Falls in the workplace can cause numerous injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to severe brain trauma. They can be due to various hazards, such as slippery floors, leaks, ungritted icy paths or uneven pavements.
Your employer has a duty to take all reasonable measures to protect your health and safety. If they have failed to do so and you had a fall at work, you may be able to claim compensation for any resulting injuries. This will cover your pain and suffering, as well as any financial losses related to your accident.
To learn more about the claims process, please continue reading. Alternatively, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 today or request a call back to start a fall at work claim with the help of experienced personal injury solicitors.
Can I make a fall at work claim?
Your employer has a legal duty to take all reasonable measures under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to keep you as safe as possible. If you are injured in a fall at work due to their negligence, you could be eligible to claim compensation for any resulting injuries.
The easiest way to see if you can claim is through a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyer partners. As a general rule, you may be entitled to compensation if:
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards you by being negligent
- Their negligence caused you to have a trip or fall at work
- You suffered injuries and other possible losses as a result within the last three years
Your solicitor will refer to the workplace legislation to prove a breach of duty. Importantly, you can start an accident at work claim even if your employer was not directly responsible for your injuries. For example, you could still be entitled to compensation if:
- You had a fall at work due to a co-worker’s negligence. In this case, your employer may still be liable for compensation under vicarious liability.
- Your accident was due to a faulty product, such as defective personal protective equipment. In this case, you may have a product liability claim against those who supplied or produced the equipment or against your employer for failing to carry out checks.
You can also make a fall at work compensation claim even if you were partially at fault for your accident. If you held less than 50% of the blame, you may receive a reduced award, which reflects your contributory negligence.
Common causes of slips, trips and falls at work
Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common workplace accidents. They can result in minor to severe injuries and can even be fatal. These accidents can be due to various factors, including:
- Wet or contaminated surfaces. Spills, leaks, or even rainwater can create slippery surfaces. Inadequate cleaning or warning signs can exacerbate this risk.
- Uneven flooring. Damaged, uneven, or poorly maintained floors can cause trips and falls.
- Obstacles. Objects left in walkways, cords, or cluttered workspaces can also create tripping hazards.
- Inadequate lighting. Poorly lit areas can make seeing potential hazards on the floor difficult, which may lead to a fall at work.
- Lack of handrails. Staircases without proper railings or ramps without non-slip surfaces can lead to falls.
- Improper footwear. Inadequate or poorly maintained footwear can increase the risk of slipping.
- Weather conditions. Rain, ice, or snow can make outdoor walkways, scaffolds and parking areas slippery.
- Lack of training. Inadequate training on how to recognise and avoid these hazards can contribute to accidents.
Your employer must take all reasonable measures to prevent such accidents. They must keep a safe and organised work environment, provide proper training and conduct regular risk assessments to identify hazards. A breach of their duties means you could make a claim for compensation.
Common injuries sustained from falling at work
Falls at work can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe. Common injuries following a fall at work include:
- Fractures. Falls can lead to broken bones, and the wrist, arm, hip, and ankle are particularly vulnerable. Hip fractures, in particular, can have serious consequences, especially for older workers.
- Sprains and strains. Landing awkwardly or attempting to break a fall can lead to sprained or strained muscles and ligaments. These injuries can be painful and require rehabilitation.
- Head injuries. You can also suffer a head injury as a result of a fall, ranging from a minor concussion to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Head injuries can have lasting effects on cognitive function.
- Back and spinal injuries. Falls can cause damage to the back and spinal cord, potentially leading to paralysis or long-term disability.
- Cuts and abrasions. Abrasions and lacerations from contact with sharp objects or surfaces are common in falls. Infections can result if wounds are not properly cleaned and treated.
- Bruises and contusions. Bruising is common after a fall due to the impact. While not usually severe, extensive bruising can be painful and take time to heal.
- Dislocations. Falls can result in joint dislocations, particularly in the shoulders and fingers. These often require prompt medical attention.
- Internal injuries. Falls can cause internal injuries, such as damage to internal organs or internal bleeding. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening if not treated.
- Emotional trauma. Beyond physical injuries, the emotional trauma of a fall can be significant. Workers may develop anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a fear of returning to work.
The type and severity of your injury will determine how much you are likely to receive if you were injured at work.
Employer duty of care to prevent a fall accident
Various legislations impose duties on employers to prevent or minimise the risk of falling at work, such as:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
- The Work at Height Regulations 2005
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Under these laws, your employer must do everything in their power to keep a safe place of work, which could include:
- Evaluate areas where employees may work at heights, such as on ladders, scaffolding, or rooftops, to identify potential fall hazards;
- Implement measures to prevent falls, such as using guardrails, safety nets, and fall arrest systems;
- Provide safe access to elevated work areas;
- Keep the premises, equipment and furniture well-maintained and safe for use;
- Ensure all walking spaces are clear of obstacles that could lead to a trip and fall;
- Provide training to employees to ensure they are aware of fall hazards and proper procedures for working at heights;
- Provide and maintain safe and appropriate equipment for employees who work at heights, such as ladders, scaffolds and safety harnesses;
- Install handrails, safety nets and anti-skid flooring in areas with a higher risk of falling;
- Avoid any work at height if there is a reasonable and safer alternative.
