Road traffic accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury, and a large percentage of these are work related. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, work car, lorry and HGV accidents are the largest overall cause of occupational fatalities. In many cases liability may rest with the driver’s employer even when there is not a third party driver who is responsible.Accidents such as this can be extremely traumatic for the victim even if the injuries sustained are minor.
Employer Accident Responsibilities
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that all work vehicles are in safe working condition and suitable in all respects that may affect the health and safety for the task. Employers are also responsible for making sure that all employees are safe to drive at all times. Employees must not be put under pressure to exceed their driver’s hours or be given unrealistic loading and delivery schedules. Safe working practice in terms of seat belt usage is essential and regular training and refresher courses should be given. Journeys must be correctly planned and risk assessed by the employer to take account of road and weather conditions and drivers should be supported when they use their professional judgment to pull up or refuse to go out in conditions that are perceived as unsafe. If there is significant evidence that the underlying cause of the accident was due to your employer’s negligence for failing to provide a safe system of work or a suitable and sufficient risk assessment they could be held liable.
Making A Work Related Traffic Accident Claim
If you have been a victim of a road traffic accident which was the fault of your employer you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Compensation could help you to cover any losses arising from the accident such as loss of earnings and also to cover any necessary treatment needed for your rehabilitation.The most common road traffic compensation claims are for whiplash, but claims can be made for a variety of injuries including broken limbs, bruises or even psychological injuries. You may also be eligible to make a personal injury compensation claim for a work related traffic accident if you were pressured into driving when tired or in hazardous weather conditions.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the courts increasingly recognise the duties of commercial fleet operators to assess and manage the risks to which professional drivers are exposed and the liability for damage this creates in the event of a road traffic accident. If you can establish that a work related road traffic accident occurred because of breaches of your employer’s legal duty of care then you will be eligible to make a claim even if you are not strictly employed as a ‘driver’ but need to drive as part of your work.Although road traffic accident claims are extremely common there can still be a large amount of legal and medical intricacies involved making cases less than straight forward. For this reason it is advisory that you consult the advice of personal injury solicitor before making a claim. They will thoroughly review your case and give you the best chance of winning the compensation you deserve.