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Employer’s liability for injuries sustained in the workplace – an introduction

by Redmans Solicitors on March 21, 2013

Accidents in the workplace are extremely common – in 2011/12 173 workers were killed in accidents at work and 111,000 injuries occurred in the workplace (HSE statistics). If an employee is seriously injured by such an accident then they may wish to pursue their employer for any losses that they’ve sustained because of their employer’s unreasonable failure to comply with a statutory duty or if their employer has been negligent. You may wish to instruct a personal injury solicitor in such circumstances. We’ll take a look at these actions in this post and will do so by looking at the following issues:

  1. What potential actions can an employee pursue if they’re injured in the workplace?
  2. Can I bring a claim for breach of statutory duty?
  3. Can I bring a claim for common law negligence?
  4. What should I do if I’ve suffered an injury in the workplace?

What potential actions can an employee pursue if they’re injured in the workplace?

If an employee is injured because of a workplace accident then they may wish to pursue a remedy to compensate them for the pain and suffering that they’ve endured and the potential loss of earnings that they’ve sustained. There are two potential options open to employees if they wish to pursue such a claim – a claim against their employer for breach of statutory duty and/or a claim for common law negligence. These are two very different types of claim and we’ll have a look below at what an employee would need to show to succeed in such a claim.

Can I bring a claim for breach of statutory duty?

If you’ve suffered an injury in the workplace that was your employer’s fault then you may be able to bring a claim for breach of statutory duty. In order to succeed in such a claim you would need to show that:

  1. Your employer had an obligation to reasonably comply with a statutory duty
  2. That your employer failed to comply with the statutory duty
  3. That the failure to comply with the statutory duty caused you harm
  4. That there is no defence that your employer can use to defend against the claim for breach of statutory duty

Can I bring a claim for common law negligence?

Again, if you’ve suffered an injury then you may wish to pursue your employer for the common law tort of negligence. You can pursue such a claim in addition to a claim for breach of statutory duty, if you so wish. In order to succeed in such a claim you would need to show that:

  1. Your employer had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent harm to you (the employer-employee duty is a well-established one)
  2. That your employer breached this duty by unreasonably failing to uphold the required standards in the workplace
  3. That this breach caused damage to you
  4. That there are no defences that your employer can use to defend your claim against it

What should I do if I’ve suffered an injury in the workplace?

If you’ve suffered an injury in the workplace then it is advised that you contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible so that you can assess whether you have a viable remedy against your employer.

Redmans Solicitors are compromise agreement solicitors and settlement agreement solicitors based in London

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