How Do I Make a Claim For a Workplace Accident?
If you’ve been injured due to an accident at work, or have developed an occupational illness due to working conditions, you could be entitled to compensation. In this guide, we explain the process for making a claim.
Am I eligible to make a claim?
In order to make a workplace injury claim, the accident must have taken place within the last three years. It is also essential that it can be proven that your injuries or occupational illness were caused as a direct consequence of the negligent actions of your employer.
Common causes of workplace accidents
Accidents happen when health and safety protocols in the workplace are ignored. Common causes of accidents include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Falls from height
- Insufficient training
- Defective equipment/machinery
- Manual handling injuries
- Occupational illnesses
- Dangerous working practices and procedures
How much compensation could I receive?
Compensation can help to aid your recovery and relieve the financial burden left upon you, and your family, should your injuries or illness leave you able to work. The amount of compensation that you may receive is dependent on a number of factors including:
- The extent of your illness or injuries.
- Lost and future loss of earnings.
- Ongoing and future care and support needs.
- Medical costs including prescription charges and rehabilitation treatment – e.g. physiotherapy.
- Any adaptations that may need to be made to your home or vehicle to help you to get around after your accident.
- Travel costs to and from medical appointments.
To get an idea of the compensation that you could receive for any physical injuries that you have suffered please use our compensation calculator.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
There is a limitation period of up to three years from the date of the accident or diagnosis of occupational illness to make a claim. It is however advisable to start the claims process as soon after the accident as possible, whilst the details of what happened are fresh to mind.
What is the claims process?
Your number one priority should of course be to focus on recovering from your injuries. However, should you wish to seek compensation you should start the claims process by contacting a reputable accident at work solicitor. They will discuss the details of your accident or illness with you, and start building a case to prove negligence on behalf of your employer. Your solicitor will advise you on the prospects of your case being successful, and will only take on your case if they believe that it will have a positive outcome.
What evidence do I need to support my claim?
In order to prove that your accident or illness was caused due to the negligent actions of your employer, your solicitor will use the following evidence to build a case:
- Photographs of your injuries and the injury hazard – e.g. the wet floor or faulty machinery that caused the accident.
- Witness statements.
- Details of the accident recorded in the company accident book.
- Your medical records which show what treatment you received after the accident or diagnosis.
- An independent medical assessment of your injuries.
- Past payslips or tax returns to prove loss of earnings.
How much will my legal fees be?
Most accident at work solicitors will handle your claim on a no win, no fee basis. A No Win, No Fee agreement, otherwise known as a ‘conditional fee’ agreement, is an arrangement between you (the client) and your solicitor when making a legal claim. Simply put, it means that should your claim be unsuccessful, you will not be liable to pay the fees for your solicitor’s services. You will only pay legal fees if your claim is successful, which is typically a percentage of the compensation amount obtained. The success fee is usually 25%.
Can I make a claim if the accident was my fault?
It is not possible to make a claim if you were solely at fault for causing your accident. For example if you lost control of a machine and were injured as a consequence, but you had not been following instructions properly, this would be your fault, not your employers.
However, if it can be proven that blame for the accident is shared between yourself and your employer you can still make a claim. This is known as contributory negligence. In these sorts of cases, if the employer and the claimant can agree, liability is split. For example if the claim is work £30,000, a split liability of 50/50 would mean that the claimant would be awarded £15,000 in compensation. Liability can be split in any ratio, weighted upon which party was at most to blame.
Why choose an accident at work solicitor?
It is advisable to make a claim with a specialist accident at work solicitor who is experienced in this area of the law. A reputable lawyer will fight to get you maximum compensation in the quickest time possible, and will be experienced in negotiating with the insurance companies which represent employers to get the best outcome for you.