Any successful claim for compensation consists of two basic elements. The first of these is that it has to be shown that some kind of injury has been sustained. In the case of workplace compensation this ‘injury’ could take the form of the immediate effects of something like a trip or fall, or a condition or illness brought about by poor working conditions over the longer term. The second aspect of the claim, and often the more complicated, is to demonstrate that the accident or illness was caused by the negligence of another party, in this case your employer.
In order to make a successful claim you will have to be able to show that your employer failed to take the steps which might reasonably be expected to fulfil their duty of care to you. This means, broadly speaking, that they failed to provide a safe working environment, including any specialist equipment necessary to carry out your work without harm. In order to put together a convincing case demonstrating these two aspects it will be necessary to gather as much information as you possibly can. In the immediate aftermath of any accident, the following materials may prove extremely useful:
- Employer’s logs
- Details of previous similar work accidents
- Doctor’s notes
- A record of any ambulance attendance at the scene
- Your employers’ accident book
- Statements from any witnesses present
If your claim is successful then any compensation will be calculated on the basis of several factors. The first of these will be the type and severity of any injury or illness. The second factor, however, will be any money you have lost as a direct result of your employers’ negligence. This might mean travel expenses, medical bills, wages lost due to time off work and anything else which you would otherwise not have had to pay for. It’s vital, therefore to keep any receipts should you have to spend money, and to record any time you have to spend away from work. A personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to build the strongest possible case, but their job will be made much easier if you can provide the maximum amount of information.