Accidents at Work - 1 Minute Guide

If you work for a living (i.e. you are an employee) and you are injured in an accident at work, it could be possible for you to claim compensation from your employer.

Accident Compensation Claims

Your employer may be liable to pay you compensation if it is proven that they have failed to take reasonable care to prevent injury to you or your colleagues. All employers (be it a limited company, sole trader, partnerships, or plc) owe a duty of care to their employees and as such employers must ensure they provide a safe working environment, safe premises as well as safe and suitable material/equipment.

For example, an employer who fails to provide protective gloves to an employee when using dangerous chemicals, might be negligent if the employee then suffers injury such as a chemical burn injury as a direct consequence. A claim must normally be made within 3 years of the accident or 3 years from the date that the employee knew they had suffered from the injury in case of industrial disease cases such as asbestos or noise induced hearing loss.

In some circumstances, an employer can be strictly liable in law for an injury. In other words, it is not necessary to prove that the employer was negligent. In other cases, it may be necessary to show that the employer was negligent in some way.

The law is not always this simple as employers can use a defence known as ‘contributory negligence’. This is when the employee’s own actions contributed towards the accident in some way. For example, if an employee suffered from back problems after ignoring the employer’s training on how to lift heavy objects safely, damages will be reduced to reflect the share of the employee’s responsibility for the accident.

Making an Accident Claim

Employers are required by law to have Employers Liability Insurance, so it is usually their insurance company that pays the compensation.

Complex claims can take longer to resolve than straightforward ones – for example, where there is a dispute over whether there has been contributory negligence.

To book an appointment call us on 01626 33 33 80 or complete our Request a Call Back form and we will call you back, at a time to suit you, free of charge.

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