Work Related Accidents: How the Law Impacts a Workplace Environment

When it comes to workers who have sustained injuries as a result of an on-the-job accident, injury, or occupational disease, there are several things they can do to increase the chances of successfully proving liability. First, it’s important to find an attorney that is experienced in handling work related accidents and the injuries associated with them. They will assist you in preserving any evidence related to the case that will also prove useful to ensuring proper justice.

Employer Responsibility

Although the law is always subject to changes and new interpretations, there are legal processes that help ensure the liable party is held accountable in work related accident cases. It’s required, by law, that every employer must report serious work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous incidents to the Health Safety Executive (HSE). Your employer has to follow certain guidelines and carry out a risk assessment to best take care of the health and safety of employees and visitors. This includes deciding how many first-aid personnel are needed, and what kind of first-aid equipment and facilities should be provided. First-aiders have no statutory right to extra pay, but some employers do offer this. Employees must also take reasonable care over their own health and safety.

Things that must be kept in mind while undergoing a dispute related to worker’s compensation include: disability payments, returning to work after an injury, medical treatment, physician changes, vocational rehabilitation, and permanent partial disability benefits and will guide our client’s towards the outcome they desire.

Recording Accidents

Any injury at work – including minor injuries – should be recorded in your employer’s ‘accident book’. All employers (except for very small companies) must keep an accident book. It’s mainly for the benefit of employees, as it provides a useful record of what happened in case you need time off work or need to claim compensation later on. But recording accidents also helps your employer to see what’s going wrong and take action to stop accidents in future.

Making an Injury Claim

If you have been injured in an accident at work and you think your employer is at fault, you may want to make a claim for compensation. Any claim must be made within three years of the date of the accident, and you will normally need a lawyer to represent you. If you belong to a trade union, you may be able to use their legal services. Otherwise, you should speak to a specialist personal injury lawyer.

By law, your employer must be insured to cover a successful claim. Your employer should place a certificate with the name of their employer’s insurance company where it can be seen at work. If not, they must give you the details if you need them.

If you are considering suing your employer, remember that the aim of legal damages is to put you in the position you would be in had the accident not happened – it’s not about getting hold of some ‘free’ money.

Determining Liability

Worker’s compensation laws prevent injured workers from filing personal injury lawsuits against their employers for certain work related accidents; so determining liability in those cases are unnecessary. However, if the accident occurred on the actual job site due to the negligence of a non-company related individual, then a possible claim could be filed against the third party. The third party could be more than just an individual, as it is often the designers and manufacturers of defective machines and equipment. Other third party examples that could be held liable include subcontractors, negligent drivers, property owners, maintenance companies or even safety consultants.

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