Frequently Asked Questions

faq

If you have a question, we will do our best to answer it for you as quickly as we can. However, you may find the answer you are looking for by having a look at the links below and clicking on the question you want answered.

If you cannot see the question you want to ask us, please do not hesitate in contacting us on the number above or by completing our Online Form.

We are here to help you and ensure that your claim is as simple and straightforward as possible.

General Questions

How do I know I can Claim?

There are strict time limits in personal injury claims within which you must have started court proceedings in your claim. However, these time limits vary and depend on a number of factors including the nature of your accident or injury, where the accident happened and the party at fault.

Under the law in England and Wales, in most cases that time limit is 3 years from the date of accident or incident giving rise to your injury. This means that court proceedings must have commenced within:

  • 3 years of the date of the accident, or
  • if you have an industrial illness caused by your work, 3 years from the date on which you became aware of your illness and that it might be connected to your employment;
  • if you have a medical negligence claim, 3 years from the date on which you became aware that you had suffered injury as a consequence of your medical treatment.

These time limits do not apply to children (where the time period runs from the child’s 18th birthday) and people who are unable because of mental incapacity of managing their legal affairs. Also, there are different time limits if your accident or injury occurred outside England and Wales or during the course of international travel or if, for example, a defective product is involved (where it is 3 years from the date that an injury or illness was caused by the product, or from the date you became aware of that injury or illness caused by the product – limited to a maximum of 10 years from the date of supply of the defective product).

You should always make a detailed note of what happened as quickly as you can, including dates, times and location of your accident. If possible, it is advisable to take photographs to prove the involvement of the other party or where there is a defect in a public walkway for example. We also advise that you make a note of any witnesses and attending police officers, making sure you take their contact details.

If you believe that you are approaching the usual 3 year time limit for making a claim, it is vital that you contact us immediately for advice from one of our expert personal injury lawyers who will advise you on the time limits applicable to your claim.

Will it cost me anything to claim?

We operate on a No Win, No Fee basis – sometimes called a Conditional Fee Arrangement – as do most Personal Injury solicitors. If we take your case on, we expect you’ll win and you’ll pay for our services – in most cases our fees are deducted from the compensation our clients receive. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay any legal fees, but you may have to pay disbursements – disbursements are external costs that we incur on your behalf, for example, the cost of your medical assessment.

There are strict rules in place regulating how we manage such cases. These are designed to protect you, and your solicitor is obliged to give you a realistic, honest assessment of your chances of success – and you can rely on us to give honest and impartial advice. You are required to cooperate reasonably and comply with our advice to qualify for the service, but we’ll talk to you about it in more detail when we understand your case and have reviewed the likelihood of success in your case.

If you have legal expenses cover under your home or car insurance policy then your personal injury legal fees may possibly be covered – and it’s something we’ll investigate for you on your behalf if you appoint us. Many car and home insurance policies include legal cover, either as standard or as something you pay extra for, and if yours includes ‘before the event legal expenses’, it should cover some or even all of the costs of your claim.

What if the accident was my fault or partly my fault?

If you have been injured as a result of an accident that is entirely your fault, then you will not be able to claim compensation as there is no one apart from yourself who is to blame.

However, in some circumstances, you may only be partly to blame. If that is the case you can still claim against the other party who is also at fault. For example, if you pull out in front of an oncoming vehicle, on the facts you may be entirely to blame. However, when further enquiries into the accident circumstances are made it may be that the driver was not paying proper attention to the road and had they been doing so, they could have avoided the accident.

If that is so, then you should still be able to claim compensation, though it would be reduced to reflect the amount of blame that is attributed to you. This is called Contributory Negligence and is worth considering an early settlement on this basis if the accident circumstances do not support your case.

Can I Claim For Loss Of Earnings?

There are occasions where the accident you have suffered has resulted in you having to take time off work. The financial implications of an absence from work can be serious and it is therefore vital that you are properly compensated for what you would have earned had you not suffered the accident.

