Workplace accidents occur in a variety of employment settings, while no environment is immune. RIDDOR documented 65,427 injuries during 2019/20.
When you’ve suffered workplace accidents, you’re not always clear minded as to what to do next from a legal perspective. Your primary concern is receiving treatment for an injury via whatever means necessary.
We’re here to take care of all the complicated legal proceedings following an accident, but if you immediately suspect the accident was due to another’s negligence then there are a few things you can do that will help further down the line when making a claim.
OK. So, What Should I Do in the Immediate Aftermath of Sustaining a Work-based Injury?
Below we outline the steps you should take to ensure that you’re not only in a position to make a full recovery from an injury suffered in a workplace accident, but so you are also in an advantageous place to gain fair compensation from the pain, inconvenience and loss of earnings.
To have the best chance of achieving this objective, we suggest making a record of the events which comprised the backdrop to any workplace accidents. Which you’ll need to later present to a claims management company to progress your case.
Circumstantial evidence includes taking photographs of both the injury which befell you and whatever was responsible for the accident. Jotting down notes and perhaps even sketching the scenario are also good ways of capturing the details which otherwise might fade over time.
By a similar token, asking any witnesses to your accident to make notes and share them with you would be extremely helpful when it comes to lending more weight to any subsequent claim. At the same time, ensuring that you have the contact details of any witnesses to your workplace accident adds further credence.
What Are the Most Important Steps Employees Should Take After Workplace Accidents?
Slips, trips and falls represent some of the main reasons people end up in A&E every year, while other root causes of workplace injuries include lack of protective equipment, inadequate training and the negligence of fellow employees.
Below we explain the all-important steps you should follow after being involved in a workplace accident which wasn’t your fault. Adhere to these and you’ll be in a favourable position in terms of being eligible for a personal injury claim.
- First things first, administering first aid is paramount. Depending on the severity of the injury, you can do this yourself (if needs be), ask a work colleague to assist you or enlist the help of your company’s training first aid officer.
- Next you should report your injury to your manager, team leader or supervisor. They can also ensure that you promptly receive the medical attention that your injury necessitates.
- It’s imperative that an employee logs details of their injury in an accident book. However minor they might be, an entry confirms that the injury was suffered on your employer’s premises and during acknowledged work time. Sign it and maintain a copy if possible. Otherwise note what happened and email details to management when next convenient. Ensure you have access to this paper trail if you have to take time off work.
- Notify the Health & Safety Executive of the accident ASAP. RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) is the official body to which employers have a duty to report any accident occurring in the workplace and where an injury befalls an employee.
- Make sure you get photos of both your injuries AND the immediate vicinity of where the accident happened. Capturing video footage would also be beneficial to your personal injury claim thereafter, and could potentially be a valuable asset to possess in terms of evidence.
- Get statements from any witnesses to your accident. Initially ask them for their contact details and ask them to provide you with a description of what they observed as soon as possible. It’s hugely important to do this, as many people fail to, wrongly believing the extent of their injury doesn’t warrant a claim pursuit. Only for it to transpire later that the injury is more serious than originally thought. By that time anyone who witnessed the accident may no longer be traceable or could have forgotten specific details that could help your case.
- Obtaining medical evidence/reports is crucial. Based on the extent of your injury you may have needed to consult with a GP or visit your nearest hospital. Recorded details from healthcare providers will form the bedrock of any evidence later required to make a personal injury claim. We can also help source an expert who will oversee your case for compensation against an employee for negligence.
- Keep any receipts for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of your accident at work. Think outpatient appointments travel receipts, medication, pay slips re: work absences etc. All hugely relevant. You might have even required care workers to tend to an injury, so it’s vital you maintain records of your recovery and rehabilitation.
- Loss of earnings needs to be accounted for when blame for an accident at work is apportioned to either an employer or work colleague’s negligence. Statutory sick pay as an entitlement only covers a percentage of an employee’s normal salary, so there will be shortfalls which you need compensating for. If and when liability is admitted, then any financial losses experienced will be offset.
Get in touch with a claims management company like us ASAP, who will advise you and instruct one of their expert solicitors to work with you on putting a personal injury claims case together. They’ll also be responsible for liaison with insurance companies, arranging medical examinations and preparing reports for future court hearings.
Is There Anything I Definitely Shouldn’t Do?
Yes. Never, under any circumstances, admit your fault. Irrespective of any pressure you might find yourself under when involved in any workplace accidents, don’t ever accept any blame. Avoid signing any documentation to that end – ie, accepting certain responsibility – as doing so will work against any future personal injury claim you choose to pursue.
What Is My Next Step?
As per the last entry in the above list, get in touch with DIYPI as soon as you can after being involved in a workplace accident which wasn’t your fault. The sooner you do, the sooner our expert panel of personal injury solicitors can get to work on your case ensuring you receive a fair and just claims trial to receive the full compensation you deserve.