By Joanne Anderson. Last Updated 22nd June 2023. Welcome to our guide that answers the question ‘will suing my employer create problems?’
If you’ve had an accident at work that causes you to sustain injuries, it could be due to a workplace health and safety breach. If it is, then you could consider suing your employer for compensation with this type of claim. One common question claimants in this position ask is whether suing their employer would create problems and whether you’d need to take them to an employment tribunal or through the civil courts. This is a question we answer in detail in this guide.
In the sections below, we look at what your employer’s responsibilities are towards you, when it comes to human resources and what happens if there is a health and safety breach at work that causes you an injury.
We answer common questions relating to concerns about how an employer should treat someone taking action against them for an accident at work, and we also look at what compensation you could be eligible for when suing your employer.
In addition to all this, you’ll find guidance relating to the claims process, and we also explain how we could help you start a No Win No Fee claim. If you’re already in a position where you want to sue your employer, or you’d like to speak to us about anything within this guide, please don’t hesitate to dial 0800 073 8801 for assistance.
Choose A Section
- W Suing Your Employer – Who Can Claim For An Accident At Work?
- What Do You Need To Know About Suing Your Employer?
- Who Will Be Told You Are Making A Claim?
- Who Pays The Compensation If You Sue Your Employer?
- Could You Be Dismissed For Suing Your Employer?
- Other Ways Suing Your Employer Could Affect Relations With Them
- Calculating Compensation When Suing Your Employer – Updated August 2021
- What Are Special Damages For Employee Accident Claims?
- Suing Your Employer With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Start Your Claim
- Essential References
- Employee Accident Statistics
You may be wondering, ‘How do I go about suing my employer for a workplace injury?’ If you have been injured in an accident at work, you must be able to meet the personal injury claim eligibility criteria for your case to be valid. These are:
- Your employer owed you a duty of care.
- Your employer breached their duty of care.
- As a result of this breach, you suffered an injury.
Your employer owes a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Per their duty, they must take reasonable steps to ensure your safety and health while you are working and in the workplace. If they were to breach this duty of care, you could become injured in an accident at work.
Some examples of how you could be injured in a workplace accident include:
- Your employer failed to give you efficient manual handling training, and you suffer a back injury as a result due to poor lifting technique.
- A spillage was not cleaned or signposted with a wet floor sign, causing you to slip and suffer an ankle injury.
- Your employer provided you with a faulty ladder, causing you to fall whilst using it and you suffer a head injury.
Do not hesitate to contact our advisors if you have any questions, such as ‘What steps should I take when suing my employer for an injury on the job?’ and ‘Can I get fired for suing my employer?’
As well as wanting to know if suing your employer will create problems there are other things you may need to know about suing your employer. Here, we outline some things you may need to be aware of when considering making a claim.
- You have rights at work. You have the right to make a claim if your employer breaches their duty of care towards you and you suffer an injury at work. You’d also have rights when it comes to a limit on how many hours you are made to work. Depending on your employment status, you could also have rights to holiday pay and sick pay, for example. You also have the right not to be discriminated against.
- Additionally, you have a right to report an accident in which you are injured and your employer should not treat you differently for doing so. Your employer also has a responsibility to record accidents and injuries at work. In some cases, they must report injuries in the workplace under RIDDOR.
- You have a right to make an official complaint if you believe your employer has caused you harm due to a breach of health and safety. You should inform your employer in writing of your complaint, and you should expect to have a response.
- Also, you have a right to take legal action against an employer after suffering an injury due to their negligence.
When it comes to answering the question of whether suing an employer would create problems you may be concerned about who would find out about your claim.
Will My Employer Be Told?
Your employer will need to know about your complaint for them to act on it. As accidents should be reported in the workplace accident book, your employer will likely already be aware of the accident and your injuries. They would also be made aware of your claim through a solicitor if you choose to use one. Their insurance company would also be informed this way.
What Other Parties Need To Be Informed?
As well as the insurance company, there may be other parties that need to be informed of your accident and injures, such as the HSE, if your injury is reportable.
