Workplace Accident Picture

Accidents at Work

Workplace Accidents & Personal Injury Claims

It is an unfortunate fact that accidents can and do happen in the workplace. Nevertheless, while it is almost impossible to completely prevent them from happening, there is an expectation that reasonable steps will be taken to at least minimise the risk. If your employer fails to take such reasonable steps, and you suffer an injury as a result, then you may be able to claim compensation.

Common Types of Workplace Accidents

Most accidents at work warranting a compensation claim include injuries caused by:

  • Faulty equipment provided by your employer
  • Inadequate training
  • Unsafe system of work
  • Lack of protective equipment
  • Unsafe place of work

Employer's Duty of Care

The relationship between employer and employee is a very important one, not least so where an accident in work that was not your fault causes you an injury. Your employer owes you a duty of care, and if they breach this duty causing you to suffer an injury, they may be liable to compensate you for your injuries.

It is important to understand that an employer's legal obligation to provide for the safety of their employees is a general one. In other words, it is not enough for employers simply to provide you with the necessary tools and have the systems in place to allow you to perform your duties. In order to meet their legal obligations, they must also show you how to use them safely.

Employers should provide employees with adequate training, a safe working environment and proper equipment. Checks should be carried out on a regular basis and records of this should be kept together with risk assessment and health & safety inspection checks. Every employer must also have 'Employers Liability Insurance', although to be successful with your claim you have to prove that your employer was at fault.

Another important aspect of an employer's duty to protect the safety of their employees is in its scope. Not only are employers under a duty to protect employees for suffering physical harm at work, but they must also shield employees, so far as is possible, from psychiatric harm, including stress. If an employer has been made aware that an employee is particularly vulnerable, and has not taken steps to account for this, then they could be held accountable through a personal injury claim.

Are employers legally responsible for every accident at work?

Generally speaking, it is an employer's responsibility to provide a place and system of working for employees that is, by and large, safe. When incidents occur, barring very unusual circumstances, it will be for an employer to remedy any accident that takes place. However, there is a caveat to an employer's duty in taking care of their employees' safety. They are only obliged to provide a working environment that is in keeping with the standards of a 'reasonable employer'. As mentioned above, your employer is not legally required to protect you from any and every kind of injury that could happen at work – that would be impossible. In determining whether or not you have a personal injury claim, it will be important to review your situation carefully and have this compared with standard practices in the industry in order to find out what is 'reasonable' behaviour in a particular case.

How much compensation for an accident at work?

The value of a personal injury claim is highly fact specific. While the law does accord a monetary value to different kinds of injury, the exact value that your claim could achieve will depend on your circumstances. Not only will the placement of your injuries be highly relevant to determining the value that your claim could be for, but also the impact of your injury on your life:

  • Injuries sustained to the head which cause brain damage or any loss of bodily function, causing a dramatic change in your life could attract tens of thousands of pounds in compensation, while mild trauma with good prospects for a full recovery will attract a lower award
  • If you have been involved in an accident that has damaged your spine then your compensation claim could be high: damage to the spine can result in sustained pain and indeed, in severe cases, paralysis. This, and the fact that there will likely need to be support systems in place to assist you in daily life, will heighten the value of your claim
  • Any injuries that amount to a loss of digits or limb will be significantly higher than those that result in minor muscle or soft tissue damage.

For further guidelines on possible amounts, please refer to our compensation calculator.

How can I be confident that my claim will succeed?

Personal injury claims for accidents at work can be incredibly complex matters to settle, requiring a thorough understanding of the applicable law and relevant procedure. Ultimately, in order for a claim to succeed, there must be convincing evidence to support your claim that (i) your employer failed to protect your safety; (ii) your employer's failure caused you to be injured; and (iii) your employer had not acted reasonably in not shielding you from the likelihood of being injured.

It is impossible to determine on an abstract basis whether one personal injury claim is more likely to succeed than another. The strength of your claim can only be determined following a detailed review of the facts surrounding your accident, and an investigation into what evidence there is to support your compensation claim.

Contact our Workplace Accident Solicitors

HDP solicitors are a specialist team of personal injury lawyers who offer comprehensive legal advice and support in making compensation claims for accidents at work. Our team of lawyers work on a no-win-no-fee basis and pride themselves on being accessible to our clients, providing much needed guidance on navigating personal injury law and procedures. As members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, you can rest assured that experts will handle your claim. If you would like to know more about the process of making a compensation claim following an accident at work, or would like to discuss a review of your circumstances, please contact our team by completing the enquiry form or calling us.

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Contact the injury team today.

Call us free from mobile and landlines on:
0800 0357 770

Main Switchboard

01253 375011

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Make an enquiry

Work Injury Claim Form Picture

Contact our Workplace Accident Solicitors

HDP solicitors are a specialist team of personal injury lawyers who offer comprehensive legal advice and support in making compensation claims for accidents at work. Our team of lawyers work on a no-win-no-fee basis and pride themselves on being accessible to our clients, providing much needed guidance on navigating personal injury law and procedures. As members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, you can rest assured that experts will handle your claim. If you would like to know more about the process of making a compensation claim following an accident at work, or would like to discuss a review of your circumstances, please contact our team by completing the enquiry form or calling us.


