How to claim for a head or brain injury at work
When can you claim for a head injury sustained at work?
If you have incurred a head injury at work, you may wish to pursue compensation.
There are multiple situations in which you can make a claim, however, there are two elements which must be satisfied in the first instance:
- The head injury occurred as a result of the employer’s negligence and;
- That the incident occurred within the last 3 years
It will not always be straight-forward to prove a head injury, especially as a result of employer negligence and your solicitor will be able to advise you more fully and undertake investigations where necessary. Several pieces of legislation protect you whilst working and these will all be considered when you make a claim for a head injury. These include:
- Health and Safety Act 1974
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- The Employment Rights Act 1996
- Equality Act 2010
As with all personal injury claims, head injury claims are subject to a three-year limitation date by which time a claim must be brought within the Court or it can be statute barred and you will be unable to make a claim after that date (under the Limitation Act 1980).
When an employee suffers any kind of injury, their employer will have procedures in place to report the incident. Any related documentation recorded from an incident will be obtained by your solicitor when investigating the case. It will be your employer’s responsibility to submit a report to the Health and Safety Executive known as RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) or the health and safety department at the company’s local authority.
It is important that you notify your employer of any head injury you sustain, however minor this may appear, as in most cases it will be found that your employer had a duty to protect you. A head injury at work should be recorded in the company’s accident book.
What types of head or brain injury claims does it include?
There are many scenarios in which a head or brain injury can occur at work, each with differing severity.
Some examples of how injuries of this nature could occur include the use of equipment at work, a trip or fall at work, a road accident within the course of your employment, objects falling from a height or an assault at work, to name but a few. This may result in several outcomes, each with a range of head or brain injury symptoms.
Why receiving compensation for a head injury is important
It is important to instruct an expert solicitor in the event that you suffer a head injury at work so that they can investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and assess the appropriate compensation that may be claimed on your behalf.
Claiming compensation due to negligence on the part of your employer ensures you are compensated for the injury, but it will also provide you with any loss of earnings sustained both at that time and in the future. As well as provide for costs towards treatment to assist with any rehabilitation. It may be the case that the injury is so severe you are unable to return to work and compensation will secure your future financially.
In addition, some head injury symptoms can occur months or even years later. In some cases epilepsy will develop as a result of a head injury and this can occur several years after the initial injury.
How much compensation can you get for a head injury at work?
The range of compensation for a head injury is vast and depends on the severity.
Your solicitor will value your claim by using relevant case law and the Judicial College Guidelines, which give broad brackets for injuries sustained following negligence.
A guide to head injury compensation is as follows:
|Brain damage / Head injury||Guideline compensation|
|Very Severe Brain Damage||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Moderately Severe Brain Damage||£219,070 to £282,010|
|Moderate Brain Damage – Type (i)||£150,110 to £219,070|
|Moderate Brain Damage – Type (ii)||£90,720 to £150,110|
|Moderate Brain Damage – Type (iii)||£43,060 to £90,720|
|Less Severe Brain Damage||£15,320 to £43,060|
|Minor Brain or Head Injury||£2,210 to £12,770|
Note: These figures are from the Judicial College Guidelines 16th Edition
These figures are for the injury element of any claim and do not include claims for past or future losses such as loss of earnings and treatment fees.
How to claim for a head injury at work
To claim compensation for a head injury at work, follow these steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention following a head injury at work to ensure that you receive timely advice. You will be able to use your medical records to support your claim.
- Report the incident to your manager if they are not already aware of the injury. This should be logged appropriately. These are also records which will be obtained as part of any claim that you make.
- Gather together any evidence that may support the circumstances of the accident and prove that your employer was negligent. Keep details of witnesses who saw what happened and find out if there is CCTV footage. Photos of the location of the accident, any equipment involved in the accident and visible injury sustained are also helpful.
- Contact a specialist head injury lawyer with experience in dealing with accidents at work. They will be able to guide you through the legal process.
Once the legal process has commenced, the next steps undertaken by your solicitor will be:
- To contact your employer to request their admission of liability. The matter will then usually be passed to their insurers.
- An interim payment will be sought to fund the immediate treatment that you require.
- Evidence is obtained from specialist medical experts.
- A schedule of your past and future losses is compiled.
- An appropriate award of damages is negotiated.
Depending on the complexities of a case, the length of this process could take several months to several years and may involve the issue of Court proceedings.
Returning to work after a head injury
It will be important for your employer to assess whether you are capable of doing your previous job.
If this is the case, then appropriate adjustments may need to be put in place. If you are not able to return to your previous job, you may still be capable of working within a different role at the organisation. This is something that will need to be discussed with your employer when you are planning a return to work after a head injury. Your solicitor can assist with advice concerning this.
Worried about making a claim against your employer?
You may find it difficult to make a claim against your employer due to fear of what the consequences will be.
The following points may help you when considering this:
- Your employer should be fully insured to pay compensation
- Once the initial claim is submitted, it will be passed to their insurance company to deal with
- As an employee, you have rights to prevent you from being treated unfairly or sacked
- In the event that you are sacked, your loss of earnings might be claimed in compensation for the accident
- It is not inevitable that everyone will be made aware of your claim
- Your sense of duty to your employer may be outweighed by your losses, particularly in a more severe head injury case where financial support is critical.
If you require further advice and reassurance in relation to making a head injury claim against your employer, please contact one of our specialist head injury solicitors at RWK Goodman for further advice and support. Our team of brain injury solicitors will be able to guide you through the process every step of the way.
Our specialist solicitors are here to help you claim compensation when you’ve suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence.
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