If there are other employees that witness a workplace accident, they may need to give a statement, so they could find out about your claim too. In addition to this, your employer’s insurance company may report your claim to the Department of Work and Pensions, as is their obligation.
When you sue an employer, their insurer would usually pay your compensation. By law, employers should take out an insurance policy to cover them in the event of a claim. Your compensation will, therefore, not come out of the company’s profit.
Any reputable employer would recognise that making a claim against them isn’t personal. They should recognise the harm that you have suffered and if they are a fair employer, they should want any injured employee not to end up with financial losses due to a breach of health and safety.
Your employer may not have a lot to do with your claim themselves, either. Their insurance company would usually take care of it.
When asking the question ‘Will suing my employer create problems?’ some claimants might fear for the security of their job.
Your employer cannot legally fire you for making a claim for compensation because there has been a breach of health and safety at work that caused you to suffer. If your employer tries to do this, you could take further action against them.
However, most reputable employers understand why employees are making a claim for compensation and will recognise that it is their failings that led to the claim. Some may even appreciate you highlighting a potential risk to other employees which could lead them to make the workplace/work practices safer.
If your employer makes your position untenable by treating you differently because of your claim, you may feel you have no other option but to resign from your post. But legally, your employer cannot treat you badly because you are claiming against them. If they do, you could take legal action.
You also have protection as a whistleblower. A whistleblower is a person who reports wrongdoings as a worker. Complaints that class as whistleblowing could include:
- Reporting criminal offences such as fraud.
- Making a report because someone’s health and safety are at risk.
- Reporting damage to the environment or risk of damage.
- Miscarriage of justice reports.
- Reports of a company breaking the law.
- Reporting someone that is covering up some type of wrongdoing.
In order to calculate a compensation payout, courts and lawyers wouldn’t use a personal injury claims calculator. They would instead assess all of the evidence, circumstances and facts of your case.
When claiming compensation for personal injuries, whether physical or psychological, claimants should obtain a medical report. They would visit an independent medical expert, where the expert would speak to them and examine their injuries.
They would use their professional knowledge and the information they gain at the assessment to write a medical report. Lawyers could use this report to arrive at an appropriate value for your injuries.
To give you some insight into appropriate values for injuries relating to health and safety breaches at work, we have put together the table below. The figures come from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication that solicitors could use to hone in on a value for injuries.
If you’re not sure what bracket would apply to you, or we have not included your injuries below, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’d be happy to give you further information over the telephone.
|Back Injuries – Severe
|Causing mobility impairment, bladder function impairment, or impairing bladder function. Nerve root damage and unsightly scarring.
|£74,160 to £88,430
|Neck Injuries – Severe
|Severe damage to soft tissues, fractures or dislocations that lead to disability that is permanent as well as chronic conditions.
|£45,470 to £55,990
|Elbow injuries – Severely disabling
|£39,170 to £54,830
|Finger Fractures – Severe
|Necessitating partial amputation which would impair grip and reduce function. There could also be deformity, and sensation disturbance.
|Up to £36,740
|Pelvic/Hip Injuries – Moderate
|While the initial injury would be significant there wouldn’t be a big risk of future damage and no permanent disability.
|£26,590 to £39,170
|Some useful movements could remain but there would be permanent significant disability.
|£24,500 to £39,170
|Shoulder Injuries – Moderate
|Limited movement from frozen shoulder injuries could feature here. Injuries could last for around 2 years. Soft tissue injures causing symptoms for over 2 years could also feature.
|£7,890 to £12,770
|Fear that the person was about to lose their life.
|Head Injury – Minor
|Minimal brain damage.
|£2,210 to £12,770
In the above section, we looked at the general damages that could be appropriate for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. However, there are other damages you could claim, known as special damages. These damages compensate claimants for the pecuniary (financial) costs they experience because of their injuries. These could include:
- Care Costs: If you sustain injuries so severe that you cannot look after yourself, you may need care at home. You could include the costs of such care in your claim.
