When you are injured at work and your employer’s business was at fault, you will want to make a claim against them, but that may make you worry about whether you can keep your job with them during and after the claims period.
As personal injury lawyers in Scotland, we’re used to hearing this question when people approach us for the first time. Although this is a legitimate worry, your business will be covered by insurance so it won’t be the company that is losing money to pay you.
Is your job at risk?
Sometimes in life, you have to think of yourself. Why shouldn’t you make a claim against your employer if they are at fault because of their negligence?
If you are injured in your car because of someone else’s fault, you would expect them to pay just as you would if someone assaulted you in the street.
Nevertheless, you wouldn’t want to be alienated by your employer or even give cause to upset them if you’re on particularly good terms with your boss or the Board of Directors.
The bigger worry is that they may force you to leave your employment because you are making a claim against them. It’s only natural that you should be concerned about the events that will transpire around your claim.
Who is responsible?
The Health and Safety laws were devised to make sure that employers and anyone running a business would do so in an extremely healthy and safe manner.
If one of your colleagues spills oil on the floor and fails to clear it up or, at the very least, doesn’t place warning signs around the oil and you slip through it and break your leg, it’s not your fault you were injured at work.
You may feel that it’s the individual who spilt the oil that you should claim against, but it is the company that is responsible to train that person in how to make sure that no one is going to slip in the oil if there is a spill.
Wherever possible, you should make sure that any accident or injury is recorded in your company’s accident book as soon as possible. If you can’t personally deal with this matter, ask someone to take notes that you can refer to later for accuracy.
You may also need to seek medical attention from either your GP or perhaps a hospital. These individuals can provide you with a medical report that will become part of your medical records and which will be used by your company and the insurance companies as they decide how much of a compensation claim (in terms of financial value) you are allowed to make.
Your company is required by law to have an insurance policy in place and they can’t fire you for making a legitimate claim against them.
For any compensation claims in Scotland, we will provide all of the documentation that will prove that you have made a legitimate claim, which could then be used in an action against the business for unfair dismissal (should this happen or should it get to this point).
When you talk with the appropriate employee of your business who deals with all of the personal injury claims, you will be able to form a good relationship at the beginning of the process – and although this might not affect the result of the claim, it will help to make sure there are no hard feelings between you and the company.