Will Suing An Employer Create Problems?
Have you been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault? If so, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim against your employer to claim compensation. Some workers, however, may have concerns along the lines of ‘does suing an employer create problems?’
There is legislation in place which allows workers to claim compensation when they are hurt due to negligence from their current employer. However, some workers may be concerned that making such a claim could create problems. They may have concerns that a claim could harm their relationship with their employer. They may even fear it could lead to them being fired. Or they could worry that a claim could harm the performance of the business.
In this guide, we’ll explain what rights workers have to protect themself when making an accident at work claim. We’ll also explain what action can be taken if you are treated unfairly for suing an employer.
Get In Touch With Our Team
At UK Law, we can provide free specialist advice on personal injury claims. Our advisors can assist with any queries you may have about claiming for an accident at work. We can advise you if you are worried your accident at work claim could create problems with your employer. We can also help if your claim is already causing issues between you and your current employer.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About If Suing An Employer Will Create Problems
- What Is A Lawsuit Against Your Employer?
- What Is An Accident In The Workplace?
- How Could Suing An Employer Affect Employee Relations?
- What Should You Know About Suing An Employer?
- Calculate Compensation If Suing Your Employer
- Who Should Be Informed I Am Suing My Employer?
- Who Settles Workplace Injury Claims?
- Can You Be Dismissed For Suing Your Employer?
- How Much Time Do I Have To Sue An Employer?
- I Suffered An Injury At Work, What Should I Do?
- Employer Injury Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Contact Us For More Help
- Other Information
- FAQs About Suing An Employer
If you have a concern along the lines of ‘does suing an employer create problems?’, then this guide aims to inform and help you. We will take a look at what exactly a lawsuit against your employer looks like.
We’ll also explain when you are entitled to claim compensation from your employer and why this should not undermine your relationship with your employer or your job status. However, we will also explore the ways your employer could create problems for you when you make a claim against them. We will explain the actions you are legally entitled to take if you are treated unfairly by your employer after making a claim against them.
The steps required to make a personal injury claim against your employer are also explained within this guide. If you have any questions about suing your employer, then you can contact UK Law for free specialist advice.
In order to hold a valid claim against an employer you must first be able to prove three key areas;
- You were owed a duty of care
- Somehow this duty was breached
- Consequently, you suffered an injury or illness due to negligent practices.
The accident and injuries you sustained from your workplace accident could have been caused by negligent behaviour by your employer. If that is the case and you can prove it, then you could receive compensation by submitting a personal injury claim.
Something important to point out about claiming compensation against your employer is that your employer is usually not the one that actually pays you if your claim succeeds. By law, all employers should have adequate insurance which covers them for accidents in the workplace. It is therefore this insurance provider which will usually pay out the compensation if you or another employee makes a successful claim.
Are All Workplaces Covered By Insurance?
Usually, when you claim against your employer, the employer’s insurance company will be the one to conduct a defence of the business if needed. They will also be the ones to settle your claim. Your employer usually only has a small amount of involvement in your claim.
The graphs above come from the Health and Safety Executive’s annual summary of workplace health and safety statistics for 2019/20. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.
As you can see, the graphs above show how many non-fatal work injuries were reported to the HSE in 2019/20. You can also see the most commonly reported types of work injuries during the same period. Within this time period, an estimated 525,000 injuries which led to an absence of 7 days or less were reported. The most commonly reported type of work injuries were slips, trips or falls on the same level. These accounted for 29% of all of the reported accidents.
An accident at the workplace can come in many forms and happen for all sorts of reasons. Some of the ways an accident in the workplace can occur include the following:
- Contact with a stationary or fixed object
- Fall from a height
- Hit by a moving vehicle
- Injury while handling, lifting or carrying something
- Slips, trips or falls
- Struck by a moving object
- Violence in the workplace (assault)
Not all accidents that happen in the workplace will qualify for a compensation award. To hold a valid and legitimate claim you must prove through evidence that your employer or another colleague was at fault through negligence for your suffering. Due to legislation such as the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, employers have a legal duty of care which they owe towards their employees. To summarise, this duty of care means employers have to take reasonable steps to protect their staff from physical and mental harm while completing their work.
Even if they have a very good reason to claim compensation from their current employer, some people do express concerns such as ‘does suing an employer create problems?’ You may have concerns that claiming against your employer could affect your relationship with them in a negative fashion.
From a legal perspective, your relationship with your employer should not be changed if you decide to make a personal injury claim against them. Taking such action does not give your employer any sort of permission to start treating you in a negative way in response. So suing your employer should not affect your relationship with them. However, some employers may, unfortunately, decide to treat you in a negative fashion after you start a claim against them.
