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Workplace accident? Here’s what to do

Workplace accident? Here’s what to do

Being involved in an accident at work can be a distressing and confusing time, and even more so if you have suffered an injury as a result.

Employers have a duty to ensure your work environment is safe, and that you are provided with the necessary training and equipment to be able to complete your work safely. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and many workplace accidents occur as a result of employer’s or co-worker’s negligence.

If you’ve been injured in an accident at work and can show that it wasn’t your fault, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Following the correct procedure after a workplace accident will ensure that you have the best chance to claim the compensation you deserve.

When should I report an accident at work?

It’s important to report a workplace accident as soon after the accident as possible. Report the accident to your line manager or the next person in charge if your manager is not available. Ensure you follow the correct accident reporting procedure set out by your organisation.

If you have suffered a serious accident at work, then your employer is legally obliged to report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive (depending on the precise circumstances and the time that you need off work).

Your employer is required by law to keep an accident book at work – ensure that this is filled out accurately with important details including that of any witnesses. If someone else completes the accident report book, check that the details are correct before you sign it.

If you do not have an accident book at work, report the accident in writing to your line manager and keep a copy of this report for yourself.

If you were working alone at the time of your accident at work, ensure your colleagues are made aware of the incident. This is important if you later decide to make a claim for compensation, or if there is an investigation. It means your employer and their insurers cannot dispute the occurrence of the accident, something which, unfortunately, can often happen.

If you seek medical attention

If you have to attend A&E after the accident, ensure that the hospital staff accurately record the details of your injury in your medical records. Similarly, if you attend your GP for treatment or advice, or for a doctor’s note or medical statement, again make sure that the GP records how the accident happened accurately.

Collecting evidence

Photo and video evidence can be vital if you want to make a compensation claim because of the injuries you have suffered in the accident at work and help defend you from any false accusations from your employer.

Provided your employer will not penalise you for using your phone, and that it is safe to do so, take photos and videos of the accident location showing as much detail as possible. Having this compelling evidence available will ensure that your employer does not try to ‘fix’ the accident location in an attempt to hamper your claim.

What if I haven’t recorded my accident in the accident book?

Even if you haven’t reported your accident in the accident book at work, you can still make a claim. If your colleagues can verify that the accident took place, or if you told your GP about it, this can strengthen your claim.

Keep a record of all of your symptoms

If you have suffered an injury, or multiple injuries, it’s imperative that you keep an up to date list of your symptoms as doctors and nurses do not always make a full record of all of your symptoms.

What may seem like a minor injury at the time of the accident can often turn into a long-term, debilitating condition. However, if the minor injury isn’t recorded at your appointment, then a medical expert who has been instructed to write a report some months or even years later will find it difficult to attribute the injury to your accident at work.

Personal injury claims can also take several years to resolve, particularly so if the injuries are complex and long lasting. Keeping a diary of symptoms will assist you in explaining the impact of your accident at work to medical experts, since memories naturally fade over time.

Keep a record of your expenses and losses

If you lost pay as a result of the accident, then you should be able to recover all lost pay. Similarly, if you have lost the chance to earn a bonus or a promotion, then all those future losses should be recoverable too.

In addition to the compensation for your injury you can also claim for things like sick pay, travel expenses, hospital parking, and compensation for the time family members or friends spend helping you. It is therefore very important to keep a record of all expenditure and to keep receipts to give your personal injury solicitor as much information as possible to help your claim.

How can I make a claim?

If you feel your workplace accident was not your fault, you should speak to a specialist accident at work personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity. Your solicitor will assist you in getting together all the information you need to make a claim against the responsible party, in this case your employers.

As a leading provider of personal injury law services, Kerr Brown has developed a great deal of experience in acting for clients who have suffered an injury at work.

If you would like to work with a friendly, reliable and client focused team of solicitors to find out if you are entitled to compensation, speak to our team today for a free consultation with no pressure or obligation on you to proceed further. Contact us now via our online contact form or call us on 0141 413 9646 today.

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