Claiming Compensation For Injury Following Accidents At Work
It is not uncommon for claimants to be reluctant to bring claims for personal injury compensation following serious accidents at work. They may be employed, or self-employed and are understandably worried about taking steps that would adversely affect their employment even if they have suffered very serious and even life changing injuries. They may also feel a sense of loyalty towards their employers and colleagues.
Low compensation offers
I often get enquiries from potential clients who have been injured at their workplace, frequently on construction sites, who either do not wish to proceed with a claim or have been offered a payout which may not reflect the true extent of their injury and financial losses.
They get in touch because they have been, quite rightly, encouraged by others to seek legal advice. What I have noticed is that the initial offers from employers usually only cover lost earnings, and it may not be adequate for someone who may not make a full recovery and return to work, full time, if at all.
Other losses in Serious Injury Cases
There will be other losses flowing from the accident, including but not limited to:-
- Value of care and assistance being provided by members of the family
- Treatment costs
- Travel expenses
- Prescription charges
- Aids and equipment
- Adaptations to their home & vehicle
Employers have a duty to provide their employees amongst others: a safe work environment; safe system of work; suitable work equipment; suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) and information, training and instruction.
There are various statutory regulations which, until the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, implemented more than 10 years ago, imposed a strict duty on the employers. If there was a breach of the statutory duty, the employer could be held to account. These regulations are still taken into consideration; however, the employee/claimant needs to establish the employer was at fault and it was reasonably foreseeable that the employers’ failure would lead to the claimant suffering injury and loss.
Catastrophic Injuries sustained in the workplace
One of my clients was injured on a work site after he was given a key to access and operate a 360 excavator (a large digger). He did not hold a licence and was never trained to operate one or given sufficient information, yet when there was shortage of staff, he had been expected to “get on” with it.
A common scenario no doubt, in most workplaces.
As he was following the instructions, which transpired to be clearly unsafe, he was run over by the digger and suffered significant injures to his pelvis, and left leg. This resulted in hospital admission for about three months including a period in ITU, multiple operations and his leg in an external fixator for best part of a year. These were clearly severe injuries which were potentially life changing.
It was reasonably foreseeable that he would be injured in such circumstances and his employers admitted primary liability. However, he had to accept a reduction for contribution on his part because his actions clearly put him at risk. Whilst my client’s claim settled for hundreds of thousands of pounds, he will be left with some permanent disabilities. He was, however, happy with the overall outcome as he had been reluctant at first to bring a claim because the foreman was a relative who had got him the job.
Most, if not all, workplaces have employers’ liability and or public liability insurance which meets payment of claims if negligence against the employer or a colleague can be established. It is important that those who have been injured at work seek legal advice from a polytrauma solicitor who has the relevant expertise and experience, to ensure they recover what they are legally entitled to for their injury and losses.* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*