Accidents are an unfortunate fact of life, but if you’ve suffered an accident at work which wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
What are my rights?
All employers are under a duty to provide a reasonably safe place and system of work. You should also be provided with safe and suitable work equipment and be trained in how to use it.
Your employers may also be liable for the actions of another employee who causes you injury in the course of their employment. We recently successfully claimed compensation for a client who suffered a crush injury when another employee failed to notice him and activated an industrial press, which crushed his foot. The employers admitted that they were liable for their employee’s negligence and supported our client in his eventual return to work.
You may also be able to claim compensation even if the accident is partially your fault. This is known as contributory negligence.
What is an accident at work?
An accident at work is one which happens either in your workplace or while you are engaged in a task as part of your employment. For many people who work in one fixed place an incident in the factory or office building may classify as an accident at work.
Alternatively for employees engaged in roles where they are required to be out in the community, there are many different places which could be classified as “at work”.
One such example is the Supreme Court case of Kennedy v Cordia. Ms Kennedy was a community carer who went to visit an elderly housebound patient as part of her employment. She slipped on snow and ice on the path to the patient’s door. Her employers were held liable for failing to properly risk assess and failing to provide her with protective equipment, in this case shoe attachments, which would have prevented her from falling.
Injuries which happen away from the workplace but are caused by a lack of training can also be classified as accidents at work, such back strains when moving equipment due to a failure to provide Manual Handling Training.
What kind of accident can I claim for?
We act for clients who have suffered a full range of accidents in the workplace. These include slips and trips, strains and sprains, falls from height, crush injuries, and even amputations.
What should I do if I have an accident?
The first thing you should do is seek medical assistance. Your GP, or the hospital where necessary, will be able to help you with the effects of your injury. You should try to explain to them what happened to cause your injury and ensure that it is properly documented.
You should also record the incident in the accident book at your workplace. Good and clear recording of what happened can make it easier to prove that your employer is liable for your injury. Try to do this as soon as possible after the incident.
If you’ve had an accident in the last three years and you would like to consider claiming compensation, contact our friendly, experienced personal injury team.