If you’ve just had an accident at work, however minor, it’s important to know what to do next. Don’t be tempted to just forget about it or suffer in silence about what may turn out to be more than a slight inconvenience or trivial injury. And please don’t blame yourself for the accident happening – it may not have been your fault. What’s more, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
At this stage, reserve judgment and make sure you collect all the facts of the accident and keep a record of it. Check with your boss to see that the accident has been logged in your company’s Accident Book and, if possible, obtain a copy of it.
Obviously, get medical advice as soon as you can. It is important to do this for any kind of accident, even minor ones, as the extent of your injuries may not be immediately obvious to you. Getting a comprehensive medical examination is not only essential for your own health care, but the official medical record of your accident or injury may well form the basis for any personal injury claim you may wish to bring.
Workplace accidents can range from little mishaps to life-changing events. Nor do they only occur in factories or on construction sites. Even if you work in an office or a shop, accidents do happen, and may include
- Trips, slips and falls from height
- Electrical incidents
- Manual handling and lifting
- Handling equipment and machinery
Comprehensive Health & Safety legislation is in force which places a responsibility on employers to protect their employees, contractors and visitors from accidents and injuries. Employers must ensure the workplace is kept in a safe and tidy condition, provide all the necessary machinery, equipment and tools to carry out the job safely, and give appropriate training where necessary.
Should you have an accident at work and sustain an injury as a consequence of your employer being negligent in his legal duty towards you, you could be entitled to compensation. It is worth mentioning that in addition to the injury itself, you may also be able to claim for ongoing pain and suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses, depending on the particular circumstances of your case.
If you’re not sure whether you have a valid claim for compensation for a recent workplace accident or injury, you should contact a reputable personal injury lawyer without delay. Many solicitors offer a free consultation in the first instance to discuss your case, and some may agree to act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. There are strict time limits in place for you to make a claim; so the sooner you get professional advice, the better.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the law sector working with a selection of companies including Chichester-based personal injury lawyers George Ide, who were consulted over the information in this piece.