It is likely to be necessary to produce copies of payslips for at least 6 months prior to the accident in order to show a detailed history of your earnings. If you do not have copies of payslips, we can usually request copies of your earnings from your employer on your behalf. If you wish to claim for lost overtime, you will need to show both that the overtime would have been available had you not been prevented from working and that you also regularly worked overtime before the accident.

The court will usually assess your net average monthly wage for at least 3 months prior to the accident in order to calculate your average salary and then work out how much you would have earned had you not suffered your injuries.

For example:

Loss Of Earnings

Loss-of-earnings-table

 

Your period of absence must be supported by expert medical evidence in order to make a successful claim. You also have an ongoing duty to mitigate your losses (i.e. keeping them to a minimum) and this includes returning to work as soon as you are able.

However, if you are self employed or a business owner, it can be more complicated to prove a loss of earnings claim. It is important to notify your accountant as soon as possible that you are absent and incurring a financial loss. Ensure that you keep records of your working diary, invoices and details of contracts that you were unable to complete due to your injuries. Your accountant should be able to provide details of your accounts for at least 3 years prior to accident in order to accurately assess your financial loss.Your period of absence must be supported by expert medical evidence in order to make a successful claim. You also have an ongoing duty to mitigate your losses (i.e. keeping them to a minimum) and this includes returning to work as soon as you are able.

Can I claim for care being provided to me by my family?

Yes, as part of your claim you can claim for any care and assistance provided to you by your family. This can include both past and future care that they provided to you. If a family member does provide care to you then you can claim but there will be a discount applied on any rate claimed for natural love and affection.

You can claim for nursing care, gardening, shopping, vacuuming, ironing, washing, bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning and any other activity which you may have ordinarily done if it had not been for the accident.

How Much Compensation Will I Be Awarded?

Contacting us for initial advice about your claim will cost nothing. If we advise you to pursue a claim with us, we will review with you all the options for funding your claim, including ‘No Win, No Fee’. We will advise you clearly and impartially on the best options to fund your claim without any cost to you.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the seriousness of your injuries or illness and how it has affected your day-to-day life. It will also depend on how much money you have lost or may lose as a result of the accident or illness. Depending on the severity of the injury, this might include Loss of Earnings, if for example you have been off work.

We will advise you from the outset on how the courts approach the assessment of compensation, and how that will apply to your case. You must bear in mind that we are all different and the consequences of the same injury or illness will vary from person to person; just because someone you know received a particular sum of money does not guarantee you the same amount. We will ask you about your circumstances and then we will be able to assess more accurately how much compensation you are likely to be awarded.

We always cover the two main aspects of compensation in detail: (1) we seek damages in relation to your injury, and (2) we seek special damages for your financial losses. This gives you comprehensive accident compensation that you deserve. We ensure, through working with specialist medical consultants, that you are not exposed to any future losses and are awarded the maximum level of compensation for your injuries.

We also recommend that you keep a record of all your expenses as the claim progresses and keep all your receipts. Keep a record of your medical appointments and if travelling by public transport to them, keep a copy of the tickets or alternatively if travelling by car you should make a note of the mileage and parking fees.

To get an idea of what your injury might be worth, our Compensation Calculator should provide you with a range of compensation for the different types of injury.

How long will it take to make a claim?

Serious injury cases can often take years to settle because the severity of the injuries require a long recovery period – but this doesn’t mean you have to struggle financially in the meantime. We can always ask the other side to release an interim payment to cover the cost of treatment and rehabilitation and make sure the bills still get paid. Even if your claim does take a few years, we will guide and advise you throughout the entire process.

Can I Make A Claim For Injuries Sustained As A Child?

The main concern for the parents of an injured child will be that the child receives the best possible medical care and fully recovers from its injuries. Children are a vulnerable group and their wellbeing must be protected as far as possible, at least until they reach adulthood at the age of 18.

