What Happens If You Get Injured At Work?

What happens if you get injured at work or suffer a work-related injury? The answer to this question may all depend on how this accident came about. If you are injured at work because your employer has been negligent then you may be considering making an accident at work claim. This guide will talk you through the process of making a claim for injuries suffered in the workplace.

Injured at work

Injured at work

Perhaps you are worried about your job if you do make a personal injury claim against your employer. Or maybe you think you cannot claim because you are partially at fault for the accident. This article should put your mind at ease and help you decide whether to make a claim for accident at work compensation. Why not get started right now? To find out what your rights are after an accident at work speak to our advisers. If you’re more comfortable speaking  to one of our team you can:

Select A Section

  1. What Happens If You Get Injured At Work?
  2. How And When Do I Report The Accident?
  3. Ensuring Injuries Are Treated
  4. Checking To See If You Get Sick Pay
  5. Making A Claim
  6. Calculating Your Settlement
  7. Contact Our Team And Start A Claim
  8. Resources – What Happens If You Get Injured At Work?

What Happens If You Get Injured At Work?

The workplace is an area where most people spend a good proportion of their time. There is specific legislation in the UK called the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 to ensure that the workplace is kept as safe as is reasonably possible for all who use it. This legislation applies a duty of care to employers to ensure the health and welfare of their employees.

Employers can keep the workplace safe by doing the following:

  • Regular risk assessments identify potential hazards before they cause an accident
  • Staff are consulted and any health and safety concerns are acted upon in a prompt and timely fashion
  • A designated health and safety representative is appointed
  • Employers provide an accident book and system for administering basic first aid
  • Clear Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance is displayed
  • This duty of care is extended to all employees, contractors, visitors, or members of the public who encounter the business premises.
  • Maintain these standards at all times as much as is reasonably practical.

When the duty of care is breached workers can be put at unnecessary risk. If this happened to you, it’s possible to seek accident at work compensation from your employer for the subsequent injury. We discuss this in detail below.

Statistics

Statistics show that workplace injuries are still quite common. However, what these statistics do not show is how many injuries could have been prevented. The figures paint a picture of injuries and accidents in the workplace overall. According to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website during 2020/21:

  • 1.7 million workers suffered some type of work-related ill health (new and long-standing)
  • 822,000 workers had work-related depression, stress or anxiety (new and long-standing)
  • 470,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (new and long-standing)
  • 93,000 workers reported COVID-19 that they think was work-related (new and long-standing)
  • 2,369 deaths were reported because of past asbestos exposures (2019)
  • 142 workers were killed at work
  • 441,000 employees or workers sustained an injury and self-reported to Labour Force Survey
  • 51,211 Employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR in 2020/21

Obviously, there it’s not possible to know how many of these workplace accidents may have been preventable or were caused by employer negligence. Each case varies according to circumstance. But if you feel you were harmed even though you tried your best to avoid the accident, speak to our team today for advice on what happens if you get injured at work.

How And When Do I Report The Accident?

It’s important to note that under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974, in Section 7 employees have a duty to do their part to stay safe as well. Employees should do all they can to keep themselves and those around them safe from risks and hazards.

Employees should abide by health and safety protocols and abide by the training that has been provided. If it can be proved you behaved recklessly and endangered yourself, your claim could be invalid. Also, there are realistic limits to what employers can be held responsible for and accidents must have been avoidable.

However, if you are partially responsible for your accident at work that caused your injuries you may still be able to claim. This is the case if it can be proven that your employer is also liable. This is what is called ”split liability” and means the fault on your part will be measured in percentages. And compensation will be reduced accordingly.

How can accidents at work happen?

  • Faulty machinery
  • Unmarked hazards or wet floors causing slips or trips
  • Violence or personal risk
  • Exposure to chemicals or extremes of temperature when no PPE is provided
  • No health and safety policy
  • Limited or no training.

Any doubts or uncertainties about what happened can be clarified when you speak with our team. Get in touch and they can help you sift through the events of what happened that day to see if you have a valid claim.

What Is An Accident Log Book?

Report your accident at work is an essential task. The accident logbook in your workplace should register the time, date, and details of what happened. In cases of serious injury, there is a process of reporting called RIDDOR. When you suffer extreme injury, the RIDDOR report can detail the precise nature of harm and be used to support your compensation claim later on.

