How common are garage injuries?
Garage mechanics face many hazards on a daily basis, and these risks must be managed with high standards of health and safety awareness, protective equipment (PPE), regular maintenance checks and training.
Faulty or poorly-maintained jacks, for example, can cause severe crush injuries, as can improper use. Burns and eye injuries caused by welding without the correct PPE can be life-changing.
Slips and trips caused by oil spills and grease are common, as are manual handling injuries caused by lifting tyres, gas canisters and heavy equipment.
Inhalation of toxic fumes, and particularly diesel fumes, also presents a less obvious danger to garage workers and motor mechanics, but exposure can lead to lung disease, cancer and other serious long-term health issues.
This article looks at what you can do if you are injured while working at a garage.
What to do if you have been hurt working in a garage
Make a doctor’s appointment
There are several reasons to seek medical attention - even after a relatively minor work injury. Your doctor will:
- Recommend treatment
- Advise you on the likely recovery time
- Make a detailed record of the type and seriousness of your injuries
- Sign you off work if necessary
Having a detailed medical record of all your injuries can be very helpful evidence if you do decide to claim compensation.
Keep a record of your accident and injuries
A record of your accident will help you to:
- Claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and benefits
- Make an injury compensation claim
Even if you don’t plan to claim anything right now, it is a very good idea to make a record while you still clearly remember what happened.
Along with medical records and the accident book report, writing down what happened in your own words can be very useful evidence if you decide to claim compensation for the garage accident.
Report your injury
Your employer should record the circumstances of your injury or illness in an accident book. The report will include details of what caused the incident, and of how you were injured. The report may also include witness statements.
The accident book report will be key evidence if you decide to claim compensation in the future.
Can I claim for a car garage injury?
As a basic rule, If you were injured in the last 3 years and your employer was to blame, you may be able to claim financial compensation for your injuries.
You can claim compensation if your work or working conditions have caused you to develop a health condition or become sick, such as diesel-related cancers, lung disease, or dermatitis.
It may be more difficult to claim if your injury was caused by your own actions, doing something against company policy. However, you should still speak to a solicitor as a claim can usually be made on the basis of 'vicarious liability'.
Support if you can't work after an accident
If you are suffering from a work-related illness or have been injured at work, you may have to take time off work. This can be a stressful time, especially if you have dependents.
Financial support during your recovery may be available in the form of sick pay, or through benefits payments under schemes including the Employment and Support Allowance.
If you have started a work injury compensation claim, you may also be able to get interim payments to cover treatment costs and household expenses, before the claims process is complete.
Will my employment status affect my right to claim?
Whether you are employed at a garage, self-employed, on a zero-hours contract or employed through an agency, a claim should still be possible. There are however a number of things you need to be aware of.
Read more about claiming if you are:
How much can I claim?
The compensation you can claim following an accident working as a mechanic will depend on what injuries or illness you have suffered, and how serious those injuries are.
The final amount will also factor in:
- The impact the injury or illness has had on your life and ability to work
- Any financial losses or expenses that were caused by your injuries
The Work Accident Advice Centre online calculator sets out what you can claim for, and how much compensation you could claim.
Making a No Win, No Fee claim
To make a claim for a garage or car repair accident, you will need to appoint a solicitor.
Work injury claims in the UK are usually made on a No Win, No Fee basis as Legal Aid is no longer available for accident claims (except in exceptional circumstances).
No win, no-fee takes the financial risk out of making a claim. If your claim is not ultimately successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees at all. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Your solicitor will ask you to sign a 'Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)' which is the legal term for 'No Win, No Fee'. The CFA will set out the terms and conditions of the agreement, what your solicitor will do for you and what fees they will receive if you win.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor