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Claiming for an Accident at Work: A Guide

If you have suffered an accident at work, you could be entitled to compensation. All employers in the UK have an obligation to ensure employees and visitors to the place of work are kept safe from injury. If they fail in this obligation, you should be compensated for your pain, suffering and loss. We regularly help clients make successful claims following an accident, so we understand some of the concerns that you may have.

In this guide, we set out the basics of making a claim for an accident at work. If you think that you have a claim, or if you have further questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our team. You can call us on 01312255214. or complete our online enquiry form, and we will get back to you without delay.

Can I claim for an accident at work?

If you have suffered an accident at work in the last three years, you may be able to make a claim. In order to bring a successful claim, we must demonstrate the following:

  • Your employer had a legal duty to take reasonable care to prevent your injury. We call this a 'duty of care'.
  • That your employer breached this duty of care
  • As a result of the breach, you suffered an injury.

These are the three fundamental factors required to make a claim, and we will look at each in more detail below. However, there can be further complications. Some examples include if you were technically self-employed or employed by an agency, or if your employer has gone into liquidation, or the business no longer exists. Even under these circumstances, you may still be able to make a claim, and we can guide you through the process.

What are my employer's duties?

Your employer has a legal obligation to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees in the workplace. The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out the health and safety rules which govern the actions your employer must take to protect your health and safety at work. Generally, your employer must ensure:

  • You are provided with safe work equipment
  • All employees are adequately trained to ensure safe methods of working
  • The workplace is safe and kept reasonably clear of hazards

Do the regulations apply to my place of work?

The regulations apply to all workplaces and almost all work activity - you don't need to have worked in an inherently dangerous environment to have a claim for an accident at work. Typical workplace claims that we often deal with include:

  • Slips, trips and falls 
  • Lifting and manual handling
  • Faulty, unsafe or lack of work equipment or PPE
  • Contact with electricity
  • Being hit by a moving vehicle or object
  • Being trapped or crushed by an overturned or collapsed structure
  • Contact with moving machinery
  • Working at height
  • Control of substances hazardous to health
  • Working with display screens

This list is not exhaustive, and we routinely deal with a wide variety of claims arising from accidents at work.

Has my employer breached health and safety regulations?

Part of making a claim means proving that your employer has breached their duty of care and failed in their obligations towards you. Your employer must identify any reasonable risks which you could be faced within the workplace. Then, they must take steps to control or mitigate these risks. To fulfil this obligation, your employer may: 

  • Carry out regular risk assessments which identify risks and how these might be controlled.
  • Have a Health & Safety policy document which sets out your employer's approach to health & safety.
  • Create method statements outlining how to complete a task while avoiding the risk of injury.
  • Provide adequate training to all employees, including how to manage and prevent the risks identified in the risk statement. There should also be a plan in place for keeping training up to date.

Can I make a claim if my accident was caused by a fellow employee?

Yes. You can still bring a claim against your employer if another employee caused your accident. Your employer has a responsibility to ensure that all employees understand how to carry out their role correctly, and how to behave in the workplace to avoid accidents.

How long do I have to make an accident at work claim?

Generally, you have three years to make a claim for an accident at work. The time limit will start on the date of the accident and will end three years from that date. As a result, it is essential that if you want to make a claim, you get in contact with an experienced accident at work claims solicitor right away. There are, however, exceptions to the three-year time limit. These are if:

  • You are bringing a claim on behalf of a loved one who no longer has the mental capacity to bring a claim for themselves.
  • An injury was caused by defective work equipment; this may affect how long you have to bring a claim.
  • The accident occurred while you were working abroad; this might affect the length of time you have to bring a claim. Different countries have different time limits, which may be shorter than three years. For example, in Spain, the time limit is one year from the date of recovery or estimated recovery.

We offer a free, initial consultation to help you understand whether you can make a successful claim and how best to proceed. Start your claim with our experts today.

Contact Lawford Kidd's Accident at Work Lawyers Today - Edinburgh, Glasgow & Across Scotland

If you have suffered an accident at work, we can help. We offer a free initial consultation to help you understand the prospects of success. We may also be able to work with you on a 100% compensation, no-win-no-fee basis when bringing a claim against your employer or their insurers. There are strict time limits for bringing a claim, so don't delay, contact us as soon as possible. Click here to begin your claim or call us on 01312255214..

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