A guide to making a No Win No Fee industrial accident claim
The number of industrial accidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been steadily declining over recent years, thanks to a greater emphasis on health and safety and better awareness of the types of injuries than can befall people in the workplace.
Despite this improvement, in 2013/14, the HSE recorded 78,000 industrial accidents that resulted in major injury or death. These figures do not include the incidents that caused only minor injuries, so it is likely that the actual number of industrial accidents is significantly higher.
Anyone who has suffered an industrial accident may be eligible to make a work accident claim for compensation against their employer.
Common Types of Industrial Accident Claims
Industrial accidents occur most frequently in industries that require heavy manual labour or use dangerous machinery such as mining, construction, agriculture and manufacturing. However, employees in any sector may be caught in an industrial accident.
Injury lawyers have assisted with a wide range of industrial accident claims, including:
- Manual and heavy lifting accidents which may cause deep muscle tissue damage, particularly back injuries and neck injuries. Employers should provide lifting equipment to reduce the likelihood of injuries together with safety training on proper lifting techniques.
- Dangerous machinery accidents which can cause cuts and lacerations, crush injuries and wounds from flying debris if the machinery is not fitted with appropriate safety guards. Training and safety advice is required if such equipment is used. Failure to provide adequate training may be evidence of an employer's negligence.
- Hazardous substances accidents which can cause chemical burns, skin irritations or respiratory illnesses if toxic chemicals are inhaled, ingested or splashed on the skin. Exposure to hazardous substances can even result in poisoning in extreme cases. Workers should receive safety goggles, breathing masks and other personal protective equipment when working with hazardous substances.
- Falls from height can cause broken bones and other major injuries. The Work at Height Regulations lay down guidelines for the safe use of ladders, scaffolding and platforms including when harnesses and automated hoisting equipment should be used.
- Accidents involving a forklift truck or other workplace vehicle such as a cherry-picker or a tractor. Seat belts and helmets should be worn where appropriate and workers should receive training on the safe operation of the vehicle.
This list is not exhaustive. Workers in any sector can claim compensation for an industrial accident whether they were working full-time, part-time, as a self-employed contractor or even if they were visiting a place of work at the time of the accident.
Are employers responsible for industrial accidents?
Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must take all reasonable steps to reduce the risks present in the workplace.
As part of their duty, employers must abide by an extensive health and safety legislation, including:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974,
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,
- The Work at Height Regulations 2005,
- The Manual Handling Regulations 1992, and
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.
These pieces of legislation clearly define an employer's responsibilities to their employees. If an employer does not follow the legal guidelines and an employee suffers injury as a result, then the employee will be eligible to make a compensation claim.
No Win, No Fee industrial accident compensation claims
A industrial accident No Win, No Fee compensation claim properly begins with a Claimant signing up to a Conditional Fee Agreement, or CFA, with their chosen solicitor.
The Conditional Fee Agreement defines a contract or "terms and conditions" between you and your lawyer.
It details the service executed by the solicitor handling your case, and crucially, the success fee. The "success fee" is the amount to be deducted from your compensation after the solicitor wins the case.
Using a Quittance personal injury lawyer, you will have peace of mind knowing that you will never be out of pocket and there will be nothing to pay up front.
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