Suffering an injury at work can be both painful and debilitating. At best it can be an inconvenience and in worse case it can cause you to miss work and lose out on income. This leads many people to wonder whether they are due compensation for their injury. There is a simple way to establish this: if you suffered an injury at work and it at least partially was not your fault, then you may be eligible to claim for compensation.
However, it can be complicated by the fact that you might not realise at the time that someone else was at fault. For example, your employer may not have followed the correct safety procedures which led to the situation where you got injured. So what should do you do if you suffer an injury to give yourself the chance of receiving compensation? Here are six steps you should follow to correctly deal with a workplace incident.
Step One: Report the incident to your manager or supervisor
Whenever any accident or injury occurs in the workplace, it should be reported and logged in an appropriate place. It is legally required that businesses should keep a record of any injuries that employees suffer while carrying out their role, so this shouldn’t be any problem at all. Speak to your manager or supervisor (or someone in an HR role) who will be able to take you through the reporting process. This step in the process will be extremely important later down the line, so it is important that it is done.
Step Two: Gather evidence
This might seem premature, especially if you have not suffer an especially serious injury, but you need to gather evidence as soon as possible as to why the incident occurred. For example, you might have slipped on a wet floor that had not been properly signed. In this case you should take a picture of the scene to show why you fell. In this situation, there should have been a sign in place to warn people of the danger of slipping. Getting this evidence now is vital, as clearly that evidence will not be available later.
Step Three: Visit your doctor
The next step is paying a visit to a doctor who will assess your injury. In the case of a serious injury you may need to visit A&E, but even if the injury seems minor you should book an appointment with your GP to check it over. Speaking to a doctor gets a further record of the severity of the injury, which may once again come in useful later.
Remember that it could be the case that the injury does not initially seem major, but could become more severe. If you haven’t gone to the doctor as soon as possible it could be very difficult to prove when the injury occurred.
Step Four: Talk to your employer
Remember that you should talk to your employer as soon possible after you have suffered the injury so that you can arrange for support while you recover. Your employer may have some form of health insurance and you may be eligible for assistance. It may be the case that your employer is worried that they are responsible for your injury and fear being held accountable, and as such are uncooperative or unhelpful. They have a duty of care to ensure your safety while you work for them.
Step Five: Speak to a solicitor
If you think that any aspect of the incident was not your fault then it is a very good idea to take advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. Getting independent advice will provide you with a range of options to move forward.
It may be the case that you have a clear personal injury case due to failures in your employer’s duty of care, but it is not always that simple. It might well be the case that your employer was not meeting their legal obligations and as such were putting you in danger, even if you didn’t realise it at time.
Step Six: Make your claim
From here your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you will be able to make a personal injury claim. Many solicitors will work on a no-win, no-fee basis, making it simple and affordable for you to make a claim without having to make large upfront payments.