The six steps for a successful claim when suffering an injury at work

In this article from JMP Solicitors, they’ve looked at the six steps you must take for a successful claim when suffering an injury at work.

Employees who have suffered an injury at work can seek advice from legal specialists to ensure all necessary actions are taken in the event you choose to make a claim.

Whether an accident is caused by a slip, trip or machinery failure, a strain injury caused by repetitive tasks or inadequate equipment – you may be entitled to financial compensation.

690,000 workplace non-fatal injuries were recorded last year, with slips and falls, strains and sprains whilst carrying, lifting or handling accountable for the vast majority.

Employers are under legal obligation to adhere to current Health and Safety laws at all times and safeguarding an employee’s wellbeing is paramount. In the event prevention measures aren’t put in place or appropriate actions aren’t taken, they could be guilty of negligence.

From reporting the incident as soon as possible, to recording all evidence and seeking medical advice immediately, the legal experts at JMP Solicitors have compiled necessary steps to take following an injury in the workplace, should you wish to receive the appropriate treatment or make a personal injury claim.

Elizabeth Royall, Personal Injury Solicitor at JMP Solicitors explains: “Whether a slip, trip or fall within the work environment, it is crucial that events are recorded in detail, this should be in the form of written evidence, reports and photographs.

“Whilst it can be a stressful situation for all involved – circumstances must be handled cautiously and vigilantly in order to reach a successful outcome.”

1. Report potential hazards

Should employees become aware of any potential hazards such as broken items, spillages or inadequate equipment, these should be brought to the attention of the employer as quickly as possible in order to prevent a repetitive injury.

Prevention may not be possible before the first occurrence of an accident, however employees should raise a complaint before a repetitive injury occurs.

Reports should always be made in writing should proof be required retrospectively, and details of any colleagues who have experienced similar issues or raised concerns are helpful in this situation and could be included as supporting evidence.

2. Report an accident or injury in writing

Any accident or injury should be reported as soon as possible and in writing to the employer.

Where possible, it should be recorded within an accident report or incident book, stating the nature of the injury or accident, circumstances surrounding the event, any witnesses with contact information, the aftermath and any prior issues. A copy should be obtained by the individual and accuracy checked.

If this isn’t possible, details should be recorded in an email or letter and sent directly to the employer.

3. Take photographic evidence

Photographs should be obtained of the incident, any equipment involved and visible injuries.

Further photographs should be taken demonstrating how injuries develop over time to be used as evidence.

4. Comply with reasonable requests, but do not discuss your claim

Should the employer request further information regarding accident investigations or wish to discuss absence procedures it’s important to comply with all reasonable requests.

It’s worth noting the employer is entitled to question the individual about the accident, including their injuries and recovery.

The intention to make a claim should not be discussed but the employee should direct employers to their solicitor handling the case.

5. Keep a record

A detailed record should be kept at all times following the incident. This should cover anything relating to the injury and any financial implications.

Any symptoms, how long these were experienced, any care and assistance required by who and when should all be recorded.

If applicable, absence length should be logged together with any loss of earnings or change in job duties. Copies of payslips for three months prior and following the incident should be retained.

Any travel, medical expenses or losses should also be logged detailing dates, journey lengths, whilst all receipts should be kept.

The injured person has a duty to mitigate their losses so they should return to work as soon as they are able to and accept any suitable amended duties offered by the employer.

If they cannot return, relevant sick notes (MED3) from their GP/hospital should be obtained.

6. Keep the employer informed

The injured person should keep their employer updated regarding their injuries and medical treatment as per the individual absence procedures of each employment.

The individual is able to take a colleague, family member of union representative (where applicable) into any meetings regarding the incident with the employer and a copy of the minutes should be requested subsequently.

When these situations occur, it is advised that the individual involved seeks the help of a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible, in order to get the best possible advice, knowledge and guidance.