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Accident At Work Claim: How to succeed in a claim for compensation by showing your UK employer is legally responsible for your injuries
Accident at work claim: discover a simple guide to showing your employer is responsible for paying compensation following a workplace accident.
Why do you need to know how to show legal responsibility for your accident at work?
Using the law to show legal responsibility is quite involved and is best left to your personal injury solicitor, but you will find it very useful to see a brief overview of what your solicitor should take into account to determine if you have a strong case.
An overview of the law will help you look at the facts of your accident at work and give you confidence to contact a personal injury solicitor to make a claim.
Accident at work claim
How do you show an employer is responsible for your accident at work claim?
You will be pleased to know that as a matter of public policy the health and safety of workers is considered of great importance by the UK government which has in recent years been reinforced by European law.
If you have an accident at work your chances of winning a compensation claim are normally quite good as there are a number of different ways your employer can be considered legally responsible, which include:
1. Employer negligence
Your employer must show that he took all precautions to ensure your safety in doing the job in which you were injured - you must have been provided with proper training and been given the correct safety equipment. If your employer failed to do this he could be seen to be "negligent" and so legally responsible for your injuries.
2. Health and Safety Laws
There are a several laws which are in place that protect the health and safety of workers in all workplaces. For example, an employer is required to make a proper risk assessment prior to an employee doing any task:
Click accident in the workplace to see what exactly your employer should do to protect your health and safety at work.
There are many other requirements on your employer under health and safety law and unless your employer can show that he followed all of these he is likely to be responsible for your accident at work claim.
Click Health and Safety Executive to see the health and safety law that applies to all employers in the UK
3. Manual Handling Regulations
Depending on the type of task you are being asked to perform in the workplace there are often additional laws in place.
For example - if you are required to move or hold any object at work using your hands or using bodily force (in other words using your physical strength in some way) then you are doing what is known as "manual handling".
Many accidents at work are caused through "manual handling" and a law is in place known as the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 setting out your employer's obligations where manual handling takes place. It is accompanied by a useful guide including the amount of weight an employee can safely handle in different positions.
Click manual handling health and safety to see a short guide to the manual handling regulations.
Another example relates to the use of dangerous chemicals in the workplace - there are laws relating to the protective safety equipment necessary to prevent a chemical injury to workers that could lead to a claim for compensation due to poisoning.
4. The employment contract
The employment contract sets out your relationship with your employer - describing if you are considered an employee or self employed, what your contractual rights are and the duties of your employer. If you employer breaks the terms of the contract he may be found contractually responsible for your injury.
In the event of an accident an employee is owed greater protection by an employer than someone who is self employed - even though your contract may state that you are self employed (a contractor) be aware that this is not final as there are other tests that may determine you are an employee for the purpose of your accident at work claim.
5. Occupier's liability
For example, if water is spilled on the workplace floor causing you to slip and injure yourself it is likely your employer will be legally responsible for leaving the floor in a dangerous state.
Sometimes an accident occurs when you are working outside of your normal workplace - an employer can still be found legally responsible in these situations so seek advice from a personal injury solicitor.
Accident At Work Claim Summary
This page has provided you with an overview of the laws in the UK used to win your accident at work compensation claim and has explained why it is important that you have a basic understanding of them.
Sometimes an employer has provided training and warned you of the risks of injury in the workplace, but despite this your own carelessness has lead to an injury occurring.
Click accident at work claim for injury to see why you can still make an accident at work claim when your own carelessness has lead to your workplace injury.