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Can I lose my job after an accident at work claim?
A lot of people are put off from making an accident at work claim out of the fear that they will lose their job. It is however illegal for your employer to dismiss you on the basis of you making a personal injury claim against them.
No matter what the size of the company, they are required, by law, to have employer’s liability insurance in place, to cover them for worker injuries. It is therefore important to know that your claim will be against your employer’s insurance company and not directly handled by your employer.
The insurance company may offer you a payout for your injuries before you decide to make a claim. This is however likely to be lower than the settlement that you could receive if you pursue a claim through a solicitor. It is also important to note that if you accept the insurers’ settlement offer, before seeking your own legal advice, you cannot then make a compensation claim.
It is always recommended to speak to a solicitor to find out where you legally stand and what your options are.
Can my employer treat me differently?
Your employer cannot treat you differently in the workplace if you’re making a claim against them due to their negligence. Should your employer dismiss you it could be possible to make an unfair dismissal claim against them.
If you feel like your employer is treating you differently by making your work life difficult. For instance, they are making you uncomfortable to such an extent that you have no other option but to resign, you may have the grounds to make a constructive dismissal claim.
What are my employer’s legal responsibilities?
Your employer is legally obliged under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to implement the appropriate measures to keep you safe from illness and injury in the workplace. Their duty of care means that they must:
- Provide a safe working environment with adequate facilities
- Give health and safety training
- Provide specialised protective clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when necessary
- Complete regular risk assessments
- Conduct regular inspections and maintenance of machinery and equipment
If an employee is injured at work they have the legal rights to report the incident in the company accident book, access to statutory sick pay (if applicable) and contractual sick pay if this is covered in the terms of their employment. They have the right to seek independent legal advice to make a compensation claim.
Who pays my compensation?
Some people do not wish to make a claim against their employer as they are concerned about the company finances. This is especially the case for people who work for smaller businesses. It is, however, important to remember that all employers, regardless of the size of the company, are legally obliged to have insurance in place to cover any potential compensation payments. Compensation for an accident at work is therefore paid for by the insurance company and not directly from the employer.
If the company that you worked for has ceased trading, is in administration or liquidation, it is still possible to make a claim against them, which would be dealt with and paid by its insurers at the time of your accident. If the company has been dissolved or removed from the Register of Companies, it is possible to make an application for the company to be restored to the register for the claim to be made.