Nobody wants to have an accident at work, but if you sustain an injury as result of an accident that has happened at work, it is important that you not only seek help from an experienced accident lawyer, but also bear in mind a few fairly straightforward steps that can help you successfully make a claim against your employer, if they are found liable for your accident and injury.
Here are a few tips to help you, and we can help put you in touch with some of the best accidents at work injury lawyers in the UK if needed:-
1: Gather as much evidence as you can and write everything down
This perhaps sounds rather obvious, but it is important, because if you decide to make a personal injury claim following your accident at work, the process is after all a legal one, meaning that evidence has to be available, and even though you are not necessarily the one at fault, it is useful if you are able to prove anything and everything in black and white if necessary. This is not only useful if your case goes to court, but it can add to your peace of mind and confidence in dealing with the issue; if everything is written down and recorded, it is far more difficult to dispute or doubt.
As soon as possible after an accident at work, it is important to complete, in your own words, a workplace accident report. This will often be referred to in legal proceedings, as it quite literally forms your personal witness statement as to how and why your accident took place. You should be sure that what you write is honest, frank and complete; it would be a very poor lawyer indeed who would fail to spot any discrepancies or inaccuracies in what you have said; be sure that you are upfront and honest.
If you are able to do so, it is also useful to take photographs of the scene and surroundings of your accident at work; it is a cliché, but a picture tells a thousand words. Having photographs of where your accident took place can help everyone involved visualise what happened more easily, and this can be especially helpful if your personal injury case goes to court, because it is a judge you will need to persuade of your employer’s liability, and put simply, pictures can make that job easier.
It is likely that when an accident at work happens, your colleagues will witness it. It can be very useful to take the names and if possible the addresses of your colleagues, meaning that they can be contacted for witness statements too if necessary. Again, having witnesses that confirm your version of events can make all the difference in a personal injury claim.
Another important thing is to keep a record of your medical expenses and any appointments you have attended. Personal injury law refers to these costs and expenses as ‘special damages’ and providing they relate directly to your accident, any medical appointments and the associated travel expenses, medical costs and medicines can usually be claimed back as part of a personal injury claim.
2: Make contact with a specialist accident claim personal injury solicitor
Personal injury and accident claims can often be a complicated and difficult area of law. It is therefore vitally important to contact a specialist solicitor as soon as is practical after your accident. For some suggestions on who to contact for personal injury claims in Scotland click here and for top accident claims solicitors across the UK click here.
It is likely that having the advice, support and representation of a personal injury lawyer in this complex area of law will considerably improve your chances of claiming successfully following an accident at work.
Another reason why it is important to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is the existence of strict time limits in respect of making a claim for compensation following your accident. The standard time limit for bringing a claim to court for such cases is three years, after which time it becomes ‘statute barred’, which essentially means you are no longer able to take legal action for any compensation to which you may be entitled.
3: Understand the accident claims process as best you can
Once you have the help of an experienced and specialist accident claims solicitor, they will take care of all of the legal issues and procedures for you. However, it will help if you have at least some understanding of how the process works, so that you always know what is going on.
At your workplace, you are of course always expected to behave sensibly and reasonably, but your employer also has a great deal of responsibility too. Under the law, all employers have a ‘duty of care’ to their employees and must ensure they are safeguarded at all times against workplace injuries and accidents, under what is known as the law of negligence.
There is also a wide range of regulations in place, designed to protect everyone, including employees, visitors and even contractors from the risks of any personal injury.
These regulations and laws include ‘The Workplace Regulations’, which cover things such as falls, trips and similar accidents, together with every physical aspect of your workplace such as doors, windows and even your workstation, such as a desk.
For many professions, there is a lot of physical work involved, which is where the ‘Manual Handling Regulations’ apply. It is not uncommon for people to be injured due to manual handling accidents in the workplace; this could including heavy lifting in a warehouse, or working with residents in a care home.
Need further help and advice?
As you can see, the area of law covering accidents at work and personal injury is not always straightforward. There are many different factors to take into account, and many things to consider.
With this in mind, you will almost always be better off with a solicitor who has expertise in accident claims and personal injury law.
If you need further help or advice, have questions that remain unanswered, or just need assistance with your legal issue, please do not hesitate to contact our editor Gavin Ward by email or by completing our online enquiry form.