I recently fell over a pile of books at work and injured my knee. I tried to claim compensation for my injury, but my employer says the accident was my co-workers fault. Should my colleague be held responsible for my injury tripping over books in an office?
Whether you are entitled to compensation for your injury tripping over books in an office depends on your individual case. However if you were not responsible for your accident your employer will be held liable for your injuries, not your co-worker. Your employer has an obligation to provide you with a safe environment in which to work, and for this reason will be liable for any injury you sustain. In this case, the pile of books which you tripped over was a hazard to health and safety. Your employer should have instructed staff not to place hazards in the paths of co-workers, or at least told the staff member who owned the books to pick them up and place them carefully elsewhere.
There are some scenarios in which your employer may not be liable for your injury tripping over books in an office. This could occur if the books were placed down immediately before your accident occurred. Your employer would not have had the opportunity to instruct your co-worker to remove the hazard, and can hardly be held responsible for injuries. It may also be the case where you failed to seek immediate medical attention following your injury and as a result made it worse. While you may still be entitled to some compensation, the overall amount can be reduced in order to reflect your own carelessness. If you had placed the books upon the floor and later tripped over them, you may be held liable for your own accident and may therefore not be entitled to compensation.
In order to determine liability for your injury tripping over books in an office, you are advised to contact an experienced personal injury solicitor in order to discuss the details of your case. You can determine the strength of your claim, as well as the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled. It is important to note that as per the Statute of Limitations, a time limit of three years applies in which to make a claim from the “date of knowledge” of your injury. It may take some time for your solicitor to construct a solid case for your claim that is backed up by strong evidence. For this reason, a personal injury solicitor should be contacted without delay if you believe you have a valid personal injury claim.