If a child is injured in an accident caused by somebody else’s negligence the parents or guardians may either take steps soon after the accident to pursue a claim on behalf of their child, or they may choose to take no action and allow the child, upon reaching adulthood, to make their own decision about whether they wish to make a claim for compensation for the injuries they sustained as a child. If the first course of action is taken then any compensation awarded to the child will be placed into the court fund and invested until the child reaches the age of 18.

It is possible to obtain the compensation much earlier than the date the child turns 18 years of age via a ‘parental indemnity’. Here, the Court does not formally approve the settlement and the parent would be promising to reimburse the insurer if the child claimed further compensation because, for example, the child found itself with ongoing disabilities or if for example a fracture does not heal satisfactorily and it needs surgery. In practice this means that the child’s claim for further compensation would then be against the parents personally and not the insurers.

Generally, you have 3 years from the date of the accident in which to make a claim for personal injury compensation. In the case of children, however, this 3 year time limit does not start to run until their 18th birthday. This means that they have until their 21st birthday in which to pursue a claim. If, therefore, you sustained injuries in an accident as a child and your parents or guardian did not make a claim for compensation on your behalf, you have until your 21st birthday to pursue a claim.

Will I Need To Go To Court?

The vast majority of cases settle through negotiations between the parties, as the other party will also want to avoid the stress of going to Court. It is only about 5-10% of cases that go to a final Court hearing and some of those even settle ‘at the door’ just before the Trial begins.

If you do have to attend Court, we have specialist solicitors to guide and support you throughout the process. If that happens however, you will be represented by a specially-trained Barrister at the hearing.

Will I Lose My Job If I Sue My Employer?

Your employer cannot sack you because you are making or have made a claim against them. All employers carry Employer’s Liability insurance and it is the insurance company that deals with the claim and pays out the compensation.

If you think that your might be treated differently or sacked because you are thinking of making a claim for compensation, we can help you speak to an Employment Lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.

Who will be handling my case?

Serious Injury claims can be complex, so your case is likely to be handled by one of our compassionate, highly experienced injury lawyers. Your appointed lawyer will make sure your needs and those of your family are fully met and that there’s always someone to talk to who understands you and your injuries.

For extra piece of mind, our files are also audited by different team members to ensure that you are being given the correct advice and that your claim is being treated with the care and attention it deserves.

Can You Take Over From My Current Lawyer?

If you are concerned about the way in which your claim is being handled you can raise your concerns with your lawyer. If you are not satisfied with their response you may wish to consider obtaining the opinion of another lawyer, particularly if you feel passionately about your claim.

At Zen Law Solicitors, we adopt an open and friendly approach and welcome enquiries from clients all over the UK. Please contact us for free independent advice on your claim so that you can make an informed choice about whether to move your case to another law firm (even if it means we recommend a different firm).

We are confident that clients who decide to move their case to Zen Law Solicitors will be impressed by our responsive and positive approach to their case. We will strive to turn around your claim and achieve the best possible outcome taking into account all aspects of the claim including access to medical care, rehabilitation and compensation.

We would be happy to discuss your claim with you either over the telephone, e-mail or face to face. We will advise you on what we can do for you and then you can decide whether you wish to proceed with moving your claim.

If you do decide to move your claim to us you don’t have to worry about how this happens or how you will deal with your current lawyer. This process is very simple and we will take care of all the necessary arrangements for you. There is no need to be worried about your current lawyer’s legal costs as we will usually preserve a lien over their costs, so they will receive their proportionate costs in the event of a successful claim.

All you have to decide is whether you wish to stay with your current lawyers or move your claim to us.

Can you provide me with rehabilitation and treatment?

As personal injury experts, we have access to experts and organisations across the country to make sure you get the best treatment and rehabilitation. Sometimes the Defendant may offer you rehabilitation with one of their providers which you should consider to assist you in reducing the severity of your injury (also known as mitigating your losses).

