Personal Injury

Accidents at work – who pays the compensation?

August 24, 2017

The answer to this may, at first, be the obvious one - your employer. However it may be that there is someone better to pursue, either with more assets, better insurance or simply a clearer legal responsibility.

Blacksmith At Work Resize

It is therefore important with accidents at work to look closely at what actually happened, where it was, and who was controlling the work. It may well be that you do not need to sue your employer for your accident and injury. This is good news for many of our clients who do not wish to fall out with the company they’ve enjoyed working for, often for many years, which has been loyal to them as they have to it. 

Control is often key. Whether it is control of how someone works, the equipment they use or, the place where they work. Here’s some examples:

ACCIDENT 1:  I was working for my employer and subcontracted to work for another company who was in control of the work area I was in when I was injured – who do I sue?

Generally one would say your employer but in this instance the better company to sue could well be the company controlling the place of work and, if they were, controlling the work being done. This might mean there are two possible defendants (companies/entities able to be sued) or you could, depending on the facts, sue just the controlling company and not your employer.

ACCIDENT 2:  I was working on a construction site not controlled by my employer, I was using a scaffold that had been altered by the painters using it before me and I fell through it - who do I sue?

There could be several potential defendants and in the end it might come down to the contracts between the various companies carrying out work on site. It might be the painting company for altering the scaffold; the scaffold company if it was incorrectly erected in the first place; and/or the site controlling company if they had failed to ensure the scaffolding was regularly inspected - especially between different gangs of workers using it. The question here is one of control. Who controlled the site, your work, the work of others and, the scaffold?

ACCIDENT 3:  I was carrying a concrete block with my workmate (from my company) - he dropped his end and it crushed my foot.  I was not given any protective footwear - who do I sue? 

In this situation because this is an accident involving manual handling and personal protective equipment (the footwear), you are in fact more likely than not stuck with suing your employer.

Who will be the right defendant and, who can be sued for what, really often depends on a careful analysis of the facts of the accident.

We offer free first advice so get in touch and we can give you an idea of your options. If you are worried about suing your employer, you may not have to! Call our Injury Claims Team on  0117 929 0333 or email.

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Accidents at work – who pays the compensation?

Leigh Woodham

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