Accidents at Work. Everything you need to know

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1 Accidents at Work Everything you need to know

2 Falling from ladders, slipping on a wet floor, lifting a heavy item, cutting yourself on a machine. Even in the 21st Century the workplace is still dangerous with employees being injured in many different ways. Your Rights If your employer is at fault, negligent or in breach of Health and Safety Regulations you are entitled to compensation. The action you take immediately after the accident can be crucial in determining whether you win your claim. You must insist that the accident is entered into the accident book accurately. Do not sign any documents unless you agree 100% that they are correct. It is also a good idea to record the names and contact details of any witnesses. If they are willing they can even at this early stage write and sign an informal statement and give it to you. If appropriate take a photograph. If you go to hospital or your GP, make sure that it is recorded that you had an accident at work.

3 Seeking Legal Advice You should ensure you are referred to a specialist solicitor. EAD Solicitors have a large team of lawyers specialising in accidents at work. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be interviewed, at a time and place convenient to you. A full statement will be taken whilst the accident details are still fresh in your mind. Likewise arrangements will be made to interview any witnesses who support your case.

4 Compensation You will be paid compensation for the injury itself. The amount will depend on the type and severity of the injury. The Courts have laid down guidelines. Examples of awards are: A moderate ankle fracture: between 8,500-17,000 A serious fracture to the cheekbone: between 6,500-10,000 Total loss of index finger: 12,000 Whiplash with a recovery period of 12 months: Up to 2,750 In addition you will be re-paid any loss of earnings. This may not always be obvious particularly if your employer pays you during any absence. However you are entitled to any loss of bonus, overtime, good time keeping allowance, night shift allowance and more. A claim will also be made for any loss of pension rights. If the injury is serious you may not be able to continue in your old job and consideration will be given to a claim for compensation for any prejudice on the labour market.

5 Time Limits A strict time limit of 3 years from the date of your accident applies. Within those 3 years you must either settle your claim or issue court proceedings. It is therefore crucial to seek legal advice without delay.

6 What happens next?

7 What happens next? A detailed letter is sent to your employers setting out the basis of your claim i.e. the negligence and breach of regulations alleged. A request will also be made in this letter for wage information both before and after the accident to calculate your loss of earnings. Your employers must by law have insurance cover for your accident and will pass your solicitor s letter to their Insurers. The Personal Injury Protocol then applies. The Insurers must within 3 months either admit liability or if liability is denied, disclose all relevant documents e.g. accident reports, risk assessments etc. If they fail to do so your Solicitors can at this stage immediately issue an Application to the Court for an order for disclosure of documents. Your Solicitors will also obtain any relevant GP, Hospital, Walk in Centre, Physiotherapy or other medical records. Arrangements will also be made for you to be medically examined and a full medical report prepared, detailing your injuries and the likely period of time before you will recover or alternatively if there is any permanent disability. In most cases a settlement will be negotiated with the Insurance Company, but if liability is denied or agreement cannot be reached on the amount of compensation, court proceedings will be necessary. A formal court document called the Particulars of Claim will be prepared and sent to you for signature. The Particulars of Claim will set out your case in detail and your employers must respond by serving a document called a Defence. A judge will then order exchange of all documents and statements as well as expert medical evidence. Claims often settle at this stage. If there is still no settlement there will be a trial. This is before a Judge sitting without a Jury. Please do not be alarmed as very few cases ever reach trial. Even if your claim does proceed to trial you will be represented by an experienced barrister or solicitor.

8 Frequently asked questions How do I know if I am able to make a claim? If you have had an accident in the workplace and you believe that the accident was not your fault or that it was the fault of either your employer or a work colleague, then you should contact EAD Solicitors and ask them about pursuing a claim. We will meet with you in person to discuss the accident with you and then use our expertise to assess whether your claim has any merit and whether you are able to take matters further. Can my employer make things difficult for me at work or even sack me if I make a claim? Your employer should not treat you differently in any way if you submit a claim in respect of an accident at work. Once a claim is submitted, it is passed to and dealt with by the company s insurers rather than the company itself. If you are treated less favourably after submitting a claim, or if your employer tries to take measures to discipline or punish you for doing so, you should contact your solicitor immediately as you may have a remedy under Employment Law.

9 What can I claim for? If liability for the accident is admitted by your employer you can seek compensation both for the injuries you suffered (known as General Damages) and also any losses and expenses you have incurred as a direct consequence of the accident and the injuries you sustained (known as Special Damages). Therefore, you should keep a record of any expenses you incur as a result of your injuries and keep any receipts, as this will assist us in seeking reimbursement of those sums to you at the conclusion of the claim. Will I have to go through and fill in loads of paperwork? There will be some paperwork to complete at the start of the claim, including questionnaires regarding the accident and any losses and expenses you may have incurred, and authorities allowing access to your various records. However, this is only to assist us in bringing the matter to a conclusion as quickly as possible for you, and once these documents have been completed at the outset of the claim we should then be able to deal with and take care of everything on your behalf. How much is my claim likely to be worth? The value of your personal injury claim (General Damages) will depend upon the medical opinion of an expert, who we will instruct to examine you, review your relevant medical records and then provide an opinion and prognosis setting out the nature and extent of your injuries. This will help us to place a value on the claim, which we will do by looking at the medical opinion in conjunction with the Judicial College Guidelines, which set out the appropriate range of damages that should be awarded for all types of injuries.

10 How long will the claim take? It is difficult to give a precise answer to this question as every claim is different. However, the initial part of a claim is regulated by certain guidelines and time limits that the parties are required to follow. Once we have obtained instructions from you regarding the accident we will then send out a letter of claim to your employers, advising them of your intention to pursue a claim for compensation. Your employers then have 21 days in which to respond to the letter and instruct their insurers to deal with the claim and notify us of their interest. The insurers then have a maximum of 3 months to conclude their investigations into the issue of liability for the accident. They will then advise us whether they are prepared to accept liability and open negotiations regarding a settlement, or whether they are disputing liability. If liability is admitted then we can hopefully try to settle the claim at that stage, but if it is disputed then the claim is likely to take much longer to bring to a conclusion. Will I have to go to Court? If your employers dispute that they are liable for your accident, or if no agreement can be reached over what is an appropriate value of your compensation for your injuries, then your claim may end up going to Court. This does not happen in the vast majority of claims and most claims are brought to a conclusion one way or the other before the matter gets anywhere near a Court hearing. However, you should be aware that ultimately you may be required to attend at Court to give evidence in order to bring the matter to a conclusion. If this does happen though you should not worry as your solicitor will advise you fully beforehand about what to expect. the day.

11 It s your right! Access to the considerable amount of experience at EAD Solicitors is easy. Useful Contact Information Please contact So if you are injured in an accident at work, speak to one of our solicitors today. It s your right to seek compensation.

12 If you have any questions about anything in this leaflet please call us on Alternatively please EAD Solicitors LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England (registered number OC334289) and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (487037). A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office Prospect House, Columbus Quay, Liverpool, L3 4DB, together with a list of those non-members who are designated as partners. Any reference to a partner in relation to the LLP means a member or employee of, or consultant to, the LLP.

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