By Mark Anderson. Last Updated 1st March 2021. Every year hundreds of thousands of employee’s report workplace injuries to the government’s health and safety authority, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). If you are reading this article, you probably are one of them, and you are wondering, “What should I do if I injured myself at work?” and “what are my rights if I was injured at work?”
This guide aims to answer these questions and others to fill you in on all of your rights and entitlements in the event that you are injured while at work or contract an illness due to the nature of your work. This article will also explain to you how our personal injury solicitors can help you make a claim for being injured at work and how the injured at work claim process works.
If you’d like free legal advice on your case, or to proceed to make a claim, our team is on hand to help. You can reach them by:
- Calling 0800 073 8801
- Write to us about your accident at work claim here
- Or chat with us now using our live chat to get an immediate answer to the question – what should I do if I injured myself at work?
Choose a section
- A Guide On What To Do When Injured At Work
- What Are Workplace Accidents And Injuries?
- Procedures For Handling Workplace Accidents And Injuries
- Focus On Treatment Of Your Injuries
- How To Report A Workplace Injury
- What Evidence Do I Need To Collect?
- Collect Reliable Witness Information
- Keep A Record Of Your Injuries And Symptoms
- Keep A Record Of Any Expenses
- Get Appropriate Long-Term Medical Care
- Do I Need A Specialist Accident Claims Solicitor?
- Workplace Accident Personal Injury Claims Calculator
- No Win No Fee Workplace Injury Compensation Claims
- Speak To Accident Claims UK
- Further Reading
- What Should I Do If I Injured Myself At Work FAQs
This article is a guide to how you can make a personal injury claim for an accident at work. You will probably be looking for injury at work advice and have many questions like “What are my rights if I’m injured at work?” or “I’ve been injured at work, can I sue?” and “What should I do after a work accident?” This guide will aim to answer those questions. It is a step by step guide to all the actions that you need to take and things you will need to remember as you prepare to begin the work accident personal injury claim process.
The important thing to remember going forward is that you need to be prepared for the possibility that your employer may not be cooperative towards you reporting the accident and making a personal injury claim and may try to avoid liability for the injury claim. Much of the advice in this guide relates to ensuring that you can prove that your employer’s negligence was at least partly responsible for your accident so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.
A workplace accident that you could make a personal injury claim for is one in which you were injured and which could have been avoided if not for the negligence of your employer towards safety. It is an injury that took place because of an unsafe working environment, unsafe equipment or machinery, unsafe working practices and procedures, insufficient training, a lack of safety measures and a lack of safety equipment such as hard hats, high visibility clothing, face guards, safety goggles, gloves or breathing masks.
Some examples of the types of accidents and injuries that could take place at work include slipping or tripping and falling, suffering a pulled muscle while lifting and carrying objects, being struck by a falling object, being scalded or burned, being assaulted, being involved in a road traffic accident while working or being caught and or pulled into moving machinery. Long-term illnesses caused by working practices and conditions such as asthma, hand-arm vibration syndrome or cancer can also be grounds for making a workplace injury claim.
The Health and Safety Executive noted from its Labour Force Survey during 2019/20 that there were 1.6 million new or long-lasting work-related illnesses. There were also approximately 700,000 non-fatal injuries to workers, resulting in 38.8 million lost working days due to a combination of both. What’s more, around 800,000 cases arose of stress, depression or anxiety pertaining to work as either new or long-term situations.
So if you’re one of these unfortunate people and you’re asking yourself the question, ‘What should I do if I injured myself at work?’ get in touch for free legal advice or continue reading to learn more.
RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) is the law that outlines the responsibilities and procedures of employers and the owner and operators of workplaces towards reporting workplace injuries, workplace deaths, industrial diseases and accidents that present a risk of death or injury that take place in their workplaces. You can read about the regulations under RIDDOR here.
If you have been in an accident at work and you have had an injury, for the time being, the only thing you should focus on is getting medical help and having your injury treated. Your workplace must have a first aid kit and a trained first aider on site by law, seek them out and get them to treat you. It is better to get a work colleague to get them for you; when you have suffered an injury, it is safer to stay still where you are rather than to get up and move around.