How much will I have to pay you if I win my case?

Under the terms of your Conditional Fee Agreement, you may have to pay a Success Fee to us. The Success Fee will only be payable in the event of a successful claim and will reflect (1) the fact if you lose, we will not earn anything (2) our assessment of the risks of your case (3) any other appropriate matters (4) the fact that if you win we will not be paid our basic charges until the end of the claim (5) our arrangements with you about paying expenses and disbursements (6) the arrangements about payment of our costs if your opponent makes an offer of settlement or payment which you reject on our advice, and your claim for damages goes ahead to trial where you recover damages that are less than that offer or payment.

What is Limitation?

Limitation is the period of time after which you’re not allowed to make a claim against someone who caused an accident. The limitation period for Personal Injury claims is 3 years from the date of the accident, and in the vast majority of cases you must have started legal proceedings by this point for your claim to be valid. If the accident happened more than 3 years ago, there are certain limited circumstances in which a claim could still be made.

If the injured party was under 18 at the time of the incident, they have until they are 21 to start court proceedings. If the person injured suffered from a lack of capacity at the time of the accident, they may still be able to claim even if 3 years have passed.

In industrial disease claims, the 3-year limitation period to start court proceedings does not start running until the claimant’s “date of knowledge of his injury”. There are two main parts to this – that the claimant knows (or should reasonably know) a) that he has suffered a significant injury and b) that the injury was attributable wholly or partly to the defendant’s actions or omissions.

If you have any questions about whether your claim is still within time or not, please get in touch with us and we would only be too happy to help you.

What if I no longer want to continue with the claim?

You can discontinue your claim if you so wish. However, you should be aware that, depending on how far along we are in the process, we may have incurred costs on your behalf. We will then have to ask you to pay those costs as they will have been incurred upon your instructions to us to act on your behalf.

If court proceedings are issued and then you decide to discontinue your claim, you won’t be able to recover the compensation you originally applied for and could end up being responsible for both the defendant’s costs and our costs. For this reason, you need to be absolutely certain that you’re willing and able to continue with your claim up to and including any trial hearing before instructing a solicitor.

Road Traffic Accidents

I have been injured in a crash – what should I do next?

If you have been involved in a crash, it can be a traumatic experience. The main priority is making sure that you are okay and have been checked by your GP or, in more serious accidents, at the hospital. We recommend that you refer to our Road Traffic Accident Guide  which sets out what you should try to do following your involvement in an incident.

I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt – can I still claim?

If you were not responsible for the accident, you are still entitled to claim compensation. However, the amount you receive may be reduced if it is found that wearing a seatbelt would have resulted in less severe injuries than you sustained.

This is usually covered in the medical evidence and it will be for the third party insurer to allege that you were contributorily negligent as a result of not wearing your seatbelt.

I was a passenger in a car where I knew the driver was intoxicated – am I able to claim?

Yes, you can still claim. However, your compensation may be reduced by the third party insurer or the court if they consider that you knowingly got into a car where the driver was drunk or otherwise had an impairment in their ability to drive the car.

I was a passenger in a family member or friend’s car and they caused the accident – can I claim?

Yes, you can claim for your injuries and losses. It’s important to remember that any compensation you receive won’t come from them personally. Your compensation is paid by their insurance company and it is likely that the other side are already making a claim against your family member or friend in any event. The accident will usually count as one incident against the driver at fault regardless of the total number of claims, so if you’re injured then you should seriously consider making a claim for your injuries.

You may wish to talk to the driver first and ask whether they have any objections to you claiming against them – especially where it is likely that they are already facing claims for losses from the other car involved in the accident. You should remind them that it is not personal and that you are only seeking to be recompensed for the pain and expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the ligaments and tendons in the neck or upper back caused when the head suddenly moves forwards, backwards or sideways. It’s a common injury in car accidents where there’s a sudden, unexpected impact. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness or reduced movement, and headaches. While in most cases whiplash isn’t a serious injury, it can be very painful and debilitating, and, in severe cases, can last up to 12 months or more.

