Are there any risks in making an injury claim against my employer?

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As an employee, if you are injured at work you may be able to claim compensation from your employer. But are there any risks in doing so?

Your legal rights

Taking legal action against an employer can be daunting. As a claimant you might fear that you will be treated differently in the workplace, or even dismissed because for making a compensation claim.

What are my rights?

All employers owe a legal 'duty of care' to their employees. As part of this duty of care, your employer must provide and proactively manage the health and safety of it's employees.

In most cases, a work injury claim will be possible if:

  • Your employer will be liable if they breach their duty of care and you are injured during the course of your work.
  • You were injured in the last 3 years.
  • Your injury or illness was sustained as a result of your work accident/exposure.

Read more:

How do I make a work injury compensation claim?

Could I be discriminated against if I make a claim?

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee (or potential employee) because they have made an injury claim. Most employers are well aware of their legal obligations. If you were to face discrimination as a result of making a claim, you would have grounds to take your employer to a tribunal.

Could I lose my job if I make a claim?

The law is clear on this point. If your employer attempts to dismiss you or force you to leave because you made a claim, you would have a strong case for unfair or constructive dismissal. Penalising you for making a claim that you are perfectly entitled to make is not allowed.

Read more:

Could I lose my job if I make a work accident injury claim?

Could making a claim stop me from getting another job?

No. You may be concerned that making a claim might make it harder to find another job in the future.

Legislation forbids a prospective employer from discriminating against a potential employer because of a previous injury claim.

Employers are also not allowed to ask candidates if they have previously been involved in an injury claim, so you would not need to disclose the claim to a prospective employer.

Read more:

Could a work injury claim stop me from getting another job?

Will I jeopardise my (friendly) relationship with my employer?

Employees are sometimes reluctant to make a claim against their employer out of a sense of loyalty. It may be you and your employer are good friends.

Making a claim should not be seen as a personal attack or a betrayal. The majority of employers take their duty of care towards their employees very seriously. Often employers will actually encourage employees to make a claim if they have been injured at work.

Making a claim against your employer will not hurt them financially. By law, your employer must hold Employers' Liability Insurance (EL). This insurance is taken out to ensure that an injured employee will receive the appropriate amount of compensation for a work injury, even if the employer is no longer solvent or trading.

What if I lose my claim?

Under a no win, no fee agreement, if your work injury claim is not ultimately successful then you do not have to pay any solicitor's fees or legal costs. All no win, no fee agreements include legal expenses insurance which will pay your employer's legal fees and costs.

Read more:

How does no win, no fee work?

What if I lose my claim in court?

Only a small percentage (around 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court. If your claim does end up in court and you don't win, your legal costs and those of your employer would be covered under your no win, no fee agreement.

What if my employer cannot afford to pay compensation?

All employers are required, by law, to have Employer's Liability Insurance. Compensation is usually paid to an injured employee by the employer's insurer, as opposed to the employer themselves. In most cases, an employer is barely involved in the claim process. The employer's liability insurer will investigate the claim, defend the employer (if the claim is disputed), and negotiate and pay the compensation settlement.

See also:

My employer went bust - can I claim?

My employer went bust - how can you find their insurer?

My employer's insurer went bust - can I claim?

Conclusion

The notion that there is a compensation culture in the UK often deters genuinely injured people from making a claim. The sense of being judged by one's friends or employers is, or some, a powerful deterrent from making a claim.

The purpose of compensation is to put help you to return to the position you were in before you were injured. General damages compensation is awarded for any pain suffering and loss of amenity. Special damages are awarded for any financial losses you incurred as a result of your injury.

Compensation is not 'profitable' for a claimant. It is carefully calculated to ensure that you have what you, and your family, need to aid your recovery and help with future treatment and care needs.

For more information on making a claim, see making a work injury compensation claim or call us for a no obligation consultation and find out what your options are.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher