How to claim for an accident at work
Accidents in the workplace are far more common than you might believe. In fact, according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 581,000 non-fatal injuries occurred in the UK alone over the 2018/19 period. However, a RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) survey of the same period found that employers had reported only 12 per cent of this figure (69,208).
This leads us to the first important part of claiming for an accident at work – that the accident and any injury sustained must be recorded in your employer’s accident book (with more serious incidents, there is a legal obligation for the employer to report the injury to the HSE). In addition to this, there are another couple of things you can do to help you out as you look to claim for a workplace injury:
- obtain the name and contact details of any witnesses to the accident
- take photographs and video of both your injuries and the area of the accident
- keep a diary of your symptoms – however serious, it is important to have a record
- visit a doctor and/or a hospital – not only will this ensure that you receive the best advice to assist your recovery; it will also create a second record of your injury
- keep a record of your expenses and losses – with receipts where possible.
The important thing to remember is that records do matter! Regardless of your relationship with your direct superiors or management team, your employer will, more often than not, act in accordance with the best interests of the business, so ensuring that the accident and its consequences are well documented will make the process easier for you in the long run, especially if it becomes necessary for any claim to progress to court.
Should I claim for an injury suffered at work?
While it can seem like the kind of decision that can leave you between the proverbial rock and a hard place – leaving you with the choice of claiming against and potentially alienating your employer, or suffering the financial issues that can occur following a workplace injury. However, it should be noted that your employer will have insurance for just such an occurrence – meaning that they will only need to pay their excess on a claim – and not only that, by making a claim you are also protecting fellow employees against similar issues.
Nevertheless, it can still be a tough decision – nobody wants to risk an amicable relationship with their employer. However, the process can be transparent and friendly; while it may not be easy for an employer to accept a claim, it is illegal for them to treat you unfairly either as a result of your injury or due to your claim; in addition, any dismissal based on your injury is automatically considered ‘unfair’.
How long after an accident at work can you claim?
While it is more difficult to prove an incident the more time passes following your accident, a claim can be made at any time up to three years after your injury.
How to claim compensation for an injury at work
The first step to making a successful compensation claim (provided you have followed the advice on preparedness earlier in the piece), is to ensure that you obtain the right help. As mentioned, making a claim against an employer can be a complicated path to travel – not only legally – so it’s important that you establish a relationship with a personal injury lawyer who is committed to achieving the best result for you.
This is not only in relation to the compensation itself, however, the right specialist will ensure that your employer is kept up to date at all times to help minimise potential mistrust that can develop in such situations and will have the facility to pass your case on to a relevant solicitor should the case require it.
How long will a claim for compensation take to resolve?
While many cases are resolved within weeks, in complex cases and those which are disputed by the employer, cases can stretch up to three years.
Your individual circumstances will require that you seek the best representative for you specifically. For that reason, we have compiled a list of possible options – with every mainland UK region covered – rated to give you the best chance of this. Find the best option for you now by using our comparison tool now and make sure that your individual needs are taken care of by the best possible specialist solicitor.