If your employer takes steps to make life difficult for you at work, you may feel that your position has become untenable. You could be put in a position where you feel you have to leave the company. If this scenario happens to you, then you could claim against your employer for constructive dismissal. Such a claim could be made on top of a claim you’ve made against your employer for an accident at work.
You may feel nervous about starting a claim against your employer. Or you could be worried that you’ll miss a crucial step when trying to do so.
When you want to claim against your employer for a workplace accident injury, it is worth considering the following steps:
Do you know your rights as an employee?
It may be worth familiarising yourself with your employer’s grievance policies and procedures. You could speak to your Human Resources department to get this information.
Keeping notes of the accident and your injuries
It could be useful to keep notes of your workplace injury. They could prove useful when there is a lack of witnesses or other solid evidence. Your notes could cover important details such as what injuries you’ve suffered and how they’ve affected you. Your notes could also explain the type of accident which caused them and why the accident occurred in the first place.
Submit an official complaint
You may wish to contact your Human Resources department to make a complaint. If you do this, then you should make them aware of the injuries you’ve suffered and how they occurred. This could mean the department will start an official investigation into your workplace accident. If you are part of a trade union, you could also make them aware of your injuries. A representative from the union could potentially offer advice on what steps to take next.
You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on what actions to consider when making an injury at work claim.
If you are making a personal injury claim against your employer, then you may have questions about the amount of compensation you’ll receive. The amount paid out following a successful claim for work injuries can vary a great deal. It depends a lot on the type of injuries which you are claiming for and how severe those injuries are.
In the table below, we’ve included bracket amounts for different types of injuries. Each and every single personal injury case is different. For that reason, it is not possible to estimate what you could claim in this article. The amount brackets are for example purposes only. And should not be taken as fact. The figures are provided by the Judicial College guidelines. These guidelines may be used by solicitors to work out the value of injuries.
|Brain or Head Injury||Moderately Severe||£205,580 to £264,650|
|Brain or Head Injury||Less Severe||£14,380 to £40,410|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Total Blindness||In the region of £252,180|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Loss Of Sight In One Eye||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Minor||£3,710 to £8,200|
|Back Injury||Severe||£36,390 to £151,070|
|Back Injury||Moderate||£11,730 to £36,390|
|Back Injury||Minor||From around £2,300 to £11,730|
|Neck Injury||Moderate||£7,410 to £36,120|
|Neck Injury||Minor||From around £2,300 to £7,410|
The compensation payouts covered in the table above all fall under ‘general damages’. These type of damages specifically cover the injuries you’re seeking compensation for. You may also receive compensation for ‘special damages’, which cover financial losses directly caused by your injuries. Examples of financial losses that could be covered under special damages include the following:
- Loss of earnings due to having to take unpaid time off while recovering from your injuries.
- The cost of repairing personal property damaged in the accident you were in.
- The cost of medical treatment you’ve received for your injuries.
- Travel expenses you’ve accumulated in order to get medical treatment for your injuries.
A concern some people may have when they want to claim compensation from their employer is whether they need to inform certain people about their claim. As long as the accident you’re claiming is reported correctly and proper procedures for the claim are followed, then the groups which need to know about your claim should find out about it.
When an accident that resulted in injury occurs in your workplace, it should be recorded in the employer’s accident report book. Therefore, your employer should have knowledge of your accident before your claim is started. When you start a personal injury claim against your employer, they will usually be first informed about it by either your solicitor or the insurance company providing them with their cover. Your employer will then work with their insurance company to investigate your claim and gather the required documents in order to make a decision on whether they accept liability.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will usually also be made aware of your work injuries. Due to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (known as RIDDOR), your employer is required to report serious work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous incidents to the HSE.
In certain circumstances, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) should also be informed when a compensation claim is made against an employer. Part of the DWP, called the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), may be contacted when a compensation claim is being made.
Will my colleagues know about my claim?
Some people may have concerns along the lines of ‘does suing an employer create problems with my colleagues?’ However, if you make a claim against your employer for a work accident, then your direct work colleagues usually don’t need to know about it. Unless you choose to make them aware of the claim yourself.
The process of claiming compensation against your employer is done in a confidential manner. An insurance company usually handles communications and other processes of the claim on behalf of the employer.
Will my employer have to notify their insurance provider?
Work accident claims are handled by an employer’s insurance company, so they should always be informed about them. If you hire a solicitor to support your work accident claim, they may first notify your employer about the claim. Your employer would then pass this notice on to their insurance provider. In some cases, a solicitor may notify the insurance provider first and they’ll therefore notify your employer shortly afterwards.
Employers are legally required to have appropriate insurance which covers them for workplace accidents. When a work injury claim is received by an employer, it is the insurance provider that will handle the processes of the claim. This includes settling the injury claim.
