If you’ve been injured by an accident at work, you could be entitled to compensation. Slater and Gordon can provide immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support following an accident at work with a free initial consultation. You can claim compensation for a work accident injury whether you were working as a full time or part time employee, a temporary worker, a self-employed contractor or if you were just visiting a business at the time of the accident. Our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers deal with accident at work cases on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation speak with one of the team by calling us on Freephone 0808 175 8000 or request a call back online
What is an accident at work?
A work accident is an incident usually related to the manner in which work is being carried out, but it can also involve faulty equipment or the conditions of a premises or working environment. This kind of incident is not intended, but it can often be avoided or prevented.
Your employer has a duty to make sure that your work premises and the way that work is managed and carried out is safe. This is a legal obligation as well as a moral one. Employers can’t predict or prevent absolutely everything, but they should be carrying out regular health and safety risk assessments and putting measures in place to limit the risks to employees and premises users. If they neglect their legal responsibilities, employers could be putting workers, customers and the general public in danger.
This is why if you have had an accident at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
What is an accident at work compensation claim?
Accidents at work fall under the category of personal injury compensation claims. This kind of claim is a legal process designed to help the victims of preventable workplace accidents claim financial recompense for their injuries. In a nutshell, your claim will attempt to prove that a third party was responsible for the accident and call for them to pay you compensation to make up for what happened.
Work accident claims don’t just cover injuries, a personal injury solicitor may also recommend seeking damages for loss of earnings, emotional distress and other costs associated with the incident.
What type of workplace accident can I claim for?
There are a large number of different workplace accidents you could be involved in, ranging from the very minor to the more serious. Some of the most common include slips, trips and falls, as well as accidents involving machinery or flawed working practices.
Construction site accidents
The construction sector is, by its very nature, a risky industry to work in. This is why the government regulating bodies, such as the Health and Safety Executive and construction companies themselves, have put rigorous rules, regulations and working practices in place to protect workers. A responsible company is one that prioritises health and safety over any other factor, such as the speed or cost of a job. When safety measures are neglected, it can lead to serious and even life-changing or fatal accidents.
Common accident at work claims in the construction sector are related to:
- Manual handling injuries
- Exposure to dangerous substances and chemicals – for example, asbestos
- Falling from scaffolding or ladders
- Failure to provide or faults with safety harnesses
- Neglecting to test equipment thoroughly for safety
- Accidents with dangerous machinery
It is your employer’s responsibility to put safe working practices in place, to spot potential dangers and put them right. If they fail in this essential duty and you are injured as a result, you could have a valid claim for compensation.
Factory or warehouse accidents
Anyone working in a factory or warehouse should be provided with all the right equipment and training they need to work safely. These environments can be very dangerous if the proper steps are not taken by your employer, which could leave you at risk from accidents relating to:
- Falls from height
- Slips, trips and falls
- The use of dangerous machinery, including forklift trucks
- Manual handling and the lifting of heavy objects
Even a minor accident in factory or warehouse environments can cause pain, distress and potentially a loss of earnings. Serious accidents can be life-changing or even fatal, but most can be prevented if safety is taken seriously.
Injuries related to serving in the military
Everyone knows that there are inherent risks and dangers involved in serving in the Army, Navy or Royal Air Force. However, as a military employee, you have the same rights to a safe working environment as anyone else. If you haven’t received the correct training or the right safety equipment, or your working environment is hazardous, you could have an accident which leaves you injured and out of pocket.
Slater and Gordon personal injury solicitors can help you to assess whether as a member of the Armed Forces, you have a valid compensation claim following an accident.
Unsafe industrial sites
Industrial sites can be highly dangerous if health and safety practices aren’t strictly observed and enforced. You trust that your employer will keep you safe while at work on an industrial site, but if they neglect their duty, this could lead to accidents involving faulty machinery, vehicles, falling objects, falling from height or tripping.
People who have experienced accidents at industrial sites have successfully claimed compensation for chemical injuries, asbestos-related illness, vibration white finger, carbon monoxide poisoning and industrial deafness.
Office based accidents
You might not think that an office is as dangerous as a construction site or factory, but accidents can still happen in these working environments if safety measures are not observed. The most common office-based accidents are slips, trips and falls, which can lead to broken bones, fractures or worse. These injuries are all the more shocking because office workers tend to feel very safe and comfortable in an office environment, but it only takes one safety slip-up to cause a lot of pain, distress and discomfort.
