If you have had an accident at work that wasn't
your fault you are entitled to claim compensation
under UK law.
Any form of accident at work is taken very seriously
by the civil courts and, if found negligent in
a court of law, the third party responsible is
obliged to cover your legal costs as well as
to compensate you for loss of earnings, any medical
bills and for the personal suffering your injury
The law requires that all employers have a Health
and Safety risk assessment of their premises
and the equipment held there in place at all
times. It is the responsibility of the employer
to ensure that they respond to their duty of
care to their employees with regard to that assessment
and current legislation that governs the workplace.
If you feel your accident at work could have
been avoided and that your employer did not uphold
their duty of care toward you at the time of
the accident (i.e. if the accident came about
as a result of negligence) you will be entitled
Often when employees suffer an accident at work
they are at first reluctant to take their employer
to court for fear of losing their job. Of course
the law protects everyone against such discrimination
and possible repercussions. The law is there
to make sure that avoidable accidents at work
are penalised since some accidents at work can
result in fatalities or in the injured party
being rendered unable to work.
The law acts on behalf of the general public
so that employers who do not uphold Health and
Safety legislation in the work place accept responsibility
and act on eliminating further instances of injury
in the work place. All employers are required
by law to have Employers Liability Insurance
to cover the costs of a law suit should there
be an accident at work. This means that by presenting
your case in court you are not causing your employer
to lose any money from the business, you are
just claiming what is legally your entitlement.
It is because of this legal requirement that
no business is allowed to dismiss an employee
as a result of an accident at work claim brought
Rest assured that strict legal provisions have
been put in place to guarantee your employment
as well as your recovery of lost earnings so
there should be no conflict of interest when
an employee takes up an accident at work claim.
Should it come to light that your employer does
not have insurance or a Health and Safety risk
assessment your employer may face criminal prosecution
as well as the civil courts.
One of the most difficult aspects of making
a strong and successful accident at work case
is proving that your injury came about as a result
of negligence on the part of your employer. Once
you have chosen a specialist no win no fee solicitor
to represent your accident at work case they
will talk you through the process of collating
the evidence needed to recover your damages award.
If you suffer an accident at work, and it is not your fault, then you may be entitled to personal injury compensation from your employer. Your employer is duty bound to protect you to the best of their ability. They are required to keep you informed about all health and safety issues in an attempt to prevent an accident at work.
They are also required by law to report all accidents and dangerous incidents in the work place. Should you sustain an accident at work, your employer may need to pay you the appropriate statutory sick pay, or contractual sick pay that you are entitled to receive, if you require time off work to recuperate.
Your employer must keep an "accident book." This is a record of any accident at work that occurs, as well as any dangerous incident. Only very small businesses need not keep such a record, though it is advisable. This record is mainly of benefit to the employee as the details of the accident at work can be referred to when an injury compensation claim is being made.
The employer can also benefit from the "accident book." Regular reference to it can highlight any accident at work that occurs regularly, and will tell an employer which areas they need to focus preventative measures on. An accident at work of the type that happens often should obviously be of concern to any employer.
If you suffer an accident at work, your employer is only liable to give you statutory sick pay at the normal rate. Your employer can, at their discretion, pay extra, both for time off sick, or if you are off as a result of an accident at work. They may also choose to pay extra in certain unusual circumstances involving an accident at work.
If you suffer an accident at work there are certain steps you should take immediately. You should record the injury sustained, or the exposure to dangerous chemicals, or whatever the accident at work entails, in the "accident book." Your employer should report it to the Health and Safety Executive, and you should make sure that they do. You may be entitled to accident pay so you should check your work contract, or statement of employment.
If you have not actually had an accident at work, but you have identified an area where there is the strong potential for one, due to inadequate protection, or perhaps for some other reason, you should approach your employer and ask that they deal with the situation. It is your duty as an employee to prevent a work related accident if you can.
An accident at work is not a pleasant experience for anyone. It is usually impossible to predict what will happen and when, so it is always in your best interests to stay alert to every possibility. Should an accident at work happen, either to you or to a work colleague, you should try to ensure that the correct steps are taken to help minimise the problem.