Ensuring Injuries Are Treated

It’s crucial to remember that nothing is more important than your health. First and foremost, after you have an accident at work it’s essential to get your injuries properly attended to. In cases of severe injury, 999 or emergency responders would be called to the workplace.

In cases of lesser severity, it’s still vitally important to have any injury looked at by a qualified medical professional or the company First Aid representative. They can determine whether you need to go to the hospital or if the injury is enough to warrant being sent home. No matter how mild or serious your injury is you should still seek medical attention. This not only ensures that your injuries receive the treatment they may need but also your injury is then logged in your medical records and becomes vital evidence if you go on to make a claim.

After proper evaluation by a medical professional, a treatment path and prognosis can be decided. Furthermore, as part of your personal injury claim, you will be asked to attend a medical appointment. This will be carried out by an independent medical expert. They will compile a report of your injury and its effects so far and also your prognosis.

Checking To See If You Get Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be paid to you by your employer if you are too sick or injured to work. The amount is £96.35 per week and is payable for a maximum of 28 weeks. In order to qualify and receive SSP, you must:

  • Be classed as an employee
  • Have actually worked for your employer
  • Earn at least £120 per week
  • Been ill for at least 4 consecutive days (including non-working days)
  • Tell your employer you are unable to work before any deadline for notification they set
  • Exemptions may apply if you are on maternity leave or you have ‘linked’ periods of illness.

Importantly, it’s vital that you read your employment contract to ensure you qualify. Proof of sickness must be given to your employer. This proof is sometimes called a ‘fit note’ from your doctor or hospital doctor.

After an accident in the workplace, gathering evidence is key to proving who was at fault. Sometimes accidents can happen and they are no one’s fault. This is usually determined by whether the incident could have been prevented. Your employer may argue that you did not take sufficient care or that you operated machinery incorrectly. Be prepared to gather proof to uphold your claim that you only suffered an injury because of shortcomings on their part.

Seeking personal injury accident at work compensation may seem complex. That is why we always advise having a specialist accident at work solicitor help you support your case. They can do much of the work which leaves you to recover with as little stress as possible. Call our advisors today and have your case assessed for free.

Making A Claim

Making a personal injury claim against your employer for an accident at work will allow you to put your life back to the way it was before the incident happened. If your claim is successful you are awarded two heads of loss; general and special damages. These cover compensation for the suffering caused by your injury and also reimburse past and future financial losses. But understandably, you may feel uncomfortable suing your boss and have reasonable fears about reprisals or keeping your job afterwards.

Employers legally cannot dismiss you for making a compensation claim. If you can prove that they behaved in a discriminatory way on this matter, this could become a separate claim for unfair dismissal. Speak to our team for guidance if your employer is being unreasonable about you returning to work after starting a claim for compensation for your injury.

Calculating Your Settlement

After a workplace accident, you may be sure that the most appropriate option for you is to seek damages from your employer. In order to do this, you need actual evidence to prove that they were liable for what happened. This can be :

  • Witness details in case a statement is needed later on
  • CCTV footage
  • Photos or mobile phone footage
  • Accident report records
  • RIDDOR report (if appropriately severe)
  • A&E or hospital admission notes

Commencing a claim could be easier than you thought with the right legal help. Firstly, it’s important to point out that anyone can initiate a claim for workplace injuries. Having a solicitor represent you is not a legal requirement, but their expertise and insights can lend invaluable weight to your claims process. Legal jargon can be heavy in cases like this, so working with professionals in this area is a sensible thing to consider.

A personal injury lawyer can arrange an independent medical assessment with a specialist at a time and location convenient to you. This report can clarify how badly you were hurt and confirm the likelihood that the negligent circumstances caused it. Because it’s an impartial doctor writing the report, the courts will accept their findings as evidence.