- Medical Expenses: While many types of medical care are free at the point of access through the NHS, this does not mean that you would not incur other medical expenses. Whether you’ve had to pay prescription costs, or you’ve incurred costs for treatments such as physiotherapy or counselling, you could include such costs within a claim.
- Travel Costs: If you incur transport costs when going to lawyer’s meetings or medical appointments, you could claim for these too.
- Loss of Earnings: When you take time off work, particularly in the long-term, you may lose out on some of your income. Your employer may put you on Statutory Sick Pay, per employment law, depending on your contract of employment and this could be significantly less than your usual income. You could claim for loss of earnings within a workplace claim, and you could even include regular overtime and bonuses in some cases. If you are unable to return to work for some time, you could include future loss of earnings when calculating your claim. This could equal the pay you’re unable to receive because of your injuries.
Evidence Of Special Damages
When you claim special damages, you will require evidence. If you aren’t able to evidence that you’ve sustained costs or losses, it could prove difficult to claim for them.
Evidence to support your case could include:
- Travel tickets
We would strongly advise you to put documents relating to your costs and losses in a safe place. That way, you could provide them to your personal injury solicitor at the appropriate time to include them within your claim.
Now we’ve answered the question of ‘Will suing my employer create problems?’, if you are now considering making a workplace claim against your employer, you might be looking for a personal injury lawyer to help you.
However, you may worry about the cost of using a legal professional to make your claim. If you are, you might be pleased to read that you don’t have to pay them upfront for their services. No Win No Fee claims require no upfront payment to your lawyer. Instead, you’d pay them a success fee from your eventual payout.
The No Win No Fee claims process generally works as follows:
- You receive a document known as a No Win No Fee agreement from your lawyer. They would ask you to read and sign the agreement, which contains details of the success fee we mentioned earlier. This is a fee that is legally capped and represents a small percentage of your total payout. By signing the document, you would agree for the lawyer to take the success fee from your payout if it comes through.
- Once your signed agreement has been sent to the lawyer, they would begin to build your case and negotiate compensation on your behalf. In many cases, personal injury claims settle outside of the courtroom. However, in some cases, particularly if the liable party disputes your claim, you may have to go to court. Your lawyer would be there to support you and help you fight for compensation.
- Once your payout comes through, the lawyer deducts the agreed success fee, and you benefit from the balance.
What Happens If There’s No Compensation?
Should your personal injury claim fail, and not bring you any compensation, you may worry about whether you’d have to pay your lawyer. With a No Win No Fee claim, you would not pay your lawyer the success fee if your claim fails. To read more about making such claims, you can read this detailed guide to No Win No Fee claims. Otherwise, feel free to call us and speak to us about your claim as well as receiving free legal advice about your legal case.
Now you know the answer to ‘Will suing my employer cause problems?’ and know what could be considered unfair treatment, are you now in a position where you’d like to begin a workplace accident claim? Or are you looking for further guidance or an eligibility assessment?
Either way, we’d be delighted to help you. We could speak to you about your case, assess your eligibility and provide you with a lawyer who could help you. All you need to do is get in touch, which you can do by:
- Telephone: 0800 073 8801
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Using the contact form
- Or by using our live chat
Below you can find some more resources on accident at work claims:
- Dismissal – Your Rights: Your rights when it comes to dismissal are explained in this government guide.
- Raising Workplace Grievances: Find out about grievance reporting at work on the government website.
- Injured Because Of An Accident At Work: Citizens Advice has more information about your rights after a workplace accident.
- Head here to learn more about making an accident at work claim
- Click here to see more questions and answers with our accident at work FAQs
- What is the accident at work claim time limit?
- What steps should I take when injured at work?
- What should I do if I injure myself at work?
- Can you make an accident at work claim if not employed by the company?
- Can I still make a claim if injured as a new employee?
- Do I have to be an employee to claim for a workplace injury?
- How to make a defective work equipment claim
- Can you claim unfair dismissal if sacked after a workplace accident?
- Can you claim for an injury during your probation period?
Thank you for reading our guide answering ‘Will suing my employer create problems?’