Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
There are many reasons why power tool accident compensation claims can be made in the UK, and in cases where a personal injury has been sustained when using power tools at work – which was not entirely the fault of the victim – it should be possible to make claims for power tool accident compensation.
Power tools are used throughout industry and, in the hands of a properly trained workman, they save companies many millions of pounds each year. However, a lack of training in their use or a failure to maintain the power tools in a safe condition can cost industry dearly, as well as having devastating consequences for the victims of power tool accidents. Over 26 million working days are lost each year due to accidents in the workplace, many of which are caused by accidents involving power tools.
Reasons for Making Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
Power tools may save time and allow jobs to be completed in a fraction of the time that it would take using manual tools; however it only takes a second for a highly serious and possibly fatal accident to occur. Power tools can easily amputate fingers, hands and limbs when used improperly or when a power tool has been provided which is unsafe to use.
Every year many UK workers suffer serious injuries through the misuse of power tools. When power tools are wired incorrectly or cables are damaged, there is a risk of electrocution, and even when used correctly material can fly off power tools and can cause puncture wounds and eye damage. Prolonged usage can cause repetitive strain injuries to be suffered such as vibration white finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The injuries caused by power tools are numerous, and power tool accident compensation claims are frequently made in the UK. The following accidents are the most repeated reasons why power tool accident compensation claims are made:
- Accidents caused by faulty equipment
- Injuries sustained by unguarded power tools
- Eye injuries from material flying off power tools
- Vibration white finger and repetitive strain injuries
- Electrical shocks and electrocution from frayed or damaged electrical cables
- Using power tools for purposes for which they were not designed
- Lack of training on correct usage
- Health and safety equipment failure
- Failure to provide appropriate health and safety equipment
- Power tool failure due to a lack of maintenance
Eligibility to Make Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
If you have been injured in a power tool accident at work, you may be eligible to make power tool accident compensation claims for your injuries. Personal injury claims cannot be made for all power tool accidents, and are only possible when an accident has been caused by the negligence of a third party. In a legal sense, negligence means that there has been a failure in a duty of care and that an accident should have been reasonably foreseeable and could have been prevented had proper care been taken.
In order for power tool accident compensation claims to be successful it must be established that a duty of care existed and was breached, and that this directly resulted in a personal injury being sustained. Power tool accident compensation claims are most frequently made for power tool accidents in the workplace when employers have failed to provide training or proper safety equipment, when employees are instructed to use power tools for purposes for which they were not intended and when guards have not been employed to prevent the catching of clothing, hands or fingers.
Provided that it can be established and proven that an employer has placed employees at an unacceptable risk of injury by their actions or lack of action, and that they have breached Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act (1974) regulations, or those covering power tool usage in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Act (1999), power tool accident compensation claims should be possible.
Accident Reports and Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
Any accident in the workplace must be recorded in the employer’s ‘Accident Book’ after treatment for injuries has been sought. Power tool accidents often need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive under RIDDOR guidelines, although this is the responsibility of the employer. An employee should check that their employer has made the appropriate report. It goes without saying that medical treatment should be sought after a power tool accident, but first aid treatment at work is not sufficient. A visit must be made to the accident and emergency department of the local hospital or a doctor visited for assessment of injuries and treatment.
Medical records will be used by a personal injury solicitor as proof of injury, the accident book report will be used as proof that an accident occurred in the workplace, and both are essential records in any power tool accident compensation claims. Even minor injuries need to be treated by a doctor and must be recorded in the Accident Book to ensure that employee rights are preserved and future power tool accident compensation claims can be made at a later date if necessary.
Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims for Wrongful Death
Power tool accidents are often highly serious and can cause fatal injuries to be sustained. If a loved one has been fatally injured in a power tool accident at work, it may be possible for the family of the victim to make power tool accident compensation claims for the wrongful death of a loved one. No amount of compensation can make up for the death of a relative; however claims for power tool accident compensation can be vital for the spouse and dependents of the victim to enable them to lead as normal a life as possible.
Wrongful death compensation can ensure that the family is not made to suffer financially as a result of an accident in the workplace which was caused by the negligence of a third party. Coming to terms with the loss of a relative will be difficult; however it is important to seek legal advice promptly about making power tool accident compensation claims. Power tool accident compensation claims for wrongful death are usually highly complex and should be pursued by an experienced personal injury solicitor to ensure that the claims have the maximum chance of success.
Contributory Negligence and Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
In order for power tool accident victims to be able to make power tool accident compensation claims the accident must have been primarily caused by negligence of a third party; however in many cases negligence is shared by the claimant. Power tool accidents may be the fault of a third party; however when the claimant contributed to the cause of the accident or the severity of the injuries which were sustained, the defence may attempt to reduce any compensation award to take contributory negligence of the claimant into account.
Contributory negligence can be a failure to use safety equipment as instructed or can be a lack care when using power tools. When a personal injury solicitor assesses eligibility to make power tool accident compensation claims, they will provide advice on how contributory negligence is likely to affect the outcome of a claim.
Contributory negligence does not mean that power tool accident compensation claims will not be possible – or even unsuccessful – however it will be taken into consideration when compensation awards are calculated, and any award will be reduced by the appropriate degree to take contributory negligence of the claimant into account.
Third Party Capture and Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
Since power tool accident compensation claims often result in substantial awards for damages, it is not unusual for third party insurance companies to contact the victim or any dependents with an early – and low – offer of compensation. This may occur before a decision has been made to initiate power tool accident compensation claims in an attempt to limit financial losses. It is an unsavoury tactic called third party capture, and is purely made to limit losses rather than to ensure that accident victims are adequately compensated.
If you have been offered compensation for a power tool accident by an insurance company it is important that you seek legal advice before accepting any compensation to ensure that it fairly reflects the seriousness of the injuries sustained and that it will cover all future costs associated with the injury. In the majority of cases an initial offer of compensation for a power tool accident is inappropriate in relation to the injuries which have been sustained. A personal injury solicitor will advise you whether the offer should be accepted, or whether power tool accident compensation claims should be pursued to get a more appropriate settlement.
No Win No Fee Power Tool Accident Compensation Claims
When a personal injury solicitor is consulted about eligibility to make power tool accident compensation claims the strength of claims will be assessed. When there is a strong chance of success, a personal injury solicitor may offer to take on the case under a conditional fee arrangement called No Win No Fee. No Win No Fee compensation claims are an increasingly popular way of recovering compensation for a power tool accident as they limit a claimant’s liability to pay legal costs in the event that a claim is unsuccessful.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.
Although No Win No fee claims for power tool accident compensation will not necessarily be totally free of charge under such a conditional fee arrangement, in the event that the claim cannot be won the claimant will not be required to pay for their legal representation. No Win No fee solicitors will waive all legal fees if a claim if a claim cannot be won, and if the claim is successful it is the defendant’s insurance company which will be liable for the legal fees of the claimant.