Care Workers Injuries
As you may have been injured whilst providing care to another, you could be entitled to claim compensation. At Harris Fowler we specialise in getting you the compensation you deserve. This page will set out the elements of a claim we will need to prove and some hints and tips to help your claim go smoothly.
Unfortunately carers can suffer from assaults by their patients that result in injuries. Whilst it is possible to bring a claim against the perpetrator directly, due to their economic situation the perpetrators will often not be in a position to pay out compensation if a claim is made against them. As such it is often necessary to pursue a claim directly against your employer.
In order to make a claim for compensation following an attack at work you have to prove three things
- That your employer owed you a duty of care.
- That the employer fell below the standard of care expected of them
- That their failure to meet the standard of care caused you injury and/or loss
The First Part – Duty of Care
For the most part this is the easiest part of a claim to establish as the Courts have already established that employers owe their employees a duty of care This duty has even been extended to outside workers such as sub-contractors and agency staff.
This duty is to take reasonable care to ensure that employees are safe.
The Second Part – Breach of Duty
The second part of a claim is to show that the employer failed to take such care as is reasonable in the circumstances either by doing something or failing to do something.
The Courts when considering what should reasonably have been done they will first consider what an ordinary, skilful, employer should have done and then consider whether that standard has been met. When assessing what the ordinary employer should have done the Courts will consider the numerous laws and industry standards that may apply.
The Courts when looking at assault cases will look at the knowledge, training and practises that could have been put in place to protect you.
The breach of duty can be something as straightforward as failing to provide details of a patient’s trigger points so that when interacting with that patient you are able to alter you own behaviour to avoid further escalating the situation. A good example of this would be a new member of staff not being warned that a particular patient does not like people touching them and becomes violent when touched. You, as a new member, are not aware of this and take the patients arm when they are struggling to get up, they immediately lash out breaking your nose.
In such a situation, had your employer provided you with proper training you could have avoided placing yourself in this situation. On this basis the Courts would likely consider your employer had fallen below the standard expected, due to the risk the patient presented.
As each case is quite fact dependent it is important to seek the advice of a specialist personal injury lawyer who will be able to advise you on how your employer might have breached their duty to you.
Hints and Tips for early on
Because of the Claimant’s need to prove breach of duty it is often beneficial when involved in an assault to obtain and keep the following
- A copy of the initial report form made to your employer
- A picture of your employers insurance policy, this will often be displayed in a public area
- Any pictures relating to the incident, for example pictures of injuries, location etc.
The Third Part – That breach caused loss
The third and final part of bringing a claim is demonstrating that the employer’s breach of duty is responsible for causing the injury and losses being claimed, whether this is personal injury or other financial losses such as loss of earnings.
With personal injury this would seem straight forward, you are pushed by a patient and fall breaking your wrist. It, would seem obvious that the fall is the cause of your fractured wrist. But this becomes more complicated when before the accident you already had problems with your wrist or had underlying problems which you may not have even known about. Because of these complexities the Court rely upon the opinion of independent medical experts as to what caused the injuries and how long they are likely to last.
If you have been injured in an accident it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible to ensure you are getting the appropriate treatment for your injuries. In addition, as the medical expert will likely have sight of your records of attendance they will act as evidence as to the nature and extent of your symptoms and will help support your claim.
Because the Court will rely upon the opinion of the medical expert it is important that the expert is aware of any previous health issues or accidents. In addition, as the expert will need to comment on whether any financial losses such as treatment received or time off work is due to the accident, it is important that you also discuss these with the medical expert.
Once the medical expert has provided their opinion as to whether the loss (time off work/treatment etc.) is as a result of the assault we will then need to collect evidence to calculate what each financial loss may be and your highly qualified and experienced lawyer will advise what is needed in respect of each head of loss you are looking to claim.
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