What Happens If You Get Injured At Work? -General damages

Here we have provided a compensation table that looks solely at general damages. These damages compensate for the pain your injures have caused you and any loss of amenity. The bracket figures are compiled from cases that have resulted in court settlements which have been taken from the publication called the Judicial College guidelines. The report from the doctor will be sent to your lawyer to compare with amounts listed in the Judicial College guidelines. An excerpt is below:

InjuryseverityJCG award bracketnotes
head(d) less severe brain damage£14,380 to £40,410good recovery with ability to return to work. Some issues around memory or co-ordination, mood or concentration
neck(a) severe (i)In the region of
£139,210
incomplete paraplegia, constant pain and no movement in the neck despite medical intervention
shoulder(a) severe£18,020 to £45,070nerve damage and injuries to the brachial plexus area, prolonged or permanent disability
arm(b) severe£36,770 to £56,180serious fractures resulting in permanent disability issues, either functional or cosmetic
hand(b) serious damage to both hands£52,310 to £79,360permanent loss of function and cosmetic disability
knee(a) severe (i)£65,440 to £90,290development of osteoarthritis, disrupted joint and gross damage to ligaments
foot(e) serious£23,460 to £36,790traumatic arthritis, continued pain and the need for fusion surgery
burnssevereLikely to exceed
£98,380
depending on skin surface (over 40%) and duration of recovery, psychological anguish
psychiatric harm(b) moderately severe£17,900 to £51,460work-related stress resulting in a permanent disability or illness
breathing injury(c)£51,420 to £65,710a worsening lung condition (such as emphysema) that disturbs sleep or restricts physical activities

These amounts are not guaranteed. They are offered as a way to look at what injuries have been awarded in the past cases after going through the court. Please note though that only a very small per cent of cases go to work. The majority of cases are settled amicably.

What Happens If You Get Injured At Work? – Special damages

What happens to your finances if you get injured at work? Often, the financial aftermath of a sudden injury can be as bad as the accident itself. Therefore you may need to address a whole array of unforeseen costs that are associated with what happened, such as:

  • Lost Wages
  • Missed future financial opportunities
  • Sudden child care needs
  • Expensive medical equipment or procedures not available on the NHS
  • Domestic care and help to cope
  • Adaptations to your home (wheelchair ramps etc)
  • Impact on your pension or attendance bonus at work
  • Damage to personal items such as eyewear or mobile phone
  • Counselling for shock or trauma
  • Scar or cosmetic surgery needs
  • Pet care, hobbies, damage to anything you enjoyed prior to the accident

Special damages give you the chance to claim these lost amounts back. Obviously, it’s necessary to gather paper documentation to support special damages claims. Receipts, bank statements, and other invoices or bills can be used to prove that you faced a whole array of expenses because of your injury.

There may be other costs that can be included. Speak with our team for detailed advice. For example, it’s important to consider future or predicted costs to you in the future. Claimants can only seek personal injury compensation once for the same incident. Therefore it’s vital that all aspects of the accident and injury are properly evaluated.

It’s not possible to request more money after the case has been settled. Speak with our advisors now and we can help calculate an accurate and appropriate amount for you.

Contact Our Team And Start A Claim

Many claimants who want to have the help and support of a solicitor when pursuing a personal injury claim worry about the costs associated with legal representation. This is why we advise using No Win No Fee personal claim solicitors. If a No Win No Fee solicitor agrees to take your case on they will ask you to sign a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’. The benefits include:

  • No upfront cost to hire the lawyers
  • Nothing to pay as the case moves ahead
  • No solicitor’s fee at all if the case fails
  • Only a small amount due if the case wins
  • Legally capped to 25% or less of the overall settlement amount
  • Payable only after compensation has been awarded

These combined benefits make No Win No Fee agreements a good option to fund the work of your solicitor. Firstly there is a brief consultation with our team to establish your eligibility, then they could connect you with a specialist lawyer from our panel who operates on a No Win No Fee basis.

It’s free to enquire and there’s absolutely no obligation to proceed unless you wish to. Find out more about how Public Interest Lawyers can help you by:

Resources – What Happens If You Get Injured At Work?

In addition to the highlighted links and information in this guide, at Public Interest Lawyers we can offer help with other types of claims. So with this in mind, if you need to know who is liable for an accident in a public place or if you were affected by a food poisoning issue in a restaurant, we can help. As well as this, an area of specialty is road traffic accidents that were not your fault.

In conclusion, slip and trip advice is available from the HSE as well as details on the true cost of paying for your own self-care from the NHS. Lastly, we look at Government advice on compensation for injuries at work. Also, please feel free to get in touch if you have questions about any points covered.