A guide to making a No Win No Fee work-related injury claim
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that 611,000 people in the UK suffered an injury at work during 2014/15. Around a quarter of these accidents lead to the injured person having to take over 7 days off work.
HSE data reveals a high rate of injuries affecting muscles and bones across a wide range of professions, from nurses and health care worker, to people working in construction and other building trades.
Although some workers are at greater risk of injury than others, all employees have the right to compensation if they have been harmed as the result of their employer's negligence.
Are You Eligible To Make A Work Accident Claim?
If you have sustained an injury within the last three years, as a result of an accident either at your place of work or elsewhere while working for your employer, you may be entitled to make a claim.
To make a successful claim, your solicitor must establish that your employer was legally responsible for the accident and that your injuries resulted from the accident.
If you would have sustained an injury at work and would like to discuss your options, you can arrange a callback or call 0800 614 7456 for a free consultation.
Who is at fault for a workplace accident?
All employers owe a duty of care to their employees, and an employer may be held liable for accidents that arise out of the course of an employee's work.
The HSE define an employer's responsibility as "making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace."
This means that it is your employer's responsibility to keep the workplace clean and tidy, to provide you with suitable tools and protective equipment to enable you to do your job safely, and to ensure you are fully trained to safely perform any tasks you are asked to do.
Who is responsible?
If you have been injured at work because your employer failed in their duty to keep you as safe as reasonably possible, your employer may be held liable to compensate you for the pain, suffering, lost earnings and other costs that you have incurred.
In some cases, a manager or other member of staff may not be directly "at fault" for your accident because they did something dangerous. Many workplace injuries occur because an employer failed to act, and evidence that something was done in a certain way for months or even years without incident does not automatically protect an employer; the company may still be liable.
Companies are expected to carry out regular safety reviews and to ensure that a workplace meets current health and safety standards. Failure to conduct these regular checks may be evidence of an employer's negligence.
Who pays compensation for a work injury?
By law, all employers must hold Employers' Liability (EL) insurance. This insurance enables the employer to pay compensation if an employee is injured in an accident or becomes sick during their employment.
EL insurance ensures that a successful Claimant will receive the full compensation they are awarded, and that this amount is not limited by what the company can afford to pay. EL insurance also means that the company is not required to pay the compensation itself - large companies may be able to afford to settle compensation claims even without insurance, but smaller companies could face bankruptcy if they had no insurance.
Read more about who pays compensation for a work accident here.
Injuries caused by other members of staff
In the event that another member of staff caused your injury during the course of their work, the company would be held liable for that employee's actions. This is referred to as "vicarious liability".
Even if an accident was caused by a negligent worker's lapse of judgement or error, the principle of vicarious liability enables a claim to be made against the employer.
Compensation for more serious or long-term injuries can run into £10,000s. The employer would generally be able to pay this amount through their insurance, whereas the employee responsible for the accident is unlikely to be able to afford to pay such a sum out of their own pocket.
Can you claim injury compensation if you are self-employed?
If you are unsure about your employment status or are self-employed you may still be able to claim. Your eligibility may depend on the circumstances of the accident. A personal injury lawyer will be able to discuss your options with you in more detail.
Time limits for work accident claims
A work accident claim must usually be made within a three-year time limit. After this time limit expires, the claim becomes 'statute barred', meaning the claim cannot be taken to court.
In some cases, a Claimant may not be immediately aware that an accident caused an injury or illness, for example in cases of the delayed symptoms of noise-induced deafness or exposure to hazardous materials. In these situations, the three-year time limits starts counting from the injured person's 'date of knowledge'. This is often the date they are informed of the diagnosis of their injury or illness.
Calculate how long you have to make an injury claim here, or call Quittance on 0800 612 7456 for more information.
Compensation if the Claimant is partly responsible
Employees can still be compensated for an accident where the employer and employee are partly to blame. These cases are usually resolved with a split-liability agreement and the award amount may depend on the degree to which each party is responsible for the injury.
When can you file a work injury claim?
Subject to applicable injury claim time limits, you may be eligible for a wide range of circumstances, include:
- Health and Safety breach-related claims
- Slip or trip claims
- Fall from height claims
- Claims relating to dangerous machinery
- Claims relating to hazardous substances
- Burns or scalds
- Injuries arising from inadequate training
- Manual handling incidents
- RSI, vibration white finger and hand-arm vibration syndrome-related claims
For more information regarding other work accident claims, see here.
