What Can I Claim Compensation For?
Besides claiming for your personal injury, you can also claim for losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident or your injuries.
Your injury can affect your life in all sorts of ways. So it is unsurprising that there are many different kinds of loss which can be included in a claim. Some of the more common kinds of loss include:
- Travel expenses
- Medical expenses and treatment costs
- Loss of earnings
- Care and assistance
These are only a few examples from a huge and diverse range. To find out more about the many different kinds of loss for which you can claim compensation, download our free ebook: The Ultimate Personal Injury Compensation Guide. You may be surprised at some of the types of loss an accident can cause, and which can be claimed for. For example:
- Losses due to being unable to do a job you love
- Losses from ruined career prospects or missed future opportunities
- Pension losses
- Losses to your benefits
- Ruined holidays, weddings and other events
It is not necessary to have incurred a loss already to be able to include it in your claim. Losses which are anticipated in future can also be claimed in certain
circumstances. Just as with past losses, any future losses you claim for must be supported with evidence and they must be anticipated because of the accident and/or your injuries. Competent solicitors will help you to gather the information.
For an indication of how these, and other losses, are documented in an accident at work claim, have a look at the sample ‘Schedule of Loss’ in our Legal Library.
Who Pays My Compensation?
In most accident at work claims, your claim will be directed against your employer.
However, this does not mean that your employer will directly pay for your claim – even if you are successful. All employers are obliged to hold ‘Employers’ Liability insurance’. This covers an employer against the costs of personal injury claims which may be made by their employees following an accident or illness at work.
This means that it is likely to be your employer’s insurance company who will actually pay the compensation you secure. Your employer might need to contribute the excess, just as you would in a car accident claim.
Can I Claim ‘No Win No Fee’ Compensation For an Accident at Work?
We understand that funding a claim following an accident at work can be a concern. This is why Truth Legal always tries to conduct claims under a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement.
Under a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement, if we do not succeed in recovering compensation for you, you will not have to pay our fees, except in very rare circumstances.
If we are successful, a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement means that a small percentage of your compensation payment will go towards our fees, although most of our costs will be paid by your employer’s insurance company.
Funding a claim is always explained in full detail before you start your claim with us. However, if you have any questions about funding, please do not hesitate to contact us. It might be that your claim is covered by your Legal Expenses Insurance on your home insurance.
We have also partnered with CrowdJustice, a leading crowdfunding platform specifically designed to help clients get access to funding for their case. Find 0ut more about Crowdfunding for legal cases.
Why Should I Use Truth Legal For My Accident at Work Claim?
Choosing who should represent you in your personal injury claim is perhaps the most important decision to be made at the start of your claim.
You must be satisfied that they have the necessary experience and expertise, but they must also be people you can trust. After all, your legal representative may have all the legal know-how in the world, but if you don’t trust them, how will you be able to rely on their advice? Similarly, you might have absolute trust in an unqualified paralegal, but if they lack the experience and skills to run your case properly, the results could be equally disastrous.
Truth Legal’s friendly team of specialist personal injury solicitors and legal executives have extensive experience of securing compensation for victims of accidents at work. We pride ourselves on providing an ethical, honest service to all of our clients.
We are based in Harrogate with presences in York, Manchester, and London. We would like to sit down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation and to discuss any ways in which we can help you. Alternatively, we can speak with you over the telephone. Contact us now to begin your claim.
Switching an Ongoing Claim to Truth Legal
You are entitled to instruct any solicitors you wish to deal with your personal injury claim. This also includes changing solicitors for an ongoing claim. Switching your solicitors to Truth Legal is a straightforward process.
You may wish to switch solicitors for many reasons. Perhaps your case was assigned to a law firm you didn’t choose? This often happens when a claims management company is involved, or when your insurance company or trade union instructs a ‘panel’ law firm for you. Switching solicitors is a good way to take control of this crucial decision. If claiming compensation is important, why let someone else appoint your legal representatives for you?