Contact the injury team today

Call us free from mobile and landlines on:
0800 0357 770

Main Switchboard

01253 375011

Email Us

HDP Personal Injury Solicitors are an Accredited Practice with APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)

No Win, No Fee Claims

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For a free consultation about claiming accident compensation call our No Win No Fee Solicitors or fill out the form above to start an online claim.

We will assess your claim on a No Win No Fee basis, then give you a detailed analysis of how successful your claim is likely to be. This service is completely free and confidential.

The vast majority of our Personal Injury and Medical Negligence claims are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, commonly known as a No Win No Fee agreement. This means there are no financial obligations for you.

What to do when you have had an accident at work

Suffering from an accident at work is often a distressing and difficult time. As well as any injuries you may have concerns associated with your accident, and finding reliable information is not always easy.

Focus on your injury

This is by far the most important thing that you should do.

Immediately after an accident, you should be treated by your employers appointed first-aider. Every workplace is legally obligated to have a suitably stocked first aid kit and a designated first aider. After your accident find the first-aider or if you are unable to move, demand that a work colleague finds the first-aider for you. If you are in any doubt, stay still.

A summary of what your employer should be doing to cover first-aid requirements in your workplace can be found on the Health & Safety Executive Government website .

Although injuries can appear minor at first, in some cases even a minor injury can progress to a lifelong condition without proper treatment. You should get a full assessment of your injuries by a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

When safe to do so, consider whether you need to go to hospital. If you have suffered a head injury, then your decision-making may be defective. If in doubt, you should go to Accident and Emergency by ambulance, ensuring that a work colleague also attends hospital with you.

At this point, don't think about any potential personal injury claim you may have, concentrate on your health.

Report the accident to your co-workers

If you were working alone at the time of your accident at work, ensure your colleagues are made aware of the incident. This is important if you later decide to make a claim for compensation, or if there is an investigation. It means your employer and their insurers cannot dispute the occurrence of the accident, which unfortunately can often happen.

Bear in mind that an employer can easily put a lot of pressure on their employees. They may be able to persuade certain workers to deny that the accident happened. Whilst this sounds awful the simple fact is, if there is 'concrete evidence' that your workplace accident occurred, your employer or their insurers will be unable to deny that it happened.

Additionally, irrespective of whether you plan to make a claim, if you alert your co-workers to the accident, then you can save others from injuring themselves from the same kind of accident at work that you suffered.

Report the accident to your manager

You must also tell your manager about the accident, following your companies accident reporting procedures.

If you have suffered a serious accident at work, then your employer is legally obliged to report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive, depending on the precise circumstances and time that you need off work.

In many organisations, you could be in breach of the staff manual/procedures if you do not report your accident at work appropriately. Therefore, you should report the accident no matter what.

The question of who is to blame for the accident is best avoided at this stage. Even if you blame yourself, or if your manager blames you for the accident, this does not mean your employer is not legally at fault for the accident happening. The question of fault is best assessed by qualified solicitors with expertise in apportioning liability for accidents at work.

Record the accident in the accident book

Every organisation should have an accident book. Some employers may be reluctant to record a workplace accident in the accident book, usually because of performance targets to reduce accidents at work.

It is crucial that you do not allow an accident to go unreported in this way. Whilst some workplaces may brag about the number of the days in which there hasn't been an accident at work, you should not let this put pressure on you to let the accident go unreported. Reporting an accident is an important duty.

If your employer refuses to record the accident in the accident book, then you should write to your employer so that there is a paper trail and/or email trail of you trying to report the accident. Your employer cannot delete one of your sent emails, particularly if it is from your personal email account.

If your employer still refuses to record your accident in the accident book, then this may be sufficient grounds to resign and claim for constructive dismissal. However, before resigning or taking any other such action, you should seek legal advice from a specialist employment law solicitor. Resigning is a major step.

Take photos and video evidence

This is particularly vital if you want to make a compensation claim because of the injuries you've suffered from the accident at work, or if you feel the need to defend yourself from any bogus accusations a dishonourable employer may make.

After an accident at work you should be should be as thorough as possible gathering evidence from where the accident occurred. As long as your employer will not penalise you for using your phone, you should take photos and videos of the accident location. Evidence of the accident location and circumstances taken straight away will be most compelling and will ensure a dishonest employer will not try to 'fix' an accident location, in an attempt to hamper any claim you might make.

Remember - you can never have too much evidence. Work on the basis that - if in doubt, record it. No accident at work solicitor will criticise you for taking multiple photos or videos of the accident location. It is the right thing to do.

Ask a reliable colleague for help

Depending on the injuries you've sustained, you could be off work for some time after your accident at work. It is during this period that an employer often makes changes to work equipment, access routes and systems of work. Whilst this can be to improve safety, sometimes it may be done to cover up what happened. While you are away from work injured, it's important that a colleague notes these changes and keeps you updated.

Foolishly, many employers carry out accident investigations when the key witness (you) are off work injured. A trustworthy co-worker, one who is willing to stick up for you, can ensure that the true facts of the incident are recorded, and help to prevent your employer from dishonourably blaming you for your accident at work.

Make a diary entry of all your symptoms

It is imperative that you keep an up to date list of your symptoms, whether this is on paper, on a computer/tablet or smartphone. This is because doctors and nurses do not always make a full record of all your symptoms.

Often our clients tell us that, at the time of their accident at work, they had multiple injuries, but the hospital only concentrated on what they regarded as the most serious at that time.

As mentioned earlier, with the passing of time injuries can progress. What may seem a minor injury immediately after the accident can often develop into a long-term, debilitating condition, which could be the most significant injury in the claim.

If a doctor/nurse did not record this minor injury at the time of the appointment, then a medical expert, writing a report some months or even years later, will find it difficult to attribute the injury to the accident at work.

In addition, personal injury claims can take several years to resolve, especially when the injuries are complex and long lasting. Memories naturally fade over time, so a helpful diary of all symptoms will assist you in explaining the impact of your accident at work the medical expert.

An alternate method you can use, if writing a diary doesn't work for you, is to record video footage of you describing and discussing your symptoms.

Go to your GP and/or hospital

You may have already been to see your GP or attended hospital about your injuries. You could be making a good recovery. Even so, we recommend that you attend your GP or hospital as many times as you see fit. Listen to your body.

If, for example, you only sought medical attention once (at the time of the accident), most medical experts will consider that your injuries only lasted a few months. This is because, in their minds, if an injury is causing serious, long-standing problems then the injured person would have sought further medical attention.

If this is incorrect then such an impression can seriously undermine your claim. It is the medical expert who essentially determines the extent of the injuries based upon their medical opinions. It is not you or your personal injury solicitor.

Note that if you are successful with your accident at work claim, then all your medical costs incurred by the NHS will be paid for by your employer's liability insurance. So successful personal injury claims are good for society.

Consider submitting a grievance

Irrespective of the outcome of any accident investigation, if you have suffered an injury at work because of things like defective equipment, or because you have had to manually lift too heavy a weight, or because of a slippery work surface, then you have the right to complain to your employer about it.

If your submitted grievance is written properly, your employer should not hold it against you. If they do, you may be able bring a whistleblowing employment claim.

Additionally, a failure to properly investigate a grievance might be enough for you to make a constructive dismissal claim, however do seek advice on employment law before making any decisions.

Keep a record of your expenses and losses

The purpose of compensation in an accident at work claim is to put you back in the position you would've been in if the accident hadn't happened. Each case is different. If, for example, you lost pay as a result of the accident, then you should be able to recover all lost pay. Similarly, if you have lost the chance to earn a bonus or promotion, then all those future losses should be recoverable too. Contact us if you need any assistance with how to keep records for expenses and losses.

In addition, you can claim for the loss of enjoyment of a prearranged holiday, for care and assistance from friends and family, for increased heating bills, and all trips to the hospital etc. The better your solicitor knows you, the more accurate your compensation settlement is going to be.

Details on the kind of losses you can claim for in a personal injury claim can be further explained by your solicitor.

As already mentioned, a personal injury claim for an accident at work can last some years. It's therefore imperative that you record all of your losses as they occur so you don't forget about them. Either record your losses and expenses on paper, on a computer/tablet or smartphone. Remember to take photos of all receipts and send all this information to your personal injury solicitor.

Submit a Subject Access Request

If you think that your employer has information which you wish to know, whether out of curiosity or because you think it will assist any future compensation claim, then you can make a request to your employer for all the information that they have about you. This includes all emails in which you are mentioned as well your personnel and occupational health files.

You can find out more about how to submit a Subject Access Request on the Information Commissioner's Office website . The Information Commissioner regulates compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR.

However, if you are thinking if submitting a Subject Access Request, you should do so before you make any accident at work claim. This is because once a claim has commenced an employer might argue that they don't have to fully comply with the request, instead arguing that they have to disclose less information. It is possible for them to do so because the disclosure rules which operate in a personal injury claim are much more restrictive than the wider provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Use a dedicated accident at work solicitor, not a call centre operative.

Just because someone works at a solicitors practice, it doesn't mean that they're a solicitor. If you are unsure whether someone is a solicitor, then you can search for them on The Law Society's 'Find a Solicitor' database .

Given that most accident at work compensation claims are run using 'No Win, No Fee' Agreements, why use a paralegal and not a qualified solicitor? It's your case: so use a solicitor that you trust. Don't always use a paralegal selected for you, perhaps by an insurance company. Instead, take control of your own claim and read around the subject, just as you have done now. Switch solicitors if you are not getting the service that you deserve. We specialise in taking over personal injury claims when the other lawyers aren't doing a satisfactory job.

If you have been injured in an accident at work, our team of specialist personal injury solicitors can help you.

Contact us for a free consultation with no obligation on you to proceed further.

If you have already started your accident at work claim with a paralegal in a call centre, or another law firm that are not providing you with the right standard of service, you can easily switch your claim to us.

Call us free from mobile and landlines on:
0800 0357 770

Main Switchboard

01253 375011

Email Us