Accidents at Work
If you have been injured as a result of a workplace accident whilst employed in the UK, then you may be entitled to claim compensation against your employer or any other person, party or organisation responsible for the accident. To succeed with a workplace accident compensation claim you need to show that the employer (or someone for whom the employer was responsible) was at fault.
Industrial injuries can occur when using machinery such as forklift trucks in the workplace, which can be hazardous for both the operator and the people who work around the operator. Employers are legally required to supply training and safety equipment for all staff. Accidents can also occur when using other equipment such as ladders and scaffolding (including dropping objects from a height or failing to secure properly to a vehicle), which can follow from an employer’s failure to provide proper training, routine inspections and maintenance.
It is also the employer’s duty to ensure that your working environment including floors and working areas are safe and free from hazards. Further, many people are employed where their duties may include some manual work; this may involve pushing, pulling or lifting items from one place to another.
Almost one third of accidents in the workplace involve an accident caused by a person carrying or moving an excessive weight. The most common type of injury caused by improper training or an excessive workload are back injuries. Adequate training must be given, together with adequate supervision. Employees should not be asked to perform tasks that are beyond their physical capabilities and where possible employers must supply the adequate tools for the job (pallet trucks / trolleys etc).
Accidents in public places are quite common. Your accident may have occurred on the street or in a shop or in some other location that has public access like a swimming pool or place of education.
What is vital to a successful claim in these type of accidents is photographic evidence. You need to take good quality photos of the fault that caused your accident – it could be an uneven paving stone or a pothole for example. Ideally you should take photos of the defect with a ruler in place thus giving an idea of scale and record the date the photos are taken.
If your accident occurred on the street then compensation is commonly sought from the Highway Authority, often the local council, who have a legal duty to maintain the public highway so that it is safe for users. This would include pavements, roads, cycle tracks, paths and other routes for which the Highway Authority is responsible. Bad winters and changes in public spending priorities sometimes means that pavements, roads and pathways are neglected and vehicles can be damaged and people can be injured by potholes or cracked or uneven surfaces.
However, the Highway Authority does have a defence against a claim if it can show that it has taken all reasonable care to maintain the highway in a condition that is safe for users so with these claims it is essential that you seek assistance from a Solicitor who has considerable experience in dealing with this type of claim and who can give you straightforward advice on whether your compensation claim is likely to succeed.
Tripping and slipping accidents offer occur in shopping centres or shops. For example you may slip and fall on a wet floor or trip on debris that has not been cleared. In these cases compensation is usually sought from the owner or the occupier of the shopping centre or store as they have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that you are kept reasonably safe whilst visiting the centre or the shop. You are protected by the same legal duty if you are injured in other premises as long as you were invited or permitted to be there by the owner and/or occupier.
If you are a tenant and you are injured in the premises you are renting you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation. If the landlord is an occupier he owes you the same legal duty as the owner or occupier of a shop but in cases where the landlord is not an occupier he will, where the tenancy arrangement requires him to, maintain or repair the premises and owes you a duty to take care, as far is reasonable, to see that you are safe from personal injury caused by damage or a defect in the premises. A landlord may face a personal injury claim from you under the terms of any actual tenancy agreement if you should suffer injury as a result of any breach of that agreement by your landlord.