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Could I Claim For An Accident At Work If I Was Partly Responsible?

By Cat Way. Last updated 14th March 2024. In this guide we are going to look at whether you can claim if you were partly responsible for an accident at work injury and what is meant by contributory negligence.

Throughout this guide, we will explain the accident at work claims process. We touch on the duty of care that employers owe their employees and the types of accidents that could occur when that duty isn’t met. We will also discuss the eligibility criteria you must meet to make a personal injury claim and if being partially responsible for your injuries can impact whether you have grounds to seek compensation.

When you accept partial responsibility for an accident at work, this is known as contributory negligence. We’ll explain how accepting some liability for your injuries can affect your compensation and how legal professionals value each potential head of claim.

Following on from this, we will touch on the evidence that you could use to make an accident at work claim and discuss the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor on your case.

Our advisors are here to help if you’d like to learn more about claiming accident at work compensation. To get in touch:

Worker lying on the floor after an accident at work.

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Can I Claim If I Was Partly Responsible For An Accident At Work Injury?

If you were injured in an accident at work but were partly responsible for your injuries, you may still be able to claim compensation. However, you will need to meet the following personal injury claim eligibility criteria:

  •   Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  •   They failed to fulfil this duty.
  •   You were injured as a result.

Employers owe their employees a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). This states that they must take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you and your colleagues safe while in the workplace. If your employer fails to uphold this duty, and you are injured as a result, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim.

However, the HASAWA also outlines the responsibilities that employees hold. Section 7 of the HASAWA states that you are responsible for taking reasonable care of your own health and safety. If you failed to do so, causing or contributing to your own injuries, then the defendant may put forward a case for contributory negligence.

Read on to learn more, or get in touch with our team today to find out if you could make a claim even though you were partly responsible for an accident at work injury.

Contributory Negligence – How Could An Accident At Work Occur?

As we stated in the section above, you must be able to prove that your employer acted negligently in order to form the basis of a valid accident at work claim. However, you may be wondering how both parties could contribute to an accident in the workplace.

One example could be if an employee were to run down a corridor and slip on a wet floor. Although the employer is responsible for ensuring spillages are cleaned up or clearly sign-posted with a wet floor sign, the employee may have avoided slipping if they had been paying attention to where they were going and not running.

Another example would be if an employee were to not wear a helmet on a construction site and an object were to fall on them due to the scaffolding being poorly built. The employer should have ensured that the scaffolding was properly and securely built, but due to not wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) that was provided to them, the employee also contributed to their injury.

For more information on making an accident at work claim when you are partly responsible for your injuries, contact our team today.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support An Accident At Work Claim?

You should provide proof that your employer breached their duty of care, and that this contributed to your injuries. 

To do so, you can collect evidence. This can help support many different areas of your claim, including the types of injuries you suffered, how they occurred, and who is liable.

Some examples of evidence that you could collect to help support your claim include:

  • Accident book logs: All workplaces with ten or more employees are required to have an accident book on-site. If you log your accident as soon as possible, this creates a permanent record of what happened. You could request a copy of this report to be used as evidence in your claim.
  • CCTV footage: Footage of the accident or the circumstances that led up to it can help support a claim that your employer acted negligently.
  • Witness statements: By collecting the contact details of witnesses, this allows their statements to be taken at a later date.
  • Medical records: Your medical records and other official medical documents can help prove the nature of your injuries and what treatment you’ll require going forward.

One benefit of working with a solicitor on your case is that they can help you gather evidence and build a strong claim. To find out how one of our solicitors could help you, contact our advisors today.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive In A Contributory Negligence Claim?

In a contributory negligence claim, your compensation is reduced in proportion to the amount of responsibility you hold. For example, if you are found to be half at fault, with your employer taking the other half of the liability, then your compensation would be reduced by 50%.

