Accident At Work – How To Claim – Check List
Accident at work? Steps to take when making a claim
If you have been unfortunate to have been injured in an accident at work, through no fault of your own, and can show that it was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. To make sure you have the best chance to succeed in your claim for the compensation you deserve just follow the checklist below.
1. Report: As soon as possible
Do this as soon after the accident as possible.
Your employer is required to keep an accident book at work. If they don’t have one, then make sure you let your line manager know about what happened, it’s best preferably in writing so, email/WhatsApp/Text.
If your injuries stop you from completing the accident book straight away, make sure you jot down (or tell a family member) which co-workers saw the accident, plus anyone who came to help you with your injuries.
Make notes as soon as you can, and formally report it in the accident at work book as soon as possible afterwards.
If you do not complete the accident report book at work, make sure that you check that the person who did complete it has recorded how the accident happened correctly before you sign it.
If you did not report your accident in the accident book at work, you can still make a claim, though reporting it will make chances of success stronger.
2. Seek medical attention from the hospital or your GP’s surgery
Accuracy is key. At A&E after the accident or at your GP surgery, make sure that the medics note down what you say about how accurately record how the accident happened.
3. Seek help with Rehabilitation
It is important that you speak to your specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. As well as lodging the claim with your employer’s insurers they will also discuss your rehabilitation needs to help you get better quicker (physiotherapy for example).
4. The personal injury claim
The amount you can claim for your injuries depends on the type of injury and how long it takes to recover from it
In addition to the injury element of the compensation you can also claim for other losses.
5. Claim financial losses
You can claim for things like sick pay, travel expenses, prescription costs, and compensation for the time family members or friends spend helping you. These are just a few examples of what you can claim. Keep a record of all expenditure and keep receipts.
Your specialist personal injury solicitor will be able to advise you on what can be claimed so you don’t miss out on any compensation you deserve. Each case is different so the type of things you can claim do vary.
Your specialist personal injury solicitor will seek an early interim payment to help ease the financial pressure you may be under if you are not working.
6. Accident at work claim time limit
The time limit for making a claim following an accident at work is three years from the date of the injury. It is possible to delay making a claim for an accident at work until after you have left your employer and moved jobs. However, if you do this, it is very important that the accident was reported as soon as possible after it happened and that the accident book was completed.
7. Going to court
Your employer’s insurers will deal with their side of your compensation claim. If they decide to argue that they are not responsible, or they do not agree the amount of your accident at work claim, you may need to go to court to prove your case. Your specialist personal injury solicitor will support you and guide you on the court process. Do note that the majority of cases settle without ever seeing the inside of a court room your solicitor will always prepare your case as if it is going to court, and thereby show your opponent that they mean business.
Case Study 1
My client was involved in an accident whilst undertaking his work as a technical support operative for a supermarket chain. On the day of the accident he and others were instructed to clear rubbish that had accumulated by filling a very large skip.
While he was using a crowbar and prising a piece of rubbish apart, it broke a lot more easily than he anticipated and the crowbar struck him on his left eye. He sustained a deep laceration to his left eyebrow and eyelid. His eyeball was ruptured, which underwent surgical repair, but he has been left with no vision and no perception of light in that eye. He has a cosmetic deformity. He experiences severe headaches. He is handicapped on the open labour market. In addition to the claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, he has a claim for loss of earnings, Smith v Manchester, and the costs of a cosmetic or shell eye.
Liability was disputed through this case by the insurer of the employer, who argued this was all the client’s fault.
Legal proceedings were issued and a robust stance was taken by both sides. However after a period of negotiation and before trial the parties reaches a settlement.
Case Study 2
My client was seriously injured whilst working in the warehouse at his place of employment. Whilst manoeuvring a large mattress he fell backwards (another item had been left protruding in the walkway) which resulted in the client striking his head.
Liability for the accident was admitted and medical evidence was obtained. The Client suffered a mild traumatic brain injury with post-traumatic headaches and post-concussion syndrome together with injuries to the right shoulder neck and back, chronic pain syndrome and a psychological reaction to his chronic pain.
Medical evidence was obtained from a spinal surgeon, neurologist and psychiatrist.
Legal proceedings were issued. The opponents disputed the extent of the claim. After a period of negotiation the case resolved before the trial date.