How Do I Know If My Employer Is Responsible For A Workplace Injury?
After being injured at work, you may be wondering “how do I know if my employer is responsible for the accident at work that caused my injury?”. This article aims to answer this question by looking at the duty of care that employers owe to those who work for them.
Employers and employees each have a responsibility to ensure health and safety procedures are being followed to prevent accidents in the workplace. This is set out in a number of pieces of legislation. If your employer breaches their duty of care, causing you to suffer avoidable harm, you may have grounds to claim.
Is My Employer Responsible For My Injuries?
This guide will look at the compensation you could be awarded for different kinds of injuries. It will also examine how you can build up evidence to support your claim.
However, if you’re still unsure whether your employer is responsible for the harm you’ve suffered, you can contact our team for further help. They’ll be able to offer you free legal advice about the process of claiming.
Once they determine that the claim you hold is valid, they could connect you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. They can then guide you through the next stage of your claim.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Don’t forget, if you have any questions after reading our guide, you can speak to our team using the following contact details:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Use the call-back request form, and we’ll call you at the time you specify
- Receive instant help and advice using the live chat feature at the bottom of the page
Services And Information
- A Guide On How Do I Know If My Employer Is Responsible?
- What Is A Workplace Injury?
- Employers Duty Of Care
- Workplace Rights
- Employers Health And Safety Responsibility
- Employees Health And Safety Responsibility
- How Do I Know If My Employer Is Responsible – Workplace Health And Safety Laws
- Calculating Payouts For Workplace Injury Claims
- Who Will Pay My Compensation Settlement?
- How Do I Know If My Employer Is Responsible And How Long Do I Have To Claim?
- I Suffered A Workplace Injury, What Should I Do?
- Claim For A Workplace Injury On A No Win No Fee Basis
- What To Read Next
- FAQs About Employers Liability For An Injury
When you’re in the workplace, you’re owed a duty of care by your employer. This means that they need to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety. If they neglect to do so, it could result in an accident that causes physical or mental injury.
There are many ways negligence could lead to harm in the workplace. For example, your employer may have failed to carry out risk assessments to check that equipment was safe to use, resulting in an employee being injured.
For your employer to be negligent, the following conditions need to be met:
- Your employer breached their duty of care
- An accident was caused as a result
- You suffered either mental or physical harm in the accident
For more information on an employer’s duty of care, see below. Or, if you have any questions about making a claim following a workplace accident, why not speak to our team for free legal advice?
Workplace injuries can vary in nature and severity. Additionally, depending on the accident, different parts of the body could be affected. Some workplace accidents can cause serious, life-changing injuries, like brain damage or paralysis. In some cases, workplace accidents can even be fatal.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) is a piece of legislation that outlines what workplace incidents and injuries need to be escalated. It states that reportable incidents, including deaths and certain specified injuries, must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
The graph below shows the non-fatal injuries that employers most commonly reported during 2019/2020. The figures provided by RIDDOR highlight that fractures other than to the finger, thumb or toe were the most common.
The cause of the injuries listed is not recorded. However, RIDDOR did record the most common accident kind as slips, trips or falls on the same level.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that an employer who has staff operating under them has a duty of care to keep them safe from harm. They need to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure employee safety in the workplace.
As part of their duty of care, they should address potential risks in the workplace and ensure they put preventative measures in place to keep the risk of an accident low.
The risks may vary depending on the workplace in question. For instance, when working in the construction industry, it may be appropriate for your employer to provide safety goggles or safety shoes to employees.
As well as risk assessments, your employer will be expected to:
- Maintain good housekeeping, for example by ensuring that walkways are clear of boxes and wires
- Administer proper training and supervision for the roles
- Ensure that all work equipment is safe and well-maintained
If your employer breaches their duty of care towards you and you’re injured as a result, you may be able to claim. Get in touch with our team for more information.
Workers have gained more protection and rights due to legislation in place to guide employers on good working practices. As a worker, some of the basic rights you have might include but aren’t limited to:
- Being able to stop working and leave an area that you feel puts you in danger and not return until it’s safe.
- Seeking medical attention or first aid if you’ve been injured in a workplace accident.
- Claiming compensation if you’ve been injured because of a breach of duty of care.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident that happened because your employer was negligent, then you have a right to pursue compensation. Provided you have been working at a company for two years or more, you cannot be sacked for claiming compensation as you have a right to do this.
If you lose your job after being employed for more than 2 years because you pursued a claim, you could claim for unfair dismissal. If your employer created an unpleasant working environment with a view to making you leave of your own accord, this would be classed as constructive dismissal. Get in touch with our team today for more information.
