Work injury compensation claims
A coffee barista being scalded by faulty machines; a warehouse packer hit by falling boxes or a construction worker falling from height. Van couriers being injured while carrying out deliveries or lorry drivers injured in a road traffic crash - the list of potential accident scenarios is almost infinite when you consider the vast range of industries and businesses across Scotland.
Everyone is entitled to a safe environment while working with or for the benefit of others. Digby Brown represents people across Scotland who have been injured whilst at work. We believe holding irresponsible employers to account raises health and safety standards for everyone.
Our aim is to make the legal process as stress-free as possible. Your employer may try to deal with you directly or you may have Union representation, however, the only proper way to assess what level of damages someone is entitled to is by using an independent legal firm.
We know an accident can leave people feeling vulnerable and frustrated, which is why you will be supported by a highly trained and experienced team of solicitors.
Accidents at work can happen in numerous ways: they may be caused by a lack of appropriate safety equipment or clothing, hazardous conditions, failings of equipment or lack of care and attention by other employees. The list is endless. However, what is common in all is the responsibility of care by your employer to make a proper assessment of the risks that their employees will encounter and do everything reasonable to reduce them.
Employers are required by law to have insurance (known as Employers’ Liability Insurance), details of which should be displayed prominently in the workplace. This insurance is their safeguard against loss, whether as result of accidental damage or negligence leading to an individual making a claim against the organisation.
If your employer fails to provide a safe working environment and you are injured as a result, you can and should seek compensation both for the injury and any loss of work or earnings you suffer. This is the best way of ensuring that someone else does not end up with similar injuries.
We understand that making a work injury claim against your employer can be difficult but be rest assured the presence of employers’ liability insurance means it is an insurance company who will be dealing with the case from the outset. Knowing your rights as an employee who has been injured is important and we can help with that, as well.
Health and safety in the workplace
The purpose of Health and Safety law is to protect people in their places of work. Your employer has a duty to take reasonable care for your safety. In particular, an employer has a general duty to provide:
- A safe system of work
- A safe place of work
- Safe work equipment
- Appropriate training and instruction
If your employer breaches one or more of their general or statutory duties and this results in an accident, they or their insurers may be liable to compensate you for the loss and injury you have suffered. Your employer is also responsible for ensuring that the other people you work with behave appropriately and do not cause accidents.
Employers cannot pretend to be ignorant of potential risks. The law requires employers to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks that workers are exposed to and take measures to avoid those risks.
In recent decades, there have been vast improvements in health and safety in the workplace environment. Employers understand that they are liable for financially compensating anyone injured as a result of them failing to meet their responsibilities. This recognition has driven up safety standards year-on-year.
Our process for starting your compensation claim
The first step is to get in touch. You can call or fill in an enquiry form and someone will call you back when convenient for you. We will take some initial details: name, address, employer and then find out exactly what happened. From this, we will determine how and if we can help and which department or office is best suited to your circumstances.
We will explain everything to you, fund the case, talk to your employer, their insurer and progress the financial claim whilst ensuring you receive the correct medical attention – physiotherapy for example.
It may be that your injury prevents you from working yet you still have bills to pay. If that is the case, once fault has been established, then we may be able to secure something called an ‘interim payment’. This is a small lump sum paid by the other side to cover any immediate financial obligations (like mortgage payments).
Then, as your case progresses, we can look at more long-term impacts such as calculating losses to your pension. Working in this way means you get immediate help with keeping a roof over your head and food on the table as we look to safeguard your future.
Your solicitor will also consider the following:
Your injury - whether a cut, a fractured limb or a spine trauma; no matter your injury, you are entitled to fair compensation.
Medical treatment – we will take steps to ensure you access the best possible medical care, should you require ongoing treatment. Even if this means going private, the costs of this will simply be added to your claim and paid for by the other side.
Rehabilitation - Some people may require long-term support after their immediate healthcare is sorted (such as physiotherapy), while others who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may benefit from speaking to a counsellor. Again, this is something your solicitor can help you access.
Loss of earnings - This is a huge part of any claim. If your injury stops you working – either for a certain period of time or, in some cases, permanently – then this is vital in making sure you are not left out of pocket.
Home adaptations - Sadly, in some serious cases, a person or their family may require adaptations like having wheelchair access. Your solicitor can help you with this as part of your claim.
Other expenses - There are small expenses that people are able to include as part of their claim such as having to pay for a taxi home or covering the costs of any personal possessions that may have been damaged. It is important to keep any relevant receipts as they may become useful at the time you make a claim.
The ‘no win, no fee’ work accident claims process
We aim to make the claims process as smooth as possible. That means doing the legal work as efficiently as possible and even just speaking to you in plain English when we regularly phone you with an update on your case.
Each one of the many thousands of cases we handle every year are different. Even though the circumstances, injuries and aftereffects of each accident or injury are different, there are still standard parts in the process that each client is likely to experience as part of their injury compensation claim with Digby Brown:
Statements – the first thing your solicitor will do is speak with you to find out what happened, how you were hurt and how it impacted your life.