You should also consider switching if your current legal representatives are not providing you with the service you deserve, or trust has broken down between you.
Can I Be Fired For Making a Claim Against My Employer?
Your employer has a legal duty to look after your health and welfare at work. If they have failed in their duty then you are within your legal rights to make a claim against them.
Your employer cannot legally fire you for asserting your rights.
Perhaps of less comfort, however, is the idea that it can still happen. It is possible for an employer to act unreasonably and dismiss you for making, or even for thinking about making, a personal injury claim following an accident at work. So, what can you do if this happens?
Being fired for this reason would form a strong basis for an unfair dismissal claim or a whistleblowing claim. When defending an unfair dismissal claim, an employer must justify their actions by showing, among other things, that they have acted reasonably in dismissing you. This will be very difficult for them to do if the dismissal was because you were making an accident at work claim. Someone enforcing their legal rights is not reasonable grounds upon which to fire them.
What If My Employer Makes Things Difficult For Me When I’m Back at Work?
This is another common concern with making an accident at work claim: will claiming against your employer lead to ‘bad blood’ between you? The honest answer is that it is possible – working relations have been soured over less. But if your employer makes your working life a misery, such that you have to resign, there are legal means to putting it right. You may be able to claim for constructive dismissal against your employer or a whistleblowing claim.
Constructive dismissal is a legal term covering situations where your employer has not fired you (i.e. dismissed you), but their conduct is such that you have been forced into leaving the job yourself.
My Employer Has Already Fired Me/Forced Me to Resign – What Can I Do?
Truth Legal has a dedicated team of specialist employment law solicitors. Contact us to explore your legal position for an unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal claim or whistleblowing claim.
What Are My Rights?
As a worker or an employee, you are entitled to have your health, safety, and welfare looked after whilst you are at work. Your employer is required by law to ensure these things as far as they reasonably can.
In particular, they should:
- Provide and maintain a safe working environment, including safe systems, procedures, equipment, facilities etc.
- Ensure safety when working with dangerous articles or substances.
- Provide training, instruction, and supervision to reduce health and safety risks.
These obligations are contained in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
Alongside these general duties, employers must follow a variety of more specific health and safety regulations. These give more detail about what is legally expected of employers and how they must keep their workers safe in different situations.
The following table summarises the duties contained in the main health and safety regulations:
|Employer’s duties||Where they come from|
|Conducting risk assessments and managing risks in the workplace||The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999|
|Ensuring the safe use of screens and other display equipment||The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992|
|Ensuring safe lifting, carrying, and manual handling operations for workers||The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992|
|Supplying, monitoring and maintaining suitable protective equipment||The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992|
|Providing, and managing the use of, safe work equipment||The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998|
|Ensuring a safe work place||The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992|
|Implementing and following procedures for reporting injuries and sickness||The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995|
|Adopting working time practices to keep workers healthy and safe||The Working Time Regulations 1998|
There is some overlap between many of these duties. This means accident at work claims are often based upon a number of different regulation breaches.
How Far Does an Employer Have To Go to Ensure Your Safety?
For most of these statutory obligations, an employer must do everything that is ‘reasonably practicable’ to ensure your health and safety. Judging what this means involves a balancing act. On one side will be the risk of an accident happening; on the other will be the costs that an employer would have to put in to averting those risks – with costs including money, time and difficulty.
If there is considered to be a tiny risk of a certain kind of accident happening, and the measures needed to avert it would be extreme, then it is likely a court would consider it not reasonably practicable for an employer to have acted to remove the risk.
This kind of consideration has a bearing on whether your employer is ‘at fault’ for your accident occurring.
Common Law Negligence
All of the above duties are ‘statutory’ in nature, meaning they come from Acts of Parliament and related regulations. But you also have legal rights which derive from ‘the common law’.
The common law is quite a complicated legal subject. Generally, it means law that has come about through judgments which have been given in previous cases. Throughout more than 800 years of common law history, judges have set down, changed, and refined countless legal principles.
