Accidents in the Workplace
In spite of the best efforts made by many employers to provide a safe and conducive work environment, accidents do occur, no matter your profession and these can result in injuries. You should consider putting in a claim for compensation even when your employer has complied with the core responsibilities specified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The compensation returns you to the position you were in before you sustained the injury arising from the accident.
When Should I Make a Claim?
How soon after the accident should you consider putting in your claim? It is advisable to start your claim as soon as you become aware of the injury because it is easier to prove that the injury sustained is attributable to the accident. You can however make a claim for personal injury compensation up to three years following the accident or three years after you find out that the injury resulted from the accident, whichever date is later.
Most of the injuries arising from accidents can be noticed immediately but injuries such as the whiplash may take a couple of days before they begin to give rise to symptoms. However, there is usually little doubt that the injury is attributable to the accident. It is necessary to have the injury documented by a medical expert as soon as it occurs as a medical report on the extent and the impact of the injury will be required to pursue a compensation claim.
Who Should I Report to?
Work-related accidents should be reported to the human resource department immediately and should be recorded in the company’s accident report book. Photographs of the accident and the surrounding area should also be recorded. Independent legal advisers that specialise in personal injury claims should be contacted with details of the accident. They are usually very familiar with the guidelines set by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) and they have the requisite experience to pursue compensation claims on behalf of clients even if it becomes necessary to pursue the matter all the way to the courts.
What types of workplace injuries can you claim for?
Practically any injury arising from an accident in the workplace can be claimed against but as every claim is unique, specialist solicitors can advise on the best course of action. The majority of claims revolve around certain types of injuries.
Unsafe work environments
Unsafe industrial practices have the potential to cause injury or death. These accidents may not occur frequently but when they do and injuries are sustained, the employee should make a claim for compensation.
Noise-induced hearing loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is another type of injury that can occur in the workplace, especially where there is prolonged and excessive exposure to loud noise. Construction, music, engineering or factory occupations are quite susceptible to hearing loss injuries and the level of injury compensation would depend on the severity of hearing loss, the lasting impact of the loss and whether the loss is in one or both ears.
Lifting heaving objects
Lifting heavy objects or lifting while twisting can lead to back injuries. They often require extended treatments and recovery periods. When they occur in the workplace, employees are entitled to compensation claims for injury sustained.
Other workplace accidents that commonly attract compensation claims include accidents resulting from the operation of defective machinery, trips and fall on slippery surfaces.
Generally, specialist solicitors dealing with these compensation claims can assess every case to determine if there is the legal right to a claim. Some will work on a no-win, no fee basis and some others will offer an additional insurance policy that ensures you won’t be liable for the other party’s expenses in the event you don’t win the claim.