It is quite widely-known that people who have been injured are entitled to claim a financial settlement if another party was at fault. However, a lot of people never claim the compensation they are legally entitled to, and often this is down to a general lack of understanding on any deeper level. One thing that many people are often unclear on is exactly what a compensation payment is for, and what it represents.
The answer to this works on two different levels, because compensation payments are designed to represent two different forms of justice for the injured party. Both of these will be taken into account when calculating the total amount that should be awarded as a result of an accident at work claim or any other kind of personal injury case.
Reimbursement for Expenses
Part of the purpose of compensation is to reimburse you for expenses that have been incurred as a result of your injury, as it is considered only fair that these expenses are met by the person who caused your injury and was at fault. Examples of expenses that might be incurred in this way are any costs associated with medical treatment, such as the cost of having prescriptions filled, and losses incurred as a result of being unable to work. More serious and longer-term injuries may also require you to make adaptations to your home in order to accommodate a reduced level of physical ability, or assistance from private carers. These are also expenses that could be considered for reimbursement when calculating the amount of compensation that is due to you.
Compensation for Suffering
The other purpose of financial compensation is to serve as, quite simply, compensation. In other words, it is designed to make up, at least on some level, for the suffering that your injury has caused. Of course, in many cases no financial settlement could really make up for this, particularly in cases where accidents have resulted in a long-term or permanent disability or even death. Nonetheless, a compensation payment is designed to go some way – as far as reasonably possible – towards making amends for pain and suffering. In some cases, such as where a household’s major wage-earner is permanently unable to work or even deceased, this aspect of the compensation payment is also intended help ensure the financial security of the claimant or claimants in a more general way than the part of the settlement that relates to specific expenses.
Nobody thinks it’ll ever happen to them. Getting injured at work is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to a person. Not only is there a lot of pain and suffering to contend with, there is a difficult legal terrain to maneuver over the coming hours, days, and weeks. It is important to prepare for this in advance. Hopefully you will never get injured on the job. But if you do, it pays to be prepared by knowing your rights. You can see a complete list of rights related to injury at work – check out this solicitor. Here are a few important examples.
- An employer has specific responsibilities for the safety and security of their employees. If an employee is injured on the job, damages will be due if the employer is found to have been negligent in this responsibility, or if they employer did not otherwise train the employee in question and accurately assess risk. This may include issues such as un-swept floors, maintenance that was not carried out, or other employees who contributed to the accident because of lack of training.
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) is an important piece of legislation to review if you are in a field that requires you to lift. Believe it or not, there are important regulations that inform employers of the proper way for their employees to lift heavy things. There are practices like the two man lift which should be standard for all employee training and general practice. When an accident occurs, and this sort of training is not found to have been present, then the employer will likely be found liable for resulting damages.
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (1992) is another important piece of legislation to know about before you get hurt. It relates to the neatness and orderliness of a workplace as required by law. It pertains to heating and cooling, workplaces being free of objects that could be tripped over, and general cleanliness. If you were injured because of a mess or general disorder in your workplace, chances are your injury will trigger the implementation of restitution based on this legislation.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999). There are other legislative acts to review, but few are as important as this one. This one has to do with risk assessment and training. That might not sound like much, but these regulations actually go into incredible detail of just how employees must be trained and accidents must be averted. If you got hurt on the job because of something that was not your fault, it is likely that the problem is enumerated in this long piece of legislation. It would be worth you reading about, and definitely asking about if you get hurt on the job.
There are many other laws in place to protect workers. If you get hurt, review the first link and the list it leads to.