I have not taken time of work - Can I make an injury claim?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 4.7 million working days were lost owing to workplace injuries in 2013/14. Many more are lost due to road traffic accidents, slips, trips and falls and other preventable injuries.
Taking time off work is often considered evidence of an injury in accident claims. Lost wages also factor into the amount of compensation received. However, if a person is able to, and wishes to remain at work after an accident, this does not affect their entitlement to claim.
I have been in an accident, but should I take time off?
As taking time off work is not required to make a claim, the decision over whether to do so ultimately depends on how you feel. However, in making this decision, you should consider the following:
The type of injury sustained
If you have been in a road traffic accident and suffered internal organ damage, a hospital stay and time off work will usually be required. On the other hand, if you were in a car accident and suffered whiplash, despite pain and discomfort, you might be able to continue on as normal.
The nature of your job
The type of work you are returning to, and whether or not your injuries will prevent you doing your job are significant considerations. For example, a person in a physically demanding job, such as construction, would find it more difficult to perform their duties with an injury. On the other hand, a person in an office may be able to carry on without the injury affecting them too much.
What medical advice recommends
In many cases a doctor or hospital will advise you to take time off work. This is often to allow time for sufficient recovery and rehabilitation. In most circumstances it is recommended you do so. Returning to work before you are ready can make many injuries worse.
If you do take time off, it is important that you follow your employer's rules about reporting absence. You are able to self-certify yourself sick for up to seven days, after that a doctor's note is required.
What if I decide not to take time off?
If you decide to remain at work after the accident, it is still important that you advise your employer of your injury. If the injury was sustained at work, your employer should work with you to ensure you are not given responsibilities that could cause delay in recovery or further injury. They should also look to improve processes so another accident does not occur.
If the injury was sustained outside of the workplace, for example during a car accident, hopefully your employer will make allowances for your injuries.
Will remaining at work affect the outcome of my claim?
No, not necessarily. Although it is important that existing evidence is sufficient enough to prove that you are firstly, suffering from an injury, and secondly, that the negligent actions of the person or company at fault caused the accident and injury in question. Examples include medical reports; accident book records; witness statements; and CCTV if applicable.
As you have not taken time off you will not be able to recover lost wages. However you should, if your claim is successful, receive compensation for your treatment and any other expenses incurred as a result of your injuries.
How much compensation will I be able to claim?
Compensation will vary depending on the nature and extent of the injury and other losses. To get an idea of how much compensation you could receive, we recommend that you use our claims calculator.