Injury compensation is calculated partly on the duration of your injury. Your solicitor will arrange for an independent medical report to consider how long your symptoms are like to persist, and how long they will affect your ability to work. Examples of injuries recognised as potentially limiting a Claimant's ability to work include:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Hand injuries and arm injuries
- Back injuries, spinal injuries and neck pain-related conditions
- Injury to the legs and feet
- Chronic pain
- Head wounds and brain injury
In cases of serious injury, it may not be possible for an employee to return to their work, and in such cases, the extent of future lost earnings will be factored into the total compensation award.
Work accident-related legislation
In recent decades, several key pieces of legislation have been passed, protecting both employees generally and also workers exposed to particular risks. These include:
- Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
- Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- Manual Handling Regulations 1992
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- Working Time Regulations 1998
- Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Work at Height Regulations 2005
- Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
- Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
- Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2007
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
What do you do if you have an accident at work?
There are a number of things that can be done to help your solicitor build a strong case. The following steps should be taken as soon as possible after the accident:
- report the accident
- record the details of the accident in your employer's accident book
- if need be, check that your employer has reported the accident to the Health and Safety Executive
- gather details (name and address) and statements from witnesses
- take photos of the scene of the accident
Even you are undecided whether or not to make a claim, a no-obligation phone consultation with a solicitor will provide you with more specific information regarding other steps you should take, at an early stage, to strengthen you claim should you choose to go ahead later.
How compensation can help
Accidents at work can have serious consequences for injured parties and their families. Quittance's personal injury solicitors work hard to secure maximum compensation:
- for pain, suffering and loss of amenity resulting from your accident
- to cover the cost of any medical treatment needed for your recovery
- to cover the cost of expenses incurred, such as travel to hospital appointments
- for lost earnings or future loss of earnings if you have to take time off or cannot return to work
Quittance's solicitors help you to focus on your treatment and recovery, offering clear advice throughout the claims process.
The majority of cases are settled without the need to go to Court.
How much compensation can you claim for an accident at work?
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards. These awards are calculated in relation to the nature and severity of an injury and are set out in the form of minimum and maximum amounts for a given injury.
You can also claim special damages for the cost of medical treatment, loss of earnings and any other expenses incurred.
It may be possible to claim for existing injuries or medical conditions that have worsened as a result of the accident.
To get a more detailed assessment of what your claim could be worth call us on 0800 612 7456 or calculate your compensation online.
How likely is your work accident claim to succeed?
If your employer has admitted liability for the accident, then the chances of your claim succeeding are very high.
If liability is not accepted, or only partly accepted, achieving a settlement can be more difficult. A good solicitor will work with you to build the strongest possible case.
For more detailed advice regarding the likelihood that your work accident claim will succeed call 0800 612 7456 or get a Compensation Claim Report.
How long does a work accident claim take?
Some personal injury claims are straightforward and a settlement is reached quickly. More complex cases can take longer to resolve.
If you require private medical treatment to expedite your recovery, or you are unable to pay bills as a result of not being able to work, interim compensation payments can usually be secured in advance of a final settlement.
Contact Quittance to discuss how long your claim could take to conclude on 0800 612 7456.
Guaranteed No Win No Fee accident at work claim - No Catch
Typically a no win no fee contract (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) is entered into between the claimant and a PI solicitor.
The no win no fee agreement is basically the terms and conditions under which the solicitor works for their client.
The agreement details what the lawyers will do and how he will be rewarded if the claim is successful.
If you decide to choose Quittance Personal Injury for your accident at work compensation claim there will be no hidden or extra fees , nothing to pay up-front and the complete peace of mind that you will not be out of pocket.
Questions and work accident claims advice
Many potential Claimants want to research their options before picking up the phone.
See our Help and Advice section for more information on specific parts of the personal injury claims process.
Starting a work accident claim
If you have more questions or are not sure if you can make a claim, our solicitors offer a free, no-obligation phone consultation to discuss all of your options.
You can also arrange a callback for a more convenient time.
If you are ready you can start your claim here or call us on 0800 612 7456.