Should I claim for injury at work?
The short answer:
Yes. You should always seek urgent advice from a specialist solicitor if you have suffered an injury at work. There is generally a strict three year time limit to bring a work injury claim and work accidents can lead to permanent effects upon people’s lives and long-term earnings.
Employers take out employer’s liability insurance, which, like car insurance, is there to cover the cost of claims for injured employees. Further, there are strict health and safety laws in this country to protect employees whilst they are at work. Always ensure you obtain urgent legal advice if you have suffered an injury at work.
The detailed answer:
Workers in this country (and many others) are protected by a number of different health and safety laws. There are the traditional, longstanding basic protections for all employees being:
- To provide employees with a safe place of work;
- To provide employees with a safe system of work;
- To provide employees with safe and adequate equipment for their work;
- To ensure other workers act safely and competently
In addition, as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, a number of more specific sets of laws, or “regulations”, have been introduced into UK law including:
- The Manual Handling Regulations: these regulations set out a number of legal requirements on the part of an employer when employees are undertaking manual handling activities such as avoiding manual handling altogether; undertaking a risk assessment; training; minimising the risk of injury via a two-man lift and such like, and more.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations: these provide more general obligations on the part of employers such as undertaking a risk assessment; advising employees upon the conclusions of the risk assessment and revising as needs be; taking into account training needs, and more.
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations: here detailed obligations are prescribed relating to the use of work equipment such as ensuring equipment is maintained, suitable for the task, control measures such as protective guards and safety measures for when equipment is being worked on.
There are numerous other sets of regulations, covering virtually all aspects of work, such as: the Work at Height Regulations, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, the Workplace Regulations, the Construction Regulations, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations and so forth.
Therefore, workers benefit from a large quantity of protective measures and so if an injury occurs it is very often the case that one or more health and safety laws has been broken.
Below are some common factors to consider when deciding whether to make a claim for an injury at work:
1. How much will it cost me?
Provided a case has reasonable prospects of success, most solicitors will accept a case on a “no-win-no-fee” basis. The way this works is that if the case does not succeed there is nothing to pay; the solicitor’s fees are written off. If the case wins the solicitor will normally charge a “success fee”, which is normally 25% of the compensation recovered (the 25% does not apply to all aspects of the compensation, so the deduction is often lower than 25% in real terms but the detail behind that is too complex for this article). Therefore, in basic terms, the client pays nothing if the case does not succeed and up to 25% of their compensation if it does.
2. Will I be sacked f I try to claim?
Just as there are strict health and safety laws to protect workers, there are also various protections for employees in terms of why and how they may be dismissed. Generally, you cannot be dismissed for making a personal injury claim – perhaps take a look at this more detailed article we prepared earlier. Remember, employers have to take out insurance to cover them for work injuries and it is that insurance which covers the claim, just as things work with car insurance; therefore, the insurance is there to cover you if you suffer a work injury – if injured employees never claimed the only winners would be the insurance companies!
3. How much will I receive?
A common question, but a difficult one to answer because every case is different. A six month knee injury case may settle for £2,000 but a knee injury with permanent symptoms might settle at £200,000 – it all depends upon how serious the injury was, whether it will have future effects, in particular upon a person’s work capacity and many more factors. As a specialist firm, Aston Knight Solicitors will always press for the greatest amount possible for you.
4. Does it matter if I have left the company?
No, it does not, as long as your accident happened at work and less than three years ago.
5. Are there any time limits?
Yes, the general rule is that you only have three years from when an accident happened within which to either settle or start court proceedings. The safest rule is to always seek legal advice as urgently as possible.
6. What if the accident was my fault?
Employees are often unfairly blamed for accidents at work, which can lead to them believing the insurance company will not pay out. In our experience many of these instances often come down to a lack of training and/or the employee being put into a difficult situation, which then leads to a mistake. Rather than worrying about whether the accident was your fault or not, the best approach is to speak to a specialist solicitor confidentially for advice upon the position and your options.
What to do next
Aston Knight Solicitors offer a no obligation and 100% confidential telephone conversation or meeting where we can discuss what happened and what your options are. Do not hesitate to get in touch on either 0161 399 1231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.