Changes To Accident At Work Compensation Claims To Come In On October 1st
1st October 2013
At Clearwater Solicitors, ensuring that everyone has the easy, fast and simple access to legal representation that they require, so people don’t need to hesitate or gather evidence before they contact our no win no fee solicitors to make a personal injury claim. Previously, the UK’s laws have reasserted this right and strengthened worker protection, which has led to the proactive health and safety protection seen in the overwhelming majority of the UK’s workplaces.
However, new legislation coming in through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 are predicted to adversely affect access to compensation, and could see anyone injured in an accident at work on any date after October 1st 2013 struggling to make a claim or succeed in their case. Injured employees will no longer be able to make a claim on the basis of the breach of statutory duty, which will effectively spell the end of ‘no fault’ liability.
Instead, injured employees will have to prove the negligence of their employer, such as by gathering evidence to show that the business was negligent towards the health and safety of its workforce. If employers can show that they had risk assessment procedures in place, conducted regular assessments, maintained their equipment and trained their employees in how to conduct their work safely, then people who are injured in an accident at work may find they are unable to make a personal injury claim.
This could mean that someone who loses an arm or a leg in an accident at work, or who suffers serious head injuries or paralysis when safety equipment fails, may be unable to claim compensation from their employer, potentially leading to extended recovery times and making it difficult for people to access rehabilitation or recover their losses and expenses.
Claimants will also likely have to spend even more money than they used to have to spend in order to make an accident at work compensation claim. Previously, no win no fee solicitors would be able to offer their services to anyone they thought had a valid claim, but legislative changes on April 1st meant they had to ask claimants to take out insurance to cover their costs in the event of a loss, and led to the rise in success fees. This new legislation could mean that personal injury solicitors also have to ask for even more money, as claimants will have to offer far more proof in order to win their claim.
– These amendments only relate to health and safety at work statutory duties and do not relate to public liability claims involving members of the public.
– Employees will point to breaches of statutory duty to support allegations of negligence, so employers will still have to adhere to their duties.
– When accident at work compensation claims reach the court, the judiciary will be influenced by breaches of statutory duty in determining negligence.
While the newspapers may scream of a ‘compensation culture’, the Health and Safety Executive recorded 172 fatal accidents at work between 2011 and 2012, while 212,000 people were injured so severely that they required at least three days off work. Personal injury solicitors would recommend that the government considers these people in any future legislative changes.