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Office Accident Claims – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

While an office might not seem like the most dangerous work environment, accidents do sometimes happen. Importantly, if you are injured in an office caused by your employer’s negligence, you might be entitled to claim compensation. In this article, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about office accident claims and explain how the claims process works.

As well as the information we provide here, we also offer a no-obligation consultation for anybody wishing to claim compensation following an office accident. We’ll provide free legal advice after reviewing your case and could partner you with a workplace accident solicitor from our team if the claim is valid. If the claim proceeds, you’ll receive No Win, No Fee legal representation.

To discuss your claim with a specialist, you can:

  • Call us for free on 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our free live chat service.

There’s plenty of information about claiming for office injuries throughout this guide but please get in touch if you need to know anything else.

Types of Office Accident Claims We Can Help With

Some examples of the types of accidents and incidents that can lead to office accident claims we can help with include:

  • Back injuries sustained after a damaged office chair collapsed while in use.
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) linked to poor desk setups.
  • Trips, slips and falls linked to hazards such as extension cables stretched over the office floor.
  • Burns and scalds caused by faulty water heaters in the staff room.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries linked to manual handling tasks.

There are, of course, other ways you could be injured in an office accident. Therefore, please feel free to contact us if you’ve been injured in any other way.

Can I Make an Office Accident Compensation Claim?

The main legislation relevant to offices is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This law states that employers must “ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work” of all workers.

In an office scenario, some of the steps your employer could take to try and meet their duty of care include:

  • Assessing the office regularly for any dangers and removing them where possible.
  • If a danger cannot be removed, your employer should provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or introduce other methods to keep you safe.
  • Implementing a health and safety policy and training staff on safe working practices.
  • Ensuring all equipment is set up correctly, in a good state of repair and maintained properly.

If your employer does not fulfil their responsibility to ensure your safety (known as their duty of care) in your workplace office, you may have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries you suffer. As such, you could be eligible to file an office accident compensation claim if the following conditions are met:

  • Your employer had a legal obligation to protect your well-being at work (duty of care).
  • Your employer failed to meet this obligation through negligence, leading to an accident in your office.
  • You sustained injuries because of this accident.

If you’d like to check if you have a valid office accident claim, please feel free to speak to a member of our team today.

Can I Lose My Job by Starting an Office Injury Claim?

You are well within your rights to seek compensation for any office injuries linked to your employer’s negligence. As such, so long as you are making a genuine claim, your employer cannot take any negative action against you.

That means that you can’t be sacked, disciplined, demoted, bullied or treated differently because of your claim. In fact, if you were picked on, it could allow separate action to be taken for constructive or unfair dismissal.

What Should I Do Following an Accident in an Office?

Following an office accident, some of the steps you could take include:

  • Seek medical treatment for your injuries even if first aid was provided at the time.
  • Report the accident or incident to your employer. Ask for a copy of the accident report form if it is not provided automatically.
  • Ask anyone else if they saw your office accident.
  • Take photographs if there was an obvious defect or problem that caused your accident.

Office health and safety is the responsibility of both staff and employers. Therefore, you should always tell your employer about any incident so that they have the opportunity to make changes to try and avoid others suffering the same type of accident in the future.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Office Accident Claims?

Achieving a successful outcome in an office accident injury claim can be easier if you have evidence that proves how the incident occurred, who was responsible for it and how your injuries have affected you. The types of evidence that will strengthen your case include:

  • Medical Records: Records of the injury, including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis from doctors or specialists. This should detail any long-term physical effects and their connection to the office accident.
  • Accident Reports: Reports filed with your employer or health and safety authorities (HSE or local authorities for example) detailing any accidents or dangerous occurrences in your office that may have led to the injury.
  • Witness Statements: Testimonies from other office staff, supervisors, or any other individuals who can corroborate the office conditions or specific incidents related to your injury.
  • Photographs of the Office: Images depicting the office setting, highlighting any hazards or conditions that might have contributed to the accident, such as inadequate flooring, trailing cables, or improper office ergonomics.
  • CCTV or Video Footage: If accessible, video from office security cameras capturing the circumstances or specific incidents that resulted in the injury.
  • Employment and Training Records: Documentation of your employment duration, job responsibilities, and any health and safety training you received, especially concerning office safety protocols.
  • Health and Safety Compliance Records: Documentation from any health and safety inspections and risk assessments carried out in your office, including any noted non-compliance or concerns pertinent to your injury.
  • Incident Logs: Records or logs of previous injury reports or health-related incidents in the office that may signify a pattern of negligence or recurring safety hazards.
  • Personal Diary: A diary chronicling your work experiences, symptoms, medical appointments, and the impact of the injury on your daily life and activities.
  • Financial Records: Evidence of lost earnings, including pay slips, salary history, and employment records, to demonstrate financial loss due to the office injury. Also, details of any medical costs, travel expenses for treatment, and other financial burdens connected to the injury.

For help with starting an office accident claim, please get in touch and we’ll provide free legal advice to get you started.

How Long Do You Have to Start an Office Accident Claim?

According to the Limitation Act 1980, personal injury claims including workplace injuries are bound by a 3-year time limit. For office accident claims, this limitation period generally begins:

  • On the date of your accident; or
  • The date your condition was diagnosed by your GP i.e. for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Starting your claim within the time limit is vital. If you don’t, you might miss out on any compensation you’re entitled to as your case would become statute-barred.

To check if you’ve got enough time to start an office injury claim, please speak to a member of our team today.

injured office worker background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for an office accident with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, offering claimants a risk-free path to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist solicitor.