Office workers can also suffer from repetitive strain injuries, as well as eye strain, migraines and more. These types of injuries are caused by poor working environments, insufficient training or the wrong workspace setup – all basics that your employer should be getting right.
An employer in an office has just the same duty of care to keep you safe as on any construction site. If they let you down, contact Slater and Gordon for a free consultation to see if you’re eligible to claim for compensation.
Farms and agricultural environments are not the best when it comes to their safety records, but this doesn’t mean that your employer doesn’t have a duty of care to take all necessary measures to keep you safe while you work. Common types of farm accidents include:
- Farmer’s lung – a condition caused by breathing in the dust from mouldy crops or hay, which causes an allergic reaction
- Sprains and strains from manual handling
- Slips, trips and falls
- Asbestos-related illnesses and reactions to chemicals and contaminants
If you’re suffering any of the above as a result of farm work and you believe your employer is to blame, you could claim compensation for your injuries.
What are the main causes of work injuries?
Injuries at work tend to happen when safety measures are either not put in place, or when they are not observed or enforced. Common causes include faults in poorly maintained equipment, as well as poorly assembled structures such as scaffolding and racking. Spillages that aren’t cleaned up quickly or thoroughly enough can cause falls, while a lack of training or personal protective equipment can cause serious workplace injuries. Accidents with vehicles such as forklift trucks are also common, especially on construction sites and industrial environments.
What must employees prove for a work accident compensation claim?
In some ways, accident at work claims are quite straightforward. Your personal injury solicitor must be able to prove that your employer failed in their duty to ensure a safe working environment for all employees. Specifically, that they failed in their legal obligation to remove or reduce a hazard that caused your accident. If a court finds that the employer could have taken reasonable steps to prevent your accident, it is likely that your claim will be successful.
What damages could I receive?
The amount of compensation you could receive following an accident at work depends partly on the nature of the accident and the seriousness of your injuries. However, the amount may also be larger if you successfully claim for:
- Loss of income, including future losses and losses caused by time off work
- Changes to your ability to work in the future
- Travel and accommodation costs
- Care or support you need in order to recover, rehabilitate or live with your injuries
- Adaptations to your home or car
- Medical bills if you are you seeing a doctor or receiving medical treatment and have to pay for any part of your medical care.
If you have been to the hospital for repeated injuries or your injuries have stopped you from going back to work, you could be eligible for further damages.
Is there a work accident claim time limit?
If you have an accident at work, it is recommended to contact your personal injury solicitor as soon as possible to discuss making a claim. In the UK, there is a time limit of three years for making a claim following a workplace accident. After this deadline has passed, you may not be able to claim compensation.
Should I make a complaint as part of my personal injury claim?
If you spot a workplace danger before an accident happens, it is a very good idea to report it to your employer in the most formal manner possible. However, some employers only act once the damage is done. An accident at work compensation claim could be the wake-up call they need to improve safety and prevent accidents happening to anyone else.
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence is a term used to describe a situation in which you, the injured party, is found to be partly to blame for the accident. This doesn’t mean that you can’t successfully claim compensation, as the other party is still partly responsible for what happened. If you aren’t sure whether you have a valid claim due to the issue of contributory negligence, consult the experienced team at Slater and Gordon for expert advice.
Can I still claim if I'm on a zero hours’ contract?
The simple answer to this is yes. Even employees on zero hours’ contracts should be given the training, tools and support they need to work safely, in a safe environment. Your employer still has a legal obligation to keep you safe.
Will my claim be no win no fee?
At Slater and Gordon, 98% of our work accident claims are funded through a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is more commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement. This means there is no financial risk to you.
How to claim work accident compensation
First of all, we need to know the important details about your accident, such as where and how the accident happened and about your personal injuries.
If you received any medical treatment or there were any witnesses to the accident, particularly from work colleagues, we'll ask for these details along with copies of any photos that were taken relating to the accident.
A no win, no fee personal injury solicitor that specialises in accident at work claims will review your case based on the details you provide, and assess how successful your work accident claim is likely to be.
If you require medical treatments and/or rehabilitation support after a work accident, it’s vital to contact us immediately so we can assist with your rehabilitation as soon as possible.
For a free consultation, call our no win no fee solicitors on freephone 0800 112 4797 or start your claim online. Our UK contact centre is open 24 hours 7 days a week. We cover the whole of the UK, and home and hospital visits can be arranged for people who cannot attend one of our offices in England, Scotland & Wales.
Slater and Gordon are one of the largest personal injury law firms in the UK with offices in London, Manchester, Watford, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Preston and Wrexham.
Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers are members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).