April 11, 2019
We participated in Solicitors Chat on Twitter answering questions about work related illness claims and how your current or previous job can have implications on many aspects of your life.
Our Trainee Legal Executives, Lucy Watson and Kate Shields, were on hand to provide some much needed guidance.
We’ve set out our answers out below.
- When it comes to health and safety at work, what rights do employees have and what obligations do employers have?
All workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under health and safety law, the primary responsibility for this is down to your employers.
Employees have a duty of care of their own health and safety and that others around them that may be affected by your actions in the workplace. Employees must co-operate with employers to help them to meet their legal requirements.
If you have a specific concern relating to health and safety in your workplace, talk to your employer, manager/supervisor or a health and safety representative.
- What is classed as a work-related illness and how can a solicitor help you make a claim?
A work related, sometimes called an industrial disease or occupational disease. Is an injury, illness or condition that has been sustained as a result of unsafe working conditions or exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace.
- Talk us through the standard process when making a work-related illness claim.
The first step would be to arrange a free consultation with a member of our personal injury team to discuss the circumstances of the potential claim, the injuries you have suffered and how these injuries have affected you.
If we believe there to be grounds to pursue a claim for compensation, we would then formally submit the claim to the employer’s Employer Liability insurer. Under the Pre Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims, the insurers would then have a period of 40 working days to respond to the claim and confirm that liability for your injuries is admitted.
Once liability for your injuries is admitted, it is then our role to prepare evidence to support the value of the claim. This would include obtaining an independent medical report detailing your injuries and collating evidence of any other losses that you have suffered, such as loss of earnings, medication expenses and travel expenses.
Once the evidence is finalised we would then look to settle the claim on the best possible terms. However, every claim is different and many factors such as complexity of injuries, further treatment required etc should be taken in to consideration before the claim is settled.
- What issues can arise when making a claim against employers?
An employee should not been subjected to any unfair treatment by their employer for raising a personal injury claim. If your employer is treating you different because you’ve lodged a claim, please notify us immediately and we can take action on your behalf.
- Is there a time limit on making a work-related illness claim?
Yes, under the Limitation Act 1980, adults who are considering making a claim for personal injury compensation have 3 years from the date of the incident in which to bring a claim.
However, with industrial disease claims the causes of the injury/disease tend to be cumulative and develop over a number of years. Often the date of the cause of action has long gone by the time the effects become apparent.
This does not mean you cannot make a claim. In these circumstances your 3 year limitation period will start from the date of knowledge. Generally the date of knowledge is when you first knew that your injury:
a. Was significant enough that it was worth bringing a claim for injury, and:
b. Might have been negligently caused directly or indirectly by a defendant.
If you have suffered a work related illness and would like help with your claim, contact our personal injury specialists at Tayntons Solicitors in Gloucester on 0800 158 4147 and book a free initial consultation.