Office Accident Claims
Office accidents and injuries are incredibly common and form the basis of many enquiries that are made to us in the pursuit of compensation following an injury. There are a number of potential hazards in an office environment that can lead to an accident if health and safety issues are not adequately addressed. Some of the most common causes of office accidents that are presented to us include:
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Slips on wet floors and spillages
- Electric shocks from faulty machines
- Trips on loose wires, cables and other obstructions
- Poor ergonomics within the workplace such as poorly positions chairs, inadequate levels of computer monitors
- Manual handling injuries caused by lifting heavy boxes
- Falls from faulty or damaged office chairs
Claims for compensation following an office accident are made against the employer or their insurance company, even if the accident was the fault of a co-worker. By law, all employers must carry Employer’s Liability Insurance. This type of insurance pays compensation to employees who are injured in the workplace.
Your employer has a duty of care
Employers have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are not at risk of an injury through dangerous or unhealthy working environments. By law, they must take reasonable steps to ensure that their work setting conforms with health and safety requirements. As part of this obligation, an employer must:
- Carry out a risk assessment to identify potential hazards in the workplace
- Eliminate or minimise any risks identified, such as installing cable tidies to remove the risk of trips and falls for example
- Provide safety equipment where necessary
- Train staff on safe working practices.
In order to be successful in an office accident claim, your solicitor will need to prove that your employer was at fault for the accident that caused your injury or injuries. Your solicitors will be able to assess this liability by discussing your accident with you during a free telephone consultation.
Am I eligible to make a claim following my office injury?
To be eligible to make a work accident compensation claim, it will need to be established that your employer has been negligent by failing to take reasonable steps to keep the premises safe and protect people from injury. Employer negligence is almost always established in cases where they have breached a specific health and safety rule.
If you have suffered an injury while working in an office environment within the last three years, and your accident was due to the fault of your employer, it is likely that you will be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
The injury solicitors we work in partnership with are highly experienced in processing cases for office injury claims and as such, are ideally placed to offer you advice with regards to the processes involved and the likely outcome of your claim. At your free initial consultation, a legal adviser will assess the details of your injury and case and offer expert knowledge and advice to provide you with guidance on the likely compensation sum that you could be entitled to.
What will I need in order to make a successful claim?
To make a successful claim, your solicitor will need to prove who was responsible for the injury and the severity of ailments suffered as a result. Once the liability of an accident has been established, the solicitor will work closely with you to gather evidence and documentation to strengthen your claim. Some of the most beneficial pieces of evidence include:
- Accident reports or copies of entries made into the offices accident book
- Photographs of the scene in which the accident took place. Ideally, photographs will highlight the cause of the accident or demonstrate where safety measures have not been observed.
- Medical reports including copies of any diagnosis and treatment plans
- Copies of prescriptions and receipts for any other treatment costs and related expenses.
- Witness contact details and statements if available.
Once the solicitor has gathered all of the necessary evidence to support your claim, they will work with you to build your case with the aim of achieving the maximum compensation award possible.
Can I claim on a no win no fee basis?
Yes, your injury solicitor will work on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay anything to start your claim, and you won’t pay a penny if your case is unsuccessful. Your solicitor will only receive a fee if they are able to win your case, with this fee being agreed with you upfront during your initial consultation.
Is there a time limit on making a claim for an office accident?
Work accident claims, like most other personal injury claims, must be initiated within three years of the date of the accident. There is an exception to this rule, known as the date of knowledge, which may apply to some office based claims. For example, if you have sustained a repetitive strain injury, this is usually caused over a long period of repetitive work, such as typing. There isn’t a specific accident date. So in these cases, the three year time limit begins on the date you are diagnosed with the work related injury.
In most cases it is wise to commence your claim at the earliest opportunity. This will help to ensure that access to documents and supporting evidence is more easily accessible, and the memory of the accident for yourself and any witnesses remains fresh and accurate.
How much compensation can I claim for an office accident?
Although it is a common question for many people thinking about making a personal injury claim, it is one that is actually quite difficult to answer. This is because how much compensation your office accident may entitle you to claim will be based on a variety of considerations specific to your case.
To help give you an idea, personal injury compensation is divided into two areas. These are known as general damages and special damages. General damages is an amount to compensate you for the actual injury or illness you have suffered. Here your solicitor will use medical evidence to determine the type of injury or injuries you have suffered, the severity of these injuries and the impact they have had on your life.
The Judicial College Guidelines are used to calculate general damages, with most injury types being broken down into mild, moderate or severe. For each category, there is a recommended minimum and maximum compensation amount. Our compensation calculator can be used to give you an approximate amount for the type of injury you have suffered.
What is more difficult to calculate is special damages, which is an amount based on the impact the accident has had on your finances. The aim here is to try to put you back to the financial position you would have been in had the accident not have happened.
Special damages can take into account the following:
- loss of earnings, including future loss of earnings
- medical expenses, such as prescription costs
- the cost of rehabilitation treatment, such as physiotherapy
- transport costs, such as taxi rides to hospital appointments
- care costs if you need care assistance due to your injuries
- home adaptations, such as having to adapt your home for wheelchair access
Your solicitor will undertake a thorough analysis of your financial losses to ensure you are not left out of pocket due to the negligence of your employer.
Can my employer dismiss me if I make a claim?
You are legally entitled to make a claim for compensation following an office accident or injury that was not your fault. Your employer would be breaking the law if they pressured you not to take legal action or if they made your working relationship difficult following a claim.
It is also unlawful for an employer to terminate an employment contract or discriminate against an employee on the basis of them having made a claim for compensation. If your employer did dismiss you, you would be protected under employment laws and would likely have a successful case against your employer for unfair dismissal.
How do I find out if I have a valid claim?
To see if you have a valid accident claim against your employer, call 0800 678 1410 today to arrange a free case assessment. A friendly legal adviser will listen to you and ask you a few questions about the circumstances of your accident and the injuries you have sustained. Based on this information they will discuss your options and let you know if you are eligible to proceed with a compensation claim.
If you do have a valid case, an experienced injury lawyer will offer to work for you on a no win no fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs to get started and you will only pay a fee if the case is successful. If your case is lost, you won’t pay a penny.
To find out more, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into the form below to receive a call back.