Am I eligible to make a claim after an injury at work?
Many people have embraced the shift towards flexible working patterns including freelancing, project and part time work, as well as zero hours and casual contracts as it allows them to achieve greater work life balance.
As a result we are commonly asked questions such as:
- Can I claim compensation if I am injured whilst self-employed?
- Can I make a claim for compensation following an injury if I am a part-time worker?
- What are my rights to claim personal injury compensation if I am on a zero hour contract or a casual contract worker?
- Am I entitled to claim compensation for personal injury if I am a contractor?
However, if you have a flexible working pattern and are injured at work due to someone else’s actions, you may be left shaken, hurt and not knowing if you are entitled to claim compensation.
We recommend you seek advice from an experienced injury at work solicitor; however below is a quick guide outlining your entitlement to pursue a work-related personal injury compensation claim when you are:
Self – employed
When you work for yourself, you are usually responsible for your own health and safety at work but if you are injured as a result of someone else’s mistake or negligence you are likely to succeed in a claim for compensation.
For example, if you are working as part of a larger project, you may have little or no control over your working environment or practices, putting you at risk of injury if those with day to day control do not comply with their health and safety obligations.
Those with day to day control must take steps to ensure the working conditions are safe for everyone working on their project. Even if you are self employed, you are entitled to pursue a claim following an injury at work if they fail to do so and you are hurt.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, your injury at work solicitor may advise those with control of the project should be held accountable as your de facto employer.
Alternatively, they may advise you to pursue an occupier’s liability claim against those with control of your work place.
Part time workers
If you work part time, you are of course still an employee and your employer has a legal duty to ensure your working conditions and practices are safe. This includes ensuring that they provide adequate training, staff and equipment for you to do your job safely.
If your working environment is unsafe and you are injured as a result, you are entitled to claim compensation from your employer.
Zero hour and casual contract workers
A zero hours or causal contract is an agreement between you and your employer; they are not required to guarantee work is available, and you are not obliged to take up any work offered. Such contracts can be offered on a self- employed basis.
If you suffer injury whilst on a causal contract, you employer may suggest they do not have any legal obligation in respect of your safety at work; however as with those who are self employed, the test will be one of control over your working environment or practices.
Your injury at work solicitor can advise on the best way forward, depending on the circumstances of your accident. If your working environment is unsafe and you are injured as a result, your zero hours or causal contract should not deter you from pursuing compensation.
Often contractors are skilled individuals enlisted to carry out specific tasks in a much larger project; examples include plumbers, electricians, grounds workers and carpenters.
You may have a contract outlining the project(s) you are to work on and the duration of the work or this may be less formal
You will rarely have much control of the working environment, and may be told when, how and where to work. You may work primarily for one company, perhaps over multiple sites.
Those with control of the work place owe a duty to take reasonable care of his premises under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
In addition, there are various other duties in respect of the health of safety of those working on site, including contractors. Your injury at work solicitor can advise what obligations are owed in respect of your safety at work whilst contracting.
At Aston Knight Solicitors we have successfully pursued compensation claims for those injured at work, who are not employed in the traditional sense. If you are in doubt about whether you can claim, please call us for a free, no hassle consultation about whether you are eligible to claim on 0161 399 1231.
Ayoub grew up in Bury before graduating from the University of Lancaster. After then completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester, he joined a prestigious London magic-circle firm where he worked on a multi-million pound product liability claim, being the highest value claim of its type in the world. He then returned to the North West where he joined a leading practice before leaving to start his own specialist practice. To contact Ayoub, visit the contact page.