Work injury claims: How to choose a solicitorAugust 16, 2011
A 62 year old steel mill worker in Gateshead was just one of the thousands of people injured at work in 2009. His feet were crushed in a rolling mill. As part of the procedure for cleaning the machinery, the worker was required to stand between hot conveyor rollers to attach a hydraulic ram which would then remove the rollers. Whilst he was doing this, a co-worker started the machine, not realising that he was in this position. His feet were crushed and he suffered burns on his arms. His right leg was amputated below the knee and he is undergoing continuing treatment on his left leg.
He said after the injury, “It’s shocking there weren’t more safety measures in place.” A HSE inspector said, “Simple and inexpensive measures would have prevented this incident from occurring,” particularly measures to ensure the machine could not be operated whilst maintenance was taking place.
It is unlikely that the injured worker will ever be able to return to work. He has begun a lengthy rehabilitation process that includes getting used to a prosthetic limb and every aspect of his life has been affected.
Unfortunately, cases like this occur every year. Over 850,000 people are injured at work or suffer from a work-related illness every year and 25,000 people are forced to give up work as a result.
However, only 1 in 10 of these individuals will receive financial compensation. Many people don’t want to make a fuss or don’t think they have a claim. Others may worry about losing their job if they raise the issue. The compensation process can seem daunting – with hundreds of claim companies clamouring for your attention, how do you decide which one to choose? How do you know they’re not going to rip you off and will keep fighting for the maximum amount of compensation to help you get on with your life?
Rehabilitation often has associated costs, such as home adaptations and specialist care, as well as lost earnings.
The most important thing to do following an injury at work is to seek legal advice – according to the TUC, injured workers who sought legal advice receive compensation offers which are around 50% higher than those who received no legal advice. An experienced solicitor will know how much you could expect to receive in compensation and the necessary steps to building your case, including collecting medical evidence.
Some solicitors firms buy in work from claims companies. This means the claimant may end up represented by someone they did not choose and who may not have the necessary expertise. Because of this, the best option is to choose a reputable solicitor, such as Macks Solicitors. They will have the legal expertise to follow your case to its conclusion and reach the best possible outcome. A compensation payment will not make up for the pain and suffering a work injury or illness can bring but it can help to ensure financial stability and assist with rehabilitation.