In this section, we will explore the question ‘how do I know if my employer is responsible for the accident that caused my injuries?’.
As part of an employer’s duty of care, they have responsibilities they must fulfil regarding health and safety in the workplace.
For instance, they should provide relevant training. The training could relate directly to providing information to do your job safely, such as using specialist equipment. However, it might include training on health and safety and fire safety.
Additionally, they should:
- Communicate any hazards to employees
- Maintain the safety of any equipment needed to do the job safely
- Inform you of any changes in workplace procedures
- Provide appropriate avenues for employees to discuss any concerns
You can complain to HSE if you feel that your employer is neglecting any of the responsibilities detailed above. Before doing this, you should raise your concerns with your employer.
If your employer has breached their duty of care towards you in a way that causes you to be injured, then you may be able to claim. Speak to our team today for more free legal advice.
Although employers are responsible for your health and safety, you also have a role to play to keep yourself and others safe.
For example, you should follow the health and safety procedures that your employer has put in place and not interfere with anything put in place to keep you and your colleagues safe. In addition, you should take any training you’ve been given seriously.
If you fail to fulfil these obligations, your negligence could cause an accident that puts both you and other employees at risk. In instances like these, it wouldn’t be your employer whose responsible for the accident that caused your accident. You would be unable to claim if you caused the circumstances that led to your injuries.
Various pieces of legislation cover different areas of workplace safety. They allow an employee to know when an employer has failed in their obligation to keep them safe. The legislation includes:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: States an employer has to do everything reasonably possible to keep employees safe from harm by providing a safe work environment.
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 outlines the health and safety responsibilities of employers in relation to work equipment.
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 states an employer’s duty of care towards employees when it comes to protective equipment needed to carry out the role.
Despite the legislation in place, accidents resulting in injury can still happen. However, it’s important to be aware that it’s not always the fault of the employer. If the accident at work occurred because you were not doing all you could to ensure safety in the workplace, you would not be able to claim.
If there is partial blame between you and your employer, you may still be able to claim. The amount of compensation that you receive will be reduced according to how much you contributed to your injuries.
In a personal injury claim for a workplace injury, your claim could be made up of two different heads of claim. General damages are the part of your claim that compensates you for any injuries you have sustained, whether physical or psychological.
The compensation you receive will be based on the severity of your injuries and how badly it’s affected your quality of life. To determine the value of the special damages head of your claim, you’ll be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert as part of the claims process.
Additionally, you could claim for any past and future financial losses that you’ve incurred directly from the injury you’ve suffered. You would be able to claim for these under special damages. Special damages can compensate you for losses like:
- Loss of earnings
- Impact on workplace pension payments or bonus
- Care costs for you or anyone dependent on you, such as a child or elderly parent
- Cost of travel such as getting to and from doctors appointments
- The cost of any care that you couldn’t get on the NHS
You should be aware that not every claim will have special damages. Additionally, compensation awarded for general damages will depend on the specific nature of your injury. For this reason, overall compensation amounts will vary on a case by case basis.
How much is my workplace injury claim worth?
Although your final settlement amount may vary, we have created a table to give you an idea of how much your claim for general damages may be worth.
The figures in the table are from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document sometimes used to help when calculating how much a claim is worth. It will often be referred to alongside the report from your medical assessment.
|Brain Damage||Very severe: The person may have been left unable to effectively communicate and may only have some ability to follow basic commands.||£264,650 to £379,100|
|Brain Damage||Less severe: The person's recovery means they can return to work and have a normal social life. However, there may be some ongoing issues with concentration and memory.||£14,380 to £40,410|
|Head injury||Minor: Minimal brain damage||£2,070 to £11,980|
|Psychiatric Damage||Moderate: The person will have seen some improvement on their ability to cope with life, education and work.||£5,500 to £17,900|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Moderate: Symptoms such as disturbance to sleep and flashbacks will have mostly subsided but there may be some ongoing effects||£7,680 to £21,730|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Complete blindness in both eyes||In the region of £252,180|
|Injuries Affecting Sight||Total loss of sight in one eye||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Deafness||Complete loss of hearing in one ear||£29,380 to £42,730|
|Deafness||Complete deafness in both ears||£85,170 to £102,890|
|Neck||Minor: (iii) A full recovery from any neck injuries will have been made within three months||Up to £2,300|
|Back||Moderate: (i) The person may have suffered a crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae resulting in constant pain and discomfort||£26,050 to £36,390|
|Shoulder||A fractured clavicle||£4,830 to £11,490|
|Arm||A simple forearm fracture||£6,190 to £18,020|
|Leg||Severe: (iii) A serious compound fracture that may result in arthritis||£36,790 to £51,460|
Please remember that these figures are a guide and you should consider them an estimate of how much compensation you could receive. If you have any further questions about compensation, speak to our team using the number above.
