If you have had the misfortune of being involved in an accident at work, whether it be a slip on a wet floor or a lack of training, there is a strong possibility that you may have sustained injuries as a result. You may be wondering what kind or what severity of injury warrants a personal injury claim or what exactly personal injury means?
Firstly, a personal injury can be explained as an injury to an individual. For the purpose of claiming personal injury compensation, a claimant has to demonstrate that the injuries caused to them were not their fault and are of a severe enough nature that they surpass the small claims limit (currently £1000). This would be a personal injury. In terms of the severity of injury that would warrant a claim, the truth is that any number of injuries can be inflicted on a person involved in an accident at work. Here we look at the kind of common injuries that lead to claims for personal injury compensation.
Common Accident at Work Injuries
- Back Injuries. A common thread among accident at work compensation claimants is back injuries. Employers have strict responsibilities to ensure that employees are given training and guidance regarding safe lifting and that if heavy items are involved, equipment (forklifts, trolleys etc) are provided. Back injuries can be caused in accidents at work as a result of limited working space and badly designed work stations. Employees must report any issues causing or likely to cause injury and an employer is then duty bound to do everything reasonably possible to remove such risks to their workforce. Back injuries can be hard to link to a particular incident so it is vital that any accident at work is reported to an employer promptly and that medical attention is sought. For further information, please see our ‘how do I ensure that my accident has been properly reported and recorded‘ article.
- Lacerations. Lacerations often occur in Accident at Work related claims. When people are using dangerous equipment, such as factory machinery, construction site equipment or power tools, the risk of bodily injury is obvious. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that relevant training is given to staff and that equipment is maintained and regularly serviced. Safety guards should be in situ and regular re-training and monitoring are carried out by the employer. Lacerations can be nasty, sometimes fatal and usually leave scarring. Such injuries will form part of the valuation of your settlement award.
- Soft Tissue Injuries. Soft Tissue Injuries is the label applied to injuries not affecting organs or bones. Such injuries would usually be bruising and sprains.
- Fractures. Fractures often arise in the more serious of accident at work claims. Personal injury claims will often include fractures to forearms, fingers, legs, pelvis and sternum. Certain fractures are worse than others, such as damage to the pelvis, femur or lower legs. Accidents at work involving falls from heights, such as ladders or scaffold collapses can cause such injuries.
- Fatalities. Fortunately, fatalities are relatively rare in the workplaces of the UK. However, when accidents at work involve dangerous equipment, they can sadly lead to injuries so severe that the injured party is killed. If you are the relative of next of kin of someone killed in an accident at work, you can pursue a claim for personal injury compensation on their behalf posthumously.
Of course, as well as the common injuries listed above, there are numerous other injuries that can be caused by someone involved in a non-fault accident at work, such as psychological trauma, post traumatic stress disorder and many others.
If the accident was not your fault, such as a result of a faulty machine, lack of training or serious health and safety breach you have strong grounds to pursue your employer for a claim for accident at work compensation. As with all claims, as well as claiming compensation for your injuries, you are also entitled to claim for associated losses (such as lost income) known as special damages.
We strongly suggest that it is a good idea to hire a specialist solicitor to pursue your claim for you. To learn more, simply contact us and we’ll help you to make a claim for personal injury compensation.