My accident happened because the road surface was unsafe – can I still claim?

Yes you can. Oil or debris spilled onto road surfaces can lead to serious injuries, particularly to bikers. A claim can be made against those responsible for the substance on the road, or under the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement if the perpetrator cannot be found.

What if the other driver was uninsured or cannot be found?

We specialise in claims against uninsured or untraced drivers and have recovered compensation for those injured by such drivers. If the third party driver for an accident is not insured, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau has a duty to pay compensation under the terms of the Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement. Even if the driver cannot be traced, we can pursue your claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) through the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement.

Will I have to go to a medical appointment for my injuries?

Usually, your injuries will have to be assessed by an independent medical expert so that we are able to value what your claim is worth. We will need to send the expert’s report to the third party insurer so that they are satisfied that your injuries are genuine and were caused by the accident in question.

Sometimes the third party insurer will make what is known as a pre-medical offer of settlement. This is an early offer to settle the claim on an economic basis and without the need for a medical report. However, such an offer is usually made at a much lower level than if the third party insurer were to consider a full medical report outlining how your injuries affected you after the accident. It is also important to appreciate that any such offer will not have been made in consideration of any medical evidence obtained in relation to your injuries, and is likely to be a global offer that includes any claim for losses and expenses.

My insurance company has recommended a solicitor but can I choose my own?

You are free to choose any solicitor you may wish to instruct – you are not bound by your insurer’s recommendation. If you find that your insurer has already instructed a solicitor that you do not wish to use, make sure that you do not sign any paperwork as you may then be bound by the terms.

We would always recommend a specialist personal injury firm such as Zen Law Solicitors but if you would rather instruct someone local to you, we would be more than happy to recommend some to you.

I was walking at night without wearing any reflective clothing and was hit by a car – can I still claim?

You can still claim, but the court or the other side’s insurer may reduce your compensation on the basis that you did not take as much care as possible to ensure your own safety. Please get in touch with us and we can advise you further regarding your prospect of success of bringing such a claim.

I didn’t look before crossing the road and was hit by a car – can I still claim?

If the driver was driving at an appropriate speed taking into account the weather, road conditions, time, location, speed limit and any other factors it may be found that they were not negligent and that there was nothing they could have done to avoid the accident.

However, if the driver was travelling too fast for the weather or road conditions, or was otherwise distracted by a handheld device, or was found to be intoxicated, then it could be argued that the responsibility should be shared and you could be entitled to claim. In those circumstances, you would receive your damages minus a percentage deduction reflecting your responsibility.

Accidents in a Public Place

What should I do if I’ve suffered an accident at work which has resulted in injury?

If you’ve had an accident in a public place and you have been hurt as a result, you need to make that you report the accident to the owner of the premises (if possible), take photographs if possible of both the accident location and your injuries and also get details of any witnesses. While it’s fresh in your mind, you should write down exactly what and where it happened. In cases involving defective pavements, we would recommend that you take your photographs with a ruler shown in them to show how deep / high the defect was. We would also recommend that you take photographs of the street showing exactly where the defect is located, so it can properly be investigated by the party responsible.

If the accident is of a particularly serious nature, you are advised to keep a careful diary of events following the accident so that the record can be used as evidence for any change in the accident location following your injury and any treatment you underwent in the period up until settlement of the claim.

How do I know that my claim is likely to succeed?

In England and Wales, employers, business owners and local authorities are legally responsible for the welfare and safety of any visitors to premises under their control. To make a successful personal injury compensation claim, you would need to prove that another person was responsible for your personal injury (in this case, the owner or occupier of the property where your accident happened).

If you are intending to claim expenses such as prescription costs and travelling expenses, remember to keep receipts as evidence.

