Anne Sanders, an experienced Personal Injury Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, outlines the multiple reasons which might stop employees claiming compensation for an injury sustained at work and suggests the effective steps to follow to be successful when making a claim for an accident at work.
Unfortunately, suffering a work-related injury is a common occurrence. According to the Labour Force Survey in 2021/22, 565,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries were sustained at work1. The report stated the following were the five most common accidents reported by the employers in 2021/222:
1. Slips, trips, or falls on same level – 30%
2. Handling, lifting, or carrying – 18%
3. Struck by moving object – 11%
4. Acts of Violence – 9%
5. Falls from a height – 8%
The report further stated that 6 million working days were lost to non-fatal workplace injuries, a huge financial hit to many households, but why are people reluctant to make a claim?
The three most common reasons why people avoid making a claim against their employer after sustaining a work accident include fear of losing their job, the potential financial burden on the employer and the time it takes.
However, as explained below, these fears should not stop employees if they have a genuine reason to pursue a claim following an injury in the workplace.
1. I might lose my job
Answer: An employer cannot fire you for submitted a claim against them, it is against the law. If they did attempt to get rid of you because of a claim, you would be entitled on strong grounds to an unfair dismissal claim.
2. A claim could create a big financial burden on my company
Answer: This shouldn’t be your worry, as part and parcel of running a business your employers are required to have liability insurance, and this is what employers use when an employee makes a workplace accident claim.
3. I don’t have the time
Answer: Appointing a personal injury lawyer will take lots of the burden away from you. After you have provided information about the accident, any financial losses and attend a medical examination the solicitor will do the majority of the work from there.
At Hodge Jones & Allen our Personal Injury team help support and guide those who have suffered a personal injury at work, this seven-step checklist is a handy a guide to give your claim the best possible chance of success:
1. Report: As soon as possible
Make sure this is done straight after the accident has occurred. The employer is required to keep an accident book but if they don’t have this, tell your line manager preferably in writing about what has happened. Use email or text.
If this can’t be done due to extent of the injury, make sure you write down (or tell a family member) which co-workers saw the accident and those who helped you. Then report it in the accident book as soon as you can after.
Check the accident report book before you sign it to ensure it is correct, especially if you didn’t complete it yourself. If it is not reported in the accident book you can still make a claim, but chances of success are smaller.
2. Seek medical attention from the hospital or GP surgery
It’s important to be accurate, when you visit A&E or the GP surgery after the accident, make sure the medics note down clearly how the accident happened.
3. Speak to a specialist
As soon as possible, speak to your specialist personal injury solicitor. They will lodge a claim with your employer’s insurers, while discussing your rehabilitation needs to ensure you get help and are on the mend quickly.
4. The personal injury claim
The amount you can claim for your injuries will depend on the type of injury and the recovery time.
5. Claim financial losses
Alongside claiming compensation for your injury element of the accident there are other claims you can make for financial losses.
Examples include sick pay, travel expenses, prescription costs and compensation for family/friends helping you.
Keep a record of all expenditure and keep all receipts. Your personal injury solicitor will advise on what compensation you deserve and will seek an early interim payment to help ease financial pressure, especially if you are not working.
6. Accident at work claim time limit
You have three years to claim following the accident date.
7. Going to court
The employer’s insurers will deal with their side of your compensation claim and if they argue they are not responsible or don’t agree with the claim amount, you may need to go to court to prove your case.
Your specialist personal injury solicitor guide and support you during the court process and please be aware the majority of cases will settle without making it inside the court room. However, your solicitor will prepare your case as if it will. Further information can be found at: https://www.hja.net/expert-comments/opinion/personal-injury/accident-at-work-how-to-claim-check
The post Seven key steps to take if you experience an accident at work appeared first on HR News.