What to do after a workplace accident

Construction site

Everyone is entitled to a safe environment while working. But accidents at work can happen in lots of different ways and for lots of different reasons.

Maybe it was a lack of PPE. Maybe it was due to failings by other members of staff. Maybe faulty equipment was to blame. Maybe even the weather. There are no shortage of scenarios that can result in a workplace accident.

So what do you do after an accident occurs in the workplace?

For help with physical injuries you may seek the help of medics and to deal with the accident itself you might report the accident to your employer.

But if you have decided to make a personal injury claim after a workplace accident – or are thinking about one – do you know what to do or expect?

What follows is a quick rundown of some key steps to consider so you are prepared.

1 – Seek medical attention as early as possible

Your welfare and physical recovery comes first so make sure you get the required medical help to treat any urgent aspects to your injuries. 
Seeking the help of healthcare professionals leaves notes in your medical records – and this in turn helps create a direct link between the accident and your injury and may be used later in evidence. 

Early medical intervention can also be used to work out if it may be beneficial for you to access specialist treatment as soon as possible. This is why it is important to never delay medical help – so trying to ‘put on a brave face’ doesn’t necessarily help.

2 - Report the accident to your employer

Workplaces are obligated to maintain a records of your accident which details:

  • What happened
  • When it happened 
  • Where it happened 
  • How it happened
  • Who was involved 
  • What the outcome was

When you report the accident you should include as much information as possible as you cannot go back and add to the report later.

If the accident stopped you working for more than seven days (including weekends) then your employer is obligated to report the accident to the Health & Safety Executive which may then investigate the circumstances further. 

3 – Gather evidence

  • Photos – if you are able to, try and document what happened in the immediate aftermath of your accident. This could be photos or videos and your smartphone will do the job just fine. It might show your injury, a faulty piece of equipment or even the scene of the accident itself. If you are photographing faulty equipment then also try and take a note of serial numbers or identifying marks. It all helps build an accurate picture of what actually happened at the time.
  • Names of witnesses – making a note of who witnessed your accident and getting their contact details is a big help as they will be able to describe what happened as well, which would also help support your claim.
  • Copies of any statements you gave to your employer – you can request a copy of any information you provided to your employer about your accident. In our experience, sometimes copies of reports can be misplaced or lost over time so it’s good to have a copy of what was said to protect against such potential issues.

4 – Keep receipts

The aftermath of some types of injuries and accidents can leave people out of pocket with immediate expenses. Painkillers… the need for mobility equipment… taxi fares to hospital appointments… or maybe even the loss of valuable possessions as a result of what happened. 

Locating your receipts for any lost or new purchases (directly brought about by the accident) means we can add these to the cost of your claim so you can be reimbursed.

*This is especially important for people who were injured while working abroad as they may have incurred high medical bills or unscheduled flights home.

5 – Call Digby Brown for your workplace injury claim

At Digby Brown, our personal injury solicitors fully investigate the circumstances of your work accident and the injuries sustained - and this is exactly why thousands of injured employees have relied on us to receive fair and appropriate compensation.

If your employer fails to provide a safe working environment and you are injured as a result, you can seek compensation both for the injury and any loss of work or earnings you suffer. This is the best way of ensuring someone else does not end up with similar injuries.

We also believe holding irresponsible employers to account raises health and safety standards for everyone.

Who pays for my compensation?

Employers are required to have Employers’ Liability Insurance and it is this policy that will most likely pay for your damages so you do not need to worry about it coming from your employer’s own pocket.  

Can I be sacked for making a work accident claim?

No. If your employer tried to sack you, let you go or make life deliberately difficult for you then they’d actually be breaching employment laws and could open themselves up to yet more legal action they’d be liable for. 

Can I claim if I’m self-employed?

Yes – depending on circumstances. For example, if you work in construction and were injured while being sub-contracted to work on a site, then the site manager is responsible for your safety – so they would be liable to compensate you in the event you were injured and suffered losses.
Remember - compensation is not an ‘award’. It is a payment made in recognition of your injuries to put you back in a financial position as if the accident never happened. 

Compensation is your legal entitlement and it can make the difference when it comes to protecting the future for you and your family.

Please get in touch for legal advice after a work accident - because if it matters to you, it matters to Digby Brown.