There are two heads of claim that you could potentially pursue; these are general damages and special damages. The first head of claim, general damages, is awarded to all successful claimants. This compensates you for your mental and physical injuries and the effect that these injuries have had on your life.

When legal professionals value this head of claim, they might use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This document offers guideline compensation awards for different injuries at various severities. You can find some examples of these guidelines from the 16th edition of the JCG in the table below. However, the top row is not taken from the JCG, but is instead provided to demonstrate how compensation could be awarded for multiple serious injuries and various related expenses. As all personal injury claims are different, this table should only be used as a guide.

InjurySeverityNotesCompensation Guideline
Multiple Very Serious Injuries and Incurred ExpensesVery SevereSettlements could compensate claimants for more than one very severe injury and related expenses, such as lost wages and carer costs.Up to £1,000,000+
Brain InjuryVery SevereBrain damage of this severity requires full time nursing care due to severe cognitive and physical diabilities.£282,010 to £403,990
Leg Injuries - AmputationsLoss of Both LegsThe claimant has lost both legs due to amputation. This can either been both above the knee or one at a high level above the knee with the other below.£240,790 to £282,010
Back InjurySevere (i)These cases involve severe pain and disability, such as incomplete paralysis, due to spinal cord and nerve damage.£91,090 to £160,980
Arm InjurySevere InjuriesAlthough the claimant hasn't required amputation, these injuries are extremely serious and they are little better off than if the arm had been amputated.£96,160 to £130,930
Injuries to the Hips and PelvisSevere (i)This bracket includes extensive fractures with complications, such as dislocation of a low back joint with a ruptured bladder.£78,400 to £130,930
Hand InjuriesTotal or Effective Loss of One HandThe claimant's hand has been surgically amputated following a crush injury or most of the palm has been traumatically amputated.£96,160 to £109,650
Finger InjuriesAmputation of Index and Middle and/or Ring FingersDue to these amputations, the claimant's hand is of very little use and they have a weak grip.£61,910 to £90,750
Knee InjurySevere (ii)The claimant suffered a leg fracture that extended into the knee joint resulting in permanent, constant pain. £52,120 to £69,730
Facial InjuriesMutlipleThe injured person suffers facial deformity that is permanent due to multiple facial fractures.£14,900 to £23,950

The second head of claim, special damages, aims to restore you to the financial position you were in before you suffered your injuries. For example, if you need to take time off work to recover from your injuries, then you could potentially claim back your lost earnings under special damages. This head of claim can also cover the cost of:

  •   Prescriptions.
  •   Travel.
  •   Childcare.
  •   Domestic help.
  •   Mobility aids.

Presenting evidence of these losses could help support you in your claim for special damages. Some examples of the evidence you could collect include payslips, receipts and bank statements.

To learn more about making a claim for compensation when you are partly responsible for your injuries, contact our team of advisors today.

How Could A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Solicitor Help Me?

Making an accident at work claim can sometimes be complex. However, if you are partly responsible for the accident at work injury, then the process may be a little more difficult to navigate. It is advised to use a specialist accident-at-work claim solicitor to represent you like the ones we have here at Legal Expert.

All of our solicitors offer their services via a type of No Win No Fee contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement CFA. These agreements can bring you, the claimant, many benefits. These include:

  • You will not be asked to pay any upfront solicitor fees for them to begin work on your case.
  • No fees needed for the solicitor’s work as the case moves forward.
  • Unsuccessful accident at work claims will require no fees being paid to the No Win No Fee solicitor for the work they completed on the case.

If your claim is successful under The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, the solicitor can deduct a success fee from the compensation you are awarded. This fee is calculated as a percentage but is subject to a legal cap.

To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors for your claim for an accident at work that you were partially responsible for, contact our team of advisors today:

Helpful Resources If You Were Partly Responsible For An Accident At Work Injury

Below, you can find a list of guides which may tell you more about accident at work claims:

Call our advisors today, and they can inform you if you can still claim if partly responsible for an accident at work injury.

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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