Proving Liability After An Accident At Work
By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 4th May 2023. Suffering an injury at work can be a physically and mentally painful experience. However, the incident simply occurring wouldn’t necessarily be enough for you to be awarded the compensation you deserve. Following the incident, you need to gather evidence to show that you were not at fault for how the accident and injuries occurred. Therefore, it’s vital to know how to prove you had an accident at work that wasn’t your fault.
How Do I Prove Liability For An Accident At Work?
People often ask “how do you prove personal injury?” so we’ve written this guide to inform you. Accidents at work can sometimes be the result of negligence on behalf of an employer. If this is the case for your injury, then we’ll be letting you know how to prove liability in an accident at work claim.
So, what constitutes an accident at work? Read on to find out, and how to prove it took place and caused you injury. If you require clarification at any point, we are here to help. Our expert advisors are ready and waiting to answer your questions and offer you free legal advice.
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Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About How To Prove You Had An Accident At Work
- What Is An Accident At Work?
- What You Need To Know About Proving Liability For An Accident At Work
- How To Prove Negligence At Work
- Compensation Calculator For Accident At Work Claims
- Prove You Had An Accident At Work Due To Lack Of Training Or Equipment
- How To Correctly Record You Had An Accident At Work
- How An Accident At Work Questionnaire Can Help You Prove Your Claim
- How Much Time Do You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?
- I Suffered An Accident At Work, What Should I Do?
- Do You Handle Accident At Work Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Other Information
- FAQs About Accident At Work Claims
Accidents at work can take a number of forms. Most workplaces will have potential hazards present that should be kept to a minimum or removed. Some of these hazards may only result in minor injuries, but some will be more severe.
Regardless of the severity of these injuries, you’ll need to be able to prove who was at fault. All employers have a legal duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They should take reasonable measures to protect your safety. If they have breached their duty of care, resulting in an accident and your injuries, they would be seen as negligent.
If this is the case, you must be able to provide evidence that it was your employer’s negligence that resulted in your injury. Even if you think that you were partially to blame, you may still have a claim. If your workplace injury was due entirely to your own unsafe or reckless behaviour, it’s likely to affect your compensation eligibility.
There’s no singular way to define an accident at work because a workplace injury can take countless forms. Some of the more minor injuries include:
There are also more severe injuries that can take longer to recover from. For example:
Some can cause or exacerbate mental symptoms too, such as:
According to statistics, the most common non-fatal injuries to employees in Great Britain in 2019/20 were slips, trips and falls on the same level. 29% of injuries were caused by these accidents. 19% were caused by handling, lifting or carrying.
As long as the accident at work and resulting injuries were caused by employer negligence, you could claim. Our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice if you’d like to know if you have a valid claim.
It’s important to know how to prove you had an accident at work. It’s also very helpful to know of the various ways in which your employer could be deemed responsible for your injuries. In other words, knowing how to prove liability in an accident at work, whilst very important, is not the only area of knowledge you should concern yourself with.
Your employer’s duty of care involves taking every reasonable step to ensure that you are safe at work. This can include minimising hazards (such as trailing wires) but also providing proper training and PPE where necessary.
An employee can still injure themselves at work with the employer not being held accountable. Employees have a duty of care to each other too. If an employer can prove they have taken all practicable steps to help reduce the risk of workplace injuries, it can mean that they can also disprove their negligence.
Health and Safety Laws
Your employer may need to take very specific steps to ensure the safety of your workplace. However, there are also more general laws and guidelines put in place that must be followed in every workplace.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) helps employers to stick to these laws and offers guidance to employers.
Manual Handling Regulations
There are additional regulations in place for workplaces that require manual lifting/handling. They’re listed in The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. They mainly cover weight restrictions and proper lifting/handling procedures and techniques.
You could have a valid claim if you were asked or forced to exceed safe manual handling limits and were injured as a result.
Your employer could be responsible for your injury if it was sustained while on their property. For example, if you tripped on a loose paving stone that was raised by at least an inch on the way to the car park, then they may still be found to be liable for the injury if they’re responsible for the area.
Occupier’s liability is especially relevant for self-employed people too. If your job involves visiting others’ premises, the occupier has a responsibility to provide a safe working environment too.
When claiming for a personal injury at work, it is vital to provide evidence of your employer’s negligence as well as any injuries you have sustained. Therefore, you might be wondering about how to prove negligence at work.
Below are some examples of the evidence you could collect that could help support your claim and prove that negligence occurred:
- Any footage of the accident, such as CCTV footage or any other videos.
- Photographs of the accident scene.
- Photographs of any visible injuries, for example, of any cuts or lacerations.
- A copy of your medical records stating the injury you suffered and the treatment you required.
- A record in your workplace accident book (if one is onsite).
- The details of any witnesses to your accident so they can be contacted for a statement later on.
Contact our advisors to discuss your potential claim today. Additionally, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel who could help you gather evidence for your claim.
There are two heads of claim to consider when discussing compensation totals. Many compensation payouts for workplace accidents consist of general damages and special damages.
General damages are paid to the claimant to address the pain and suffering experienced due to the injury. They can be calculated using a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG includes a list of various injuries and corresponding possible compensation brackets.