The common law is just as legally binding as statute law. There may be no Act of Parliament which encapsulates the principles of negligence, but the law on negligence remains current and enforceable.
Alongside their statutory obligations, employers owe a more general duty of care to their employees under the common law. This is similar to a duty of care which road-users owe to one another, or which a doctor owes to their patient. Negligent action, or inaction, on their part has the potential to cause harm, so a right to claim damages is granted to the party who is owed the duty of care. If any such harm should occur, the wronged party can bring a claim for compensation.
Your statutory rights can vary depending on your employment status. Our blog post, ‘What Are My Rights? Employment Status and the Gig Economy’ has more information on this topic. But your common law rights do not depend on your employment status.
In reality, a claim against your employer will often be based upon the breach of statutory duties as well as common law negligence.
What If The Accident Was All or Partly My Fault?
Accidents do happen and sometimes we have only ourselves to blame.
If your accident at work was entirely your fault then you will be unable to claim compensation from your employer. You should speak to a solicitor before you come
to this conclusion, however. Legal liability is not always as straightforward as looking at the direct cause of an accident.
There are situations where your actions may have directly caused the accident, but those actions were a product of negligence on someone else’s part. For example, if you suffered your injury because you did not use a piece of safety equipment correctly, your employer may be held wholly or partially liable for your injury if you were not adequately trained or supervised in the use of the equipment.
As an employee, it is important to be aware that you also have a legal duty to take reasonable care of yourself and others around you whilst at work. So you can be held liable, or partially liable, if you have been negligent.
However, being partially at fault for an accident does not necessarily prevent you from making a compensation claim against your employer. Often, where you were partly liable for an accident at work, your compensation will be reduced (rather than prevented altogether). How much your compensation is reduced will depend on an assessment of how much you were at fault.
If you are partially to blame for an accident happening, this is sometimes called ‘contributory negligence’, in that you own negligence contributed to the harm you
If you are in any doubt about whether you were in any way at fault for your accident at work, seek legal advice before assuming you cannot make a claim.
Fatal Accidents at Work
No amount of compensation can make up for losing a loved one in an accident at work. Nor is it meant to. But a claim can help you with the financial difficulties you may face.
If you are unfortunate to have lost someone to an accident at work, you may be able to bring what’s called a ‘dependency claim’. This is a claim in respect of the financial support which your loved one provided for you.
Alternatively, if your loved one already has a personal injury claim ongoing at the time of their death, this may be continued. In this situation, it would be your loved one’s personal representatives (the people dealing with the estate) who would have the option of continuing the claim. This remains true whether your loved one’s death was connected to the accident in question or not.
Our ebook, ‘The Ultimate Personal Injury Compensation Guide’, has more detail on both of these different kinds of claim. Download it for free and have a look at the chapter on ‘Making or Continuing a Claim when Someone has Died’.
What If I Have Been Injured By a Colleague in My Workplace?
Your workplace accident may have been caused by the conduct of another employee – one of your colleagues.
Employees also have certain legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and those around them whilst at work. For example, they must use equipment in accordance with any safety procedures they have been taught, report any defects they find in work equipment, and store it properly after use.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, therefore, it is easily possible for one of your colleagues to be personally liable for your injuries.
However, just because a colleague may have caused your accident at work does not mean you would bring a claim against them directly. This is because employers are also responsible for the conduct of their employees whilst they are at work.
The technical legal term for your employer’s responsibility for the conduct of their workers is called ‘vicarious liability’.
Even if your employer is entirely blameless for your colleague’s conduct, your employer can still be held legally responsible in this way.
In the UK, the law is derived from Acts of Parliament and also from previous cases. What judges have decided in one case will have a bearing on decisions in future cases, especially if a decision has been made in the higher courts such as the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Here are some selected cases which have proven to be influential on courts determining similar issues. The facts, and their significance, have been summarised by law students.