How long will it take to make a claim?

This can vary and can depend primarily on whether your employer accepts responsibility for the accident or contests it, but also on how swiftly you recover. Where you have suffered a serious injury, it is likely that it will be too early to determine your medical prognosis i.e. period of recovery.

We promise to progress your case as quickly as possible. However, sometimes cases can become delayed for unavoidable reasons and we understand that it can be frustrating if your case seems to be taking longer than you expected. However, we’ll always try to settle your case as efficiently as possible and keep you informed of its progress at every step of the way.

Why do I need a medical assessment of my injuries?

Usually, your injuries will have to be assessed by an independent medical expert so that we are able to value what your claim is worth. We will need to send the expert’s report to the third party insurer so that they are satisfied that your injuries are genuine and were caused by the accident in question.

The medical appointment is usually very short and does not involve any intrusive examination. You will be asked for an account of your accident and about the injuries you have suffered, together with your ongoing symptoms at the time of the appointment. This assessment is necessary to enable the other side to make an offer of damages and also to accurately value what your case is worth.

Is the business or owner covered by insurance in respect of my claim?

Most businesses have public liability business cover (through their business insurance) to protect them in respect of claims made by members of the public. This is to ensure that the claims are dealt with by experienced insurance claims handlers who will look to defend the claim or settle on best terms.

In the event that the business is not covered by insurance, it is unlikely that your claim will affect them to the extent that they have to close down. However, most businesses now have the right cover to protect them against any accidents.

What if the accident was partly my fault – can I still claim?

You can still make a claim even where some of the responsibility rest with you. If, for example, you tripped over somethingdefective on the floor such as a raised slab or a pothole, either because you didn’t see it or you weren’t paying attention then you may be held partially responsible because you did not keep a lookout for your own safety.

However, the obstruction shouldn’t have been left there without any warning or should have been cordoned off to prevent members of the public walking there. In cases like this, a percentage deduction may be taken from your claim to allow for the fact that you could have taken more care although ultimately the accident wasn’t entirely your fault and so you will still get the majority of your compensation entitlement.

What is Public Liability?

Public Liability is the duty of care that the owners of, or a party responsible for, public places have to ensure that those areas are adequately maintained and regularly inspected to ensure they are in a good state of repair. Public places must be in a good state of repair so they don’t present a hazard to the public. The most common types of public liability claims are for injuries suffered as a result of poorly maintained pavements, roads or parks.

The most common types of claims fall into a small number of categories:

  • slips, trips and falls—these make up the majority of claims
  • stress and anxiety, due to hold ups, elevator malfunction, etc.
  • falling objects, i.e. striking against or struck by
What is Occupier’s Liability?

Accidents occurring on property or land owned by someone else are very common. They include a wide range of accident situations, ranging from the customer who slips on grapes in a supermarket, to a child injured at a play-centre, to a pedestrian hit by debris falling from a building site and even to children injured whilst playing in an abandoned warehouse. The people responsible for these premises are known as ‘occupiers’ and have a legal duty to make sure that visitors to their premises will be reasonably safe while using the premises in an expected and permitted way.

If you or anyone you know have suffered an injury in an accident whilst on someone else’s premises or land and would like to know if you have a claim for compensation then just contact one of our specialist solicitors for a free assessment of your case. We should be able to give you an immediate indication as to whether the claim is worth pursuing.

Accidents at Work

What should I do if I’ve suffered an accident at work which has resulted in injury?

If you’ve had an accident at work and you have been hurt as a result, you need to make sure it’s reported and entered in the accident book. Take photographs if possible and get details of any witnesses. While it’s fresh in your mind, you should write down exactly what and where it happened.

If the accident is of a particularly serious nature, you are advised to keep a careful diary of events following the accident so that the record can be used as evidence for any change in procedure by your employer following the accident and any treatment you underwent in the period up until settlement of the claim.

How do I know that my claim is likely to succeed?

