Workplaces should always be a safe space where you can learn, develop, and thrive. But, sometimes, this is not the case. Work accidents can occur when you least expect them to and can result in more or less serious injuries.
Each year in Scotland, around 41,000 workers suffer non-fatal injuries while carrying out their job duties in the workplace. At times, there is no hiding that things can go wrong, and it is simply nobody’s fault. However, if you have sustained an injury due to your employer’s negligence, you can seek compensation.
Here, we take a look at the ins and outs of how you can make a work accident claim to support your recovery.
How to claim for an accident at work
Let’s not beat around the bush: every employee should expect to work in safe conditions and a secure environment. This includes operating well-functioning and fit-for-purpose equipment, undergoing correct training, and receiving proper supervision. If these basic conditions are not in place, work accidents are more likely to happen, and the consequences can be severe. From slips and falls to manual handling incidents and occupational illnesses (i.e. lung diseases, skin irritation), there are many issues you could run into.
In this case, it is important to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Watermans, we understand that you may feel uncomfortable making a claim against your employer. However, your health and wellbeing should be your main priority, and the outcome of a work accident claim can fund your physical and mental recovery. So, how can you file a solid workplace injury claim?
First, it is vital to seek medical assistance straight after the accident. This way, your injuries can be adequately treated by a medical professional from the outset. Not only will this prevent your injuries from getting worse, but it will also provide you with an accurate medical diagnosis. This will be used as evidence to strengthen your claim.
Moreover, it is wise to gather additional proof to highlight the fact that your employer has acted in a negligent manner. Many things can aid you in this respect, including CCTV footage, witnesses, records of your incident in the workplace accident book, and photographs. With all these elements at hand, you will have the chance to truly support and favour your claim.
How long after an accident at work can you claim?
In Scotland, as well as in the rest of the UK, the standard time limit to make a work accident claim is three years. This should give you enough time to gather all the required evidence, assess the severity of your injury or illness, and file a strong, well-supported claim.
However, there are specific circumstances in which the three-year ‘deadline’ can be overlooked. For instance, this could be the case of a person whose work accident has left them in a coma or with life-changing injuries. Furthermore, some injuries or illnesses may not show up until a certain amount of time, exceeding the three-year limit. These are all extenuating circumstances which may allow the employee to make a claim when they finally get the opportunity.
How long does a claim accident take?
Many different factors influence how long your work accident claim could go on. In a relatively straightforward case, you can expect compensation within six to nine months. But, as mentioned, there are several aspects that could easily prolong the process.
For example, the seriousness and type of injuries will have a significant impact on how long it takes to settle a work accident claim. They could take days, weeks, months, or even years to heal, and the amount of discomfort you go through will determine how much compensation you will get. What’s more, you need to see whether the other party (e.g. the employer) takes full responsibility for your work accident. Was it solely their fault? Or were you at fault too? Establishing this crucial point can end up lengthening the procedure as well.