Remember that at this early stage, you cannot be sure that your injury is not serious; no matter how minor it may seem, you might have sustained a worse injury than you realize. At the first opportunity, you should get yourself seen by a doctor. This may well involve going to the hospital; if you have any doubts at all about whether you will be able to get to the hospital yourself, then you should call an ambulance or get a work colleague to do so for you. Make sure that one of your colleagues comes with you when you go to the hospital.
Once the initial incident is over, you will be wondering, “What should I do after a work accident?” When you have suffered an injury in an accident in the workplace, you must report it. This is not only important for the sake of your own personal injury claim case but also for the sake of your work colleagues. The three reports that you need to make are as follows.
Notify Relevant Colleagues
Your colleagues may have been with you when the accident took place; as per the previous section, they may well have been the ones to issue first aid and go with you to the hospital, in which case this is redundant. If not, if you were alone when the accident took place, you must immediately make sure all of your work colleagues are aware of what happened. This is important for two reasons; firstly, it serves to inform your work colleagues of a potential hazard that they need to be aware of, and secondly, it will provide you with some support when you begin your work injury claim.
The sad truth is that few employers will be forthcoming in admitting fault in the event of a workplace accident or providing an injured worker with compensation. They may try to deny that the accident happened in the way you said it did, or they may try to pressure you into withdrawing your injury at work claim. If your work colleagues are all made aware of what really happened, this becomes much more difficult for the employer to do.
Report the accident to your manager
So, you’re asking, “what should I do if I injured myself at work”? Well, you need to report the accident to your manager, whether you were injured or had a near miss. Your employer most likely has a procedure for reporting accidents when they occur, and you may be violating the rules by failing to report such an incident. It would help if you braced yourself for the possibility that your employer may try to pressure you into not reporting or discussing the incident, remember that there are injured at work rights that an employee is entitled to and that you cannot be fired after an accident at work. Your employer may well be obliged by law to report injuries or accidents reported by staff to the government’s Health and Safety Executive, depending on the exact circumstances and severity of the injuries involved.
Fill in the accident report log
Your employer must have an accident reporting log in which all accident, injuries and near misses that an employee wished to report must be recorded by law. It is crucial that you fill it in, not just for your own injury at work claims sake but also for the sake of your colleagues. If your injuries prevent you from doing so yourself, then get a work colleague to do so for you. You should be aware that your employer may attempt to put pressure on you not to report the incident in the accident log. If they do so, remember that it is against the law for an employer to prevent an employee from filling out an accident report log and that you are legally entitled to do so.
If your employer tries to make it difficult for you to fill out the accident report log, you should email them demanding to be allowed to do so, write down your report of how the accident took place and send a copy to your employer. This will create a “paper trail” that can help to serve as proof that your employer knew about the accident and tried to obstruct you from engaging in your right to report it. Most importantly, if your employer tries to discourage or prevent you from filling out the accident report log, then you should immediately make contact with a qualified solicitor.
Evidence From CCTV Cameras Or Other Video Evidence
Suppose you aren’t sure whether or not your workplace has CCTV covering the site where the accident took place; find out as soon as you can. CCTV may be key to getting the evidence you need to support your case in your personal injury claim. You can request to view CCTV footage, and your employer is required to allow you to view the footage within 40 days of your request, though they may choose to charge you a fee of up to £10 to do so. If your employer tries to withhold CCTV evidence from you, then make and save copies of any correspondence between you and them about your request and contact a solicitor.
Take Videos Or Photos Of Your Injury And The Accident Site
As mentioned earlier, the most important thing to focus on is to make sure that your injuries are looked at and treated by a qualified first aider and/or a doctor. However, as soon as possible, you need to start taking photos and video footage of the site where the accident took place. Take photos of the spot where the accident happened, take a photo of anything to do the accident, photograph your injury, the equipment you were using, your injury, if there are signs that the accident took places, such as damaged or broken machinery or spots of blood on the floor, take photographs of that too. No detail is too small, and no amount of video or photographic evidence is too much.
This will be crucial if you are planning on making a workplace personal injury claim, you will need all the evidence you can gather to support your case. Again the sad truth is that your employer may or may not attempt to evade blame for the accident by pretending it did not happen or by shifting the blame onto you and your colleagues. If you leave the scene of the accident and return later, you may find that all signs that the accident took place have been hastily cleared away, so it is crucial that you take pictures and videos as soon as you can. All of this is imperative as you ask yourself, “what should I do if I injured myself at work”.
