Having an accident at work can be particularly difficult if you are the victim. Very often you will have a sense of loyalty to those you work for and with. At the very least it can be a bit awkward, telling someone you work for that you blame them for your accident, especially if it’s a small company.
The thing to remember is all companies must, by law, have employers liability insurance in place even if they have only one employee. Any claim you make will be referred to these insurers and very often, after completing a claim form, your actual employers will have little or no involvement in the case. For data protection reasons the insurers are not allowed to and won’t provide your employers with a ‘blow-by-blow’ account of how the claim is progressing. In short, after the initial claim is made things usually settle down and you can go back to work leaving the claim between your solicitors and the insurance company.
What are the first steps I should take?
Once you have prioritised dealing with your injuries, you will need to do your best to maintain the evidence of what actually happened. Practical tips include:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Follow the advice of those treating you and attend all follow-up sessions. Make sure all your injuries are recorded, even the more minor ones that might be easy to overlook.
- Take photographs of whatever it was that caused your accident and a general shot of the location. You can take photos of your injury too (especially any cuts or bruises), but the most important pictures are those relating to how your accident happened. Make sure you take wide view shots. A close-up picture of a hole in the ground is of limited use.
- Make sure you report your accident to management and ask for it to be put in the accident book. If it is a smaller company, a good idea is to email the relevant person telling them that you have had an accident but don’t provide too much detail at this stage. Get it on record!
- Don’t sign any accident book report yourself and be especially careful of agreeing or signing off any written history of how the accident happened.
- Take a note of the names of the people who witnessed your accident or anyone who can support you in an allegation of an unsafe method of work or dangerous machinery, even if they did not see the accident happen.
- Ask for any CCTV footage of the accident to be maintained and not recorded over. If you are worried about doing this, call us and we will do it for you free of charge.
- Keep a record of any time off work, loss of earnings, and financial losses you have incurred.
- If you can, take a photo of the employer’s liability insurance certificate which is, by law, supposed to be on display.
You don’t have to make your mind up about making a claim immediately and indeed many of our clients come to us months or even years after the accident, often when they have left the companies employment. It is worth remembering that you have three years to make a claim and the most important thing is to make sure evidence is not lost.
Ready to make an accident at work claim?
If you have had an accident work, the best advice is to contact us and we can let you know what to do and what your options are.
For all enquiries and free no-obligation advice, contact Dominic Moss on 01606 872200 or email us.
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