If an accident at work has caused you an injury, it may leave you stressed and confused. It is an overwhelming time while you need to keep your wits about you. There are steps to follow, information to gather, and procedures to adhere to, especially if you wish to make a successful personal injury claim to boot.
This guide hopes to shed some light on what you should be doing and what your employer should be doing following an accident at work. We will take you through what to do from the moment you are injured in a workplace accident until you see a solicitor for further assistance.
If you would prefer to speak to a legal adviser to discuss your options and find out if you are eligible to make a claim, call 0800 678 1410. Alternatively, you can request a call back using our online claim form.
Take care of your injury
If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, your first concern should be taking care of your injury. If your workplace has a designated first-aid person, they should be notified immediately and asked to assist.
Even if your injury doesn’t seem serious at first while the adrenaline is pumping, it can become a significant lifelong injury if you are not getting the necessary treatment immediately.
Even relatively minor injuries can be common culprits in causing permanent conditions. Therefore a qualified medical practitioner needs to assess your injuries to determine whether further evaluation or medical attention is required.
So the moment you are out of immediate danger and can think clearly about your next step, you should get your injuries checked out at your local hospital, GP or medical centre.
If you have suffered a head injury, your decision-making skills could be impaired, so have someone drive you or call an ambulance on your behalf. You may also need help getting medical attention if you have suffered other serious injuries such as deep lacerations, broken bones or burns.
Report your work accident
Correctly reporting your accident is an essential part of the process, especially if you were working alone at the moment of the accident. Your colleagues need to know about the accident and the injury you have sustained as a result. This transparency also serves to help prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
Unfortunately, in some rare cases, unscrupulous employers may put pressure on an employee to try to persuade them to deny the accident happened. If you reported the incident to the best of your ability with bulletproof evidence, you will be safe from any incident your employer might try to wriggle out of.
Therefore, also register your injury with your manager. The manager will then follow all the necessary reporting protocols of workplace injuries. If your employer refuses to record your accident and injury, it is crucial to send a formal letter to document the incident. This creates a paper trail that serves as evidence that you have taken the necessary steps and wanted the accident to be recorded.
Next up, after you have reported the accident, turn your focus to gathering evidence that will bolster your accident claim. Pictures speak a thousand words, and CCTV footage will solidify your case. Remember, you can never have too much evidence.
Ample evidence will also protect you from any false accusations against you by the company (if they try to escape liability.) So, if possible, take photos and videos of the accident scene and your injuries. It can also be helpful to write down some notes explaining the circumstances and cause of the accident while the details are still fresh in your mind.
If anybody witnessed your accident, such as a colleague, write down their name so they can be contacted to provide a witness statement if needed. Also, if you know of someone who has suffered a similar injury or accident while on duty at your workplace, make a note of their name as well.
If you were unable to gather any evidence at the scene after your injury, it is perfectly understandable, especially if you suffered a severe injury. Don’t worry if this is the case, as an experienced injury solicitor may still be able to gather the evidence needed to make a successful compensation claim.
Visit your GP or hospital
A follow-up trip to your GP or hospital is vital to your well-being, but it also serves as an important step in gathering evidence for your case. After a more severe injury, you should visit a GP regularly, especially if you are starting to feel worse or feel that it’s needed to go for another check-up.
This is a great way to track your healing process and see how your injury progresses. If you skip your medical check-up, your company may wrongfully assume that your injuries are not that serious.
Keep a record of the accident and injuries.
Keep a diary to record and update the list of your injury symptoms and the healing process. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do it in detail. This will also benefit you and your claim if you can illustrate the extent of your symptoms and overall injury.
Hospitals and doctors will sometimes only record what they consider the most severe injury at the time of the medical assessment. If you have other symptoms or conditions that are not recorded correctly, they might not be directly attributed to the workplace injury.
Therefore, keeping an up to date and detailed diary of your daily symptoms and healing process can be helpful information if you decide to contact an injury solicitor to help you make a work accident compensation claim.
Keep a record of all your costs and losses
A record of all your expenses and losses relating to the injury will also go a long way to support your compensation claim. The overall purpose of injury compensation is to restore your amenity to a similar position it was before the incident.
Although we are fortunate to have free healthcare from the NHS, suffering an injury may still cost you some money. For example, you may need to pay for medication, physiotherapy or transport costs, and you might require time off work to recover. Compensation should recover those out-of-pocket expenses, including trips to and from medical facilities.
Armed with the evidence of financial losses (along with your witness statements and photos), your solicitor will be able to handle your claim as swiftly as possible.
Contact a personal injury solicitor
Taking control of an injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident is not something you should tackle on your own. It is unfamiliar territory for most, and a personal injury solicitor can guide you through all the necessary steps and details into what you can expect with your injury claim.
The good news is you have nothing to lose if you contact a solicitor. They will assess the eligibility of your case during a free consultation. If they feel that your claim has a good chance of success, they will usually offer you a no win no fee agreement.
No win no fee means you will not pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. If your claim is won, you only pay a portion of your compensation (capped at 25%) in what is called a success fee.
Get help for accidents at work
There is no need to deal with the extra stress resulting from an injury in the workplace. Let a knowledgeable solicitor fight in your corner – you have nothing to lose by reaching out.
If you have been injured at work and would like to know if you have a valid compensation claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation. If you would prefer to receive a call back, you can enter your details into our online claim form, and a legal adviser will be in contact to discuss your claim.