Can I Claim If My Employer Has Ceased Trading?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 13th October 2023. If you were injured in a workplace accident but your workplace has since gone into administration, you may be wondering if you can sue a company that has ceased trading.

If you suffer an injury in a workplace accident that was your employer’s fault, or if you have been diagnosed with a long-term illness or industrial disease that was caused by health hazards in the workplace, you could be entitled to sue your employer for compensation. However, in some cases, your employer may have gone out of business. They may have ceased trading or gone into administration or liquidation.

This situation may be particularly a problem for those who are attempting to make a claim for a work-related illness, as the illness may only be diagnosed years after they have parted with the employer. In a situation such as this, you could be left wondering, ‘Can I claim if my employer has ceased trading?’

To talk to one of our friendly advisors, get in touch today:

can you sue a company that has ceased trading

Can you sue a company that has ceased trading?

Select A Section

  1. A Guide On Claims If Your Employer Has Ceased Trading
  2. What Is A Company That Has Ceased Trading?
  3. How To Check The Status Of A Company
  4. Can You Sue A Company That Has Ceased Trading?
  5. Calculating Claims Against An Employer Who Has Ceased Trading 
  6. Special Damages In Claims Against Companies That Have Ceased Trading
  7. No Win No Fee Claims Against An Employer Who Has Ceased Trading
  8. Essential References On Claiming Against A Company That Has Ceased Trading

A Guide On Claims If Your Employer Has Ceased Trading

Trying to make a claim for compensation against an employer for a work injury or illness can seem complicated when the business has ceased trading or has been dissolved. However, you could still be able to make a claim for compensation if your former employer is no longer in business because they’ve stopped trading.

In this guide, we include information on:

  • Some of the reasons why a business might cease trading.
  • How the different processes of folding a business work when it comes to a limited company, statutory notice pay and national insurance.
  • How the process of making a claim against a former employer that is no longer in business works and whether there’s a government service that could help.
  • What party or organisation you would claim against in order to get your compensation, whether for unpaid wages or injury compensation.
  • How to check the status of your former employer to see whether or not it is still trading, or if it is in danger of becoming insolvent and going out of business.
  • What other monies you could claim and where you would claim them from if your employer is out of business.
  • How potential compensation could be calculated.
  • A breakdown of the different types of compensation you could be entitled to claim.
  • A feedback form you can use to give us your email address for us to answer your questions

What Is A Company That Has Ceased Trading?

To say that a company has ceased trading is the formal term for a company that has stopped business. Their employees may be laid off and the company’s assets are sold.

A business could be forced to close down due to a number of reasons including becoming insolvent (unable to pay debts owed). If it happens voluntarily, it may be because the director retires or the company no longer serves a purpose, for example.

There are a number of different ways in which the shutting down of a company could play out, which we will explain in the next few sections.

How To Check The Status Of A Company

If you are considering making a compensation claim against a former employer, but you aren’t sure whether or not the company is still in business, there are a number of different ways you could find out whether or not the company is still in business. Knowing this could allow you to understand whether you could make a claim against them directly, or (if has ceased trading) use other methods of seeking compensation.

How To Find Out If A Company Has Ceased Trading

The first place you could check is the Companies House, the government register of listed businesses. You can access the website and put in a search for the company you are looking for. This can show you the details of a company, whether it is still trading or if it has gone into liquidation and has been stuck off.

In some cases, you may be worried that a company is going into insolvency, and is in danger of possibly being wound up by the time you are able to complete a claim. You could check in the London Gazette to make sure that it isn’t being listed as being in potential financial danger.

If the company is under provisional liquidation, meaning it has been given final notice from the government to pay off its debts before being liquidated, it will be listed on the government’s insolvency directory. Individual bankruptcy or insolvency would be listed on the government’s Individual Insolvency Register.

Can You Sue A Company That Has Ceased Trading?

If your employer has ceased trading altogether, you could still have the right to make a claim. However, instead of making the claim against the employer itself, you could instead make your claim against the employer’s insurance.

You can find out who your employer’s insurers were by looking at information from the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO). You can access the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office website to find out who your employer’s insurers were.

If you are claiming for an injury that you suffered while working for the company, then you should try to find the insurer that was covering the employer at the time the injury occurred. If you are seeking compensation for a work-related illness that has developed as a result of the conditions you worked under while employed at numerous companies, you will need to identify all of the different insurance companies.