If you fall and suffer an injury at work because your employer has failed to follow the legislation, you could have grounds for a successful claim.
Evidence to support a fall at work accident claim
If you were injured in an accident at work and want to recover compensation, there are several things you should do. Even if your employer admits liability at the accident scene, you should collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. It is their insurance company that will pay your damages, and they will likely deny liability if you do not have evidence to prove:
- How the accident took place
- How your employer’s negligence caused it
- The injuries you sustained and how they have affected your life
The types of evidence you could use to support your case include:
- An accident report. If you have an accident at work, you should always report it to your employer. They should record it in the accident book and give you a signed copy that specifies the time, date and location of your fall.
- Medical records. The first thing you should do after a fall at work is seek medical care, even if your injuries seem minor. That will ensure you receive proper treatment and have evidence of your injuries, such as medical records and copies of X-rays and scans.
- Visual evidence. You can use photographs or a video of the accident scene, capturing the root cause of what caused your fall. You should also secure CCTV footage of the incident if available. It is a good idea also to take photos of your injuries and any damage to your items.
- Witness statements. You should take the names and contact details of any witnesses to your accident. If there are any liability disputes, your solicitor could use their testimony to support your claim.
- Your notes. It is a good idea to keep a record of how the accident happened, the injuries you sustained and how they have affected your life.
- Financial documents. Keep all the receipts, invoices and other documents related to the financial losses you incurred due to your accident. These could include lost wages, travel expenses, medical devices, and other out-of-pocket expenses. If your claim is successful, your compensation will cover all of these.
Will I be sacked if I make a claim against my employer?
Legally, you should not face any problems at work as a result of your personal injury claim. Your employer has a duty to protect your health and safety. If they fail to do so and you have a workplace accident, you can claim compensation for your injuries. Your rights mean you cannot be sacked, disciplined, demoted or treated in any way differently because of your claim.
If you suffer any repercussions, you may be able to take further legal action under unfair dismissal laws. A solicitor can help you challenge your dismissal at an employment tribunal. It is essential to remember that you must take action within three months of your release. The tribunal may offer you compensation or order your employer to reinstate you.
Furthermore, you can rest assured that your claim will not affect your employer’s profits. They are legally required to hold liability insurance to cover any work-related injury. If your claim is successful, their insurer will pay your fall at work compensation, and your employer will not incur any expenses.
Frequently asked questions:
Below, we have answered the most common questions we receive from people who had a fall at work and want to claim compensation. To discuss your case further, do not hesitate to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor. You can do so by calling 0800 678 1410 or requesting a call back.
How long do I have to claim compensation for a fall at work?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, you typically have three years to claim for a fall at work, starting from when the accident happened. After three years, your case becomes time-barred and is no longer valid.
There are several exceptions to this rule:
- If you were under 18 when you had the work accident, the three-year countdown only begins on your 18th birthday. Afterwards, you will have until your 21st birthday to make a claim for compensation.
- There is no time limit if the claimant has suffered a brain injury and is mentally incapacitated. In this case, a litigation friend could claim for them anytime.
- If you had a fall at work due to faulty equipment, you have three years to claim from the date the fault was discovered.
- The time limit can vary significantly between countries if you had an accident abroad and could be shorter than three years.
- If you lost a loved one due to a slip and fall at work, you can pursue a claim within three years of their death.
How much fall at work compensation could I receive?
How much compensation you may receive if you claim against your employer will depend on the specifics of your case. Your solicitor will consider all you have been through to secure the maximum amount of compensation on your behalf. Your settlement will be based on two types of damages:
- General damages are awarded for the pain and suffering caused by your accident. This will take into account physical and mental harm, loss of amenity and any other impact on your personal life.
- Special damages focus on the financial losses related to your accident at work. These may include time off work and loss of earnings, care costs, travel expenses and private treatments.
Special damages are calculated based on evidence such as payslips, receipts and invoices. General damages are based on the guidelines from the Judicial College. You can refer to our compensation calculator to get an idea of how much compensation for your injuries you could receive.
Will my solicitor offer me a No Win No Fee service?
If you have a valid injury claim against your employer, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. This agreement lets you start a fall at work claim without paying anything upfront. Furthermore, you will not lose a single penny if your claim fails because:
- You only pay your solicitor a success fee of up to 25% if they secure compensation on your behalf. Otherwise, you do not have to pay them a single penny.
- The After the Event (ATE) insurance policy included in your claim will cover all your legal costs if you lose the claim, including the defendant’s expenses.
To determine if you are eligible to start a no win no fee claim, call 0800 678 1410 today for a free consultation with a legal adviser. You can also enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back and discuss your case, with no obligation to proceed.