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Industrial Injury: How to start a compensation claim against a UK employer for an occupational injury caused in the work place

Industrial injury: Find out: how to start a compensation claim for an occupational injury, which employer (includes past employers) to make your claim against, the various national compensation schemes for UK disease claims and how long there is to start your claim before it is too late.

What is a compensation claim for industrial injury?

Before you find out how to start your claim it is important you appreciate what a compensation claim for industrial injury actually is.

Industrial injury

industrial injury image

An industrial injury claim is a claim for money to compensate you for the injuries you have received - both physical and psychiatric - and expenses you have incurred as a result of an industrial injury.

A compensation claim is also known as a damages claim as it is the damage caused to your person and your finances as a result of your industrial disease.

An industrial disease can often affect your ability to work for the rest of your life so the amounts of money involved can be quite substantial.

Who do your start your claim against when you have worked for several employers who could have caused your injury?

The answer to this question will depend upon which employer that can be held responsible for the condition that has developed.

1. If each employer causes a different condition then each employer is responsible for that condition and the claim for each injury started as a separate claim against each employer.

2. If the industrial injury is caused simply by the accumulation of time spent exposed to a harmful work environment - each employer can be held responsible for the proportion of time they contributed.

For example, imagine you spent five years working in a noisy factory with one employer and another five years working in an equally noisy factory with another employer when you were diagnosed with industrial deafness - each employer would be responsible for half of the total claim.

You would start your claim against both your previous employers for half your compensation.

3. If the industrial disease could have been caused by one or other employer, but it is impossible to prove which one in actual fact did - both employers could be held responsible for your whole claim.

For example - imagine you worked for five years with one employer being exposed to asbestos and then five years with another employer again being exposed to asbestos when you developed mesothelioma. As mesothelioma is a cancer caused by one single strand of asbestos fibre - the fibre could have come from either employer's workplace.

You would start your claim against both employers for your whole claim.

How do you start your industrial injury claim against your employer?

Click work injury claim to discover how to start to claim compensation from your employer.

How do your start your industrial injury claim in court if necessary?

Click work injury claim to find out how to start an inductrial disease claim in court.

If you have an industrial disease claim it is likely that there will be many other workers already attempting to claim for the same disease from the same employer. This is called a "group action" and to start your claim your solicitor would need to join your claim in with the group action, so the court could deal with all the cases at the same time.

What is a national compensation scheme?

The government in the UK has set up various schemes known as compensation schemes which allow payment for certain industrial diseases to workers in certain industries.

For example, The Department of Trade and Industry Coalhealth compensation scheme deals with compensation claims for industrial disease including lung disease and vibration white finger from workers employed by British Coal employed after 1954 in England (1949 in Scotland).

A compensation claim is made in line with the rules of the particular compensation scheme.

How long after your injury at work do you have to start your claim for compensation?

Industrial injuries develop over a period of time, often a worker will not even know he has an industrial injury until a doctor tells him and regretfully death for the more serious diseases as mesothelioma can take place quickly after diagnosis leaving loved ones to take the claim on behalf of the deceased.

In most claims the law allows you three years from the date of your injury or knowledge of your injury to start a claim, but there are several exceptions to this rule.

Click motor vehicle accidents to find out about the limitation period to make a personal injury claim and to discover exceptions to the three year period - examples are given for road traffic accidents but they apply equally to your industrial disease claim.

No matter how long has passed since you suffered you industrial injury - you may still have a claim. The courts are often willing to extend the time period for you to start your industrial disease claim and some specialist industrial disease lawyers have built a reputation on succeeding in persuading the courts to do so. If you need some help finding a specialist - click on the link next to my photograph.

Industrial Injury Summary

On this page you have learned all about starting a compensation claim for industrial injury, national compensation schemes and why the time period you have to start you claim may be longer than a normal accident at work claim.

The next step I recommend you take is to:

Click industrial injury compensation to discover how your employer's insurance pays workplace disease claims as well as the types of loss you can claim as part of your industrial injury compensation.