You may end up having to spend some time off work because of your injuries; during this time, two things might happen. One, your employer may make changes to work procedures, the layout of the workplace, bring in new equipment and other changes. This may be done sincerely as an attempt to learn lessons from your accident, but it is also possible that your employer may be attempting to cover their tracks, so to speak and pretend the incident did not take place.
Two, your employer may attempt to carry out an accident investigation into the incident while you, the person involved, and the key witness are not around. In both of these circumstances, what you need is a work colleague or group of work colleagues who you know you can rely on to keep you updated about any changes your employer makes to the workplace and procedures while you are away and argue your case and keep you abreast of any possible attempt by your employer to shift the blame for your accident onto you.
As soon as you are able, make notes of all injuries and symptoms that emerge after your accident, no matter how trivial they may seem or even if you aren’t certain they are related to your injury. When you go to the hospital, the doctors looking at you may only pay attention to the most serious aspect of your injury and lesser injuries may not be noted or deemed to require treatment. In this case, it may be difficult to prove later on that such injuries took place when you make an accident at work claim. This will be especially an issue if more severe and/or long-lasting effects of an injury manifest some time later, and it proves difficult to prove a link between that and the initial injury.
You may wonder about the financial aspect after a workplace accident, and again the question floating around your mind might be: “what should I do if I injured myself at work?”
The purpose of making a personal injury claim is to secure compensation for the impact that it has had on you financially, to cover things like loss of earnings due to inability to work, loss of earnings due to missed opportunities for promotion or pay rises, loss of earnings or expenses incurred by your loved ones or relatives in caring for you if your injury caused you to require care, expenses incurred by travelling to receive medical care and expenses incurred for extra needs you may have after your injury such as increased home heating costs. If your injury causes you to have to miss a prearranged holiday or another occasion, then you can recover these losses through a compensation claim also.
You need to make a note of all expenses that you incur or earnings you lose to that your personal injury solicitor can work out how much compensation your personal injury claim will request. Be sure to photocopy or take a photograph of the receipts or invoices relating to your expenses. Be sure to make notes of expenses and losses as they occur, as the personal injury claim process may take months or even a few years, and it may well not be feasible to try and calculate your expenses retroactively after some time has passed.
If the injuries you sustained in your workplace accident are severe and life-changing, then this may be a moot point, but it is important for you to seek out as much medical assistance and attention as possible, not just when the injury occurs but the weeks and months that follow during your recovery. If at any point you are at all unsure about your injury, if you suffer any symptoms at any point that you think might be related in some way to your accident, if any new symptoms emerge such as aches and pains or tremors, then you should arrange to see your doctor. When you begin your injured at work claim, you will need to undergo a medical examination of your injury. Seeking medical treatment is important not just to ensure that your injuries and the symptoms are spotted and attended to but also to ensure that there is a record of your injuries and of you seeking to have a doctor see them.
If you attempt to make a personal injury claim for injuries that you have not sought out medical care for prior to beginning your personal injury claim, then your employer may try to argue that this shows that the injury is not as severe as you and your personal injury lawyer say it is. Give them no excuse to downplay the severity of your injury or cast doubt on the veracity of your claim by making sure that your doctors have been made aware of all aspects of your injury. Remember that if your claim is successful, your employer will also be expected to cover the medical expenses that you have incurred.
Part of the conundrum to answering the question, “what should I do if I injured myself at work?” is finding the right legal representation.
To give yourself the best chance of successfully winning compensation for being injured at work, you should seek out personal injury solicitors who specialise in personal injury claims for people who have injured themselves at work and have the most experience and knowledge of the workplace accident procedure. These are also the solicitors who will have the best answer to questions you may have like “I injured myself at work can I sue?” or “What are my rights if I was injured at work?” or questions you may have about how your claim may be affected by the personal injury claims time limit.
Our accident claims solicitors will be ideal for making a workplace injury claim; they have up to thirty years of legal experience, they can cover your accident claim regardless of where your work accident happened, and they will always keep you regularly updated on everything that is happening in your workplace accident claim process.
If you’re wondering about the average compensation payout for an accident at work, this section will tell you more.
We’ve decided not to include a personal injury claims calculator here. They can sometimes provide misleading results, and that’s something we never wish to do.
So by using a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines, which is used by lawyers to value claims, we’ve included some potential compensation figures in the table below.
|Injuries||Minor to severe compensation amounts||Details|
|Deafness||£85,170 to £102,890||"Deafness" refers to total hearing loss or tinnitus.|
|Blindness||In the region of £252,180||"Blindness" refers to complete immediate loss of sight in both eyes, to partial loss of sight, loss of sight in one eye, deteriorating vision and temporary blindness or damage to vision.|
|Minor Brain or head injury||£2,070 to £11,980||Brain and head injury with minor symptoms such as headaches which abate after a period of a few weeks|
|Asthma||£40,410 to £61,710||Ranging from mild and temporary bronchitis to severe and permanently disabling asthma.|
|Asbestos-Related Disease||£65,710 to £118,150||Ranging from asbestosis to lung cancer to Mesothelioma.|
|Back Injuries||£85,470 to £151,070||Ranging from damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots resulting in permanent incomplete paralysis to less serious injuries where a full recovery is made within three months.|
|Neck Injuries||In the region of £139,210||Ranging from severe neck injuries resulting in in complete paraplegia to less severe injuries where a full recovery is made within three months.|
|Arm Injuries||£34,340 to £48,080||An arm injury of varying severity levels and symptoms.|
|Wrist Injuries||£44,690 to £56,180||Ranging from complete loss of function in the wrist to minor displaced or undisplace bone fractures and soft tissue damage from which a full recovery is made within 12 months.|
|Hand Injuries||£132,040 to £189,110||Ranging from total or effective loss of both hands to loss or injury fingers and thumbs.|
|Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)||£29,690 to £36,060||Ranging from serious symptoms which interfere with daily life and employment to occasional modest symptoms.|
Please remember that these figures are mere estimates. If you’d like a more concrete answer to the question, ‘how much is my accident at work claim worth?’, we’d advise you t o speak to our personal injury claims team. Once they know more about your circumstances they can hone in on a value.
Under a no win no fee personal injury claim agreement, you will not have to pay your personal injury solicitor upfront with your own money. Instead, you will be asked to share a portion of the compensation you receive with them if your claim is successful.
You and your personal injury lawyer will discuss beforehand how much their share will be, don’t worry about your solicitor asking for an exorbitant amount of your compensation; the maximum amount that you can be asked to give away is legally capped at a low level.
If your valid personal injury claim is not successful in gaining compensation, then you won’t be asked to pay your personal injury lawyer a penny for their work. The advantage of a no win no fee personal injury claim is that you are not required to take a significant financial risk, which might otherwise deter you from claiming compensation.
If you wish to begin making a no win no fee personal injury claim with our personal injury solicitors, then you can contact us at 0800 073 8801. Our phone line operates 24/7, so you can ring us at any time. Alternatively, you could fill in our website’s “start a claim” form on this page here, and our team will get back to you as soon as they can. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact us if you have more questions about making a personal injury claim, and our team of legal advisors will be happy to fill in any details. We can advise you if you wonder “what should I do if I injured myself at work”.
Thank you for reading our guide exploring the answer to the question: what should I do if I injured myself at work?
In this final section, we’ve included some other guides you may find useful, as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions relating to accidents at work.
Do I get paid if I suffer an injury in the workplace?
By law, you’re entitled to some sick pay. The official term for this particular payment is statutory sick pay or SSP. That being said, the money that you’re receiving doesn’t come directly from the funds of the organisation.
What are my rights if I suffer a workplace accident?
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer must provide you with a safe environment in which to work. So if that legal duty is breached, you’re entitled to seek compensation for any harm suffered.
Could I lose my job because of my injuries from an accident at work?
You couldn’t specifically be fired because you were hurt at work. But it’s possible that your injuries prevent you from performing your duties, which could eventually lead to contract termination. In addition, if the accident placed others at unnecessary risk, then you could be fired for that reason. But if someone else was responsible, they are the ones to shoulder the blame.
Should I hire a lawyer for a workplace injury?
We advise strongly to work with an accident at work solicitor in the aftermath of being injured at work. This is because a lawyer’s experience and expertise could make your case much more credible. And therefore this increases the chances that you may receive compensation from the defendant.
Thank you for reading our guide exploring the question “what should I do if I injured myself at work?”