Are claims for falling over a carpet in an office possible? I fell over a worn carpet recently and hit my head off a desk, resulting in a fractured cheekbone. However my employer denies any liability, saying that I should have reported that the carpet was damaged. Is he correct?
While claims for falling over a carpet in an office would often indicate the liability of your employer, this is not always the case. Your employer has a duty to provide a safe environment in which to work, and should a hazard such as a worn carpet exist in your workplace this would be deemed as negligence on behalf of your employer. However your employer could also be correct that you are liable for your own injuries. If — for instance — you were aware that the carpet was in a poor state and you did not report this, you could be held responsible for your own injuries because of your failure to decrease the likelihood of an accident occurring.
You will not be disqualified from making claims for falling over a carpet in an office — however the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled can be reduced as a result. In order to determine how much liability you may carry for your accident — if any — you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity in order to discuss the details of your case.
However the first action to be taken following an accident should be to seek immediate medical attention. This is not only to prevent your injuries from deteriorating, but also to halt any potential counter-argument against your claim that your injuries were worsened by your negligence. If you have not already done so, you are advised to make note of your accident in the Accident Report Book of your employer, which can later be used as evidence in order to support your claim. You should also gather evidence of your accident, including CCTV footage of the accident occurring or — if it hasn’t been replaced yet — the worn carpet which caused your injury. If you missed work for a period of seven days or more your accident will be reported by your employer to the Health and Safety Executive, who may conduct an investigation of their own.
Claims for falling over a carpet in an office can come to an end if you receive an unsolicited offer of compensation from the insurance company of your employer. These should not be accepted until you have contacted a solicitor. Such offers often do not reflect the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled, and there is the danger of not receiving enough to cover the costs of your accident and injury. For this reason, if you receive such an offer of compensation you are advised to consult with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity.