Maxine Dunn, a litigation executive in the personal injury department of local solicitors Wiseman Lee, presents a list of 10 important things to do if you are hurt in an accident at work.
If you sustain an injury at work, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. While you may decide not to take legal action against your employer until the extent of your injuries has become clear, there are certain steps you should take to assist yourself in bringing a claim in the future.
1. Report the accident to your line manager or supervisor as soon as possible. If your accident is serious, you must ensure that your employer informs the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
2. Make a record of your accident in your employer’s accident book. If no such book exists, you should write down the details of your accident and send a copy to both your line manager or supervisor and the HR department of your workplace.
3. Seek medical attention either from A&E or your local GP, even if your injuries do not seem serious. If you wish to make a claim for compensation, you will be able to use your medical notes to prove that you suffered an injury as a result of your accident.
4. Take down the full names and contact details of any witnesses to your accident as soon as you are able to do so. If you wish to make a claim for compensation, your solicitor may need to collect statements from them.
5. Take photographs of the accident scene, paying close attention to the cause of your accident. If your injuries are visible, you should capture them on camera too.
6. Keep a diary. If you wish to file a compensation claim, you will need to prove that your injuries caused you pain and suffering. Keeping a personal injury diary will help you to record all the details of your injuries and the effects they have on your life.
7. Retain receipts. To recover compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses, you must keep receipts and other details of your expenses. The more evidence you can provide, the easier it will be for you to recoup all of your losses.
8. Sick pay. If you need to take time off work as a result of your injury, you should be eligible to receive statutory sick pay from your employer. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, you may also be able to claim industrial injuries disablement benefit from the government.
9. Seek advice. Following an injury at work, you should seek legal advice from an accident solicitor. They will be able to assess the details of your case and determine your eligibility for compensation.
10. Pursue a claim. If you wish to bring a claim for compensation, you must do so within three years of the date of your accident. If you fail to make your claim within the time limit, you will lose your right to receive compensation.