Keenan Solicitors

How Long Does It Take to Get Industrial Injuries Compensation?

We all go to work to earn a living so we can support ourselves and all those we love. However, accidents can happen while on the job through no fault of our own, reducing our efforts to provide the level of dependency we would like to. So, what happens when such an event occurs? The best course of action would be to claim for industrial injuries compensation.

Before making a claim, you might want to know how long it takes and what to do while you wait. But before we jump right into it, let us look into what industrial injuries are in a little more detail.

 

What is an industrial injury?

An industrial injury is an injury that an employee who works for an industrial company sustains while on the job. Any worker who sustains an industrial injury through the negligent actions or violation of health and safety regulations by their employer is entitled to claim for disability benefits, one of them being industrial injuries compensation.

There are many situations that can lead to an industrial injury, but the most common ones include, lifting heavy objects, vehicle accidents, machine failure, inadequate training, inadequate safety protection, as well as falls, slips and trips.

In the UK, all workplaces are required to have liability insurance to protect in the case of workplace injuries. Accidents by definition are unforeseen events, so no matter how safe the employer has made their workplace, they cannot rule them out entirely. When you – as the employee – make a claim, the money will not come directly out of the pocket of the company, but the insurer.

 

What is the eligibility criteria for industrial injuries compensation?

There are two instances in which you are able to claim for industrial injuries compensation. The first instance is when the injury has occurred due to an accident that happened in the workplace or over the course of doing your job. The second instance is when the injury results in a disease that was caused by the workplace or anywhere else where the employer sent you to do your job.

 

How much does one get compensated?

Many people who claim for industrial injuries compensation usually want to know how much they will get. This number is hard to come by because there are a number of factors that affect that amount. The main ones include the nature of the injury, the recovery time (the amount of time you won’t be able to work) and if you will be able to return to work at all.

 

Common industrial injuries compensation claims

Industrial accidents take many shapes and forms, and no two cases are ever alike. However, here are the most common reasons why people claim for industrial injuries compensation after suffering a workplace accident.

 

Hearing loss claims

When you are exposed to constant loud noises in the workplace without any protection, it can lead to non-induced hearing loss due to damage to the ear. This damage happens over time and can lead to a number of hearing conditions, such as acoustic shock syndrome, tinnitus and occupational deafness. Any of these conditions can greatly impair sound perception of your environment, rendering you unable to work.

 

Road accident claims (e.g. whiplash claims)

If you are operating a company vehicle that has a defect the employer has neglected and you get into an accident because of that defect, you are entitled to compensation. A vehicular accident can cause a variety of physical injuries, such as whiplash, broken bones, cuts and bruises, that can affect your ability to do your job.

 

Industrial disease claims

When a person has been exposed to harmful substances in the workplace that result in them developing a disease, they can claim for compensation. This can even apply to an employee who has an existing condition or illness that is worsened by the workplace conditions that the employer has failed to correct. Employers are obligated to look after the health of their employees when on their premises and working.

 

Work accident claims

While on their premises and doing your job, your employer is obligated to keep you safe from injuries that aren’t caused by your own actions. If the workplace accident results because your employer failed to act according to health and safety regulations, you are entitled to claim for industrial injuries compensation. This can happen due to your employer failing to conduct safety reviews that could have avoided the accident, meaning they are not protected from claims being made against them.

Other times, work accidents happen due to the actions of another employee. If the other employee is the sole cause of the accident, you can still claim for industrial injuries compensation.

 

Is a solicitor needed to file a claim?

Technically, an industrial injury is a type of personal injury. However, a compensation claim is more complicated than the usual personal injury claim. That is why having a solicitor is the best option if you want to increase the success rate of your claim, even though you can file for one on your own.

 

How long does it take to get industrial compensation

Since every case is unique, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to settle the claim. The process goes as follows once you have been injured.

  • Your lawyer waits until treatment is finished to file the claim
  • The employer has 30 days to file an answer to the claim
  • Both parties head into discovery, where evidence is provided to make or dismiss the case; this is one of the processes that can take months to complete
  • Your solicitor and employer will each select a doctor to examine you
  • A status conference will be arranged after the Division of Workers’ Compensation lists your case
  • Either both you (with the advice of your lawyer) and employer agree to reach a settlement or the case goes to trial; if it goes to trial, the case can also take months to resolve

While waiting for the claim to be resolved, the best you can do is not delay the proceedings any further. This means when your compensation lawyer contacts you, either by phone, post or email, be sure to respond as soon as possible and provide anything that they require to help with your case.

 

Factors that affect the length of time

Here are some of the factors that can affect how long it will take to resolve your claim:

 

Complexity of the case

Some cases aren’t as complicated to resolve as others. For example, a road accident claim can take 4 to 9 months to settle while an industrial disease claim can take 12 to 18 months.

 

Length of treatment and provision of medical records

As mentioned earlier, your lawyer cannot file your claim until you have been treated. Your solicitor needs medical records to asses the full extent of the damage caused by the accident and the medical bills you have paid. The sooner your solicitor gets them, the sooner they can file. However, this will depend on how long your medical provider will take to provide the records; some providers can take weeks.

 

Liability

The person who is to blame for the accident is the one who has the liability. If you and your employer can’t come to an agreement on who’s at fault for the accident or the insurance company wishes to launch its own investigation because they believe they have a case, the claims resolution can be delayed further.

 

Insurance company delays

The insurance company is also required to evaluate the claim and launch an investigation to determine whether they should make an offer or not. How fast they process this part of the claim depends on the efficiency of the insurance company. Also, if they decide to give you an offer which is too low, your lawyer will have to negotiate; failure to reach an agreeable settlement will result in the case going to court.

With the information above, you should be well-versed in what industrial injuries compensation is and know that it can take up to a year to resolve. Remember, industrial compensation is a benefit you have for suffering a work-related accident that was not brought on by yourself. And you are well within your rights to claim for compensation to make yourself whole again.

For more information, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch with one of our industry specialists.