Accidents at work: frequently asked questions

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From accidents involving machinery or other people, to a trip or fall – unfortunately, accidents in the workplace can and do happen.

So what does an injured worker do when they face being unable to work or live their life as normal due to an accident which wasn’t their fault?

There are various companies within the personal injury sector who an injured person could turn to when thinking of making a claim. These include the National Accident Helpline, which has 25 years’ experience and expertise in handling claims for accidents at work.

Here, we look at some of the frequently asked questions around the process of making a compensation claim for a workplace accident.

What is the law on accidents at work?

Every employer, no matter how large or small the company, has a legal duty of care to the people who work for them.

This means that companies must provide the correct training and protection for employees and provide them with a working environment which is well maintained and reduces the risk of an accident occurring.

What are the most common accidents in the workplace?

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips and falls on the same level are the most common type of workplace injury, followed by lifting and handling injuries, and injuries resulting from employees being struck by an object.

The nature of working environments can vary dramatically by industry, and it’s important to remember that accidents of all kinds can occur in all types of workplaces – from offices and factories to farms and medical or care settings.

What kinds of accidents and injuries at work can I claim for?

There is no such thing as a standard work accident – accidents can vary from an incident on a construction site, in a warehouse or a factory, to a repetitive strain injury sustained as a result of the way an office workstation has been set up.

In short, injuries and accidents at work come in all guises, but anyone who has been injured in an accident at work which was somebody else’s fault may be able to make a compensation claim.

Is there a time limit on making a claim?

Employees who could have a claim for a workplace accident have three years from the date of the accident or diagnosis of a medical condition to get their claim underway.

Leaving it too late could prevent the claim from progressing, as a solicitor must follow certain processes which unfortunately means that cases which are three months from the 36 month deadline stand little chance of being lodged in time.

What if I am self employed?

If a work environment in which a self-employed person is expected to work for any length of time is unsafe, or if they weren’t given the proper training before starting the job and suffer a personal injury as a result, they may have a case for compensation.

The National Accident Helpline offers further information on the rights of self-employed workers on its website.

How do I start the process of making a claim?

There are various companies operating within the personal injury industry which can help someone injured in the workplace to investigate making a compensation claim.

The National Accident Helpline gives free, impartial advice to anyone who has experienced an accident which wasn’t their fault and its team of Legal Support Advisors are available seven days a week to chat through any case, with no pressure for the caller to start a claim.