Workplace injuries can be both physically and emotionally damaging. One of the most common injuries sustained at work is a broken leg. The road to recovery can be long and hard, but navigating the legal compensation process can be equally daunting.
In this article, we will explore the steps to take after suffering a broken leg at work. You will learn how to file a claim for compensation, employer responsibilities, the legal rights of employees, and the right way to return to work.
It is essential to know your rights after an accident at work. The compensation process can seem complex, but we are here to simplify it for you. Here’s an overview of what to expect, including factors that affect settlement amounts and how long it takes to receive them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an employee navigating the process or an employer dealing with an employee’s injury. This article provides the information needed to make the process as smooth as possible.
Legal Rights For Injured Employees
Types Of Compensation Claims
When you suffer a broken leg injury at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation from your employer. There are primarily two types of compensation claims you can make:
- Personal injury claim: This type of claim seeks compensation for the injury and covers costs associated with medical treatment or rehabilitation.
- Loss of earning claim: This type of claim seeks compensation for financial losses. This entails lost wages, loss of future income, and out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the injury.
Key Factors Influencing Compensation Claims
The compensation amount you receive depends on several factors:
- The severity of the injury: Severe injuries with long-term consequences will lead to a higher compensation payout.
- The extent of the financial losses: The monetary losses incurred by the injured employee are also considered while deciding the compensation amount.
- Employee’s work history: The injured employee’s work history details, such as their job experience, age, and salary, are also important.
- Employer’s negligence: You will only qualify for compensation if your employer is found liable for your broken leg injury. If determined that the injury was due to the employee’s negligence or if it resulted from a freak accident or an external event, the claim may be denied.
What To Do After A Broken Leg Injury At Work?
If you suffer a broken leg injury at work, you should take the following steps:
- Report the accident to your employer and seek medical attention immediately. Keeping a record of all medical treatment and expenses is paramount.
- Collect evidence of the accident, such as photographs, witness statements from colleagues, and CCTV footage, if available.
- Seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer who specialises in work injury claims. They can advise you on your legal rights and help you to pursue compensation from your employer.
Employer’s Duty Of Care
Employer’s Responsibility In Preventing Accidents
Employers have a legal responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees while they are at work. For starters, they are required by law to conduct regular risk assessments. They are also responsible for providing adequate safety training and implementing adequate safety measures.
It is the responsibility of employers to ensure there are adequate safety measures to guard their employees against avoidable hazards that could potentially lead to accidents or injuries.
Furthermore, employers must provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of accidents. That includes gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, or high-visibility clothing.
If an employee works with hazardous substances, the employer must provide relevant training and personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of accidents.
Consequences Of Negligence By The Employer
If an employer fails to meet their duty of care towards their employees, they can be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur as a result. Negligence on the part of the employer can lead to financial penalties, legal action, and damage to the company’s reputation.
In some extreme cases, employers who fail to meet their duty of care could face criminal prosecutions under health and safety legislation.
How To Report The Accident To Your Employer
If you have had an accident at work, report it to your employer as quickly as possible. Swift reporting of the accident ensures that they can investigate the circumstances of the accident and take any necessary preventive measures so that it doesn’t happen to someone else. You can report an accident to your employer by:
- Informing your line manager or supervisor immediately
- Completing an accident report form before you leave work (if one is available)
- Providing details of the accident in writing, including the date, time, location, and a description of what happened
- Seeking medical attention and keeping any relevant documentation related to the accident, such as doctor’s reports and prescriptions
Reporting an accident creates a record that will serve as evidence needed later if you need to file a compensation claim. Employers have insurance to cover them for accidents that occur at work. However, it is crucial to report the accident to your employer to ensure that they can commence an investigation and cooperate with you to prevent similar accidents in the future.
The Claims Process When You Break Your Leg At Work
1 First Steps To Take After An Accident
When you’ve been injured at work and need to file a claim, there are several steps that you should take as soon as possible.
Firstly, it is critical to seek medical attention for your injuries. Not only will this provide the necessary treatment, but it will also provide a record of the injuries sustained, which can serve as evidence during the claims process.
The next step is to report the injury to your employer. And this is also something you should do as soon as possible. Your employer will fill out an accident book or accident report form as required by law.
If the employer fails to provide either, insist on a written report that captures the date, time and place where the injury occurred. The document should also include statements from witnesses present when the accident occurred.
2 How To File A Claim
Filing a compensation claim requires you to contact your employer’s insurance company. These companies often have dedicated lines or contacts for claims handling, which you can find on their website.
When filing a claim, providing detailed information about your injuries is imperative. Make sure to explain how the accident happened and provide any medical treatment that you have received.
Find somewhere safe to store all records of all expenses related to your injury. That may include medical bills, transportation costs for appointments, and medication costs. These documents would support or justify your compensation claim.
3 What To Expect From The Claims Process
Once you have filed a claim, the insurance company will generally take time to investigate the incident and determine if it is liable to pay you compensation. During this period, an adjuster from the insurance company may contact you to request additional information or to discuss your claim.
If your claim is successful, the insurance company will extend an offer for compensation. This compensation may cover medical costs, lost wages during your recovery, and additional compensation for pain and suffering.