Should you have queries about any of the above, a solicitor could help you. Our expert advisors could also help. To get in touch, call the number at the top of the page.

Calculating Claims Against An Employer Who Has Ceased Trading

As stated above, if your employer ceased trading, meaning all business activity has ended, you may still be able to claim if you suffered a workplace injury. In this section, we look at how much physical pain and mental suffering may be worth in accident at work claims.

In a successful claim, this is compensated under general damages. To help assess the value of your injuries, legal professionals use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document contains injuries listed next to compensation brackets.

The table below contains figures from the JCG. We’ve provided it as a guide rather than a representation of what you will receive.

Edit
Injury Severity Details Compensation Bracket
Severe Leg Injuries Very serious (ii) This bracket includes injuries that result in permanent mobility problems. £54,830 to £87,890
Neck Injury Severe (iii) The award in this bracket considers how long the most serious symptoms lasted, treatment and prognosis. Neck injuries in this bracket cause chronic conditions and significant permanent disability. £45,470 to £55,990
Brain Injury Moderate (iii) In this bracket the claimant will suffer problems with concentration and memory along an affect on the senses and a small epilepsy risk. £43,060 to £90,720
Arm Injury Less severe This bracket includes injuries that have caused significant disability but substantial recovery has occurred or is expected. £19,200 to £39,170
Knee Moderate (ii) The award considers whether there is continuous aching, discomfort or pain. It includes injuries such as dislocations, lacerations, twisting and bruising. Up to £13,740
Pelvis/hip Injuries Moderate (ii) The award will consider whether surgery is necessary or if it has been successful. This bracket also includes injuries where a hip replacement might be necessary in the future or ongoing symptoms go beyond minimal. £12,590 to £26,590
Wrist Injury (c) The claimant has suffered less severe injuries to the wrist but they cause some permanent disability, such as pain and stiffness. £12,590 to £24,500
Achilles Tendon Moderate The award considers treatment, recovery level, pain, functioning, and scarring. Injuries include a partial rupture or significant tendon injury. £12,590 to £21,070
Back Injury Moderate (ii) The award considers the original injury’s severity, pain, treatment required, the ability of the claimant to function in day-to-day life and prognosis. £12,510 to £27,760
Facial Scarring Less significant The claimant has suffered one scar or many very small scars with a marred appearance and a psychological reaction that is no greater than that of an ordinarily sensitive person. The award considers whether the scar can be concealed. £3,950 to £13,740

If you would like to know, ‘can you sue a company that has ceased trading?’, call our advisors. In addition to weighing up the feasibility of your claim, they can provide you with a bespoke valuation.

Special Damages In Claims Against Companies That Have Ceased Trading

If you successfully sue a company that has ceased trading, you may also be eligible to receive special damages. This head of claim compensates for out-of-pocket financial costs and losses caused by your personal injury.

Special damages can be awarded for:

  • Loss of income – you may have had to take time off work because of your injuries. If you have lost out on income as a result, you could be eligible to claim for this.
  • Travel expenses – if, for example, you’ve incurred costs travelling to medical appointments, these could be included too.
  • Care costs – if your injuries meant you couldn’t take care of yourself, you may have needed home care. The costs of care could be included within your claim.
  • Medical expenses – these could include prescription costs, or mobility aids, for example.

You will need to provide evidence that you incurred such expenses or losses as a direct result of your injury. Bank statements, receipts and bills can all be useful in supporting your claim against a company that has ceased trading.

To check what special damages you could be eligible for, please contact an advisor.

No Win No Fee Claims Against An Employer Who Has Ceased Trading

Our solicitors offer legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis, which means they could offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). With this kind of agreement, you don’t pay any fees to your solicitor either upfront or while your claim is ongoing.

If your claim succeeds, your solicitor receives a success fee. This is deducted from your settlement award as a percentage, though this percentage has a legal cap to help ensure that you keep the majority of what you receive. But, if your claim doesn’t succeed, then you don’t pay this fee.

Learn More About Claiming Against A Company That Has Ceased Trading

Our team are here to help if you are wondering whether you could sue a company that has ceased trading. To learn more:

Essential References On Claiming Against A Company That Has Ceased Trading

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Thank you for reading our guide on whether or not you can sue an employer that has ceased trading.

