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When an employee is injured in an accident at work, they are often left in a quandary as to whether to pursue a claim against their employer for personal injury compensation. Employees can feel loyal to their employer and worry that making a claim against the company could cause the business financial hardship, or lead to their colleagues to lose their jobs.
Your employer has liability insurance
When it comes to work accident compensation, a claim will be made against the employer’s liability insurance cover rather than business itself. All employers should hold insurance to cover their staff should any accidental injuries arise. With the best will in the world, even the most diligent employers and managers can see accidents happen in their workplace. Good employers will deal with their responsibilities after an accident at work in a professional and proper manner, they will record details of an accident in their accident book, report serious (and relevant) injuries/accidents to the Health & Safety Executive) and not stand in their employees way should they need to make a claim for compensation. Bad employers will be less helpful, they may try to prevent access to the accident book and be obstructive towards staff who are injured.
The claim will be addressed to the insurers of the employer and the insurers and your solicitor will then handle the claim in the same way as any other insurance claim is handled.
Will my manager be involved in the claim?
Accident at work victims need to be aware that their colleagues will never know that they have made a claim unless they wish to disclose this themselves, and that in most circumstances, their line manager will also not know. The process of claiming is straightforward and confidential. Following an accident at work, your solicitor will issue a letter of claim to the employer’s insurers and it will be the insurers who will handle the matter rather than the employer.
Of course, someone in the company will be asked for their version of events and for a copy of the accident book, so the employer will be aware that a claim is being made. Unless the claimant wishes to talk about it, the employer will not be at liberty to discuss the claim as all correspondence has to be directed through your chosen solicitor.
Will I get sacked for claiming?
Fears about job security can be played upon, and we understand that you may be placed under pressure by your employer NOT to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation.
Employers that are liable on grounds of negligence for accidents at work and injuries sustained in the workplace have no right whatsoever to prevent an employee from pursuing a claim. Indeed, it is illegal to imply redundancy or the sack will follow if a claim is made, whether by threats or other pressure, and any employer doing so could face additional legal action on that as well.
So claimants can ease their worries about claiming after an accident at work. The whole point of claiming is to seek some justice and receive compensation for your injuries and losses, including lost income. Fellow employees will not be affected, the only effect it will have on an employer will be for them to tighten their Health and Safety management policies in order to prevent their insurers from hiking their premiums the following year. Therefore, it is fair to say that pursuing rightful claims can actually improve the workplace for fellow employees, creating long term benefits rather than damage to the employer.
Clearly, the decision as to whether or not to pursue a claim rests with the injured employee. If the injuries are minor, will cause no long-term problems, and the employee can still work and therefore not lose wages after an accident at work, they may well decide that they do not wish to pursue a claim for compensation. However, where the injuries are more serious and an inability to work follows, making a claim for compensation really is the only option, and a legal right, for most people.