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

By Cat Way. Last updated 16th June 2023. If you’re wondering ‘if I was at fault or partly responsible, can I claim compensation for an accident at work?’ then this guide can help.

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:

'if I was at fault or partly responsible, can I claim compensation for an accident at work injury?'

‘if I was at fault or partly responsible, can I claim compensation for an accident at work injury?’

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Could I Claim For An Accident At Work If I Was Partially Responsible For My Injuries?

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 be entitled to make an accident at work claim if you were partly responsible for your injuries.

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 be used to illustrate the injuries you suffered and the treatment you will need 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.

Injury TypeCompensation BracketNotes
Moderately Severe Brain Damage (b)£219,070 to £282,010A very serious disability with a substantial dependence on others and a need for constant care.
Minor Head Injury (e)£2,210 to £12,770Little to no brain damage is present.
Hernia (a)£14,900 to
Even after repair there is a limit to physical activity and the pain is continuous.
Minor Neck Injuries (c) (i)£4,350 to
A full recovery occurs within 1-2 years.
Moderate Back Injuries (b) (ii)£12,510 to £27,760Backache caused by disturbed ligaments and muscles and soft tissue injuries causing the acceleration or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.
Moderate Shoulder Injuries (c)£7,890 to £12,770Limited physical movement caused by frozen shoulder.
Other Arm Injuries (d)£6,610 to £19,200Simple forearm fractures.
Less Serious Leg Injuries (c) (ii)£9,110 to £14,080Simple femur fractures with no damage to the arterial surfaces.
Moderate Knee Injuries (b) (i)£14,840 to £26,190Injuries that involve torn cartilage, dislocation, and mild future disability.
Toe Injuries (b)In the region of £31,310Amputation of the great toe.

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?

One of our solicitors could help you start an accident at work claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this kind of No Win No Fee contract, you can access the services of an expert solicitor without having to pay any upfront or ongoing fees. Likewise, you aren’t expected to pay a fee for your solicitor’s services if your claim fails.

If your claim succeeds, then your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation award. This small percentage is legally capped, which helps ensure that you keep the majority of your settlement.

There are many benefits to working with a solicitor. They can help you gather evidence, support your claim, and explain legal jargon that may otherwise seem confusing or daunting. Our expert solicitors have years of experience in accident at work claims, and are ready to help you get started.

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

Helpful Resources

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

If you’re still wondering ‘if I was at fault or partly responsible, can I claim compensation for an accident at work injury?’, we urge you to get in touch with us today. Thank you for reading our guide.

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