By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 9th November 2023. If you’re looking for advice and guidance on making an accident at work claim, this page, and those that it links to, will answer all of your queries.
Suffering an injury in a workplace accident cannot only cause physical pain and psychological damage but financial hardship too.
Below, we’ll take you through the eligibility criteria for making an accident at work claim. We’ll also discuss the personal injury claims time limit and share some compensation examples.
You can also learn how to take action today with the help of a No Win No Fee solicitor and learn much more about claiming compensation for an accident at work via our related guides.
Select A Section
- How To Claim For An Accident At Work
- How Long After An Accident At Work Do I Have To Claim?
- What To Do After An Accident At Work?
- What Evidence Can Help My Injury At Work Claim?
- Accident At Work Compensation Examples For The UK
- Get Help From Our No Win No Fee Accident At Work Solicitors
To make an accident at work claim, you need to meet some criteria. These are:
- That you can prove that your employer owed you a duty of care
- You have evidence that shows they breached that duty
- You can show that the breach caused or contributed to your injuries
Depending on your circumstances and contractual arrangement, proving that your employer owed you a duty of care is quite straightforward. Under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974, all employers owe their staff a duty to keep them safe so far as it’s possible for them to do so.
This duty can extend to part-time and temporary staff, as well as self-employed contractors working on-site.
Proving a breach of this duty is trickier. This is the process of establishing that your employer’s acts or omissions (failure to act) caused or contributed to the accident.
For example, an employer may be at fault if one of their machinery (like a forklift truck) was defective and the issues had been reported to them, but you were told to use it anyway. If you suffer an injury caused by the machine, they could be at fault.
Another example could involve a failure to clean up a spillage on a walkway. If staff haven’t been trained to raise awareness of the hazard or clean it up and someone injures themself, the employer could be at fault.
Lastly, your injuries need to be caused by the accident or at least contribute to their development. For example, if you slip and fall at work and land on your back, an existing injury could be made worse. You can still claim compensation for this even though the accident didn’t cause the injury in the first place.
Another key piece of eligibility criteria is the personal injury claims time limit.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, all civil claims have a time limit within which they must be made. The time limit for an accident at work claim is:
3 years from the date of the accident
So if you suffered an injury on 3rd January 2023, you would have until 3rd January 2026 to issue your claim in court.
If you fail to do so in this time, legally you’ll be prevented from claiming compensation.
There are a couple of exceptions which can see the time limit temporarily paused. They are in cases involving:
- People under the age of 18. In the eyes of the law, they’re regarded as minors and unable to represent themselves. In this instance, the time limit is paused until they turn 18. It’ll then run from their 18th birthday until their 21st.
- People who lack the mental capacity to represent themselves. This will likely apply to people who have suffered a serious injury in an accident at work, like a life-changing head injury.
In both circumstances above, it’s possible to still make an accident at work claim right away. It just requires the injured person to be represented by a litigation friend, which is an individual who acts on their behalf.
You might be wondering what to do after an accident at work if you want to make a claim. There are a number of steps you could take, including:
- Seeking medical attention: By seeking medical attention, you can get the help you need, and any notes or records made by a medical professional can be used as evidence in your claim.
- Gathering evidence: Evidence is crucial if you want to make a personal injury claim; we’ll discuss what kinds of evidence you could collect in the next section.
- Recording your accident: If your workplace has ten or more employees, they are legally obligated to have an accident book. Logging your accident here creates a permanent record of what happened.
Additionally, you may want to seek legal advice to ensure that you know your rights and whether you can claim compensation. Our solicitors are experts in personal injury law, and could help you start your accident at work claim. Contact our team of advisors today to learn more.
If you have been involved in a workplace accident, and are eligible to make a personal injury claim, you should gather as much evidence as possible. Collecting sufficient evidence could help prove who was liable for the accident and the injuries you suffered.
Some examples of the evidence you could collect for your accident at work claim include:
- A copy of your medical records. This could state the type of injury you suffered and the treatment you needed.
- Any CCTV footage or other video footage of the accident.
- Photographs of the accident scene and any visible injuries you suffered, such as cuts or lacerations.
- The contact details of any witnesses to the accident who could provide a statement later on.
- A copy of the report in the accident book.
Contact our advisors today to discuss your potential claim. If they believe you may have a valid case, they could put you in contact with one of our solicitors, who could help you with gathering evidence for your injury at work claim.
You can potentially seek compensation under two heads of claim when making a claim following an injury at work. These are:
- For your pain and suffering, you would receive general damages
- For any financial losses you suffered due to the injury, you could receive special damages
Compensation is always dependent on the specific circumstances of a claim. So how much compensation your accident at work claim could be awarded would be different to that of someone with a similar injury.
The Judicial College Guidelines can give you insight into how your claim may be valued in terms of general damages. This is the source commonly used to value claims in England and Wales.
We have included a table featuring entries taken from the guidelines for illustration purposes:
|Body Part||Severity||Compensation Bracket||Details|
|Hand||Total or effective loss of both hands. (a)||£140,660 to £201,490||Serious injury that renders the hands useless.|
|Hand||Serious Damage to Both Hands (b)||£55,820 to £84,570||Serious damage to both hands which causes permanent cosmetic disability and significant loss of function.|
|Leg||Severe Leg Injuries (b) (i)||£96,250 to £135,920||The most serious of injuries other than amputation.|
|Leg||Less Serious Leg Injuries (c) (i)||£17,960 to £27,760||A fracture which has made an incomplete recovery or a serious soft tissue injury.|
|Arm||Severe Injuries (a)||£96,160 to £130,930||An injury that is shy of amputation but is majorly severe and leaves the injured person little better of than if an amputation had taken place.|
|Foot||Amputation of One Foot (b)||£83,960 to £109,650||As the ankle joint is lost this is treated very much the same as a below the knee amputation.|
|Foot||Serious (e)||£24,990 to £39,200||An injury that results in permanent pain from traumatic arthritis, prolonged treatment with the risk of fusion surgery.|
|Ankle||Very severe (a)||£50,060 to £69,700||Injuries that fall within this bracket are limited and unusual. For example, a transmalleolar fracture of the ankle with extensive soft-tissue damage resulting in deformity.|
|Knee||Severe (a) (iii)||£26,190 to £43,460||Permanent symptoms, such as pain and discomfort and limitation of movement that require remedial surgery in the long term.|
The amount you could receive in special damages will be determined by your injury-related financial losses. For example:
- Lost income as you were unable to work
- Money spent on your treatment and care
- Aids paid for to help you cope with your injury
Please reach out to one of our advisers if you are looking for a compensation valuation specific to your injuries or for information on how to start an accident at work claim. The amounts featured above are not guaranteed.
If you’d like to take action today, we can help. Our team of experienced solicitors are well-versed in workplace accident claims. Better still, they work on a No Win No Fee basis.
No Win No Fee is a phrase you might not have heard before. It simply means that if we don’t help you succeed in recovering compensation, you don’t have to pay any of our fees. It also means you don’t have to pay anything to us upfront or while the case moves forward.
Only if your case is successful is payment required. The fee is taken from the compensation you’re awarded, but you’ll be pleased to hear it’s a small fee and one that’s capped by law.
If you’d like to make an accident at work claim today, all you have to do is get in touch with us at the number at the top of this page.
You can also chat with us now via our live chat feature, in the bottom corner.
Or write to us today about your case via our online claim form.