FAQs On Claims Against Companies No Longer Trading

Can You Sue A Company That Has Ceased Trading?

You could be entitled to claim compensation if your employer is no longer trading. The claim may be made against the company’s former insurer.

What happens if a company ceases to trade?

If a company is temporarily ceasing trade, then it can be registered as dormant or temporarily out of business. If a company is being wound up, then all assets are sold, employees may be made redundant. The company’s name is struck from the Companies House register.

Can I Claim If My Employer Has Ceased Trading As An Ex Employee?

Even if you’d left your employer’s place of work before they ceased trading, you could still make a workplace injury claim against them. You can claim compensation for your injuries so long as they occurred when the employer was trading. You would need to be within the personal injury claims time limit. However the process of getting compensation might be longer.

Can I claim against my old employer for stress?

If there was a valid insurance policy in place while you worked at your employer and you could provide evidence that your ex-employer was at fault for your stress, you could potentially claim against the policy that was in place at the time the stress occurred. However, you would need to ensure you were claiming within the limitation period for your claim.

How could I prove my injuries?

You’d have to see an independent medic to get independent medical evidence of your injuries. During your appointment with them, they would ask questions and examine your injuries. They may need to refer back to your past medical notes too. Then they would create a medical report which could be used to verify the injuries and your prognosis.

What is the meaning of ceased trading?

The meaning of ceased trading in layman’s terms would be a company that had stopped operating. As we have mentioned, in some cases you could still claim compensation from an ex-employer.

You would have to be able to prove that their negligent breach of their duty of care towards you had caused your injuries. If the company that had ceased trading still had insurance in place when you were injured, the policy could still payout on your claim.

When can you sue a company that has ceased trading?

You can sue a company that has ceased trading in many cases. Employers are required to have liability insurance, which could pay out on your claim if the policy was live when you had your accident.

However, as with any personal injury claim, you would need to prove that your injuries were due to your employer’s negligent breach of their duty of care towards you.

Can you advise how to find out if a company has ceased trading?

We could advise you on how to find out if a company has ceased trading. As we have explained earlier on in this guide, you could check Companies House yourself, to find this out, however.

If you do find that a company you are considering suing has ceased trading, this does not mean you could not make a claim. In some cases, you would still be able to claim compensation against the insurance your ex-employer took out.

What does ceased trading mean if a business still has debts?

If a company with debts ceased trading, it may mean they could not afford to pay their suppliers as well as deal with various other monetary issues. In cases where you’re making a potential claim against your employer whose company has ceased trading, it may not always be possible. 

However, for more information on the meaning of ceased training and what this means for your potential claim, call us on the number at the top of the page.

What does ceased trading mean if a company is solvent?

If a solvent company wants to declare it has ceased trading, meaning that it is no longer operational, it must ensure debts are paid off. Then, they can declare it dormant or dissolve it. 

What does ceased trading mean when it comes to collecting payments due?

If a company declares that it has ceased trading, and debts are owed to it under contract, debtors should still pay the company or the company that is in charge of closing the company down. 

I have further questions on the ceased trading meaning and how it could affect my claim – where can I get help?

We could help you if you are eligible to claim compensation for a company that has ceased trading, and there was an insurance policy in place at the time of the accident. Please call our team to discuss your case, and we will do all that we can to assist you.

Who pays the compensation for companies in administration?

When companies are in administration and compensation claims are made against them, who pays the compensation will depend. If a policy that was in place at the time the accident occurred is still valid, the insurance could still cover the claim. For more information, call our team.

How many companies are in administration in the UK?

When it comes to how many companies are in administration in the UK, we can look to the government statistics for guidance. According to their report for 2021, 1 in every 304 active companies went into liquidation in 2021. Unfortunately, we cannot find statistics relating to personal injury claims against UK companies in administration. 

I’m thinking of suing a limited company that no longer exists – where do I start?

If you’re thinking of suing a limited company that no longer exists, you could start by calling our team. We could assess your chances of making successful personal injury claims against UK companies in administration, or that have been dissolved. We could provide you with a solicitor to assist with your claim if we determine that your claim is valid and has a chance of success.

When you call us, we’ll need to ask you questions about the accident you were injured in. We will also ask questions about the company you’re intending on taking action against. This can help provide an understanding of whether you’re eligible to seek compensation.