Accident at work claims in the UK are subject to regulations and must be made based on evidence. Because of this, it’s useful to have a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through your own claim.
In this article, you will be taken through what you need to know if you have a claim. If you do, this will also show you how to make it. If you have a claim and would like advice on how to proceed, contact our team of advisors for a free consultation.
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Choose A Section
- What Are Accident At Work Claims In The UK?
- Causes Of Work Accidents
- What Evidence Could Support A Claim?
- Compensation For Accident At Work Claims In The UK
- How Much Could I Save With A No Win No Fee Agreement?
- More Information Related To Accident At Work Claims In The UK
An event that causes injury to employees is grounds for an accident at work claim if it is caused by the employer’s negligence. With this, the claimant can receive compensation for the injury that they received. In order to make a claim, you must show that the responsible party owed you a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
This act outlines an employer’s duty of care to their employees. Essentially, they should take reasonable precautions to ensure the workplace is safe. This can involve identifying risks and hazards in the workplace and taking the appropriate measures to prevent them.
If this duty of care is breached and it causes you injury, you could make a claim.
Some examples of work accident causes include failures relating to:
- Equipment Maintenance. It is the duty of an employer to ensure that all machinery in the workplace receives proper maintenance. In industries like agriculture, equipment that is not kept in good working order can malfunction and become a serious risk to those operating it.
- Untidy Environments. Trips, slips and falls are the most common cause of non-fatal workplace injuries in the UK, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics. (The HSE is a government body that enforces health and safety at work laws.)
- Insufficient training. Health and safety training is important for all workplaces. For those working labour intensive jobs, such as construction, operating equipment you are not trained for can endanger you and your co-workers.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If it is necessary for your work, your employer is required to provide you with suitable PPE. Proper maintenance and storage are important for the upkeep of PPE, a failure in these regards could be considered a breach of their duty of care. This is because damaged or ineffective PPE can endanger you and possibly those around you.
To make a claim, you will need to provide evidence that you suffered harm as a result of your employer breaching their duty of care. With this in mind, here’s some types of evidence that you could consider for your claim:
- Following your accident, you may want to gather the contact details of those who saw it first-hand. They could provide witness statements.
- Most workplaces have some form of site surveillance. If your accident was caught on tape, you could request the footage.
- Under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), certain workplace accidents must be reported. You could use the report as evidence if you’re able to access it. However, if your injury wasn’t notifiable under RIDDOR, all workplace accidents should be recorded in the workplace accident book. Either of these can be called upon for your claim.
The calculation of compensation for accident at work claims in the UK is difficult to state categorically. This is because compensation is awarded on a case-by-case basis.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) provides guideline compensation brackets for various injuries seen in personal injury claims. We’ve taken figures from this publication and used them in the compensation table below for illustrative purposes.
|Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia) (a)||£304,630 to £379,100||Mid-range award for this bracket sees no pain for the victim and full awareness of their injury. Power of speech will be intact and life expectancy could be 25 years or more.|
|Very severe brain damage (a)||£264,650 to £379,100||Cases at the extreme of this bracket may be able to follow some basic commands or return of sleep and waking patterns. Little or no language function, meaningful response to environment and need of full-time nursing care.|
|Knee Injury (b)(i) Moderate||£13,920 to £24,580||Dislocation, torn cartilage, or meniscus with minor instability, wasting, weakness or other mild future disability.|
|PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) (b) moderately severe||£21,730 to £56,180||Some recovery is possible with professional help. Effects will remain disabling for the foreseeable future.|
|Total blindness (b)||In the region of £252,180||Total blindness|
|Chest injuries (d)||£11,820 to £16,860||Potentially simple injury such as a single penetrating wound. Some permanent damage results but no long-term issues for vitals.|
|Total loss of reproductive organs (a)(i) male||In excess of £144,420||Total loss|
|Infertility by reason of injury or disease, severe depression and anxiety, pain and scarring (a) Female||£107,810 to £158,970||Level of award affected by:|
-If the affected woman has children previously
-Mental health issues
|Digestive system (a) traumatic injury (ii) serious and non-penetrating.||£15,750 to £26,050||Permanent or long-standing complications. Aggravated by physical strain or severe indigestion are two examples.|
|Shoulder blade (e) fracture of clavicle -||£4,830 to £11,490||Extent of fracture, disability temporary or permanent. Is union anatomically displaced?|
Please note, the Judicial College Guidelines utilises figures from claims that have been settled in court. Although it is updated regularly, the majority of claims are settled out of court and so cannot be included in these figures.
General damages compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you experience. A loss of amenity is the temporary or permanent inability to complete tasks that you otherwise would without the accident. Examples of this include sports participation and other hobbies. Any successful accident at work claims in the UK will be awarded general damages.
As well as general damages, you may be entitled to special damages. These are meant to compensate for financial losses you experience because of your injuries. These can include:
- Loss of earnings. If your injury has prevented you from returning to work, you may be able to claim the earnings you have missed out on.
- Medication costs. If you have proof of expenses, you may be eligible to be compensated.
- Travel expenses. This can cover hospital journeys, for example.
In order to claim special damages, you’d need proof such as receipts and bills.
When making accident at work claims in the UK, many claimants choose to use the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor. No Win No Fee is a term for a conditional fee agreement or CFA.
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you would only pay the solicitor’s fee providing conditions are met. In this instance, the condition is a successful personal injury claim and the receipt of compensation.
This means that a solicitor will represent you for no upfront or ongoing fee with the understanding that you will pay them for their work out of your compensation. This “success fee” will be agreed upon before you proceed with your claim. Furthermore, the fee is capped by law to ensure you keep the majority of your compensation. If the claim is unsuccessful, you will not be obliged to pay anything.
A No Win No Fee agreement provides an incentive for your solicitor to succeed and this, most importantly, could give you a better chance at the justice you deserve.
For more information on accident at work claims in the UK, get in touch. Our advisors are available 24/7, give free legal advice, and you’ll be under no obligation to use the services of our panel of solicitors.
To contact us, you can:
- Phone the number at the top of the screen
- Use our contact form
- Use our live chat
If you found these useful, we suggest reading below.
- Labour Force Survey (ONS)
- Compensation After An Accident Or Injury (GOV)
- Managing Risks And Risk Assessments At Work (HSE)
- Can I Sue My Doctor For Negligence?
- How Can I Find No Win No Fee Solicitors?
- Public Liability Claim Examples
- A Guide To No Win No Fee Claims
- What Is A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
Writer Ryan Whitehead
Publisher Ruth Vacanti