Introduction to Industrial Accident Injury Compensation
The term “industrial accidents” can cover any workplace incident in which you sustain an injury – whether the accident was unavoidable, or whether it was due to the negligence of your employer and therefore eligible for industrial accident compensation.
A claim for industrial accident compensation has to show that you sustained a quantifiable injury due to a breach in your employer´s duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to work. A near miss will not entitle you to claim for industrial accident injury compensation, nor will any injury sustained in an industrial accident where you were primarily to blame for the incident occurring, or where you were solely responsible for your injuries due to your own lack of care.
Making Your Health a Priority
After any industrial accident, you first priority must be that of your health. No amount of industrial accident injury compensation will make up for a permanent health issue which could have been avoided with timely medical attention and furthermore, you may actually jeopardise your entitlement to industrial accident compensation if your injury deteriorates due to your own lack of care.
In the most serious industrial accidents, a Health and Safety Executive investigation will determine whether your employer´s negligence is responsible for your injuries and, in lesser cases, the testimony of witnesses to your accident – along with your own account of what happened – will often be sufficient to support a claim for industrial accident injury compensation.
Therefore, even if you have received first aid at the scene of an industrial accident, it is vital that you undergo a medical examination at the accident and emergency department of your local hospital or at your GPs surgery at the earliest possible opportunity.
Establishing Negligence in Industrial Accidents
Once you have received treatment for your injuries, you should consider making a claim for industrial accident injury compensation when you believe it can be established that your employer was responsible for your injuries due to his negligence. Negligence can manifest in many different ways, from failing to conduct a thorough risk assessment to failing to provide appropriate training, and from failing to provide suitable personal protective equipment to failing to provide adequate supervision when required.
Therefore, even when an action – or the lack of action – by a colleague or supervisor is responsible for you sustaining an injury in an industrial accident, you are still entitled to make an industrial accident injury compensation claim against your employer. This is how the Health and Safety Executive would interpret the issue of negligence, and therefore the law in a claim for industrial accident injury compensation.
Making a Claim for Industrial Accident Compensation
Once it has been established that you have sustained an injury attributable to a lack of care by your employer to provide you with a safe environment in which to work, you are eligible to make a claim for industrial accident compensation. Ideally your industrial accident injury compensation claim should be handled by a personal injury solicitor to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of industrial accident compensation and to deal with all the logistics of making an industrial accident compensation claim while you are still recovering from your injury.
The solicitor will calculate how much compensation you are entitled to receive and send a letter of claim to your employer´s insurers, stating why a claim is being made and how much is being claimed in industrial accident compensation. When a sufficiently strong claim is entered with clear proof of liability for your injuries, settlement of your industrial accident compensation claim can be completed quickly and without the need for your case to be heard in court.
How Much Compensation for Industrial Accidents?
How much compensation for industrial accident injury you are entitled to receive will depend on the extent and severity of your injury, how long it may take to recover from your accident and your age, sex and general standard of health prior to the industrial accident taking place. The effect that your injury has on your quality of life will also be taken into account, along with any emotional trauma you might have experienced either when the injury due to an industrial accident occurred or during your recovery.
Any financial costs you have incurred due to the accident will also be recovered in compensation for industrial accident injury, and these can include any payments you have made for medical treatment, any costs of alternative travel arrangements if you are unable to drive and any loss of income, overtime or pension contributions which are directly attributable to your industrial accident.
Claims for Industrial Accident Compensation and Insurance Companies
Due to the potential size of industrial accident injury compensation settlements, you may be approached by your employer´s insurance company with an offer of early settlement – sometimes even before you have contemplated taking legal advice. Insurance companies are keen to reduce their costs wherever possible, and one of the areas in which they can make significant savings is by paying reduced amounts of compensation for industrial accident injury.
Consequently, the insurance company will make you an offer of industrial accident injury compensation which is less than a solicitor would calculate that you are entitled to, but will offer to pay it immediately. Although you may be particularly concerned about your short-term financial security, these offers of compensation for industrial accident injury should always be referred to your solicitor for, if you inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer – and the funds run out before you are able to return to work – you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more.
No Win No Fee Industrial Accident Injury Compensation Claims
Most solicitors will offer “No Win, No Fee” legal representation in claims for industrial accident injury compensation. This means that if, for any reason, your claim for industrial accident injury compensation fails, you will not owe your solicitor for their legal fees; although you may be responsible for the costs associated with the preparation of your case and the defendant´s legal fees.
These other costs are usually covered by legal expenses insurance attached to an existing car or household contents insurance policy, but your solicitor will discuss this with you when you first have an assessment of your industrial accident injury compensation claim to ensure that you are not exposed to any financial risk when making your claim.
Industrial Accident Compensation Summary
It is understandable that some people will be apprehensive in the current economic climate about making a claim for industrial accident injury compensation, for fear of damaging relationships with an employer or jeopardising future job prospects. The law protects claimants in all work injury claims from repercussions in the workplace but, if this is a concern to you, you should discuss it with a solicitor as soon as possible.
All solicitors offer a free initial consultation, where you can explain the circumstances surrounding your industrial accident injury, establish that you have a claim for industrial accident compensation which is worth your while to pursue and find out how much compensation for industrial accident injury you may be entitled to receive. Naturally, all calls to solicitors are completely confidential and you should never be placed under any pressure to proceed with a claim for industrial accident injury compensation.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.