A Guide To The Work Accident Claim Time Limit

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 08th March 2024. If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, you may be wondering, ‘how long after an accident can you claim?’. This guide provides information on the work accident claim time limit that can apply to you after a workplace accident.

We also offer guidance on related questions to ‘how long after an accident at work can you claim?’. These include ‘Who can claim for an accident at work in the UK?’ Plus, ‘Can I still claim for a work accident if I’m getting close to the accident in work time limit?’

We also explain how we could help start a claim for an injury at work in the UK if you’re within the accident at work claim time limit.

To make a claim for a workplace injury, illness, there are some key factors you should be aware of. For example, those who pursue a compensation claim should be aware of the personal injury claims time limit that could affect their eligibility to make a valid claim.

If you have questions about the materials being discussed, please contact a member of our team. Our expert and friendly advisors are more than happy to speak with you and answer any questions that you might have about No Win No Fee claims. Our phone lines are free to call, and our advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Worker with injury to hand.

Select A Section

  1. What Is The Work Accident Claim Time Limit?
  2. When Could I Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  3. Work Accident Claims – Will I Need Evidence?
  4. How Is Workplace Accident Compensation Calculated?
  5. Special Damages In Claims For Workplace Accidents
  6. Make A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim
  7. Essential References On The Work Accident Claim Time Limit

What Is The Work Accident Claim Time Limit?

If you are making a personal injury claim following an injury caused in an accident at work you will need to do so within the correct limitation period. Under the Limitation Act 1980, personal injury claims generally must be started within 3 years of the incident occurring. This means that you have 3 years in which to initiate court proceedings if the matter cannot be settled between the two sides.

That said, there are generally two exceptions to this rule:

  • Minors, those under 18 years old who are injured, cannot pursue their own legal claim until they turn 18. They will then have 3 years to bring their claim up until their 21st birthday. However, while the claimant is under the age of 18, a responsible adult can ask the court to be a litigation friend and make the claim on behalf of the minor.
  • Adults who have reduced mental capacity may not be able to pursue their own claims. This will mean that for them the time limit is frozen. If they recover enough mental capacity to pursue their own claim, then the time limit of 3 years will begin. While they are unable to make their own personal injury claim, a litigation friend can pursue one on their behalf.

Lots of different clocks depicting the accident at work claim time limit.

Read on to learn more about the personal injury claims process after an accident at work, or contact our advisors to find out if you are within the work accident claim time limit.

Can I Still Claim For A Work Accident If I’m Close To The Time Limit?

If you’re close to the personal injury claim time limit applicable to your accident at work, why not call us? There could still be time to submit paperwork to the courts in some cases. This could give you and your personal injury solicitor some time to put together your case and complete any investigations or gather more evidence. An advisor can also provide further guidance on the exceptions and whether they apply in your circumstances.

When Could I Make An Accident At Work Claim?

Now we have discussed how long after an accident at work you can claim compensation, we should discuss who could claim after an accident at work.

All employers have a duty of care towards their employees regarding their health and safety at work. This is set out under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), which states that they must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety while working. 

Depending on the workplace, steps they might take to do so could include:

  • Giving you training specific to your job, such as manual handling training
  • Risk assessing your workstation and adjusting it to reduce the risk of injury,
  • Providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) 

In order to form the basis of a valid accident at work claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by your employer
  • They breached this duty
  • You suffered physical or mental harm as a result

To check if you can make a claim for an accident at work or how long to claim you have, call our advisors for free. In a free, no-obligation case assessment, they can tell you if you have good grounds for a personal injury claim.

Work Accident Claims – Will I Need Evidence?

If you would like to make a workplace accident claim, you will need supporting evidence. Evidence that could be used to support work accident claims could include:

  • Accident log book.
  • Medical records.
  • Witness contact details.
  • Photographs of the accident scene/faulty equipment.
  • Pictures of any visible injuries you suffered.

The above list is not exhaustive. You may have other items to support your accident at work claim. A No Win No Fee solicitor specialising in work accident claims could help you gather evidence.

Call our advisors to find out more about what could be submitted as evidence in your accident at work claim.

How Is Workplace Accident Compensation Calculated?

If you make a successful personal injury claim for workplace accident compensation, your settlement could include general damages and special damages.

General damages compensate you for the suffering and pain that your injuries have caused you. To help them value this head of claim, legal professionals, such as solicitors, may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assist them. The JCG provides guideline compensation brackets for various types of injuries at different severities. The table below contains figures from the 16th edition of this publication. However, you should only use the figures as a guide.

InjurySeverityDetailsCompensation Bracket
Multiple Very Severe Injuries and ExpensesVery SeriousClaimants could recover compensation for multiple injuries of a very serious nature plus their expenses, such as lost wages and nursing. Up to £1,000,000+
Head/Brain Very severe (a)Little or no response to environment but may be able to follow some basic commands. £282,010 to £403,990
NeckSevere (a) (i)Injuries that involve spastic quadparesis or incomplete paraplegia. In the region of £148,330
Leg InjuriesSevere (i)Injuries stopping just short of amputation but leaving substantial permanent disability. £96,250 to £135,920
ArmSevere (a)Short of amputation but as little use as an arm that has been lost. £96,160 to £130,930
BackSevere (a) (i)Including spinal cord and root damage, for example. £91,090 to £160,980
FootVery severe (c)Severe pain and disability of a permanent nature. £83,960 to £109,650
Pelvis and HipsSevere (a) (i)Extensive fractures causing substantial permanent disabilities.£78,400 to £130,930
Hand Severe Finger Fractures (f)The claimant suffered severe fractures that may have resulted in partial amputation along with impairments and disturbed sensation.Up to £36,740
ToeAmputation Amputation of the great toe.In the region of £31,310
ShoulderSevere (a)In this bracket, a dislocated shoulder along with damage to the lower brachial plexus caused shoulder and neck pain, along with elbow aching and sensory problems.£19,200 to £48,030

If you have suffered an injury in an accident in work, you can contact our advisors to see if you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. They could also provide you with a free valuation of your claim.

Special Damages In Claims For Workplace Accidents

Some workplace injury claims could include a second head called special damages. Under this head, you could be compensated for financial losses incurred as a direct result of your injury. However, to have your losses reimbursed, you must be able to prove what you spent or lost. For example, you could save receipts and invoices.

Special damages could include;

Make A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim

Now we have explained what you need to know about the work accident claim time limit that could apply to your case, let us explain how we could help. 

If you are making an injury at work claim, you might wish to get help from a solicitor. After all, a solicitor who has been successful in helping others with injury at work claims in the past could help ensure your case was as strong as it could be. They could assist in gathering evidence, and they could negotiate with the liable party for a compensation payout that reflects your pain and suffering. 

One of our solicitors may offer to help with your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 (CFA). If they do, you would not typically have to pay them anything upfront for their work on your claim. Nor would you have to pay them throughout the progression of your case.

Instead, they would take a small percentage out of your eventual payout if your claim is successful. If it is not, and you don’t receive compensation, you would not typically have to pay them for their work.

To learn more about claiming under a CFA, or to check your eligibility to claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Essential References On The Work Accident Claim Time Limit

In addition to this online guide, we have provided some materials that we believe could be extremely informative to those who have been involved in a workplace accident.

If you still have any questions about claiming for an accident at work or the work accident claim time limit, please contact our advisors for free today.