Answers to Legal Questions on Accidents at Work - Prolegal

Answers to Legal Questions on Accidents at Work

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Here we answer some common questions about accidents in the workplace.

If I have been injured at work what are my rights to sick pay?

Your entitlement to sick pay is the same as it would be if you were off work through any form of illness, and you should check your contract of employment. The minimum entitlement if your contract does not provide enhanced benefits is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You qualify for SSP if you are off work for 4 days or more, and it is payable for up to 28 weeks. Currently SSP is £85.85 per week. If your injury was caused by your employer, you are entitled to recover any lost earnings in full for all the time you miss work due to your injuries as part of your claim.

Can I be sacked if I have an accident at work and make a claim?

Most responsible employers accept that an employee injured at work has the right to make a claim. All employers are required by law to carry insurance, and in most cases, making a claim has no impact on the employer/employee relationship.

If you suffer a "detriment" or are dismissed because you report a health and safety problem or breach of legal duty, you could bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Click here for more information.

I have had an accident at work and my employer has asked me to sign a compromise agreement, what should I do next?

Do not sign a compromise agreement without speaking to a solicitor, and ensure that you advise the solicitor that you have had an accident at work.

I work with vulnerable people and have been injured in the course of my employment can I bring a claim and if I can who is it against?

You may be able to bring a claim against your employers. If you are injured as a result of an assault by a vulnerable person, and your employers could by taking reasonable precautions for your safety have prevented the assault, your claim would lie against your employers.

What happens if my injury is so severe I can never work again?

Your compensation award will compensate you for the earnings you would have received for the rest of your working life. In addition to this you can claim all losses and expenses arising as a result of the injuries sustained. This includes the cost of moving home, adaptations, carers, physiotherapy, surgery, gardeners, cleaners, builders, adapted vehicles, assistive technology, wheelchairs, pension losses, aids & equipment. It is crucial in such cases to establish that your employer was to blame as early on as possible so that payments can begin straight away. Compensation awards can be paid in a lump sum or part of it can be paid as an annual payment for the rest of your life.

Will my employer be financially out of pocket if I bring a claim?

That will depend on the terms your employer has negotiated with their employers' liability insurers. There is no equivalent to the policy excess you find in car insurance in this type of insurance, but sometimes the insurance provides that the employer will pay claims below a certain value.

How should I report an accident in the workplace?

You should follow whatever procedure your employer has in place for accident report. Generally you should fill out an Accident Report Form or record an entry in the Accident Book. Make sure you complete the accident description yourself if possible, and either way insist on a copy. Try to be concise without going into too much additional detail. Whatever the procedure in place at work, always ensure there is a written record of the accident, don't just tell your supervisor and expect them to complete a report form. If you then attend your GP or a hospital ensure you tell them what happened as well.

What happens if a colleague or a customer is to blame for my accident?

Your employer is liable for the actions of your co-workers, so if a colleague is to blame your can claim against your employer. The position is less clear-cut if the cause of injury is a customer, but your employer has a duty to ensure that you are kept safe from harm whilst in the course of your employment, so if there were reasonable steps your employer could have taken to prevent the accident, you may be able to claim against your employer.

What can I be compensated for if I had an accident at work?

To the extent that your employer is to blame, you can recover compensation for pain, lost earnings, medical expenses, care (including care provided by family and friends), DIY, gardening, travel expenses, aids & equipment, and in fact any loss or expense caused as a result of your injuries. Try to keep a record of what you have lost and any receipts.

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