In England and Wales, employers and business owners are legally responsible for the welfare and safety of their staff and any visitors to their premises. Businesses must compulsorily hold insurance and conform to Health & Safety regulations to ensure the safety of their employees. If you feel that your employers failed to meet these duties and that this led to your accident at work, you can receive compensation by pursuing a claim for your injuries.

Examples of an employer’s duties include the following:

  • A duty to provide a safe place of work
  • A duty to provide adequate training and instruction
  • A duty to provide adequate protective clothing and equipment
  • A duty to assess the risks of lifting heavy weights or equipment
  • A duty to maintain equipment and machinery in a safe condition

The right to make an accident at work claim covers all employees including temporary, casual and permanent employees. You can make a claim if you work full time or part time and you can claim even if you do not have a written contract of employment. If you are self-employed and injured as a result of another person’s actions you may also be able to bring a claim.

If you have any questions, please get I touch with us and one of our friendly, professional lawyers will answer any questions you may have.

How long will it take to make a claim?

This can vary and can depend primarily on whether your employer accepts responsibility for the accident or contests it, but also on how swiftly you recover. Where you have suffered a serious injury, it is likely that it will be too early to determine your medical prognosis i.e. period of recovery.

We promise to progress your case as quickly as possible. However, sometimes cases can become delayed for unavoidable reasons and we understand that it can be frustrating if your case seems to be taking longer than you expected. However, we’ll always try to settle your case as efficiently as possible and keep you informed of its progress at every step of the way.

Why do I need a medical assessment of my injuries?

Usually, your injuries will have to be assessed by an independent medical expert so that we are able to value what your claim is worth. We will need to send the expert’s report to the third party insurer so that they are satisfied that your injuries are genuine and were caused by the accident in question.

The medical appointment is usually very short and does not involve any intrusive examination. You will be asked for an account of your accident and about the injuries you have suffered, together with your ongoing symptoms at the time of the appointment. This assessment is necessary to enable the other side to make an offer of damages and also to accurately value what your case is worth.

Is my employer covered by insurance in respect of my claim?

Since 1972, all employers are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance to cover them against any claims made by anyone who has had an accident at work. This means that your employer won’t have to find the money for your compensation out of their own pocket.

Where a company has become dissolved, the relevant insurance company at the time of the accident or exposure will still be responsible for paying your compensation. We have special means of tracing either the Defendant company, if it is still trading, or the insurance company responsible for employers’ liability insurance cover.

What if the accident was partly my fault – can I still claim?

You can still make a claim even where some of the responsibility rest with you. If, for example, you tripped over something left on the floor, either because you didn’t see it or you weren’t paying attention then you may be held partially responsible because you did not keep a lookout for your own safety.

However, the obstruction shouldn’t have been left there without good reason or should have been cordoned off or a warning placed there. In cases like this, a percentage deduction may be taken from your claim to allow for the fact that you could have taken more care although ultimately the accident wasn’t entirely your fault and so you will still get the majority of your compensation entitlement.

What if the accident was my colleague’s fault – will they have to pay for my injuries?

In most cases, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees at work. This is because employers are vicariously liable for negligent acts or omissions of their employees in the course of employment. For an act to be considered within the course of employment, it must either be authorised or be part of that employee’s ordinary duties.

Courts sometimes distinguish between an employee’s “detour” vs. “frolic”. For example, an employer will be held liable if it is shown that the employee had gone on a mere detour in carrying out their duties, whereas an employee acting in his or her own right rather than on the employer’s business is undertaking a “frolic” and will not subject the employer to liability. Generally, an employer will not be held liable for assault or battery committed by employees, unless the use of force was part of their employment (such as a police officers), or they were in a field likely to create friction with persons they encountered (such as car repossessors).

If you want to discuss anything a colleague may have done which has resulted in you suffering an injury, please get in touch and one of our experienced lawyers would be happy to discuss your case with you.