Tackling the myths surrounding workplace injury claims
Claiming against your employer can be a daunting prospect. As a result too many people decide not to make valid claims and suffer in silence.
The truth is you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable making a claim. Workplace accidents can cause serious physical and psychological injuries, as well as mounting medical costs and lost earnings. It is your right to seek financial support, compensation and ensure lessons are learnt.
Everyone is entitled to feel safe at work and the law is there to protect you if you’ve suffered an accident through no fault of your own. Despite this, we still come across many misconceptions about workplace claims, so we’ve collected and corrected the most common myths below:
MYTH #1: IT WAS JUST AN ACCIDENT. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN! – FALSE
Accidents don’t just happen. Research shows that over 99% of all accidents are preventable. The majority of the cases we work on are down to an employer having unsafe practices or systems in place, or failing to provide employees with the relevant protective equipment they need to perform their role safely.
It is your employers’ responsibility to do a full health and safety assessment to recognise any hazards which may cause an injury and then take steps to control and manage them in a safe manner. It’s important to remember that if you’ve suffered an accident at work you have a responsibility to highlight the issue and report to your employer as soon as reasonably practical, so your employer can ensure the necessary changes are made to stop the same accident happening again.
MYTH #2: AGENCY WORKERS CANNOT MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST THEIR EMPLOYERS – FALSE
The law ensures that all workers are treated equally. Every worker, regardless of whether they are a permanent employee or a temporary worker contracted by an agency, are protected by the same health and safety regulations from their first day of work. These employment rights extend to workplace injury claims.
MYTH #3: YOUR EMPLOYER WILL HAVE TO PAY YOUR COMPENSATION – FALSE
By law all employers – regardless of how small their business or how few staff they employ – need to have valid liability insurance in place to cover any claims made by employees following an accident at work. If you make a claim, employers will forward the details to their insurance company who will be responsible for dealing with it. If your claim is successful the costs will be covered by the insurance company and will not come directly out of your employers’ pocket.
MYTH #4: IF I MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST MY EMPLOYER I WILL LOSE MY JOB – FALSE
We understand many employees are worried about losing their job as a result of their claim. But remember, you are protected by law and have a legal right to claim against your employer following an accident. If your employer attempts to dismiss you as a result of a personal injury claim, then you would also be likely to be able to make a successful claim for unfair dismissal.
MYTH #5: LARGE COMPANIES ARE EXEMPT -FALSE
All companies are subject to the same health and safety regulations – even large corporate firms. There are no exceptions or legal protection for multinational corporations.
You should never be afraid to claim just because you feel you are taking on a large company. At Hampson Hughes, we have extensive experience claiming against big corporations. We will be there to guide you through the process every step of the way.
MYTH #6: YOU WILL HAVE TO GO TO COURT – FALSE
Fear of having to attend court is one of the biggest worries we come across from workers wanting to pursue a claim. It is important to remember, that the vast majority of cases are settled out of court – generally insurance companies prefer it if proceedings end amicably.
We do, however, have a small number of cases which end up in court, but even then it is still not always necessary for you to be present, as we attend on your behalf and appoint a specialist barrister to represent you and fight your case.
MYTH #7: YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE UNION’S RECOMMENDED SOLICITOR – FALSE
Many people think that if they are part of a union, they will have to use the solicitor recommended to them, but this simply isn’t the case.
You have complete freedom of choice as to who represents you and your case, and we are completely independent and not affiliated to any union, meaning that your case will not get stalemated.
MYTH #8: MAKING A CLAIM WILL BE TOO EXPENSIVE – FALSE
We handle our cases on a no win, no fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay a penny upfront of throughout your claim (we will recover most of your legal fees from the other side but will go through your funding options available carefully to find the best one for you), and only pay legal fees if your claim is successful. Ultimately, workplace injuries can lead to mounting hidden costs – such as travel expenses to and from the hospital or GP, as well as on-going medical treatments such as physiotherapy or counselling for example. All of these costs can be reimbursed as part of your claim, without which you would be further financially impacted.
At Hampson Hughes, we understand an accident at work can lead to lasting implications on your health, daily life, family and finances. We have a longstanding history in civil litigation and proven track record of helping our clients secure the compensation they deserve.