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Accidents at Work – FAQs

This week (24-28 June 2024) the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) are raising awareness of workplace injuries and accidents at work with their Injury Awareness Week. In support of this Charlotte Rees-Knowlden, Head of Personal Injury answers some frequently asked questions about accidents at work.

Can I make a legal claim if I am injured as a result of an accident at work?

Absolutely. If you have been injured or have developed an illness, as a result of an accident which has taken place during the course of your employment, you can make a legal claim.

This can include a variety of situations such as sustaining physical injury whilst using machinery or whilst other employees have been using machinery, slipping or falling, occupational illnesses if you have been exposed to hazardous substances or environment and repetitive strain injuries.

All employers have a duty to provide their employees with a safe working environment and to provide them with safe and appropriate equipment and appropriate training. If they fail to do this, and this failure leads to an accident which causes injuries, the injured party may have a claim against them for injuries sustained.

What should I do if I am injured at work?

Firstly, it is important to seek appropriate medical attention and to follow any medical advice received. Try to keep records of your medical appointments and medical advice received. Your health is of paramount importance so ensure that you follow through with all medical treatment and appointments and work towards a good/full recovery before you try to return to work.

You should report the accident to your employer and/or supervisor as soon as possible and given them as much information as you can including details of how, where and when the accident took place. You should ensure that details of your accident are noted within the company accident book or log.

You should try and document what happened as soon as possible so that the information is fresh in your mind. If you later look to make a legal claim, information put together at the time of the accident will likely carry the most weight. Write a detailed note of the accident including what you were doing when the incident took place and who was working with you. If you can take video footage and/or photographs of the accident location this will be very useful.

If equipment was involved, try and obtain photographs of that. If there were witnesses to the incident, approach them and ask if they would provide you with an account of what they saw.  If you have any damaged clothing or equipment, ensure that you keep hold of it.

If you wish to discuss whether you can make a claim, Morr & Co can assist you with this. We would be happy to answer any questions you have so that you can decide whether you wish to proceed with a formal legal claim.

Will I be in danger of losing my job if I claim for an accident at work?

Terminating someone’s employment in the UK simply because they have chosen to make a legal claim for an accident at work if illegal unless for example, you were entirely to blame for the incident.

If you are an employee who has been injured as a result of an accident at work, you have a legal right to make a compensation claim.  You should not be discriminated against for making this choice.

If this causes you to be dismissed from your employment role, then you may have been unfairly dismissed. If in the alternative, you have returned to work and yet the working conditions for you are made intolerable because you are in the process of making a claim, and you feel that you must resign from your role, then this could be considered constructive dismissal.

In these cases, if you feel that your job role is at risk and/or if you are experiencing negative treatment due to the fact that you are making a claim, it is important that you take immediate legal advice from an Employment specialist.

At Morr & Co we have a dedicated employment team who would be able to assist with these situations. It is important that you document everything so that you have clear examples to discuss with an employment specialist.

How long do I have to make an accident at work claim?

You should consult with a solicitor as soon as possible if you wish to make a claim. You have three years from the date of the accident, to begin Court Proceedings for a Personal Injury Claim.

Whilst you can approach a solicitor at any point leading up to the three-year limitation date, it is always best to liaise with them as soon as possible as these cases require appropriate and technical preparation before Court proceedings. It is advisable to contact a solicitor within the first six months / a year following your accident.

Disclaimer

Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.


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