Understanding employers' liability insurance and your accident at work

A recent report conducted by the Health and Safety Executive estimated that nearly 450,000 people in the U.K. sustained an injury at work during 2020 and 2021. Considering that these years were plagued by mandatory lockdowns due to the COVID pandemic, this figure is quite significant.

While some of these injuries will be small or superficial, there are a significant number that are far more serious. In fact, each year, around 13,000 people experience fatal injuries whilst in the workplace.

If you have been injured at work, it is important to understand whether your company has employer’s liability insurance.

What is employers’ liability insurance?

This type of insurance essentially safeguards companies against damages and legal expenses when an employee makes a claim after an accident at work. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the company could be liable for significant compensation to the employee.

There are many businesses in the United Kingdom that are required to have employers’ liability insurance of up to £5 million by law. However, the specific type of policy that a company requires will be dependent on a number of factors, usually correlating with the nature of the business. For example, companies whose employees work with heavy machinery may need to pay a high premium, as the risks of the most serious injuries at this type of workplace differ greatly to those who work in an office for example.

When are companies exempt from having employers’ liability insurance?

If you have an accident at work, you need to establish whether your company has employer’s liability insurance, and if they do not, are they required to have it? This question is important as some businesses are not legally obliged to hold this type of insurance policy.

Most public organisations, like the armed forces are not required to have liability insurance. The same can be said for health service bodies such as the NHS. These public organisations effectively self insure.

Examples of accidents at work

There are many ways in which an employee can injure themselves at work. However, to make a claim against your company, it is important to know what type of accidents their liability insurance covers.

While different policies offer various types of accident cover, typical examples of claims include trips and falls caused by incorrectly or poorly placed objects, such as electrical wires or boxes. Repetitive strain injury is a common workplace accident, especially for those working manual jobs involving heavy machinery.

Other claim examples include injury caused by another employee, injury as a result of the supervisor’s failure to provide correct instructions and/or proper safety equipment, exposure to asbestos or other industrial chemicals that cause harm, and accidents caused by defective machinery or poorly secured heavy loads resulting in crushing injuries.

If the accident that you have experienced at work does not fall into any of the examples listed above, it doesn’t mean that you can not make a claim. In fact, there are hundreds of different workplace injuries that are often claimed against employers’ liability insurance.

Had an accident at work? Get advice with Waldrons

If you have had an accident at work in the last three years and you believe it wasn’t your fault, then the professional and dedicated team at Waldrons can help. With years of experience and success acting for victims of workplace injury, the team can assist you in making the claim and recovering compensation.

To start this claims process, call one of the Waldrons team using the free initial consultation service. They will be able to listen to the details of the accident and advise whether the claim has a reasonable prospect for success. If there is enough validity in your claim to move forward, a discussion will be had on the legal fees. Waldrons operate a conditional fee agreement, also known as a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing in legal costs.

If the claim is successful and you recover costs from the defendant, Waldrons may apply a success fee to any legal costs. However, this sum will never be more than 25% of the awarded general damages and past losses from your claim – so there really is nothing for you to lose.

Contact Waldrons solicitors

If you are ready to make your personal injury claim for your workplace injury, speak to the team at Waldrons now.

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Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Joseph Norton who is an Associate Director and Head of Compensation