Suffering a workplace injury can be the stuff of nightmares, potentially causing you long-term pain and suffering. Add to that the likely loss of income arising from time needed off work, the costs of care and rehabilitation, and suddenly you’re finding yourself in a situation that you would never have believed possible.
The good news, given the circumstances, is that if it can be proven that the workplace injury was not your fault, you may be eligible to claim for compensation. If your claim is successful, it can cover money to pay for your care as well as to compensate for loss or earnings. Establishing who is to blame for your accident is therefore of key importance.
But rather than trying to navigate the legal complexities yourself, particularly if you’re not feeling well, this is one scenario where you should definitely seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will know the ins and outs of how to proceed with a personal injury claim in cases where your injury is caused by someone else or occurred as a result of the correct workplace procedures not having been put in place to protect you.
Let’s take a closer look at how blame might be established, and what you can do about it.
Does the blame lie with yourself?
Obviously, if it is found that it is your fault that the workplace accident occurred, you won’t be able to claim compensation for the resulting injury. In order for you to make a claim, the blame must lie at least in part with another party.
In other words, if all the correct workplace safety measures were in place, nobody else was involved and you simply made a mistake that caused your accident and injury, there’s nothing to be done. The blame lies with you.
That said, look carefully into what actually happened before come to the conclusion that you yourself are at fault for your own misfortune. It may well be that you did something you shouldn’t have done, or that your weren’t following operational safety procedures correctly – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re to blame for what occurred.
Maybe the proper safety measures weren’t in place? Maybe you were asked to do something that you shouldn’t have been asked to do? Often, things are not as black and white as they may first appear.
What if the blame is shared between several parties, including you?
For many workplace injuries, the blame for your incident occurring in fact lies with more than one party. For instance, if you are a construction worker, it could be the case that you were using a ladder without following correct safety practices., However, it could also be the case that you were provided with the incorrect ladder for the task.
The fact that your employer did not provide the correct equipment for the job makes it likely that they were at least partly to blame for your accident, and it might be possible for you to claim some compensation.
What if you don’t realise that somebody else is to blame?
When an accident in the workplace takes place, it may not be immediately obvious whose fault it was. In fact, it is extremely rare to have undisputed recounting of events that attribute blame to one person only. Sometimes, even when it looks are though the fault lies entirely with yourself, it turns out that there were other issues that contributed to the incident occurring.
For instance, if you’re not required to understand what safety regulations govern your place of work, it may well be the case that these regulations were contravened by the employer, and this forms part of the reason why your injury occurred.
When should you seek legal advice for your workplace injury?
The short answer is: immediately. Since it is often unclear whose fault the accident was, the first and arguably most important job is to collect evidence of potential reasons that the injury occurred. An experienced personal injury claims specialist will have a pretty good idea of whether you’re likely to be successful in any compensation claim and can help you put together a good case.