?
There is a statutory time limit to filing an accident at work claim which you must abide by. Even waiting a few months to file a claim can put you at risk of losing out on the compensation you would be entitled to receive from a negligent employer. You may also find that if there is only a few months left on the 3 year statutory accident at work time limit, a lawyer may not be as keen to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis.
The reason being that should your claim be complex, it can take much longer than a few months to resolve. As such, the sooner you seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in accident at work claims, the sooner you can get a claim started and receive the compensation you are entitled to. The time limits associated with work-related claims are listed below:
- 3 years from the date you were involved in accident at work that left you injured whether your injuries are minor or more serious
- 3 years from the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a work-related health issue
- 3 years from your 18th birthday, should the accident at work that left you with injuries happened before you were 18 years old
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing For Compensation?
You have every right to seek compensation for any injuries or health issue you developed in the workplace and you could also file an “unfair dismissal” claim against an employer should they choose to fire you because you do. Unless your employer has another “good and valid” reason for sacking you other than the fact you are seeking compensation from them, you should not have any fear of losing your job should you choose to file an accident at work claim.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Claim?
Most solicitors once they have determined you have a strong case to file an accident at work claim against a negligent employer, work on your case without requesting an upfront fee having agreed to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement with you. This legal contract forms the basis of working with the solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.
The CFA not only details the Terms and Conditions of the agreement, but also the percentage known as a “success fee” that would be payable to the solicitor on a successful accident at work claim. Because you entered into the agreement with a No Win No Fee solicitor, the percentage payable known as a success fee, would not be applied on an unsuccessful accident at work claim.