August 26, 2021
This blog is the third part of our 3-part series for ‘Preparing The Ground’ with personal injury matters. In this article, we detail some of the common ‘if only’ type comments some clients will say when they have been unsuccessful with their accident at work compensation claim.
If we could give our clients just one piece of personal injury advice before they make a claim, it would be this:
Make sure you have proof of what you’re claiming.
Sounds obvious, right? Well, when it comes to personal injury claims, not having proof is the most common reason as to why claims are unsuccessful.
Why are we giving you this personal injury advice for free? Well, we believe that everyone who is involved in an accident that results in personal injury deserves to be compensated accordingly.
By understanding and learning from the 'if onlys...' and the 'what ifs...' from clients who have unsuccessfully claimed for personal injury, you are increasing your chances of a successful claim.
These are the most common 'if onlys' we hear about personal injury claims:
- If only my workmates had complained
Ahh, this one is so frustrating. It’s so frustrating because you and your workmates have known that your employer was putting you at risk of personal injury but, not wanting to rock the boat, you’ve accepted the danger and cracked on with the job. Until injury strikes...
Now, when it comes to proving negligence, your employer’s have the easiest defence: "How can we fix something that we didn’t know about?"
Fair point. Well, it is if that’s actually the truth. By lodging formal complaints of risks in the workplace, you will have historical evidence of negligence and proof your employer knew about the personal injury risk.
- If only I had out my complaints in writing
So, you did complain? That’s brilliant, but have you got proof of those complaints?
I know this is starting to sound a bit like personal injury advice overkill but trust us when we say that this will be the follow up question to the above.
It’s really difficult for us to prove a conversation happened unless it was recorded, and if it hasn’t been it’s just a case of your word against theirs. Nothing can be proved.
By formalising your complaints in writing and keeping a copy as evidence, your claim is back in the driving seat.
- If only I had filled in the accident form correctly
When you are recording injuries in accident reports at work or on your medical records, please make sure that you record them accurately and thoroughly. Make sure you say things like "I slipped on oil near machine 2" rather than you simply "slipped".
If you don’t specify what you slipped on, it’s hard to prove that it’s someone else’s fault. It could have been anything.
These initial reports are the starting point to your personal injury claim against your employer so the more detail that is on them, the better.
If you have not recorded your accident accurately from the start, it is far easier for your case to be dismissed.
- If only I had taken photographs of my injury
Injuries change over time, especially the length of time it takes from the personal injury occurring and the claim being heard.
If your injury is an impact injury, the chances are the bruising and swelling will be at its worse in the immediate aftermath. By the time you’re being assessed for your injury, the swelling has reduced and it doesn’t seem that bad. You’re being assessed for an injury that’s partially healed.
Documenting the full extent of your personal injury with a photograph or two straight after it has happened will not only help prove that it happened, but also help you get the compensation that you deserve.
- If only I had made my personal injury claim earlier
If you’re making a personal injury claim, your case must be heard within three years of it happening.
Claim later than that and it’s an automatic dismissal.
Submit a claim too close to the three-year mark and it’s not heard before then, and it’s also an automatic dismissal.
Talk to your Union Rep. Gather the evidence you need. Get your claim in early.
Give yourself the time to file an evidence-filled claim.
Get the compensation you deserve and make sure none of your colleagues suffer the same fate.
To find out more information about Personal Injury Claims at Spencers, please click here to send us an enquiry.
Read our other ‘Preparing The Ground’ accident at work advice articles: