Don’t deal with a work injury claim on your own

Woman looking out of window

Mrs Moore was involved in an accident at her work and suffered an injury to her shoulder as a result.

She reported the accident to her employer who agreed to pay for physiotherapy. However, she continued to experience pain and discomfort in her shoulder almost two years later so she told her employer she wanted to make a claim for her injuries.

“I thought it would go away on its own but it didn’t, my shoulder just got tighter and tighter.

"I realised quite quickly that the injury was having a huge impact on everyday things like showering and getting dressed. I had problems sleeping and if I unconsciously rolled over in the night it would be agony.

“The senior members of staff weren’t very understanding and the way they behaved towards me was appalling.

"They never apologised for what happened and it was clear they didn’t care that I was injured so I decided to make a claim.”

Tried to deal with work insurers directly

Her injury claim was passed to her employer’s insurers and she dealt with them directly. They began investigating who was responsible for the accident. Current guidelines entitle them to up to three months to investigate.

Nine months later, they wrote to her and said they would not compensate her for the work accident. The reasons provided were that there was:

  • No mention of the accident in her medical records
  • She did not immediately seek treatment for her shoulder injury.

On that basis, and without an opinion from a medical expert, they claimed the accident was not the cause of her injury. They failed to address who was actually responsible for the accident.

“I decided to get proper legal advice from Digby Brown Solicitors.”

Almost lost legal right to claim compensation

By the time Mrs Moore contacted Digby Brown, there were only five months left before her injury claim would become timebarred and she would lose her legal right to compensation.

In Scotland, victims of workplace accidents have three years to make a claim. However, Digby Brown agreed to take the case on and had to act quickly to protect Mrs Moore’s right to compensation.

“Digby Brown listened to me and it was clear that my solicitor knew exactly what she was doing.

"She was very honest and thorough, she was wonderful.”

Solicitors at our Glasgow office spoke with witnesses and recovered Mrs Moore’s medical records. They found that there was in fact mention of the work accident and the injury in the medical records.

A consultant orthopaedic surgeon was instructed to prepare an expert medical report. He concluded that the injury was caused by the accident at work.

Work refuse to accept fault

When the insurers were asked to clarify whether they accepted responsibility for the work accident, regardless of whether the injuries were related to the accident, they simply repeated the position given to Mrs Moore.

With the insurer still not willing to admit responsibility, our Glasgow solicitors issued court proceedings against Mrs Moore’s employer. This was all funded via our Compensate funding which meant Mrs Moore was not liable to pay expenses if the case was not successful.

“All the way through, my solicitor was very supportive and there guiding me through.

"When there was a chance we would go to court, I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous even though I’ve never been to court before.

"I knew my solicitor was there for me and she made me feel confident and safe because I was in the right and I hadn’t done anything wrong.”

Shortly afterwards, a settlement of £5,000 was reached, within six months of Mrs Moore initially approaching Digby Brown for advice.

“If you’re in an accident at work, don’t try and deal with it yourself. Get proper legal advice straight away.

“I was delighted with the final outcome and I would recommend Digby Brown to anyone.

"The main thing I wanted was for my employer to acknowledge it should not have happened. Instead, they made me jump through hoops but I wasn’t putting up with being treated badly.

"Now my employer seems to be taking us more seriously when it comes to health and safety and I can move forward from it all.”