What Compensation Can I Claim for an Office Accident?

The two types of compensation that usually form settlements in office accident claims are:

  • General damages – paid to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
  • Special damages – compensation for any expenses, losses or costs.

Importantly, general damages can cover both physical and psychological suffering. For example, if you’re suffering from office back pain that leaves you depressed because you’re unable to go out socially or for work, this could be factored into your claim.

Of course, both physical and psychological injuries must be proven during the claims process. This can be achieved by using copies of your medical records but you may also require an independent medical assessment.

Once your solicitor understands the extent of your suffering, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help put a value on your claim.

Our compensation table contains several different office-related injuries along with settlement guideline brackets specifically for general damages from the JCG. Please bear in mind that the amounts of compensation listed aren’t guaranteed and settlements can be lower.

  • Compensation for partial ruptures or significant Achilles tendon injuries may range from £12,590 to £21,070, reflecting factors such as the level of pain, the extent of any lasting disability, and the treatment required.
  • Severe arm injuries resulting in major restriction, significant disability in one or both arms and considerable pain and suffering may attract awards between £39,170 and £130,930.
  • Less serious spinal injuries, including strains, sprains, soft tissue damage, or a slipped disc, with factors like recovery time and treatment considered, may lead to compensation of up to £12,510.
  • Mild to moderate elbow injuries causing pain but allowing full movement may attract compensation of up to £12,590.
  • Wrist injuries resulting in significant, permanent disability while retaining some useful movement may attract compensation between £24,500 and £39,170.

Examples of special damages that could be awarded in office accident claims include:

  • Loss of earnings.
  • Rehabilitation and medical costs.
  • The cost of care.
  • Travel expenses.
  • The cost of adapting your vehicle or home i.e. to improve accessibility if you’ve been left with a long-term back injury.

To check how much compensation your office accident claim might be worth, please speak to a member of our team today.

What to Do If You Suspect a Repetitive Strain Injury?

If you suspect that your working conditions are causing physical problems similar to those usually associated with RSIs, you should raise your concerns by emailing your employer (so it’s on record) as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to visit your GP if you already have any symptoms that are causing you concern.

Your employer should then assess your concerns along with any medical recommendations to consider changes that might make your role easier. This could include asking an occupational health professional to assess your job or to conduct a workstation assessment to ensure your desk is set up correctly.

Failure to act could be deemed as negligence and could entitle you to compensation if your RSI is confirmed by your GP.

How Is Liability Determined in an Office Accident Claim?

Before compensation is paid in any workplace accident claim, it must be proven that the defendant (your employer in this case) was liable for a) the accident and b) your injuries.

Initially, this will involve a letter from your solicitor asking your employer (or their insurer) if they accept liability for the accident. If they do, the claims process will move on to determining how severe your injuries were and how much compensation you should receive.

If there is any argument over liability, both parties will need to present evidence to try and convince the other side. As we listed previously, this can involve the use of witness statements, photographic evidence and workplace incident report forms.

In some cases, your employer’s insurer may put up a tough fight to try and avoid paying compensation. For that reason, you may wish to instruct a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims. We’ll discuss this further in the next section.

Do I Need a Solicitor to File an Office Injury Claim?

Using a solicitor in a personal injury claim is entirely your choice. You can take action alone but having a specially trained legal representative can make things easier.

In an office accident claim, your solicitor’s services could include:

  • Collecting and reviewing evidence to help prove your case.
  • Ensuring that your claim is filed correctly and within the allowed time limits.
  • Arguing your case especially if there are any objections from your employer’s insurance provider.
  • Sending you regular updates so you’re aware of how the claim is progressing.
  • Negotiating a fair settlement rather than accepting the first offer tabled by your employer.

Our solicitors provide work using a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for all accident at work claims they take on. This means they provide a No Win, No Fee service because:

  • You don’t pay for their work upfront.
  • There is no need to pay for your solicitor’s services while the claim progresses or if it fails.
  • You only pay a success fee if you are awarded compensation.

Importantly, when using a CFA to pay for your solicitor’s work, the maximum percentage of your compensation that can be taken as a success fee is 25 per cent.

To see if you could make a No Win, No Fee office accident claim, please get in touch today.

How Long Do Office Accident Claims Take to Settle?

There isn’t a specific amount of time that it takes for office accident claims to be settled. That’s because each claim is different and claimants will have been affected in different ways.

That said, in straightforward claims where you’ve fully recovered and your employer has accepted the blame, you could receive compensation within around 9 months or so.

Where your suffering is still ongoing the claims process could exceed a year. If this is the case, and liability has already been accepted, you could be entitled to receive interim compensation payments. These do come out of your final settlement but they can help you to cover any immediate financial pressures.

Will My Compensation Claim End Up In Court?

In our experience, most office compensation claims are settled out of court. That’s generally because both parties will try to settle amicably to avoid the additional time and costs of court hearings.

If you do end up in court, your case will be heard and the court will decide whether your employer should compensate you. They’ll also set the compensation amount if the claim is successful.

Should you lose in court, the judge might decide that you should cover your employer’s legal costs. However, most accident-at-work solicitors insist that an insurance policy is taken out at the beginning of the claims process to cover such costs.

Contacting Us About an Office Accident Claim

We’re happy to check if you have a valid office accident claim as part of our free initial consultation. You can arrange yours by:

  • Calling 0333 241 2519 to speak to a specialist.
  • Connecting to our free live chat service.

Remember, if your case is suitable and you decide to work with a solicitor from our team, your office accident claim will be managed on a No Win, No Fee service.

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