However, you can deny the offer if you believe it is insufficient. It is possible to negotiate with the insurance company or pursue legal action.
4 Appealing A Compensation Claim Decision
Granted, legal action will incur fees and is time-consuming. However, going to court could yield the best settlement if you have a strong case.
Compensation Amount And Duration
Factors Determining Compensation Amount
The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive for a broken leg injury at work can depend on various factors, including:
- The severity of your injury
- The extent of your financial losses
- Your ability to return to work quickly or at all
- The degree of fault of your employer
- The level of disability you have to live with
- Your age and earning capacity before the injury
After considering these factors, a judge or the employer’s insurance company will determine the exact compensation amount to award you. It’s worth noting that compensation amounts for broken leg injuries at work will vary. It all boils down to the merits of each case.
How Long Will It Take To Get Compensation?
The amount of time it takes to receive compensation for a broken leg injury at work can depend on factors like:
- The complexity of your case
- The severity of your injury
- The degree of fault attributed to your employer
- Whether your employer has admitted liability or not
If there is an admission of liability, the case will be straightforward. In such cases, the compensation process is usually relatively swift, often taking several months.
Other factors may cause the process to take considerably longer. Some examples include when there is a dispute on your claim or if you have a severer leg injury that requires ongoing rehabilitation.
Out-of-Court Settlements Vs. Court Decisions
One important decision you must make when pursuing compensation for a broken leg injury at work is whether to accept an out-of-court settlement offered by your employer or to take the matter to court. Here are some of the pros and cons of each option:
- Pros: This option can offer a quicker resolution and allow you to avoid the stress of court proceedings. You will also incur less legal costs than going to trial.
- Cons: Settlements may not offer the maximum payout you are entitled to. After reaching an out-of-court agreement, it becomes final and legally binding, meaning you would not be eligible to pursue further compensation if your condition worsens or additional expenses arise.
- Pros: They can result in higher compensation award, as a judge will assess the full extent of your injuries and financial losses. You will also have the right to appeal if you are unhappy with the case outcome.
- Cons: Court proceedings can be stressful, time-consuming, and might result in higher legal costs.
Ultimately, the decision on how to proceed will depend on your specific circumstances and the advice of your legal representative.
Returning To Work
What To Consider Before Returning To Work
Before resuming your duties after recovering from a broken leg injury at work, there are several factors to consider:
- Medical Clearance: It is essential to seek medical clearance from a doctor before returning to work. You want to ensure you are fit to carry out your duties.
- Flexibility: Talk to your employer about flexible work hours or remote work arrangements if you have ongoing medical treatments or therapy sessions.
- Transportation: If reduced mobility is an issue, consider how you will commute to work. Discuss any necessary adjustments to accommodate your needs.
- Physical Demands: Consider the physical demands of your job and whether you can perform your duties with any ongoing physical limitations.
- Adjusting to Work: Returning to work after an injury may take time and some adjusting, so be prepared to manage your expectations and give yourself time to adapt.
Getting Back To Work With Reduced Mobility
Reduced mobility can make returning to work challenging, but there are options available to help:
- Adjustments to the work environment: Discuss with your employer any adjustments to your work environment, such as installing handrails or a ramp.
- Assistive Devices: Does your job requires standing or walking for long periods? Consider investing in a walking aid such as crutches or a walking stick.
- Physical Therapy: Do you need help with healing, mobility, or flexibility? Consider physical therapy to improve your strength, balance, and range of motion.
- Reduced or Modified Workload: It may be necessary to modify your working hours, adjust your workload, or engage in tasks that accommodate any limitations in your mobility.
Legal Rights For Employees Returning To Work
Employees who have suffered a work-related injury are entitled to several rights:
- Protection Against Discrimination: Employees returning to work after an injury must not face discrimination due to their injury, such as unfair dismissal. Any discriminatory conduct or behaviour may attract further legal action against an employer.
- Returning to Your Old Job: Generally, employees have the right to return to their former job after an injury.
- Reasonable Adjustments: Employers are legally required to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate an employee’s return to work after an injury. Reasonable adjustments could include installing a ramp, providing training or adjusting their workload.
- Compensation: Employees who have suffered an injury are entitled to compensation and should consult with legal experts regarding their eligibility for this compensation.
So, to recap, you’ve learned that employers have a duty of care to their employees, and there are systems in place to protect the rights of injured workers.
You now know that employees who suffer a broken leg injury at work are entitled to compensation if it was not their fault. We’ve established they can claim reimbursement for expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitation, and loss of earnings.
We’ve also covered your rights at the workplace and the importance of swift, thorough reporting of accidents to your employer. Don’t forget also the steps suggested on the right way to resume your duties after recovering from a broken leg injury at work.
Knowing all of this, in addition to the types of compensation claims available to you and the legal processes required to make a successful claim puts you in a favourable position. You can now collaborate effectively with legal experts and build a solid strategy for your claim.
Remember, it’s always best to seek professional legal advice when in doubt. If you want assistance to get legal representation to help you with your broken leg at work compensation claim, use the form below.