Below we have included a compensation table that lists some example figures from the JCG. Please note that these figures are for illustrative purposes since each claim is unique. If you’d like a more accurate estimate of what you could claim, why not reach out to our advisors?
|Epilepsy||(a) Established Grand Mal||£102,000 to £150,110|
|Injuries to the Pelvis and Hips||(b) Moderate (i): significant injury but no major risk of future disability||£26,590 to £39,170|
|Deafness/Tinnitus||(v) Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight Noise-Induced Hearing Loss||£7,360 to £12,590|
|Chest Injuries||(d) Damage to the chest and lung(s) that causes continuing disability||£31,310 to £54,830
|Chest Injuries||(g) Rib fractures or soft tissue injuries that cause serious pain and some disability over some weeks only||Up to £3,950
|Neck Injuries||(c) Minor (i): Where a full recovery takes place within a period of about one to two years.||£4,350 to
Other Amounts For A Personal Injury At Work – Special Damages
You may be wondering, ‘an accident at work was my fault, could I still claim special damages?’. As discussed, you would not be able to make a claim if you were entirely at fault for an accident. However, if the claim involves split liability or your employer is entirely liable, you might be able to recover special damages.
This is compensation for expenses incurred due to your injury. However, to claim special damages, it is likely that you will need to prove your costs.
Examples of special damages you might be able to recover in a personal injury claim include:
- Loss of earnings. This can include present and future losses as well as your pension contributions.
- Home help. For example, you may need help with cleaning, landscaping and gardening or childcare while you recover.
- Medical expenses. This could recover money spent on cosmetic surgery or smaller expenses, such as prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines.
- Adaptations to your home or vehicle. For example, if you need a wheelchair due to a permanent leg injury, a ramp can be installed.
If you suffered a personal injury at work, call our advisors. They can value your claim for free.
Some specialist roles require specific training and/or equipment to carry them out properly. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure you have adequate training and are able to use the correct equipment as instructed.
Should your accident occur because of a lack of either of these, your employer may not have fulfilled their legal responsibility. If it causes you injury, you could claim.
If your accident was due to faulty or poorly-maintained equipment then it may have been captured on CCTV. You have a right to request any footage of yourself captured by CCTV.
Most workplaces have an accident logbook that you should ensure is filled out. All workplace injuries, no matter how minor, must be recorded in this book.
The report should consist of a written account of what happened as well as any injuries sustained. Witness accounts could also feature, where possible.
If your company has ten or more employees, you should have an accident log book. If not, or there are less than ten employees, you should try to report the accident (including date, time and how it happened) to the appropriate person in writing.
An accident at work questionnaire could also be seen as the questions that need to be asked following a workplace accident. Sometimes, accidents need to be investigated.
You may be able to note:
- What happened
- How it happened
- The injuries you sustained
- What date and time it happened
When tackling the issue of how to prove you had an accident at work, the resulting account is among the pieces of evidence you can use.
The matter of how to prove you had an accident at work can become immaterial if you miss the claims deadline. Generally, claiming for workplace injuries will have a time limit of 3 years. There are, however, certain exceptions to this timeframe.
General Accident Claims
Generally, the time limit is 3 years from the date of the accident. However, it is possible for the start date to be one other than when the accident took place. If you gain knowledge that your injuries were caused or worsened by negligence at a later date, then this can be a relevant start date for the 3-year time limit. This alternate date is known as the date of knowledge.
Child Accident Claims
For underage claimants, the 3-year limit only starts on their 18th birthday. Prior to this date, the time limit is suspended but they cannot legally pursue their own claim. However, a parent, guardian, friend, or another eligible adult can pursue a claim on their behalf as a litigation friend.
Claiming on Behalf of Someone with a Reduced Mental Capacity
If someone lacks the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend could do so on their behalf. However, if the person recovers mental capacity, they would have 3 years to claim from the date of recovery.
When reading up on how to prove you had an accident at work, you’ll find a number of key steps you could take. The process can be confusing, so we’ve listed some of the main ones below.
- Seek medical care. It’s important that you prioritise your own health. Any medical treatment you receive should also generate viable evidence to use during your case.
- Gather evidence. Photographs, witness statements and medical reports can be used as evidence.
- Seek legal advice. Our advisors can supply you with important information and advice. They’re available 24/7 and you won’t be under any obligation to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors.
It’s possible to pursue a personal injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Working in this way means that you won’t be responsible for paying your lawyer’s legal fees unless your claim is successful.
Should you win your case, your lawyer will be paid via a legally capped percentage from your compensation. However, you’ll be able to discuss this deduction with the solicitor beforehand.
Other benefits include:
- Not having to pay lawyers fees upfront.
- Not paying ongoing lawyer fees.
Our panel of lawyers offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. Call our expert advisors today and we may be able to offer you the chance to work with our panel of solicitors under a No Win No Fee agreement too.
- You can call us on 020 3870 4868
- Use the live chat window in the bottom right corner
- Use the claim online form on our website
We’ve also included some additional links regarding this topic and related subjects.
- Statistics on non-fatal injuries at work in Great Britain.
- Government information on litigation friends.
- How do I know if I’ve broken a bone?
- How to claim if you’re injured at work.
- How long do you have to claim for industrial hearing loss?
- How long do you have to report a car accident?
Accident at work, how long to claim?
You will often have 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim. There are exceptions to this rule such as:
- Detecting injuries at a later date
- Claiming for children
- Claiming for individuals with a reduced mental capacity
I had an accident at work, what are my rights in the UK?
As an employee, your rights are (but not limited to) to be able to make an honest compensation claim against your employer. You’re also entitled to statutory sick pay if you’re eligible.
Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?
If your employer dismisses you for making an honest claim against them, this would be unlawful. If they do so, you may also be able to claim for unfair dismissal too.
What are an employer’s responsibilities after an accident at work in the UK?
Your employer has a legal duty of care to take reasonable measures to ensure the working conditions are safe for all of their employees. If someone under their employ sustains an injury because of a breach of this duty, the employee could claim. If this is the case, it’s vital to know how to prove you had an accident at work.
Checked by HT