In this guide, we are going to take a look at workplace accidents and claims in further detail. So, let’s get right to it…
Why the number of workplace claims aren’t as high as they should be!
Sadly injuries occur on a regular basis. Every day somebody slips on an unmarked wet floor or is involved in a machinery accident. Yet, despite this, there aren’t actually as many workplace claims as there should be. This is because a lot of personal injury victims do not seek legal help after being injured. We will explore the different reasons why…
“I don’t want to go to court” – A lot of people do not make a compensation claim because they fear lengthy days in the courtroom. However, what many individuals do not realise is that only about two per cent of personal injury cases results in a trial. Therefore it is highly unlikely you will go to court.
“I don’t have the money to make a claim” – This may be the case with a traditional service, yet with workplace claims on a no win no fee basis you don’t actually need any money to begin your case. If that wasn’t enough, you pay in relation to the outcome of the case, and therefore the financial risk is eliminated.
“I don’t think I will get compensation” – Generally, you need to be able to prove that the accident was not your fault, that you saw a medical professional and that it occurred within the last three years.
“I am worried my employer will sack me” – If you have suffered a workplace accident it is your employer’s duty to ensure you are compensated. It’s highly unlikely that this will result in you being fired from the company. And, what if you are sacked? Well, you will have grounds for unfair dismissal.
Accidents in the workplace happen on a regular basis. This is especially in industries whereby the working environment is a dangerous one, such as on construction sites. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you should simply accept an incident that has happened. If you have been injured and it was not your fault, you will likely be entitled to compensation. It is the duty of your employer to ensure that he or she has provided a safe working environment, even in workplaces that are dangerous by their very nature.
Construction sites are one of these workplaces. There are a lot of dangers and potential hazards that exist. When it comes to making claims for construction accidents, you simply have to show that your employer has not done all in their power to prevent the incident from happening. If they have been negligent or at fault, then you will be able to claim. The only other things you must prove is that it happened within the past three years and that you saw a doctor as a result of your injuries.
Five things you need to know if you have suffered as the result of a workplace accident
1. You need to report the incident – It is vital to report the accident to your safety executive and/or employer. Why? Well, all employers are required to have an accident book by law. In this book, they need to record all of the incidents, injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace. Therefore, you must tell them what has happened so that they can record it and so that there is proof of what has occurred.
2. You have three years to make a claim – This is the time limit on all personal injury claims. You have three years from the date of the accident to make your claim and court proceedings must be issued within this time frame. If the injury has occurred over time, such as repetitive strain injury, you will have three years from the date of the diagnosis, as it is impossible to pinpoint an accident date.
3. Your employer won’t fire you for making a claim – This is something a lot of people are worried about. However, if your employer was to fire you for making a claim against them, they would only land themselves in further trouble, as it would mean you are able to make another claim against them for doing this.
4. You need to see a doctor – When individuals suffer from a minor injury they are often tempted to bypass a trip to the hospital. They would rather cope with the symptoms themselves. However, if you do this you will really struggle to make a claim. The medical report is the most crucial piece of evidence and therefore it is vital to see a doctor after the accident.
5. You don’t need any money to begin the claim process – If you opt for a no win no fee service you will not actually need any money to begin your claim. This eliminates one of the huge hurdles that is associated with going down the traditional route and using a solicitor that charges by the hour.
Mistakes to avoid when you have been injured at work
Have you been involved in an incident that was not your fault? If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence or bad judgement, you will likely be entitled to compensation. You should definitely think about making an accident claim. However, you don’t want to do the following things, as they could seriously hamper your chances of getting the money you deserve…
Bypassing a trip to the hospital
When people suffer a minor injury, they often decide that they would rather cope with it themselves than go and see a doctor. After all, a lot of people hate the thought of hospitals! Nonetheless, if you do this then you are going to find it virtually impossible to make an accident claim. The medical report is one of the most vital things when it comes to making a personal injury case. Without it, how are you supposed to prove the injuries you have suffered?
Failing to report the incident
There are cases when it is necessary to report the incident and failure to do this could put hurdles in the way later down the line. A prime example of this would be workplace accidents. By law, employers are required to have an accident book and all injuries and incidents need to be recorded in this. Another example is criminal injuries. You will obviously need to contact the police if you have been injured as a result of a crime.
Throwing away proof of expenses
Have you had to pay for treatment or a prescription? If so, do not make the mistake of throwing away the receipt! If you do this, you are going to find it impossible to claim for such costs as special damages. When making your accident claim, special damages will cover you for any costs you have encountered as a direct result of your injuries. This includes everything from counselling costs to loss of income. However, you will need to have proof if you are going to claim for these.