UK law protects the self-employed too
You might think you don't have exactly the same statutory rights and terms as permanent employees at any given company if you are self-employed, but that's not necessarily true and doesn't automatically mean you're not eligible to claim for an accident at work.
If someone else is at fault for your personal injury or loss of income without sick pay, you may be able to make a stress-free claim for compensation.
It's natural to worry that, in the eyes of the law, you are solely responsible for your safety in the workplace because you are solely responsible for everything else in your working life. However, if you provide your services on a regular basis for one particular employer and you have a signed agreement as a freelancer or contractor, it is their responsibility to provide a safe working environment for you.
The worry of who to claim against is a common one for the self-employed, but you can be as protected as any other permanent member of staff by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
A recent Supreme Court ruling in favour of a self-employed plumber indicates that freelancers' rights could be shifting in the public arena, but all cases will still be handled according to their individual circumstances.
Can I make a personal injury claim if I'm self-employed?
If a workplace in which you are expected to work for any length of time is unsafe or if you weren't given the proper training before starting the job and you suffer a personal injury as a result, you may have a case for compensation. This applies to the equipment you are given, too, such as protective gear, scaffolding and electric tools or devices.
If you suspect that proper safety guidelines were not adhered to by the company that is paying you for your services, it may help to speak to one of our Legal Support Advisors, free of charge.
What to do if you are injured as a self-employed worker
Whether you're a builder, a bricklayer or a painter and decorator, the most important thing to do after seeking medical assistance is to log and report the incident through the official channels. Your client should have a HR department to contact about their log book.
Be sure to collect the necessary evidence and witnesses, taking photos of your injuries and the equipment that caused them, if possible.
You may also be able to use the medical report you will get from seeking assistance as proof of the incident. The liability for the injuries will need to be discussed with a personal injury lawyer.
How much compensation could I get?
The amount of compensation you receive depends entirely on the circumstances of your individual case, so it isn't possible to tell until you have discussed your case with us and then with a solicitor.
A number of factors will be taken into consideration during the claims process:
- Time off work and lost earnings
- Future loss of income
- Changes to your ability to work
- Changes required to your home or car
- Travel and accommodation costs
Can National Accident Helpline help with my claim?
Our Legal Support Advisors will be able to assess your eligibility for a claim over the phone, so call us today for free and impartial advice about your case.
We can pass you onto an expert personal injury lawyer, who will be able to advise further about making a claim on a no win no fee basis.