Can I Sue My Employer For An Accident At Work?

By Lewis Hendrix. Last Updated 11th March 2024. If you’ve suffered an injury at work which happened through no fault of your own, you may wish to pursue a personal injury compensation claim. In this comprehensive guide, we take a look at how to sue your employer if you’re still employed.

We also look at compensation payouts in workplace accident claims and how our No WIn No Fee solicitors can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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A worker laying on the floor in the background following an accident. In the foreground is his discarded hard hat.

Select A Section

  1. When Can I Sue My Employer For An Accident At Work?
  2. How Long Do You Have To Sue Your Current Employer?
  3. Could I Be Dismissed By An Employer If I Sue Them?
  4. How To Make A Workplace Accident Claim Against Your Current Employer
  5. Can I Sue My Employer And How Much Will I Receive?
  6. Expenses, Lost Income And Costs You Could Claim For
  7. Can I Sue My Employer With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
  8. Begin A Claim Against Your Employer
  9. Learn More About Suing An Employer

When Can I Sue My Employer For An Accident At Work?

If your employer breaches their duty of care towards you under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and you are injured at work as a result, you could look into making a personal injury claim against them.

As per the Act, your employer has a duty of care to take reasonably practicable steps to prevent you from suffering illness or injury at work. If they fail in this regard, and you are injured, you could be eligible to sue your employer for workplace accident compensation.

Accident at work claims could cause injuries resulting from an employer’s failure to:

  1. Provide relevant safety training.
  2. Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where it has been identified that you need it.
  3. Removing hazards from the workplace, or signposting them.
  4. Check, repair or maintain machinery to a safe standard.
  5. Respond to complaints of stress or harassment at work.

These are just a few examples. To learn more about suing your employer for a workplace injury or illness, or to check your eligibility to claim, please contact an advisor.

How Long Do You Have To Sue Your Current Employer?

All personal injury claims, including those being made for accidents at work, must be started within 3 years of the accident date. This time limit is set out within the Limitation Act 1980.

However, this time limit is suspended in certain cases. This applies to:

  • Those injured under the age of 18. In this case, the time limit is suspended until the injured party’s 18th birthday. From this date, they will then have 3 years to begin legal proceedings.
  • Those lacking the mental capacity to handle their own claim. In this case, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. However, if they were to regain this mental capacity, the time limit would be reinstated from this date of recovery.

A litigation friend could begin the claiming process on the injured party’s behalf while the time limit is suspended.

Contact our advisors today if you are still wondering, ‘Can I sue my employer for an accident at work?’. They can assess the eligibility of your case and inform you whether you are still within the time limit.

Could I Be Dismissed By An Employer If I Sue Them?

You may be wondering, “Can I sue my employer and remain employed?”  Some people may assume that attempting to seek compensation from their employer would effectively mark the end of their employment. However, it is important to remember that you have a legal right not be sacked or otherwise in any way punished by your employer for making a personal injury claim against them if you have a valid claim. If you have grounds for making a claim, then you are entitled to make one. Your employer does not have the right to attempt to discourage you by threatening disciplinary action.

If you would like further information about your rights as an employee, you can call our team. We especially recommend calling us for advice if you feel you are being threatened with dismissal for your decision to make an accident claim against them.

How To Make A Workplace Accident Claim Against Your Current Employer

The successful outcome of your claim could depend on the kind of evidence there is to support your claim and what course of action you take in the early stage soon after the accident occurs. If you’re wondering “can I sue my employer?”, you could greatly improve your odds of successfully claiming compensation by taking the following steps:

  • Get medical attention: Getting your injuries assessed and treated by professionals should be your priority in any case, but it will also serve to establish a medical record of your injuries.
  • Take photos: If possible, take photographs of the place where the accident happened and what caused it, or get one of your colleagues to do so. Do this as soon as you can, as some employers may attempt to clear away any signs of the accident occurring before you get the chance to do so.
  • Ask your colleagues to give witness statements: If you don’t have your colleagues details, get them. Ask them if they would be willing to testify in your favour to support your claim. The same goes for anyone else who witnessed it.
  • Report the accident: Every workplace must have an accident book. This is a document in which all workplace accidents and health and safety incidents must be written down. Please make sure the details of your accident are in it.
  • Talk to a solicitor. You will likely benefit from the advice of an expert. Talk to one of our solicitors using the contact details at the bottom of the page.

Can I Sue My Employer And How Much Will I Receive?

Now that we’ve discussed how to sue your employer in the UK, you might be interested in knowing what compensation you could be awarded for a successful claim. In personal injury claims, general damages compensate you for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity resulting from your accident at work.

If you are based in England or Wales, legal professionals can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to work out estimates of what you could be awarded when you sue your employer for general damages. The April 2022 update of the JCG is used by legal professionals to help them value claims.

Multiple Severe/Serious Injuries with Financial ExpensesUp to £1,000,000+A compensation award for multiple injuries that are serious/severe and their financial expenses such as lost earnings, travel costs and prescription fees.
Brain Damage - Very Severe£282,010 to £403,990Cases where the person needs full-time nursing care, demonstrate little meaningful response to their environment and suffer with double incontinence apply to the higher end of this bracket.
Pelvis and Hips - Severe (i)£78,400 to £130,930Extensive pelvis fractures with the dislocation of the lower back joint and a ruptured bladder.
Neck - Severe (ii)£65,740 to £130,930Injuries involving serious damage to the discs or fractures.
Ankle - Very Severe£50,060 to £69,700Injuries may include extensive soft-tissue damage with a transmalleolar fracture that results in a deformity.
Knee - Severe. (iii)£26,190 to £43,460Less severe knee injuries that cause pain, discomfort and limited movement.
Arm - Less Severe£19,200 to £39,170A significant degree of recovery will have already happened or is expected to despite suffering from substantial disabilities.
Back - Moderate (i)£27,760 to £38,780Crush or compression fractures that cause constant discomfort and pain.
Hand - Less Serious£14,450 to £29,000The hands function will be significantly impaired due to a severe crush injury.
Foot - ModestUp to £13,740Ruptured ligaments, simple metatarsal fractures and puncture wounds that cause a permanent limp.

You might also be wondering, ‘can I sue my employer for special damages?’ Continue reading and we’ll discuss this head of claim, which covers financial losses incurred from your injuries.

Expenses, Lost Income And Costs You Could Claim For

What must also be calculated as a part of your compensation is the financial effect of the injury. Having an injury or an illness can cost a lot of money in medical bills, care costs and its impact on your ability to work. Compensation would not be fair if it did not match the financial losses that a claimant has suffered due to their work injury. Here is a list of just some of the things that you may be awarded for in a successful claim.

  • Loss of wages or salary: You can lose money through an injury by being forced to take sick leave or a leave of absence which results in you receiving less income than you would have if you were fit or by having to leave your current occupation and find a new one that pays less, or by becoming permanently disabled and unable to work. A temporarily or permanently reduced income or a loss of ability to earn an income entirely can be compensated with a successful claim.
  • Medical fees: Most of the treatment you need to recover should be available on the NHS. However, if there is any treatment that you need for your recovery that you are required to pay for yourself, such as physiotherapy or over the counter medication, then the cost can be claimed back in compensation.
  • Care fees: A particularly severe injury could leave you either temporarily dependent on others for your basic needs, such as eating, washing and dressing, as well as day to day tasks such as cleaning your home and shopping and so on. Any expenses taken on about this care and support, such as caring assistant fees, could be claimed back in compensation. As can expenses relating to home adaption, i.e. installing facilities for wheelchair access such as ramps and stairlifts.
  • Travel expenses: Receiving treatment for an injury can cause someone to incur expenses by travelling to and from their appointments regularly on public transport. Although such expenses may appear small compared to other losses you might have suffered, you could still be entitled to claim them back as a part of your compensation.
  • Loss of enjoyment of plans: If an injury prevents you from being able to fulfil any plans that had been arranged and already paid for (such as a holiday or a concert), then you could feel like you have wasted a good amount of your money. These types of expenses could potentially be claimed back in compensation.
  • Loss or damage to your property or belongings: Perhaps not the first thing on your mind depending on how serious your injury was, you could still claim compensation for any items of yours that were damaged or lost as a result of the accident.

If you’re wondering “can I sue my employer for financial losses?”, you will need to have proof to document the fact that you lost money and how much. To make sure you can get back all the money you deserve, make sure you keep records of all your expenses, things like tickets, receipts, paperwork, wage slips and contracts, so that you and your personal injury solicitor can use them to back up your claim. If there is anything you are unsure about regarding your right to claim special damages on certain expenses, ask one of our accident claims team.

Can I Sue My Employer With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

One of our expert accident at work solicitors could help you with your claim, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements. Our solicitors generally offer their services through a Conditional Fee Agreement.

By offering you this type of No Win No Fee arrangement, you will not have to pay them upfront for their services. You also will not have to pay them for their work while the claim is underway or if it fails.

Should the claim succeed, your No Win No Fee solicitor will take a success fee from you. This gets deducted from your compensation as a percentage that is legally capped.

A client asking a solicitor 'Can I sue my employer for an accident at work?'

Contact Us Today

If you are wondering, ‘Can I sue my employer with a No Win No Fee solicitor?’, you can contact our advisors, If they deem you to have a strong claim, they could put you in contact with one of our specialist solicitors, who may offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

To speak with our team today, you can:

Learn More About Suing An Employer

Below, you can find some more guides on accident at work claims that you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide to the question of “can I sue my employer?”.