We’re often asked, “who pays my compensation if I’m injured in an accident at work?”. Every employer should have Employers Liability Insurance as per the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. The insurance can cover the cost of legal fees whilst defending or settling any claims made against them.
It also protects the business from funding claims out of its own pocket and prevents other employees’ jobs from being put at risk if compensation is paid. This means that there is no need to put off claiming compensation through concern for the company or your employees, as this insurance should mean that any compensation you receive does not come from the company’s profit margins.
If your employer was responsible for the accident that caused your injury, you may want to start with your claim. However, you should be aware of the general time limit in place for starting an accident at work claim.
In most cases, you will be given three years to put forward your claim. This might be from the date the accident occurred. Alternatively, it could be from the date you obtained knowledge that your employer’s failings either caused or led to you suffering harm. This is known as the date of knowledge.
However, there are some circumstances where this time limit might be different. For example, the three-year time limit is frozen for anyone under the age of 18. During the time it’s frozen, someone with their best interests at heart could put forward the claim on their behalf. To do this, they would need to be appointed as a litigation friend.
Alternatively, the person under the age of 18 can put forward the claim once they come of age. They need to do this within three years of the date of their 18th birthday.
Additionally, someone could act as a litigation friend for anyone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim for themselves. If they regain their mental capacity, the three years will start from the date of recovery. If they don’t regain their mental capacity, the three years will stay frozen indefinitely.
For further details on the personal injury claims time limit, get in touch with our team on the number above.
When injured at work, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. This could be through going to the hospital or making an appointment with a doctor at a later date. Not only is it within your best interest to ensure you get your injuries treated correctly, but it can also provide useful medical evidence to support your claim.
You should also ensure that the circumstances of the accident are noted down in the workplace accident book. If you can’t do this yourself right away, for instance, because you’re incapacitated, then a colleague who saw what happened can note the details down.
Furthermore, you could collect evidence to show how the accident happened and demonstrate your employer’s negligence. For instance, you may wish to take a photograph of a piece of poorly maintained equipment or a spill that was not signposted to show how your employer breached their duty of care.
You may also need to show proof of any financial losses, such as:
- Receipts for any care, travel or additional medical costs
- Payslips that may detail any lost or reduced earnings, bonus or pension
Please speak to our team on the number above for more information on the different types of evidence needed to support your claim. Or for more information about No Win No Fee agreements, please read on.
We understand that any injury could impact your finances, especially if you’ve had to take time off work. However, this shouldn’t stop you from seeking legal representation to help you get the compensation you deserve.
For that reason, if our advisors have assessed that your claim is valid, they can appoint a solicitor from our panel who can offer you a No Win No Fee agreement. This is also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement and allows you to avoid upfront costs and any costs while the claim is ongoing.
If the solicitor succeeds in winning your case, you’ll be required to pay a small success fee. By law, the fee is capped and will be agreed upon before they start work on your claim. However, if your solicitor fails to win your case, you won’t be required to pay solicitor fees.
We hope that we’ve answered the question “how do I know if my employer is responsible for my workplace accident?”. If you feel ready to start your claim, please get in touch; our team will be happy to help take you through the next steps.
Get in touch on the following:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Use the call-back request form, and we’ll call you at the time you specify
- Receive instant help and advice using the live chat feature below
If you’re an agency worker seeking compensation for an injury, see our guide for more information.
Did you suffer industrial hearing loss? If so, our guide could help you understand the process of making a claim.
See our guide on making a fatal accident claim for further help and information.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided information on health and safety law.
See the government website for more information on your rights as an employee.
For more information on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), read this page on the government website.
See below for the answers to some frequently asked questions about accidents at work.
How do you report an accident at work?
If you suffered an injury in an accident at work, you should ensure you make your employer aware of it. It should be recorded in the accident book for future reference.
What accidents are reportable under RIDDOR?
There are some specified injuries that employers are required to report through RIDDOR, such as certain fractures, amputations, crush injuries and burn injuries.
How do you seek medical attention and advice?
If you require any medical attention or advice, you could either visit the NHS website or speak to your doctor. Your employer can’t stop you from seeking medical attention after a workplace injury.
Can I be sacked for making a claim?
By law, your employer cannot sack you for making a claim against them. If they do, you could claim for unfair dismissal.
We hope our guide has helped answer your question ‘how do I know if my employer is responsible for the accident that caused my injury?’.
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