Police officers in the West Midlands successfully claimed for injuries that occurred whilst working, netting a total of £328,100 in damages and costing £260,900 in legal fees in 2013 and 2014. Three of those claims were for injuries that happened during personal safety training.
An assortment of injuries
Many of the claims may have happened whilst on duty, but the majority of them were less dramatic than they sound, including the incident of an officer falling off a damaged office chair and another police officer being injured by a car park barrier. Other claims include compensation for an officer injured by tripping over whilst walking down a “dark corridor”. Although these may seem quite trivial, minor accidents can result in major injuries. Two of the more “serious” cases are compensation pay-outs to an officer exposed to an HIV and another suffering from an asbestos- related disease.
The West Midlands police force state that they take health and safety “extremely seriously” and as such have “robust liability insurance”. Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale has defended the amount of compensation paid to officers, saying, “We are responsible for our employees when they are on duty and when we fall short of meeting that responsibility, they are entitled to protection under the law and seek redress through the courts. Compensation pay-outs are only made following the assessment of appropriate medical evidence by our legal team, insurers and solicitors, who then make a recommendation to the force as to what payment should be made.”
Claims made in 2013 and 2014
Successful compensation claims made by police officers in the West Midlands were varied and include:
• A slip on ice
• Two dog bite incidents
• A faulty Taser
• Repetitive strain injury
• A trip in a hole in an office
• An officer injured by a car door opened by a colleague during a chase
• Three separate incidents of slipping on ice
• Two officers injured during public order training
• Injuries sustained by being hit with a baton as a colleague attempted to break a car window
Wherever you work, you are entitled to a safe and healthy working environment and although many may argue that police officers expect to face danger on a daily basis, they too are protected by health and safety laws.
What to do if you are injured at work
If you can relate to some of the incidents mentioned above, and you have been hurt during an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Here are some pointers that can help you make a successful personal injury claim:
• Get medical attention as soon as possible after accident. Medical records regarding any injuries sustained can assist with your claim.
• Tell your employer immediately. They should then note the details of the accident and injuries in the workplace accident book. If an accident book is not available, email the details of the accident to your boss and maintain a copy for yourself.
• Note the contact details of any witnesses so we can contact them on your behalf as quickly as possible.
• Call us for first-rate legal advice and outstanding representation that can help you make a successful personal injury compensation claim.