The insurance provider will work closely with your employer to investigate the claim and make a decision in relation to whether or not to accept liability. If you make a successful claim, then it is the employer’s insurance company that will cover your compensation payout.
When people express concerns such as ‘does suing an employer create problems?’, their main concern may be that starting an accident claim could cost them their job. From a legal standpoint, an employer can not sack you or pressure you to leave the company if you make a personal injury claim against them.
If you are unfortunate enough to be dismissed for making a legitimate injury claim against your employer, then you could take them in front of a tribunal. You could make a separate claim against them for unfair dismissal.
Some employers may sadly choose to make life difficult for you after you start a claim against them. If your relationship with your employer breaks down and they make things difficult for you, then you could feel pressured into handing in your resignation. Should this happen, then you could start a claim against the company for constructive dismissal.
If you want to make a personal injury claim, there is usually a time limit for starting this process. Typically, the time limit is three years from the date of the incident which caused your injuries. In some cases, the injuries or illness you suffered at work may not be immediately diagnosed. In such cases, the three-year time limit starts from when your injury/illness could be diagnosed. Or is related to negligence. This is referred to as the date of knowledge.
In certain circumstances, the three-year time limit can be frozen at least temporarily. For instance, if the injured party lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf, then the time limit is frozen for them. The time limit remains frozen unless the day comes when the injured person recovers enough mental capacity to act on their own behalf. A work injury claim can potentially be started on behalf of someone lacking in mental capacity by a representative. This is formally known as a litigation friend.
If someone under the age of 18 is injured at a workplace, then the three year time limit for claiming is frozen for them as well. It will remain frozen until the day they reach their 18th birthday. Someone under the age of 18 can’t start a claim on their own behalf. However, a claim can be started on behalf of someone before they’ve reached that age by a litigation friend.
If you are injured at work, then your first priority should be to seek the medical care you require. If you are considering a compensation claim for your injuries, then it’s worth obtaining evidence of any medical treatment you receive. This could include medical reports or discharge letters.
If you do decide you want to pursue a compensation claim, then you can next start collecting other evidence. You should only start when you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries. But ideally, you’ll want to begin gathering evidence as soon as possible. Evidence you may be able to gather for your claim could include security camera footage, photos of the accident scene and your injuries and witness contact details.
After you’ve gathered evidence, you have the option of hiring a legal representative. A solicitor can pursue the claim on your behalf. We recommend choosing a solicitor who has experience in handling work injury claims. Your chosen solicitor will ask you questions about your injuries and how they occurred. They’ll also review your evidence supporting your claim.
If your solicitor is confident your case can succeed, you can then sign a contract with them. From this point your solicitor will guide you through all the following steps needed to complete your claim. You can contact UK Law if you have any questions regarding the process of a workplace injury claim.
If you have a solicitor supporting you while making your claim, then you may have a No Win No Fee contract with them. This type of agreement offers some financial benefits to you, including the following:
- No legal fees to pay upfront to your solicitor
- No fees requirement payment during the process of your claim
- If your claim does not succeed, you will not have to pay your solicitor’s legal fees. This gives your solicitor plenty of motivation to work hard on your case since they face extra risk.
If your case succeeds under a No Win No Fee basis, then your solicitor will deduct a small percentage from your compensation to cover their fees.
If you need any advice on making a work injury claim, then you can contact UK Law for free. Our advisors can help out with a variety of different personal injury claims. These can include road traffic accidents and accidents in public places. You can reach us through the following methods:
For more advice on work injury claims, you can check out our related guides linked below.
Check out this guide for more details on what rights employees benefit from in relation to workplace accidents.
In this guide, we talk about how an agency worker may be entitled to compensation following injury.
This guide explores the potential issues that could arise if an accident at work is not reported.
In this final section of our guide, we’ve answered some questions we are frequently asked regarding claims against your employer.
Can I be sacked for claiming against my employer?
By law, your employer is not allowed to dismiss you simply for starting or considering an injury claim against them. If your employer were to do this, then you could claim against them for unfair or constructive dismissal.
Can I sue my employer for stress and anxiety?
It may be possible to claim against your employer for psychological injuries you’ve suffered due to your job. To succeed, you will need to prove that your employer breached their duty of care in some way and that this directly contributed to your psychological harm.
Can you sue your employer and still work for them?
It is absolutely possible to continue working for your employer while you are making a claim against them. Workplace compensation cases are usually handled by the employer’s insurance company.
Can you sue your employer for getting hurt on the job?
You could start a compensation claim for getting hurt on the job if you’re not at fault for your injuries. You can make your claim against your employer if you can prove that they breached their duty of care to you. You’ll also need to establish that their negligence directly led to your injuries.
Thank you for reading our guide on queries such as ‘does suing an employer create problems?’
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