A Comprehensive Guide to Personal Injury Claims

Claim For Work Accident: The Ultimate Guide

Most of us take for granted that we will return safely from work at the end of the day. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. HSE figures for 2021/22 show that over half a million workers (565,000) sustained an injury at work. Tragically, 135 workers never made it home, having lost their lives on the job.

If you are injured in the workplace, compensation is vital to ensure you can continue to pay your bills if you are off work for an extended period as well as fund private rehabilitation to speed up your recovery. In this comprehensive guide, we set out how to claim for a workplace personal injury and how an experienced Solicitor can increase your chances of making a successful claim against your employer.

What are the most common types of workplace injuries?

Workplace injuries can range from a minor papercut through to catastrophic brain or spinal injuries that require permanent 24/7 care. The most common type of personal injuries suffered at work include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls – wet floors, uneven surfaces, poor lighting, or cluttered work areas can result in a variety of injuries, including sprains, fractures, back, and head injuries.

  • Overexertion injuries – typically occur due to repetitive movements or lifting heavy objects, actions that are often required in manual labour jobs. Overexertion can result in musculoskeletal disorders, such as sprains, strains, and hernias.

  • Falling objects – in certain environments such as warehouses, agricultural, or construction sites, without a comprehensive health and safety risk assessment in place, workers can easily be struck by falling objects. Resulting injuries can range from a mild concussion to crushed limbs and catastrophic brain injuries to name but a few.

  • Machine entanglement – operating heavy can lead to clothes or body parts such as fingers becoming entangled or crushed. Gashes, crush injuries, and in worst case scenarios, amputations can result.

  • Being hit by a moving vehicle – this type of accident can lead to broken bones, whiplash, or traumatic brain and injuries.

  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) – commonly affects office workers who use keyboards extensively and factory workers repeating the same types of movements over a long period of time.

  • Burns – these are a risk in jobs that involve exposure to open flames, hot objects, chemicals, or electrical equipment. Burns can cause lifechanging disfigurement as well as extensive long term pain and care requirements.

  • Hearing loss – continual exposure to loud noise can lead to noise-induced hearing loss, particularly in industries like manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and aviation.

What should I do if I suffer a personal injury in the workplace?

There are steps you can take to increase your chances of achieving a successful personal injury claim. The below assumes that you are capable of making decisions and taking certain actions. If this is not the case, you do not need to worry. An experienced Personal Injury Solicitor will talk with you about what happened and collate the necessary evidence from your workplace’s accident record book, witness statements, and medical records.

If you can, try and do the following:

  • Seek medical attention
    Your health is the number one priority. Not only is immediate medical attention crucial for your wellbeing, but it also provides an official record of your injuries. Ensure you have copies of your medical records that show the extent of your injuries, the treatment required, and your prognosis.

  • Report the incident
    Businesses with ten or more employees must have a means of recording the details of all accidents that result in injury and records must be kept for three years. Find out where your organisation’s accident report book/spreadsheet/database is and ensure it is filled in with all the details of the event. If there is no accident report book, ask your employer to make a written record of what happened and provide you with a copy.

  • Collect evidence of the accident
    If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident, highlighting any hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the incident. If there were any witnesses, try to obtain their statements and contact information. Additionally, make a note of the incident in as much detail as possible while it’s fresh in your mind.

  • Track Costs and Losses
    By keeping a record of all your direct costs such as medical bills, travel expenses to and from medical appointments, and modifications to your home and/or vehicle, as well as indirect costs, such as lost income due to time off work will assist your Personal Injury Solicitor calculate the amount of damages to claim for.

  • Instruct an experienced Workplace Injury Solicitor
    Your choice of Solicitor can greatly impact your chances of making a successful workplace injury claim. They will guide you through the legal process, gather evidence (including evidence from expert witnesses), negotiate with the other party, and, if necessary, represent you in Court (or instruct a Barrister to do so. They will also advise you on whether your claim is within the timeframe set by the Limitation Act 1980. Under the Act, you generally have three years from the date of the workplace accident to make a claim. However, exceptions can apply, such as in cases where the effects of the injury were not immediately apparent.

    Even if you think you may have left it too late to make a Workplace Injury Claim, talk to a Solicitor as they may spot a way to argue that the Court should use its discretion to allow the claim.

How do I pay for legal fees in a workplace accident claim?

Most Workplace Injury Solicitors offer a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. This means that if you lose your case, you will not have to pay for legal advice; however, you may be required to pay for any disbursements (expenses) associated with your claim.

Can my employer dismiss me for making a compensation claim?

Absolutely not. And if you are dismissed, you may have a further claim in the Employment Law Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

You may feel guilty for bringing a compensation claim against your employer; however, you must remember that it is compulsory for all business owners who have employees to hold Employee Liability Insurance for at least £5 million to cover any personal injury claims. You will not be putting their business or personal finances at risk by making a claim for the funds you need to recover your health and pay you and your family’s expenses if you cannot work.

Wrapping up

Claiming for a personal injury at work can seem daunting. However, by instructing an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor to provide advice and representation and be by your side throughout the entire claims journey, you will be free to focus on your recovery, your family, and rebuilding your life.

Our team has decades of combined experience in dealing with Injury Claims.

Our Nicholson Jones Sutton Personal Injury Specialists are sympathetic, understanding, and can help you get the outcome you deserve.

If you would like to discuss an issue, please get in touch to arrange a free no obligation consultation. We’re available by email or phone.


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