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Accident at work claims 

Accidents at work aren't avoidable, they can happen in any workplace and for a variety of reasons.

A barista getting scalded by a faulty coffee machine, a warehouse packer being hit by a falling box, and a construction worker falling from height - the list of potential scenarios is almost infinite.

But we understand it’s life after the accident that affects most people. The injuries people suffer can be relatively minor or serious enough to prevent them from working. Sadly, in some cases, accidents can even result in life-changing or even tragic consequences that affect entire families.

According to government reports, there are around 43,000 non-fatal injuries and 15 fatal workplace accidents in Scotland every year. The majority of these occur in sectors which are considered ‘high risk’ like construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing but the truth is accidents can occur in any workplace.

More importantly, these aren’t just statistics – these are 43,000 people and families who suffer as a result of workplace accidents.

Can I claim for an accident at work?

If your employer failed to comply with health and safety regulations then you are entitled to claim compensation. 

Every employer has a duty of care towards its employees and the law dictates every employer must carry out risk assessments and take steps to minimise any danger and risk to employees. This is even the case if your accident was caused by a colleague's negligence.

Thankfully, health and safety standards at work have improved vastly over the years as employers are held accountable for any failings.

How to make a claim for an accident at work?

Seeking advice and making a claim for an accident or injury at work is simple. The first step is to get in touch with Digby Brown, we will take some initial details such as:

  • A description of the accident - as you understand it happened
  • The nature of your injuries
  • How have the injuries impacted your life - are you off work? Can you no longer do daily tasks?

We will also explain how our no win, no fee funding model works and answer any initial questions you may have.

Remember – a work injury compensation claim is not just a cash apology that reflects the nature of the injury. It is a legal process that seeks to recover and reflect the financial losses and lifestyle impacts of that injury. This is a very important distinction to make. It also lets you know what is at the forefront of every accident at work solicitor’s mind as they seek to hold liable people accountable and secure fair compensation for you.

The four crucial steps that you need to take if you're involved in an accident at work.

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.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website.

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

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

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.

What kind of work accidents can I claim for?

There are several types of workplace injuries your employer can be held responsible for. Most workplace accidents tend to happen in the following industries:

Don’t worry if your employer doesn’t fall into any of these sectors. They are just examples of the most common industries where we investigate work accident compensation claims.

Regardless of your profession or work sector, if you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence then you are entitled to seek compensation.

If you are a delivery driver for a retail company and another driver crashes into you, your personal injury case would be raised against the insurance company of the vehicle that crashed into you - much like any other road traffic accident.

The most likely reason you would claim against your employer is if there was an issue with the vehicle itself that resulted in your injury – such as if the vehicle brakes failed and it led to a crash. Company vehicle maintenance is your employer's responsibility and it is their job to treat it like a workplace and risk assess to keep you safe.

How long have I got to make a work accident claim?

In general, you have three years from the date of the accident or medical diagnosis to make a compensation claim. There are some exceptions to this rule – such as if you suffered a serious brain injury and were physically unable to seek legal advice during the time of your recovery. But this is why it’s important that you seek legal advice as soon as you’re able to.

How long do work accident claims take?

How long a claim takes is highly dependent upon several factors like:

  •  The length of your recovery
  •  Ongoing medical treatment
  • Admittance of liability from the employer
  •  Other ongoing processes – like Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigations

There really is no exact answer to this question because every person is affected differently and no two cases are the same. However, your solicitor will always keep you informed and seek to make the process as swift, smooth and transparent as possible.

What benefits can I claim after an accident at work?

If you have been injured at work or had to take time off work due to a work-related accident, you may be able to claim certain benefits.

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) - Statutory sick pay, or SSP, is the legal minimum amount of sick pay that your employer must pay to you if you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

If you have suffered serious trauma - like a brain injury or spinal cord injury – as a result of an accident then Digby Brown has a dedicated Welfare Rights Team which can help you access an even greater network of support and they will be able to provide bespoke advice and support suited to your individual needs.

I was injured while working abroad, can I still make a claim?

Yes, you can make a compensation claim if you were injured while working abroad. If your job requires travel outside of Scotland, your employer is still liable for your safety when you’re clocked in.

Our dedicated Foreign & Travel team can recover compensation for injuries suffered and guide you every step of the way.

Some key factors in this investigation will relate to:

  • 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 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 from 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.