Funding – if we take on your case, your solicitor will explain the ‘no win, no fee’ process. This includes the ‘success fee’ deducted at the end of your settlement (which as of April 2020 is no more than 20% - and yes, this includes VAT). So for example, if your case settles for £10,000 then you will have £8,000 in your hand after our success fee is deducted.
*You will not pay for anything towards the legal costs of your case as we pay for everything ourselves and get our money back from the other side who pay our expenses at the end.
Intimating the claim – we write to the other side to let them know we are making a compensation claim on your behalf. This starts the dialogue between both parties.
Evidence and reports – we gather all the different reports and statements needed to support your claim. This could be workplace accident log entries, witness statements, HSE investigation reports, police reports or other relevant documents from experts around specialist work tools or processes.
Your injuries – we collect all the medical evidence related to your injuries and treatment to better understand the immediate, short and long-term impacts. It may also be the case that we put you in touch with a specialist for further help.
Your financial losses – we gather evidence of your current earnings and speak to employment and financial experts. They can assess if your injuries could prevent you from working in your present job or have left you with limited career progression and, if so, what earnings you’ve lost as a result.
Agreeing on liability – This is when we start to argue the case and get the other side to accept liability (fault). If they accept liability they become legally obliged to compensate you.
Agreeing on quantum (how much compensation the insurer should pay) – This is where we tell the other side how much we are suing for. We also show them all the medical, financial and accident evidence to support this value.
Settlement – If all is agreed the case is settled. If the other side offer a value we believe is less than we think you are entitled to then we have no other choice than to take the case to court. However this is rare as most cases settle out of court. Even if it goes right to the wire and you’re at court, the case still often settles with quiet discussions before the court formally opens.
No win no fee personal injury solicitors
The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases. It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses.
A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful.
In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.
Compensate 'no win no fee' funding
Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.
If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing.
On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer
Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.
In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.
Beware of compensation offers which may be too good
We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.
- How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
- If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
- Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
- If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
- It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
- These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.
We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value.
Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.
Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown
Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.
Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.
Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors
For further information about no win no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.
How Digby Brown helps with workplace accident claims
At Digby Brown, we will fully investigate the circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained - and this is exactly why thousands of injured workers have relied on us to receive fair and appropriate compensation.
Ian McDonald was a firefighter who suffered an injury during what was meant to be a routine training exercise. His hand was pierced by a fine high-pressure jet of hydraulic fluid that burst from ‘jaws of life’ cutting gear. We helped him recover £1.5million in compensation.
Pamela Hyslop was cleaning a coffee machine at the café where she worked when it malfunctioned and exploded – causing a mug shard to become embedded in her wrist. She was left with life-long injuries that impacted on her ability to continue to work. Despite her former bosses refusing to accept any responsibility for the accident, we secured Pamela £180,000.
And office worker Mr W was left with severe back pain after he tripped over an upturned carpet tile. His employers offered just over £4,000 before Digby Brown started a court action however it eventually settled for £15,000.
Injured while working abroad?
You might be a lorry driver doing continental runs, an air steward working long-haul flights, a deckhand on a fishing vessel, a roustabout in the oil and gas industry, or a jet-setting business executive.
If your job requires travel outside of Scotland, your employer is still liable for your safety when you’re clocked-in.
Your safety doesn’t stop just because you’ve crossed time zones. This is why we’ve got a dedicated Foreign & Travel team, who can help you recover compensation for injuries suffered while working abroad. We can also help foreign nationals make an injury at work claim in Scotland. For example, we secured £15,000 for a Polish seasonal worker who injured his knee after falling at a Scottish farm.
Serious or fatal workplace accidents
Sadly, it is a reality that the negligence of an employer or company can sometimes prove to be so severe that it results in the death of a worker. Such tragic circumstances usually occur in roles within the construction, farming or offshore sectors but they can happen to any worker at any time.
Many people don’t realise this, but if your loved one died as a result of an accident at work then an independent personal injury solicitor can do more than help you recover much-needed compensation. Digby Brown can help shed light on unknown facts around the incident and play a part in the improvement processes to make sure employers never repeat the same mistakes.
We understand that fatal cases are extremely traumatic but we will do everything we can to support you during this time. This will include providing assistance during any investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the procurator fiscal or even during a fatal accident investigation.
We also have a dedicated Serious Injury department who specialise in helping the survivors of an acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury, and indeed their families. The Serious Injury department’s reputation is recognised by global legal watchdogs which is why they are frequently commended by dedicated support groups like Spinal Injuries Scotland, Back Up and Headway.
Why should I use Digby Brown for my accidents at work claim?
With over 100 personal injury solicitors dedicated to recovering compensation for accident victims, Digby Brown is both the largest and most widely recognised expert in personal injury claims in the workplace.
We are proud to know the work we do for clients in accident at work compensation claims has a positive knock-on effect for workers all over the world. Holding employers accountable via civil claims has helped improve safety standards across industries, sectors and even nations.
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. Negligent employers are legally bound to compensate people injured by their failings.
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 - because if it matters to you, it matters to Digby Brown.
0333 200 5926
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