Industrial injury claim can help pay for costs not covered by government helpAugust 12, 2011
An industrial injury is an injury which occurs during the course of your work. If steps could have been taken by your employer to prevent the injury, they may have been negligent. This means that you can submit a claim for compensation. It is important to seek medical and legal advice as soon as possible, whilst the details of the injury remain fresh in your mind.
Following an injury that affects your ability to work, you can claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. The weekly amount depends on the level of your injury. A doctor will give you a percentage between 1 and 100 of the level of injury and someone with a 30% injury will receive less than someone with an 80% injury. Under 18s also receive less.
For those that need constant care, there is the Constant Attendance Allowance and it is also possible to claim a Reduced Earnings Allowance if your earnings are less after the injury than they were before.
However, these benefits may not cover the full extent of your lost earnings and the costs of any home adaptations that need to be made.
A charity conducted research at a spinal centre over 18 months and found that approx 30% of people were able to go back to a suitably adapted home. Another third went back to homes which had not been fully adapted, which often meant sleeping downstairs because they were unable to get up the stairs. A further 20% were not able to go home at all because of the care that they needed and had to go to care homes.
If you decide to go ahead with an industrial injury claim, it may be possible to obtain an interim payment. This is a portion of your compensation that is paid before the claim is fully decided in order so that you have access to funds for things like home adaptations as soon as possible. With the help of this kind of payment, many injured people are able to return home and get on with their lives.
Things may never be the same after an industrial injury. There may be long-term pain and suffering as a result of the injury and it may mean that you are unable to return to work or unable to return to the sort of work you were doing before. If you are able to return to work, employers have a duty to provide rehabilitation. That means that you may begin with reduced duties and there may need to be adaptations to your work environment e.g. if you previously worked upstairs and now have mobility issues, your employer may need to move your work space downstairs. It is against the law to discriminate against someone based on disability. This includes failure to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person.
A surgical assistant in a hospital injured his back whilst lifting a patient. His employer put him on a redeployment list because he was not able to return to his job after the injury but he remained on the redeployment list for 2 years before a suitable position was found in customer services. He is seeking compensation for the 2 years when he was unable to work.