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JimLawyer
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Can you help me to answer few question in regards to

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hello, can you help me to answer few question in regards ***** ***** hgv driver injury working for a limited company and his right to sue the company he worked for?
JA: Have you discussed the injury with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: no,
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: im a limited company employing a subcontractor hgv driver who had recently had an injury and is making a claim against our company
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: yes, would like to know if he can do it
Hello, thank you for the question. Can you tell me more about the accident please and was it a pure accident or due to someone’s negligence?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Just to make it a little bit more clear I will tell you a bit more about the whole picture. We are a small road haulage limited company employing freelance drivers (who are also limited companies) to drive for us using our vehicles (partly rented and partly owned - so they undergo periodical inspections according to law regulations). One of our drivers, when on duty unloading the load using pump truck (owned by our customer we deliver goods to), came too close to the edge of the trailer and slipped and fall outside the trailer and broke his wrist. The surface wasn’t wet, there were no obstacles, trailer was inspected with no problems. The accident was recorded on cctv at the site of the accident. Our driver did this job for 2 months at that moment - same shift every day and was aware how all worked. He had a day assessment, the day he started, made by company's director, who drove with him all day showing and explaining all loading, unloading, safety procedures, but we didn’t get him to sign anything and he makes the claim based on lack of assessment (which was done but not on paper). We can get a tacho report showing that he drove that day and then the director. He as a limited company should have public liability insurance but he didn’t purchase one so at the time of the accident he didn’t have insurance as such. My question is how would that lawsuit work if he is our subcontractor? Can he do that? And what are the consequence for us if its proved that the assessment was needed? We as a ltd company have got a public limited insurance as well as employers liability insurance although we don’t have full time employees but use freelance drivers. And also when employing drivers who we assume have cpc qualification so they are aware of all health and safety regulation – do we need to sign a risk assessment with them when they start work and also if they work for us are they treated as our employees so they are under our employers liability insurance? Or do they need any specific insurance for their own sake? Im not clear on that. thank you for your help on that.
Thanks I’ll come back to your in a few minutes with my thoughts
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
thank you , and just to add. he is off from work for 1month a quarter now. he was to come back to us on 1st of August which we made clear. but in these circumstances if he is suing us - can he come back as he is a party in the case now. what would your advise on this be?

Sorry for the delay. Yes, he could still pursue you but his claim would only work if he can allege there was no risk assessment or he had no training in how to use the pump truck and working on a tail life. They are not your employees as such but subcontractors - my thoughts are that they should be well-versed in risk assessing work areas and that they should already have training. As they are self employed they should have their own insurance - the fact this man didn't means he is obviously looking to you to deal with his claim.

Did you say you have insurance?. If so, you may need to speak to them as it would likely be a term of their policy with you that any claims (either by employees or subcontractors or visitors) are notified - if you did not do this it could affect your insurance cover.

The way the claim works is that he needs to establish negligence on your part and that would be found if for example there was no risk assessment or no training provided. My view is that this accident was not caused by you though and this was likely just a pure accident (or due solely to his negligence). If he can establish "pri***** *****ability", the issue of "contributory negligence" could come in to play where the court holds him partly responsible for the accident - so his damages are reduced accordingly.

If you can prove a risk assessment was carried out (verbally) then fine - I do not see a problem. HSE guidelines say that they should be done on paper ideally - and the court prefers written evidence - but that is not to say the court would not believe you. I would think that your public liability insurers should be notified and you can pass the letter of claim to them to deal with and defend this matter. The contractor is likely to be classed as a visitor and not an employee.

I hope this helps - if you can please click 5 stars at the top of your screen, I can answer follow up questions at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
thank you for your answer. i will make sure that all our drivers have got public liablity insurance valid, will do risk assement on paper. thank you again, will definately click 5 stars for you. and my follow up questions are: can he work for us again from 1st of August with the claim going on from the law and regulation perspective I mean?
thank you again
Julie