If you are involved in an accident at work that was not your fault and you suffer a workplace injury as a result then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
What is compensation
There are two types of compensation that can be awarded for an accident at work (these are also called ‘damages’):
General damages – this is compensation for the pain, suffering and potential loss of future earnings that you have experienced as a result of being involved in the accident.
Special damages – these damages take into account any actual financial loss that you may have suffered between the accident and your claim getting to court. This may include costs such as transport or medical care.
Note: if a court decides that you were partly to blame for the accident at work then damages may be reduced. For example, if you were not wearing safety equipment provided.
What is a personal injury?
Personal injuries fall into two categories: a physical injury, disease or illness, and a psychological injury or illness. Some examples of personal injuries include psychological illness caused by stress at work, a physical illness caused by working with a dangerous substance, such as asbestos, or a psychological illness caused by discrimination or harassment you suffer in your work-place.
Examples of personal injury at work
A personal injury can happen as a result of an accident at work in any workplace. Below are a few examples of the kind of incidents that may cause injury:
- An injury as a result of machinery that has not been maintained.
- An injury resulting from an employee lifting something heavy when they have not been trained in how to do it.
- Injuries that happen because appropriate safety wear has not been provided.
- Injuries resulting from hazards in the workplace that an employer has not dealt with.
If you’ve been involved in an accident that has led to a personal injury then the first step is to make a complaint to your employer. Accidents that happen in the workplace need to be recorded in an accident book so it’s important to make sure that this has been done as soon as you can after the incident occurs. If there is no accident book at your workplace then you should provide a report yourself – write down what happened, and the injury you have suffered as a result, and send this to your employer, keeping a copy. It’s a good idea to gather evidence about the circumstances that led to your accident so that you are able to show how it occurred.
Reporting the injury
If you are not hospitalised as a result of the accident then make an appointment with the doctor. There are two reasons for this – the first is to have official medical records of what has happened to you and the second is to ensure that someone is aware that you have been injured and can provide information should your condition worsen. Your contract may also require you to report your injury to your employer and this should be done as soon as possible after the event if there were no others present.
Speak to a solicitor
Once you have completed the above steps, speak to a workplace accident solicitor to find out whether you might be entitled to compensation. For more help and advice about making a claim for your accident at work, please give Goodharts a call today on 0191 206 4103.