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Had an accident at work? What to do and how to claim compensation

Had an accident at work? What to do and how to claim compensation

The number of accidents in the workplace looks set to rise as employees previously furloughed or working from home return to offices, factories, retail and hospitality outlets and construction sites across the country.

Unsurprisingly, due to the effects of the pandemic, the number of accidents at work recorded by the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) plummeted in 2020-21 to 45,687 new cases compared to more than 79,000 the previous year.

Can I claim compensation for an accident at work?

If you have an accident at work, it's possible that your employer was negligent - perhaps because safe working practices weren't followed or safety equipment wasn't up to scratch.

This means you may be able to make a compensation claim against your employer's liability insurance. This is something that every UK employer, by law, must have.

What should I do if I have an accident at work?

There are several important steps to follow if you have an accident at work, both at the time and later. This includes:

  • Making sure you are seen by your workplace first aider as soon as possible, asking a colleague to call them over if you are unable to do so;
  • Recording the incident in the accident book (which all businesses with ten or more employees must have), ensuring you either see it being done or if you can't, checking later that it has been logged properly;
  • Keeping a record of any injuries and symptoms caused by the accident as well as any associated expenses or losses - for example, a holiday you missed or couldn't enjoy as you would normally have done.

Does employer liability insurance cover everyone who works for a business?

It covers the cost of compensating employees who are injured at work or become ill through work including all permanent employees, contract, casual and seasonal employees and labour-only subcontractors.

It should also cover temporary staff including students, apprentices and people on work placement as well as volunteers.

Will I be entitled to compensation for a workplace accident?

For a claim to be successful, you must prove your employer was negligent and this is sometimes very difficult.

To count as negligence, the accident must have been foreseeable and the employer's actions, or lack of actions, must have caused the injury.

What level of compensation might I be entitled to?

This depends not only on proving negligence but on how seriously you were injured and how likely you are to make a full recovery. Other factors to consider include any loss of earnings and medical expenses and the cost of any adjustments needed to help you live as normal a life as possible again.

How can Wards Solicitors help with an accident at work claim?

Breaches of workplace health and safety rules can result in serious or even fatal injuries and illness, causing loss of earnings and uncertainty about the future.

Our highly experienced Accident and Injury Team is recommended in the latest edition of the prestigious Legal 500 guide to the UK's best lawyers and law firms. They will work closely with you, providing you with tailored advice and support, to give you the best possible chance of a successful compensation claim.

Where there is tension with your employer, we will work with our Employment Team lawyers to help you maintain your relationship with your employer.

Get in touch

In most cases we act on a 'no win, no fee basis' and offer a free initial consultation. Please contact Solicitor Associate Angela Carnell, a Legal 500 recommended lawyer, or any member of our Accident and Injury Team, for further advice and guidance.

Call 01454 204880 or email: angela.carnell@wards.uk.com