Coronavirus COVID-19 personal injury claims

A lot has changed in the past few months since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Some things, however, such as your right to a safe place of work, remain the same.

Despite the ever-changing advice and the new laws, your employer is still obliged to provide you with a safe place of work.

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However, since the beginning of lockdown, Laifa has been inundated with reports of workplaces failing to operate the very basic requirements of social distancing and neglecting to provide clean facilities to ensure frequent handwashing. Critically, the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) isn’t being provided in all necessary workplaces.

If you, or a loved one, has contracted coronavirus and you believe this is due to the negligence of an employer, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.

In line with all personal injury claims, any legal claim would need to be commenced within 3 years. This would usually be the date when someone was diagnosed with Covid-19 but could be earlier. As an example, if you contracted Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, then the three year limitation period to commence court proceedings would expire in March 2023. You should not delay in seeking legal assistance if you suffered injury as a result of Covid-19 and feel your employers were to blame.

Staying safe from coronavirus in the workplace

As we slowly restart the UK economy, due diligence in the workplace will be more important than ever before.

The government has released sector-specific guidance for working safely during the outbreak that can be viewed here. The guides contain some helpful information including the agreement that COVID-19 risk assessments must be completed in consultation with unions and shared with the workforce.

However, the guides do not go far enough to ensure that all workplaces are safe and, as is confirmed within the guides, they provide non-statutory guidance and do not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities. It is important that businesses and employers continue to comply with their existing obligations.

Where following the government (or any other) guidance presents unacceptable risk, our members’ health and safety must take priority.

Can I make a coronavirus (COVID-19) personal injury claim?

If your employer has failed to do any of the following, and you believe this has led to you contracting coronavirus, then you may be eligible to claim:

  • Carry out a detailed risk assessment
  • Arrange work processes to protect employees
  • Provide adequate handwashing facilities
  • Provide PPE
  • Establish social distancing measures
  • Establish cleaning measures