The workplace is rife with potential hazards that, if not managed properly, can be dangerous to employees’ health and wellbeing.
In 2019/20, nearly 700,000 employees suffered a non-fatal injury at work, with the most common accident being a slip, trip or a fall. 168,000 of these incidents meant the individual involved needed to take more than seven days leave to recover. This number has risen compared to the previous year, and marks a new upward trend, something which hasn’t happened since before 2000.
What counts as a serious injury?
Serious injuries, also known as catastrophic injuries, are traumatic events which have profound and long-lasting effects on a person. The list is extensive, and could be anything from brain injury to paralysis or organ loss.
Here at Lysander Law, we know how distressing it can be if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in the workplace. Knowing where to start with a claim can be a daunting task. Here are four things you must do after an accident at work to make your claim as easy and as straightforward as possible.
Seek medical help
First and foremost, put yourself first. Ensure that you receive the correct medical assistance as quickly as possible to avoid any complications or further injuries. Your health and recovery are the most important things to think about in this situation.
Tell your employer about the incident
If your employer wasn’t present at the time of the incident, they must be made aware as soon as possible. The events must be explained in as much detail as possible. Mandatory information includes:
- The date the incident happened
- Time and place of the event
- Personal details of those involved
- A description of what happened
Employers have a legal duty to ensure the incident is officially recorded. This is known as RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). Employers must report any incidents to the correct governing body within 10 or 15 days of the event occurring, in the event that an employee has been incapacitated and unable to work for 7 days or more (including weekends).
In the event of making a claim, the RIDDOR report can be used as evidence in court to prove the severity of your injuries and may be crucial to a successful claim.
Take photos of the scene
As with any legal claim, there is no such thing as too much proof. Ask someone you trust, such as a colleague, to take photos of the scene of the incident to show what hazard caused you to sustain your injuries.
For example, a common claim is for a serious slip, trip or fall on a wet or slippery surface. If signage wasn’t clearly provided to make employees aware of the danger, then this is negligence on behalf of your employer. By providing photographic evidence, you are only helping to strengthen your claim.
Make a note of the expenses and losses incurred
As a result of your serious injury, not only may you lose out on potential income and commission but, there may be additional costs for your care such as physiotherapy, counselling, transport to and from hospitals or surgeries. Not only can these be emotionally and physically draining, but they can leave you considerably out of pocket.
Make sure you keep a detailed record, including receipts, of all the costs incurred after sustaining your injuries. This document can be used in the claims process to ensure you are fairly and correctly compensated.
Losing a loved one – does this count as a serious or catastrophic injury?
Losing a loved one most certainly counts as a serious or catastrophic injury. We understand that no amount of money will ever be enough to compensate for the loss of a loved one, but it is important that you receive the correct funds to provide you and your family with financial security following a bereavement.
If you or someone you know has recently suffered a serious injury in the workplace and would like to begin a no win, no fee claim, our friendly and experienced team are on hand to help. Contact us here for more information.