Can I make an injury claim against a work colleague?
Accidents in the workplace are regrettably frequent. In some instances, the negligent actions of a work colleague, rather then the employer, may be the cause of an injury. If this is the case, a personal injury claim can be made. However, the claim would be made against the claimant's employer, not the work colleague.
Under current legislation, the claimant's employers must pay compensation for injuries caused by the workplace actions of their employees. This is termed 'vicarious liability', which means that your work colleagues are not held personally liable for accidents they cause in the workplace.
Why are employers liable to pay compensation for the negligence of their employees?
There are two reasons why the employer, rather than the employee, is liable for any compensation:
- employers have a duty of care to protect their employees. If they are found to have failed in this duty, they are held liable for the consequences. Their failure could be allowing workers to use faulty equipment, or not providing training in essential safety procedures. It could also be not effectively enforcing safety procedures in the workplace.
- to ensure that claimants are actually paid their settlement money. Employers must have Employers Lliability Insurance for this purpose. Compensation claims are paid from this insurance cover. If a private individual is held liable, it may be the case that they are unable to fund the settlement amount.
How do I make a claim against my employer?
Your first step is to engage a personal injury solicitor to take on your case. They will submit a letter to your employer (the defendant) detailing the nature of your claim and the injuries caused.
The defendant must reply within 21 calendar days of posting the letter with details of their insurer. The defendant will then have a maximum of 3 months from the date of acknowledgement of the claim to investigate and reply.
The vast majority of Claims are resolved out of Court between your solicitor and the defendant or their insurer. If your case does go to Court Quittance's panel of solicitors are experienced with injury litigation.
How long does it take to receive compensation?
There is no definite answer to this, as the details of each case will be different. For a better idea of how long your case could take as well as details of the level of compensation you might receive, get a Compensation Claim Report.