What are Personal Injury at Work Claims?
If you were to sustain a personal injury at work in an accident for which you were not to blame, you may be eligible to make personal injury at work claims for compensation. Compensation claims for a personal injury at work are legal civil actions which can be made when the employer for who you are working has a responsibility for your health and safety and has failed in his or her “duty of care” to prevent an accident from occurring which has resulted in you sustaining a personal injury at work.
What is meant by an Employer´s “Duty of Care”?
In order to justifiably claim compensation for a personal injury at work, it has to be proven that your employer was negligent by failing to identify a risk of injury and remove, repair or replace the hazard to prevent a personal injury accident from occurring – and that your employer´s negligence in failing to make your work environment safe resulted in you sustaining an injury in an accident at work. This breach in their duty of care makes your employer liable for your injury and gives you the right to make personal injury at work claims for compensation.
However, even justifiable personal injury at work claims may not always be successful as an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute”. This means that if a hazard at work had only recently materialised – such as if you tripped on a box which had just been left on the floor – and your employer did not have a reasonable period of time in which to identify the hazard and remove the risk of an injury, it may not always be possible to prove liability for a personal injury at work. For this reason, it is always in your best interests to discuss your personal injury accident with a lawyer to establish that you are qualified to make a compensation claim for a personal injury at work.
Your Health Comes before Compensation for a Work Injury
When making a claim for a personal injury at work, in addition to establishing that your employer was in breach of his or her duty of care, it is also important to prove that your accident resulted in an injury. Consequently it is vital that, after sustaining a personal injury at work, you receive professional medical attention as soon as possible. By immediately visiting the nearest hospital, the injury will be recorded in your medical notes along with any ongoing treatment or long term consequences to your health.
If you waited until you returned home to seek professional medical attention, or relied on first aid administered at work, it could be claimed by your employer that your injuries were not significant enough to warrant hospital attention, or that you contributed to the extent of your personal injury by delaying a professional examination. If this is the case, you will still be entitled to make personal injury at work claims, but how much compensation for a personal injury at work you receive may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
Making Compensation Claims for a Personal Injury at Work
Once it can be determined that you have suffered a personal injury in an accident attributable to your employer´s breach in his or her duty of care, you can make compensation claims for a personal injury at work. The procedure for claiming compensation for a personal injury is that your lawyer will write to your employer, advising him or her that you are making a claim for being injured on their premises, and your employer – or more frequently, their public liability insurers – then has 90 days to conduct their own investigation into your personal injury accident and advise your lawyer whether they will accept liability for your injuries.
If liability for your personal injury is accepted by your employer, your lawyer will liaise with their liability insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of compensation for a personal injury at work. Should liability for your injuries be contested, your lawyer will issue court proceedings – an action which often initiates an offer of personal injury at work compensation from the company´s insurers, who may be reluctant to take a chance on the outcome of your personal injury at work compensation claim and keen to save money on potential court costs.
As offers of settlement for personal injury at work claims may be made to you directly by the insurance company, it is advisable to be aware of how much compensation for a work injury you may be entitled to in order that you do not inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer and are undercompensated. Should you accept an offer of personal injury at work compensation which is inadequate for your needs, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more!
How Much Can I Claim for a Personal Injury at Work?
How much compensation for a work injury you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to your accident at work. The way in which the personal injury affects your quality of life will also be taken into account, and it is advisable that you maintain a diary in order to record the occasions when you are unable to perform day-to-day tasks or participate in leisure and social pursuits because of your injury at work.
Any expenses you have incurred for medical treatment can be recovered in a claim for a personal injury at work, along with any costs for alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and any loss of earnings if the personal injury prevents you from working. Consequently, no two personal injury at work claims are the same – even though the nature of injuries may be identical – and this is a good reason why you should always seek professional legal advice when making personal injury at work claims for compensation.
“Contingency Fee” Personal Injury at Work Claims
Most lawyers will offer a free initial assessment of your personal injury accident and advise you whether you have a claim for a work injury which is worth your while to pursue. Should you have a personal injury at work claim which has a strong probability of success, you will be offered legal representation on a “Contingency Fee” basis.
“Contingency Fee” personal injury at work claims enable you to pursue compensation for a work injury without having to worry about lawyer´s fees if your claim for personal injury at work compensation is unsuccessful. However, as you may be liable for your employer´s legal fees if your case is lost, lawyers offering “Contingency Fee” personal injury at work claims will want to know of any legal fees insurance you may have attached to a household contents or car insurance policy and will recommend that you to take out additional protection if necessary.
Free Legal Advice about Personal Injury at Work Claims
If you have suffered an injury at work in an accident for which you were not to blame, you are invited to call our freephone service and discuss the circumstances of your personal injury accident directly with an experienced work injury lawyer. Our lawyer will provide you with practical and helpful advice which is relative to your claim for a work injury and answer any questions you may have about claiming compensation for a personal injury at work.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for a personal injury at work once you have spoken with us and all conversations between yourself and our lawyers are completely confidential. We would advise that you speak with us as soon as possible after you have received professional medical attention for your work injury to maximise the likelihood of a successful claim for a personal injury at work.