1. Report it.
Every employer by law must maintain an accident book so that all accidents at work can be recorded and produced to comply with health and safety law. Serious accident must also be notified immediately to the Health and Safety executive under the RIDDOR system and where appropriate a full investigation and even prosecution will be made. For your accident the report will provide us as your lawyers with the evidence we will need to prove the accident actually happened. Unscrupulous employers and their insurance companies often deny accidents happened and if there is no accident book record your claim may be lost before it starts.
2. Get medical help.
You need medical attention even where your injury appears minor because trained medical professionals will be able to advise you and spot if there are hidden dangers. Importantly the notes made upon your examination will be obtained and will support your claim even when your are seen for a medical report and your injuries have healed. Insurance companies will allege that you were not injured and seek to reduce your compensation for your work injury if there are no medical notes available.
3. Keep details of your losses
We know this sounds like repetition but we cannot stress enough how the workplace insurers will use any excuse to minimise their payout. Remember it is for the claimant to prove every aspect of the claim to the standard required in court. Your losses incurred following a workplace accident are easy to prove if you keep receipts for travel, medical aids and equipment and all your wage slips from before, during and after your absence.
4. Care provided by friends and family.
Whilst we are on the subject of keeping accurate records, if you have been injured to the extent that you need care and assistance from others keep a diary. This does not need to be anything more glorious than a note pad with details of who did what for you and for how long. Why is this important? Well part of your claim can cover a claim for care and services for any time spent on your care over and above that normally provided to you. A discounted hourly rate will be applied to calculate a figure for this which can form a sizeable part of your claim even though you make no payments.
5. Why you should not call a claims company.
When you have an accident at work you need to claim and you face not only your insurers but a huge insurance company who can pay for lawyers. You need to chose lawyers who can match them and so you should look to make the right choice yourself. A claims company is merely a marketing company who advertise for accident victims then pass their details to panel solicitors for financial return. A claims company cannot run your claim in anyway and only make money from passing on your details. The money for this comes from your claim and reduces the amount available to spend on your legal representation.
6. Why no win no fee is good for you.
So long as your accident at work was not wholly caused by you or rather there are good prospects of a claim against your employer being successful then a good personal injury lawyer will offer to work on your case on a no win no fee basis. This means the solicitor will only get paid if the case is won. Upon that successful conclusion of your work accident claim most of the costs will be paid by your employer’s insurance company. Previously all the compensation awarded would be yours but under rules introduced by the government designed to reduce the amount insurers pay, up to 25% of your claim will be This is still a great system as it means you are at no risk of paying legal costs if you lose and you retain the lion’s share if you win.
7. Pick your own
Lawyer that is! Never ring an insurance company directly following an accident. You will also have to be strong to resist the many calls you will receive from claims companies and lawyers who may have illegally acquired your details and will stop at nothing to “get” your accident claim. Choose your own lawyer who has a cast iron reputation for looking after clients just like you.
We hope you stay safe at work but our belief is that you are entitled to return from work in the same state you went and if not we are here to help.