Injuries at work – your rights explained
Gerard Stilliard, head of personal injury claims at Thompsons Solicitors, outlines how you can access legal support if you have been injured at work.
The best employers recognise that proper health and safety is vital and take steps to ensure they keep their employees as safe as possible in the workplace.
At Thompsons, we see first-hand the devastating impact on workers and their families when health and safety is compromised – usually when management is under pressure to cut costs. That is why, as a proud partner of UNISON, we work with your union to actively promote the benefits of union membership and support you and your families with legal claims.
Your employer’s ‘duty of care’
Your employer owes you a duty of care, to protect your health, safety and welfare while at work. This include providing a safe work environment. They should:
- Follow health and safety legislation
- Conduct adequate risk assessments
- Provide you with health and safety training
- Supply sufficient PPE
- Ensure equipment is in safe working order and regularly maintained
- Reduce risk as much as reasonably possible.
If your employer has failed in their duty of care, and you have been injured at work as a result, you may be able to bring a compensation claim.
Making a compensation claim
The law requires employers to avoid risks entirely if this is possible and, if not, to minimise the risk of injury at work to the lowest level ‘reasonably practicable’.
Where employers fail in their obligation to protect you, UNISON and Thompsons will support your injury claim all the way to trial if necessary, but most cases settle well before they reach the doors of the court.
Giving you the best chance of success
To ensure your compensation claim for an accident at work is as strong as possible, you should try to:
- Report the accident and your injuries to your employer
- Record the accident in your workplace accident book
- Take photographs of the place where the accident happened
- Photograph any visible injuries
- Find out the names and contact details for any witnesses
- Keep a record of any visits to the doctors and treatments received, including receipts for any injury-related expenses.
The UNISON Legal Service gives you access to independent specialist legal advice from lawyers who are experts in their field. Using the union legal service is not only free, ensuring you receive 100% of any compensation awarded, it also increases the chances of your claim succeeding, because your lawyers can work with your local and national union representatives. You won’t get that level of compensation or support from any other law firm.
Here’s how our specialist teams can help
You can contact our experts for free advice and representation on:
- Work and non-work related personal injuryclaims, including serious injury claims
- Road traffic accident claims
- Industrial diseases, including asbestos-related diseases
- Employment law advice (accessed via your rep)
- Settlement agreements
- Work-related criminal law advice
- Free basic wills
- Special terms for medical negligence
- Special terms for conveyancing, probate and powers of attorney.
Members’ families are also covered for:
- Personal injury away from work, on holiday or on the roads
- Special terms for medical negligence and wills.
Accessing support from Thompsons Solicitors
Thompsons Solicitors has been standing with unions and fighting for workers’ rights for more than 100 years.
Since we started in 1921, we have always refused to act for employers or insurers, only ever acting for the injured and mistreated. Every year, we secure millions of pounds in compensation for union members injured or mistreated by their employer.