Construction Accident Claims
Read our 5 point guide to why construction injury claims happen and how our claims solicitors can help start your claim.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous places to work within the UK. With the help of legislation, the industry has been becoming much safer in recent years, but not all employers have fully caught up with the new regulations and expectations. All employers have a statutory duty of care, meaning that they have a legal obligation to consider your welfare and ensure that they are not being careless with your health and safety.
If you have suffered an accident within the construction industry and are considering making a personal injury claim, call us on 0121 565 4317 or use our online claims form to arrange your free, no obligation consultation.
Common Construction Industry Compensation Claims
1. Lifting Injuries
Back, shoulder and hip injuries are common if you are required to lift heavy objects without correct assistance or without sufficient training. For men, you should not be expected to lift anything above 25kg without assistance, while for women this is reduced to 16kg. These amounts are based on optimal lifting conditions, where the weight is held close to the body and is not lifted too high. If the circumstances make the lift more difficult, these maximums must be adjusted. For the most difficult lifts, these maximums may be reduced to 5kg for men and 3kg for women. In addition, repetitive lifts and twisting movements must be avoided or minimised. If you have suffered a lifting injury at work, you may be entitled to compensation.
2. Falls From Height
Working at height is inherently dangerous, and it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that they have taken all reasonable steps to keep you safe. This includes putting up railings to prevent falls, requiring all employees to wear harnesses when working at height, ensuring that tasks do not require stretching or leaning across gaps at height and ensuring that all staff are appropriately trained in the policies and procedures that keep them safe when working in this way. If you have fallen from a height at work, you may well be able to claim compensation as result of your injury. Many of us are tempted to write off a fall as us ‘being clumsy’, but it is your employer’s job to make sure that ‘being clumsy’ doesn’t lead to you being seriously injured. If insufficient care was taken to keep you safe, your employer is likely to be considered at fault. Falls from a height can lead to lasting back, hip or spinal injuries, as well as nerve damage, broken bones and concussions.
3. Poorly Maintained Or Faulty Equipment
This includes a wide range of problems and injuries. Poorly maintained equipment means that you need to use excessive force when using a screwdriver, causing you to receive a deep cut if your hand slips. More serious incidents involving poorly maintained industrial equipment are associated with missing or malfunctioning safety guards, leading to serious injuries including traumatic amputations or crush injuries to a hand or foot. You have the right to expect that your job is not made more dangerous by having to use faulty or damaged equipment. If you have been injured as a result of having to use faulty equipment, you are likely to be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
4. Slips, Trips And Falls
It is important that your workplace is kept as safe as possible, and one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is to keep floors clear and things put away. If this is not routinely enforced by your employer and you fall over a trip hazard, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you have sustained. Common injuries from a slip or trip include bruises, sprains, strains or even dislocations of the hip of shoulder, but more serious injuries can include spinal problems or concussions.
5. Falling Objects
All objects at height should be secured such that they do not pose a hazard to anyone below. Additionally, if it is not possible to secure all objects at height (for example on a construction site), protective equipment should be required as standard. Falling objects are a common cause of work-related accidents on construction sites and you may be eligible for compensation if you have been injured in this way as even small objects can cause significant damage if they are falling from a height. Falling objects can cause back injuries, concussions, compressions, contusions, fractured bones and a whole host of other injuries.
How Do I Make A Construction Industry Injury Claim?
Making a construction industry personal injury claim follows the same steps as any other personal injury claim –
We will write to your employer, notifying them that you are making a personal injury claim for your accident at work. In this letter, we will ask them to admit that they were at fault for your accident (this is called accepting liability), outline the basics of your case and give them a deadline to respond to us.
If they accept liability for your accident, we would then move on to the next step. If, as often happens early on in a claim, they do not accept that they were at fault for your accident (this is known as disputing liability), we will gather evidence to support your claim. This can be easier if we have access to photographs, videos or contact details of witnesses, if you were in a position to gather those at the time or shortly after the event. If you were not in a position to arrange that, as most people are not, we will set about finding the evidence we need. This could be through witness statements, arranging for experts to go the site of the accident and prepare a report or by getting copies of any police report, for example. The majority of cases in which liability was disputed initially end with the other party accepting liability once they are shown the evidence we have gathered.
Once liability has been agreed, we will carry out the negotiations to agree how much compensation you deserve on your behalf. Although we will be conducting the negotiations, you will still have total control. We will inform you of every offer the other party makes and give you our expert opinion as to whether the offer is a fair one or not. Often, parties make a much lower offer than you are entitled to as their first offer (known as a lowball offer) to see whether you will accept it. With our help, you can be sure that you are getting the full amount that you deserve. Although we will advise you regarding each offer, the decision about whether to accept or refuse will always be your decision and we will never try to pressure you in any way.
It is extremely rare that liability and the amount of compensation cannot be agreed between the two parties. If you are unfortunate enough to end up being one of those very rare cases, your case may need to go to court to find an agreement. If this happens, we will be with you throughout the process, making sure that you are fully informed about what is happening and why. The friendly support of our experienced team can make all the difference to how stressful your court appearance might be.
How Much Compensation Will I Get For My Construction Injury Claim?
When making a compensation claim for a construction industry accident, the amount of compensation you are entitled to will vary according to a number of factors. There are two main parts to your compensation claim. The first is based on the injury you have sustained, and is set down in national guidelines. These guidelines are very broad, to allow for the wide range of individual injuries you might have suffered. This section of the compensation is there to compensate you for the pain and suffering that you have endured as a result of your injury.
The second part of your compensation relates to any expenses, loss of income or potential future costs or losses you might expect. These can include any modifications you may need to make to your home, transport or lifestyle as a result of your injury, for example installing a stairlift if a back injury prevents you from using the stairs after a fall at work. If you have to take time off work to recover, the lost earnings would be included in this aspect of the claim. If your injury as a result of your construction industry accident is sufficiently severe that you will not be able to return to your previous profession, you may also be able to claim for the loss of potential future earnings.
What If I Make A Construction Injury Claim And Get Sacked?
It is illegal for your employer to dismiss you as a result of you starting an accident at work claim. They are not allowed to punish you in any way, which includes firing you, passing you over for promotion or changing your duties to less desirable ones in response to your claim. The overwhelming majority of employers would not want to punish an employee for claiming the compensation they need to recover fully after an accident at work. For the small number who might, knowing that you have a specialist team of solicitors working on your fall at work claim may be enough to make them realise that such actions will put them in breach of their obligations under the law again. We will be with you all the way, and will remind your employers of their obligations, should this be necessary. You should never be in a position where you are punished for seeking justice for the injury you have suffered as a result of your construction industry accident.
If you have concerns about this or any other aspect of making a construction industry accident claim, call us on 0121 565 4317 or use our claims form online. Our expert claims team will discuss your case with you and ensure that you get the help you need to obtain the compensation you deserve.