If your injury prevents you from working yet you still have bills to pay we may be able to secure you an ‘interim payment’. This is a small lump sum paid by the other side to cover immediate financial obligations. These are the kind of vital details an experienced injury solicitor knows can make all the difference as it means you can keep a roof over your head and food on the table as we look to safeguard your future.

Digby Brown took over Allan's case after his union solicitor dropped it after a year.

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 that the work we do for clients in workplace injury compensation claims has a positive knock-on effect on 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 of you and your family.

Please get in touch as soon as you can - because if it matters to you, it matters to Digby Brown. 

Can I be sacked for bringing a claim against my employers?

Making a personal injury claim is not fair grounds for being dismissed from your job after an accident. 

If you are sacked after making an accident at work claim then this could be classed as unfair dismissal. Additionally, if your employer makes your life difficult after a claim and you then felt pressured to resign then you may have grounds for a constructive dismissal case.

How is a workplace accident or injury defined?

Generally speaking, a workplace injury is any physical injury you suffer while carrying out the course of your duties.

It is not enough to simply hurt yourself at work. For example, if you work in an office and trip while going down the stairs that may not be a strong enough argument to make a claim. However, if you fall down the stairs after tripping on the loose carpet at the top of the stairs then you would be more likely to have a case as your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe working environment.

Employers are required by law to have Employers’ Liability Insurance. This insurance is their safeguard against loss, whether as a result of accidental damage or negligence leading to an individual making a claim against the organisation.

There are many safety regulations in existence to cover many different industries but broadly speaking there are a few key issues that form the foundation of any safe workplace:

  • To provide proper equipment and machinery
  • To provide adequate training
  • To make sure that health and safety regulations are followed
  •  To make sure that any risks have been properly assessed

If your employer fails to provide any of these and you are injured as a result then you may have grounds to make a workplace accident injury claim.

Can I make an accident at work claim if I am on a zero hours contract? 

Yes – depending on circumstances. If you are employed on a zero-hours contract you are still an employee and therefore you are still entitled to the same safety considerations as any worker.

This is also true if you are self-employed or are employed by an agency. There are still expectations of safety you are entitled to and strict regulations that employers, site managers or contract holders must follow.

Can I still claim if the accident at work was partly my fault? 

Yes - especially if there is evidence to show you were not provided with the right training before it happened. This is common in construction cases where workers were asked to handle power tools yet were not given any training on how to use them safely.

In some cases it may be that contributory negligence applies – this is a legal argument that means the injured person shoulders some of the responsibility. This can sometimes result in a small deduction in final payments however this is rare. Our solicitors also have the experience to know how likely a problem this is – and the experience to know how to avoid the other side making that argument.

Will I get paid if my injury stops me from working?

This will all depend on your contract with your employer. Not all workers receive full pay if they can’t work due to sickness or injury.

However, if you don't get full sick pay you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to help you get by. 

As part of your compensation claim, we will take into account any loss of earnings you suffered as a result of your injury - and any losses you may experience in the future as a consequence. For example, if you are no longer able to go back and do the same job because of your injuries, or if this will impact on future job prospects and promotion.

Will my employer pay the compensation?

No - Many of our clients are worried their employer will be personally responsible for paying their compensation out of their own pocket. This does not happen. Your work is required by law to have Employer’s Liability Insurance and it is this insurance that pays out in the event of an injury claim. 

What is the process of making a claim for an accident at work?

There are standard parts to every claims process that each client is likely to experience with Digby Brown even though the circumstances, injuries and aftereffects of each accident or injury differ.

  • 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.
  • 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 offers 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.

What must my employer do to keep me safe?

According to the HSE, there are crucial steps that your employer must undertake in order to provide you with a safe working environment.

  • Assess risks - Employers have duties to assess risks in the workplace (commonly known as ‘risk assessments’). This means identifying work activities that could cause injury or illness and taking action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk.
  • Provide information about risks - Employers must give workers information about the risks in their workplace and how they are protected, and also instruct and train them on how to deal with the risks.
  • Consult employees - Employers must consult employees on health and safety issues. Consultation must be either direct or through a safety representative that is either elected by the workforce or appointed by a trade union.
  • Provide health and safety information -Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) to display the approved poster in a prominent position in each workplace or to provide each worker with a copy of the approved leaflet.

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