Notwithstanding advances in Health and Safety in the Workplace we continue to be instructed on a weekly basis with injury claims emanating from the Workplace.
The following is not an exhaustive guide but 10 helpful tips if you have suffered serious injuries at work:
1. Accident Report Book
Please ensure the accident is logged in the Accident Report Book, ask to see the entry to ensure it is accurately recorded and all information pertaining to your accident is correct.
2. Attending Hospital /GP.
When attending for medical treatment ensure you provide a description of how the injury occurred. A brief outline will suffice. Insurers acting for Employers insist on viewing medical records and check the information provided and cross reference with the facts presented by us on your behalf.
3. Co-Operating with Your Employer.
It’s important to co-operate with Employers post-accident to provide any additional information they require as they will need to compile an Accident Investigation Report. Some clients are intimidated by this process but as an information gathering exercise it’s essential to assist especially if there are no witnesses or CCTV.
4. Keep a Pocket Notebook Diary.
This is a good idea, log how you feel, it doesn’t have to be War and Peace but it can be utilised subsequently as an excellent contemporaneous account of your mood and concerns. Note all of your medical appointments and expenses including keeping any documentary evidence in support of the same. All of these expenses for example, costs of painkillers, travelling expenses to hospital can be claimed back when it comes to conclude the overall settlement of the claim.
5. Social Media.
Avoid posting either yourself or via family members any posts / information that could be misconstrued by Insurers. For some time now defendant Insurers routinely revert to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn to have a nose at seriously injured clients to check their lifestyles to see if it contradicts medical evidence disclosed.
To avoid any misinterpretation, it’s easier and we recommend you come off social media altogether until the claim is concluded.
6. Do Not Suffer in Silence.
One of the serious side effects of a life changing injury is the psychological trauma, the flashbacks, night sweats, anxiety, irritability and frustration inextricably linked to the knowledge that life will never be the same again. This coupled with potentially months and months, possibly years of further painful surgery and rehabilitation can create feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem.
From being the breadwinner to being in the house all the time and allied to aforementioned matters above can impact on relationships.
Do not be embarrassed to speak up about your mood. We can provide professional counselling from a team of experts we have instructed in similar scenarios over the last 20 years.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very serious, debilitating condition and requires lengthy, complex treatment that should be commenced as soon as practicable to stop the injured party sliding into a pit of despair and sense of hopelessness which on occasions can lead to suicidal thoughts.
7. Care at Home.
Let us know who provided the day-to-day assistance for example, helping you get dressed, cooking, cleaning, ironing for you. We build a picture of the domestic assistance by taking statements off a spouse, family member or friend as the care provided can be claimed as part of the global settlement.
If you used to do all your own gardening, painting, decorating etc and now have to employ somebody to undertake these tasks because of your incapacity, you can claim the costs back.
8. Further Surgery / Ongoing Treatment.
In a serious accident that is not your fault please note it is the responsibility of the Defendants Insurers to fund future surgery on a private basis at a private hospital. Their obligations in this context are contained within the Law Reform Act 1948. With the pandemic currently at its peak and NHS services overrun this point is especially relevant today more than ever.
9. Weekly Contact with Us.
We set aside a day to contact seriously injured clients to ascertain their welfare and to provide reassurances if necessary and deal with any supplemental legal queries.
This has been used by Insurers for the last 30 years, in complex high value claims they instruct surveillance agents (usually ex police officers) and generally follow a client for a week.
There is no reason to be intimidated by this tactic, they are hoping to collate footage that rebuts medical evidence as to capability and capacity.
Usually, it fails but we always feel it prudent to forewarn clients of this tactic.
We will continue to take the fight to Insurers to ensure that our seriously injured clients receive the compensation their life changing injuries deserve.