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Steps to Take After an Accident at Work
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, there are a number of steps you should take to aid in your recovery, and to support your chance of making a successful claim should you wish to in the future.
We explain what you should so after an accident at work in our step by step guide below:
1. Seek medical attention
Your immediate concern should be to seek medical attention. If your injuries are serious, an ambulance should be called straight away. But, in all instances the designated first aider on shift should attend to you whilst you wait for a medical professional to assess your injuries.
All workplaces are legally obliged to have designated first aider and first aid kit at hand.
If you attend hospital straight after the accident a colleague, a friend or family member should go with you.
Even if your injuries appear to be minor on the surface it is always recommended to be examined by a doctor to check for possible injuries that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
2. Report your accident to your employer
It is important to report your accident to your manager and to ensure that the details of what happened are accurately recorded in the company accident book. If your employer doesn’t have an accident book, write down what happened and give a copy to your HR department. Keep a copy for yourself too.
If your injuries are serious, your employer must report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive.
By reporting your accident to your employer, you have evidence of what happened to you, which can be used in support of your personal injury claim if you decide to make one.
Through reporting the incident, you can also help to safeguard others from experiencing anything similar in the future. Employers should act upon the findings of what caused your accident to improve their health and safety processes and protocols, and if needs be, remove or fix faulty or dangerous material.
3. Get the names and contact details for any witnesses
Get the names and contact details from anyone who witnessed what happened. If possible, ask them to provide a written testament as soon as possible, whilst the details of the incident are fresh to mind.
Witness statements will be used as vital evidence in any future claims against your employer. It is therefore important to make sure that their account of what happened is accurate and true.
4. Take photos and video evidence
Photos and video evidence of your injuries and the scene of the accident will help to back up your claim. Your personal injury solicitor will be able to use this as proof that your accident was caused due to hazardous working conditions or through faulty equipment.
Photos showing the extent of your injuries, along with your medical records, can be used by your solicitor to help quantify the value of your claim.
If you’re not able to take photos of the scene of the incident yourself, have a reliable colleague take them for you and send copies to yourself and your employer.
5. Instruct a Solicitor
If you would like to make a personal injury claim against your employer, you should seek legal advice from a specialist accident at work solicitor. They will be able to advise you on the likelihood success of your claim and will start to build a case to prove that your employer was negligent.
Your solicitor will fight to recoup your loss of earnings, medical expenses and care costs to get your life back on track.
6. Keep a diary of your symptoms
Keep a record of all of your symptoms – no matter how insignificant they may seem. Many people only recall the symptoms of their major injuries following an accident. But it is sometimes the minor injuries that can lead to long-term conditions that can have the greatest impact on your future health.
7. Keep a record of your expenses and losses
If you have been left unable to work due to your injuries, it is important to keep a record of your expenses and losses. Your solicitor will use this as evidence when calculating the value of your claim. Expenses and losses can include:
- Loss of financial income from being unable to work
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Prescription charges
- Money lost through having to cancel pro-booked holidays.
- Any incurred care costs
- Any home or vehicle adaptations that you have had to make.