For anyone considering making a claim for compensation following a workplace accident or injury, proving that your employer was liable will be vital to the success of your case. In the following article, we will outline the main items of evidence that are necessary to support your case. As personal injury solicitors, it is our job to collate the documentation and evidence to underpin your claim. The following are the main steps following your accident to the creation and submission of your claim:
Seek medical attention
It is paramount that following an accident, you focus on your health and wellbeing. You should seek medical intervention, either from a paramedic, accident and emergency, or for less serious injuries, your GP. The process of seeking compensation can wait until you are well enough, and all information can be gathered in retrospect if required.
Report the accident
Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), it is a legal requirement that serious workplace accidents are officially reported to the necessary authority. In addition, you, or a colleague (if you are unable to), should report the accident to your supervisor, who must document the incident in the workplace accident workbook – this will later form part of the evidence required for your case.
Gathering evidence at the place of the accident (if possible)
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, this step may not be feasible, but where possible, you should try to take photographs of where the accident happened and gather the details of any witnesses to the incident. We also recommended writing down what happened, including drawing a sketch.
It is also recommended that you keep copies of any expenses that are incurred due to your accident, for example, taxi fares and prescriptions.
Instruct a workplace personal injury solicitor
It is important to engage a solicitor as early as possible as they will ensure that a comprehensive rehabilitation programme is arranged as a first priority, in conjunction with your employer’s insurer. When you contact us, we will listen to the details of your case in detail and quickly confirm if have a case for financial compensation.
At this point, we will also outline the options you have for no-win-no-fee (condition fee arrangements). Under such an arrangement, you will not be required to pay legal costs, although you may need to pay disbursements – this will be explained in full detail before you proceed.
If you do proceed, we will then document the fine details of your case, including all of the evidence you have gathered so far. In addition to the above evidence, it will be useful to have:
- Date, time, address of the accident
- Your National Insurance number
- Details of your earnings – especially if you have lost earnings, or are likely to lose earnings in the future
- Details of any training you have been given at work
- Name and address of the hospital you attended, and the name of the lead physician who oversaw your care
Pre-Action Personal Injury Protocol
Many workplace injury claims follow the Pre-Action Personal Injury Protocol process. Under this process, your solicitor will first send a ‘letter of claim’ to the Defendant (most often your employer). This outlines the facts of the case, the injuries incurred, and the financial losses that resulted. The Defendant has 21 days to reply to this letter, admitting or denying liability.
In some cases, we may need to arrange for an independent expert witness. We commonly only seek expert medical opinion, however, in more complex cases, we may seek another expert opinion, such as from engineering experts – perhaps if we need to have an item of workplace machine examined.
As defined by the Ministry of Justice, there is a vast range of supporting documents which your solicitor may gather to support your claim for compensation, these include (but are not limited to):
- Employer accident book entry;
- First aider report;
- Medical / Surgery record;
- Foreman/supervisor accident report;
- Safety representative’s accident report;
- RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) reported to HSE or relevant investigatory agency;
- Back to work interview notes and report;
- Minutes of Health and Safety Committee meeting(s) where accident/matter was considered;
- CCTV footage and any other relevant photographs, videos and/or DVDs;
- Earnings information where defendant is employer;
- Reports to Department of Work and Pensions;
- Manufacturer’s or dealers instructions or recommendations concerning use of the work equipment;
- Service or maintenance records of the work equipment;
- Work sheets and all other documents completed by or on behalf of those responsible for implementing the cleaning policy and recording work done;
- All invoices, receipts and other documents relating to the purchase of relevant
safety equipment to prevent a repetition of the accident;
- All correspondence, instructions, estimates, invoices and other documentation submitted or received concerning repairs, remedial works or other works to the work equipment/the premises since the date of that accident;
- Worksheets and all other documents recording work done completed by those responsible for maintaining the work equipment/premises;
- All relevant risk assessments;
- All reports, conclusions or recommendations following any enquiry or investigation into the accident;
Making a successful claim for compensation following an accident at work requires experience and expertise. Not all personal injury solicitors are the same. The best will take the time to listen to all of the details of your case and then build a robust claim, which leaves no room for doubt that the employer was liable. The most important point to remember is that it is the job of your personal injury solicitor to gather all of the evidence required to support your case. We can request this on your behalf from your employer, medical practitioner, or any other source required. You can rest assured that by us doing all of the time-consuming work on your behalf, you can focus on your physical and psychological recovery.
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered a workplace injury and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.