If you want to make a personal injury claim of any sort, you need as much evidence as possible against the guilty party. Some suggestions are:
- Photos of the accident scene if possible. It doesn’t matter if they are taken on a mobile phone, its just that photographic evidence can be really useful
- Details of any witnesses.
- A quick sketch of how you remember the scene to be and how the accident happened. You will remember much more straight after the accident than nearly 3 years later.
- A medical report explaining the extent of your injury and the outlook for the future of them.
- Quite often in a work related accident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are called to investigate the accident. A copy of any report they prepare could be vital.
- Anything else, no matter how trivial it may seem, that could help with your claim.
A new claim for an accident at work
If you want to make a new claim for your accident at work, you need to be able to prove that your employer was negligent. Did they:
- Have a health and safety policy which all employees knew, and did they make sure it was implemented?
- Make sure that all plant and equipment was in proper working order, with safety guards fitted where necessary?
- Train the staff adequately in the use of the plant and equipment?
- Without charging the staff, provide any protective clothing that was needed?
- Have regular fire drills?
- Keep a record of all accident, no matter how minor?
- Report serious accidents to HSE?
- Have procedure in place in case of an emergency situation?
- Keep all walkways free of obstructions and spillages?
- Carry out risk assessments, and act on their findings?
These are just a sample of the precautions employers should take, a much fuller version being available on the HSE website, along with trade specific guidelines.
If the injuries you sustained were severe enough to need medical attention, and the accident happened within the last three years, you may well be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim.
Many employees are put of making a claim against their employers because they are concerned that having to pay compensation my mean having to close the business, and maybe lose their own and their workmates jobs. This should not be the case as employers have to have employers liability insurance with a minimum cover of £5million. It would be the insurance company that settled you claim, not your employer.
Another reason employees are put off making a claim is because they think their employer may treat them badly afterwards. They may well be right, but if the employer discriminates in any way simply because you have made an injury claim against them, you have a case to take them to an employment tribunal. The same applies if they mistreat any of your workmates that are acting as witnesses for you in your claim.