Employees who are involved in an accident at work that leaves them injured or suffering from some sort of work-related health issue or medical disorder, and the incident occurred in the last 3 years through employer negligence, would be entitled to file for compensation. You may find that you could also be entitled to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and if you lost a family member in an accident at work, you could be entitled to file a claim on their behalf against their employer.
With this said, many people who suffer injuries, an illness or health issue at work ask the question “who pays the compensation I may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim”? The answer is that all employers are legally required to have liability insurance in place to cover this type of eventuality. As such, it is your employer’s insurers who would pay the amount you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim, bearing in mind that the majority of insurers prefer to settle an accident at work claim before it goes before a judge which is referred to as “settling out of court”.
What Are My Employer’s Legal Requirements?
All UK employers must have valid liability insurance in place which is a legal requirement for all businesses that employ one or more employees. It is worth noting that the minimum cover legally required currently stands at £5 million. Should an employer not have the required insurance in place, they could be liable to a fine which is as follows:
- £2,500 for every day that employer liability insurance is not in place
However, it is also worth noting that some businesses/organisations are not required to have employer’s liability insurance because they are exempt and this includes the following:
- Businesses that employ close family members
- Businesses that employ workers who reside abroad – but employers must check any laws that apply to the countries of their worker’s origin
- Businesses that only work with contractors because they do not qualify as “employees”
Should you suffer an work-related health issue, medical condition or sustain and injury at work through no fault of your own and the incident happened in the last 3 years, you could file for compensation which would be paid to you via a court or directly by your employer’s insurers.
What Sort of Workers Qualify as Employees?
When it comes to who qualifies as an “employee”, this can prove somewhat complicated. However, the establish whether a person is an employee, the following applies:
- The business deducts National Insurance contributions as well as income tax from a worker’s salary and they do so at “source”
- The business provides all the tools and equipment needed to carry out a job
With this said, some sub-contractors may also be deemed to be “employees” whereas independent contractors and bona-fide sub-contractors do not. If you qualify as an “employee” and suffer an injury at work, seeking legal advice as early as possible can speed up the process of filing an accident at work claim considerably. The reason being that a solicitor would contact your employer’s insurers to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible from the outset.
What Would I Be Awarded in a Successful Compensation Claim?
There are certain things you would be awarded should your accident at work claim be successful which are detailed below:
General damages are awarded to compensate you for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Your inability to do things you used to do before you sustained an injury in an accident at work. This includes hobbies, other activities and your ability to work
Special damages are awarded to compensate you for actual out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of an injury, illness or other health issue you sustained in the workplace and could include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Travel expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- Care costs
If you are filing an accident at work claim on behalf of a loved one who died, you could also be awarded funeral costs and any financial contribution your loved made to the home. The compensation you are awarded in a successful claim would be paid out by your employer’s insurance and would not be taken from the business profits.
An Employers’ Responsibilities Towards Their Employees
All UK employers have a duty of care towards all their employees which encompasses providing a safe working environment that is as free from hazards and dangers as possible. The law covers all aspects of a working environment and the job you are tasked to do. Employers must adhere to all the Health and Safety Executive regulations that are set in place to protect workers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Employers must also abide by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 Act.
Should your employer fail in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace and you develop a health issue or suffer an injury that prevents you from working for a short or longer period of time, you have every right to file an accident at work claim against them. The reason being that a court would deem your employer was in “breach of their legal duties”. The employer’s liability insurance that a business owner must legally have in place would cover the amount of compensation you are seeking when filing an accident at work claim against a negligent employer.
What If I Suffer an Industrial Injury at Work?
If you have sustained an industrial injury at work due to employer negligence because your employer failed to abide to any health and safety regulations or in their duty to provide a safe working environment, you would also have every right to file an accident at work claim against them. Should your employer do any of the following, it would entitle you to file an industrial injury at work claim:
- Agree to poor manual handling practices
- Expose you to any dangerous chemicals that are regulated under COSHHR (the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations)
- Poor maintenance of the workplace
- Poor design of the workplace
- Failure to provide sufficient or no training
- Failure to recognise potential health issues and illnesses in the workplace
The type of injuries you could sustain in an industrial accident at work could include any of the following:
- Broken or fractured bones
On top of the injuries in the list above, you could develop an industrial disease which could negatively impact your health and well-being on a long-term basis. This includes suffering from the following:
- Vibration white finger
Whatever industrial disease, illness or injury you sustain in the workplace, proving liability a long time afterwards does not mean you cannot file a successful accident at work claim against a negligent employer, bearing in mind that the compensation you receive would be paid by your employer’s insurers.
Is It Worth Filing an Accident at Work Claim Against My Employer?
If you develop an illness or other work-related health issue, sustain an injury that prevents you from working for any length of time, you have every right to sue your employer and be awarded the level of compensation you deserve, providing you can prove an employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe in the workplace.
This means providing enough evidence that your injuries were sustained in an accident at work because your employer failed to abide by Health and Safety regulations or that they did not provide the correct personal protective equipment to suit the job you were tasked to do, but whatever the reason, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims as soon as possible. The reason being that many work-related claims are hotly defended from the outset which means you need as much legal advice as possible from the word go for your claim to be successful.
All businesses that employ one or more workers are legally required to have employer’s liability insurance in place and the legal minimum amount of cover must be £5 million. As such, the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident at work claim would be paid by your employer’s insurers.
A solicitor would negotiate with your employer’s insurers right from the outset of filing a claim for compensation which ensures the legal process is respected. This in turn means that things not only run smoothly, but it can speed up the procedure too.
How to File an Accident at Work Injury Claim
If you suffered an injury in the workplace or developed a work-related health issue, seeking legal advice as early as possible makes the process a lot easier to understand and cope with. This is especially true if you work with a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims on a No Win No Fee basis.
You would need to provide as much proof and evidence as you can which can take time to gather. Having the assistance of a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims, right at the outset ensures that the legal procedure is respected. it also ensures that the 3 year accident at work time limit is adhered to.
The evidence you would need to provide a solicitor is as follows:
- A medical report of your injuries
- The record of the accident at work that left you injured
- Photos or CCTV records of where the accident occurred
- Photos of your injuries before you were treated
- Witness statements
- Witness contact details
Once you have gathered all of the above and given the information to a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims, they would contact your employer’s insurers to inform them that you intend of filing for compensation. If the solicitor establishes employer negligence, they would agree to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis and would request you enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with them.
Working with a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis
If you are considering filing an accident at work claim against your employer because you believe they were responsible for the incident happening, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Most solicitors offer a no obligation, initial consultation which is free of charge. This allows them to establish whether you have strong case against your employer because they could be deemed negligent and therefore liable for your injuries. Once this has been established, a solicitor would offer to work on your accident at work claim on a No Win No Fee basis. You would sign a legal contract which is referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement which not only sets out the percentage you would have to pay for the legal representation you receive, but also the Terms and Conditions of the contract.
Once you have signed the CFA, a solicitor can begin working on your accident at work claim without having to request an upfront fee and one of the first things they would do is inform your employer’s insurers that you intend seeking compensation for the injuries, illness or work-related health issue you suffered through employer negligence. This can speed up the legal process because your solicitor would be in a position to provide the insurers’ representative with all the relevant information and evidence required when making an accident at work claim.
Should your claim not be successful, you would not have to pay the solicitor for the legal representation they provided because they entered into a CFA with you. This in short means that the solicitor agreed to take on the risk they would not be paid should your accident at work claim be unsuccessful.