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Work Injury Claim

Work Injury in the UK

According to the latest statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 28.5 million working days were lost in the year to October 2010 due to work injury and work related illnesses. Although this represents a significant improvement from a decade ago (estimated at 39.8 million days lost), this still represents a loss of 1.2 days per employee each year due to accidents and illnesses in the work environment which could have been avoided.

Despite the great strides made in preventing work injury in the UK via the legislation and implementation of health and safety regulations, 152 workers suffered fatal physical work injuries in the course of their employment, 2,249 people died from mesothelioma cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and thousands more from other occupational cancers and diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Qualifying for a Work Injury Claim

The primary piece of UK work injury legislation is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This Act, and subsequent amendments, outlines an employer’s responsibilities to make the work environment a safe place to work in by means of risk assessments, training, provision of protective clothing or equipment and supervision where required. Large companies should also have designated health and safety managers and competent, trained first aid providers.

It is an employer’s responsibility to prevent work injury and, although some accidents happen which could not have been avoided, the Health and Safety Executive have the power to fine (or even close) businesses who do not comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act. Unfortunately, none of the fines imposed by the HSE go to the victims of work injury, and therefore, whenever you have sustained a work injury – or developed a work related illness – through the negligence of an employer, you are entitled to make a work injury claim.

Before Making a Work Injury Claim

If you have been injured in an accident at work, your first concern should be that of your health. Even when you feel your work injury is insignificant, it can manifest into something far more serious in later life – and no amount of injury compensation can ever make up for a physical disability which could have been prevented with timely medical intervention.

All businesses have to maintain an “Accident Report Book”, and the circumstances surrounding your UK work injury should be recorded in this book. If your injury is so serious that an ambulance is summoned, the paperwork should be left until after you are discharged from hospital, but a copy of this report – along with any witness statements and your medical records – will be required by your solicitor for compiling a work injury claim.

What Does A Work Injury Claim Include?

A work injury claim covers both damages for the physical or psychological work injury you have sustained, plus an amount to recompense any out-of-pocket expenses you have experienced due to being unable to work, drive, or the cost of visits to a medical centre for treatment. How much you receive for your work injury claim will depend on the severity of your injury and the length of time it may take for you to recover from your injury or illness.

You may also be able to claim special damages if, for example, you have had to pay for somebody else to take care of children or elderly relatives if you are unable to do so because of your injury or confinement to hospital. However, any state benefits you receive directly because of your work injury, will have to be repaid when your work injury claim is resolved. Your solicitor will be the best person to advise you on what is regarded as a qualified expense in your UK work injury claim.

Free Work Injury Claim Advice

Many people who sustain a work injury in the UK or acquire a work related illness are apprehensive about making a work injury claim because of potential repercussions from their employer, or they might have developed a good working relationship with their employer and do not wanted to upset this. Not only is it illegal for an employer to threaten your job when you are making a work injury claim against them, but a work injury claim is settled with the employer’s public liability insurers, and does not come out of their pockets directly.

If you would like to find out more about a work injury claim, discretely and in total confidence, you are invited to call our free claims advice service. Our service enables you to speak directly with an experienced work injury solicitor and discuss your entitlement to make a work injury claim. Our solicitors will be able to provide you with helpful and accurate advice about whether you have a work injury claim which is worth your while to pursue and, without obligation from you, give an indication of how much compensation you may receive.