Make An Accident At Work Claim

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Make An Accident At Work Claim

Accidents at work claims can be made in various circumstances. Our guide aims to shed light on this broad topic. If you’re asking, “I had an accident at work, what are my rights?“, Legal Expert is here to answer all of your questions.

We cover areas such as the duty of care owed by employers, and when you could be eligible to claim compensation if a breach of this duty results in an accident.

You will also see some statistics on the most common accidents at work, and a few example scenarios of how these accidents can occur. An explanation of how compensation is calculated has likewise been included.

To round off our guide, we examine the No Win No Fee contract offered by our expert personal injury solicitors, paying particular attention to the benefits this type of contract offers you.

For answers to common questions regarding personal injury claims, have a look at the FAQs at the bottom of the page. For more detailed answers or a free assessment of your eligibility to claim compensation, talk to our advisory team. You can reach our advisors at any time using the following:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Begin your claim online by completing this form.
  • Open the live chat window for a fast response to your questions

An illustration of workplace accidents showing an injured construction working laying on the ground while his colleague tends to him.

Select A Section 

  1. What Is An Accident At Work?
  2. What Are The Most Common Accidents At Work?
  3. Can I Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  4. How Could An Employer Prevent An Accident At Work?
  5. What Evidence Could Help In Accident At Work Claims?
  6. How Much Compensation For A Workplace Accident Claim?
  7. What Is A No Win No Fee Workplace Injury Claim?
  8. Read More About Accident At Work Claims
  9. FAQs About Workplace Accident Claims

What Is An Accident At Work?

No workplace is completely safe, slips and falls, being hit by an object or falling from a height are all examples of accidents in the workplace. There will always be risks that cannot be mitigated or reduced. Some workplace accidents happen that are unforeseeable. However, if an accident occurred that could have easily been avoided had your employer correctly implemented health and safety regulations, then a personal injury claim for your workplace injury could be valid.

What Are The Most Common Accidents At Work?

According to data published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Britain’s national regulator for health and safety at work, employers reported 60,645 non-fatal accidents in 2022/23. This data is from reports by employers of injuries resulting from work-related accidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). RIDDOR requires employers to report certain serious injuries. Therefore, this data cannot be seen as the true picture of the number of accidents that happen in the workplace. 

According to RIDDOR reporting, the most common type of accidents were slips, trips and falls, such as slipping on a wet floor, with 19,202 occurrences reported. The next most common accident type at 10,230 occurrences was manual handling tasks.

We have provided a breakdown of these figures in this chart:

Can I Make An Accident At Work Claim?

Employers have a legal duty of care to their employees under the Health and Safety At Work Etc Act 1974. Under this law, it is an employer’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their workers. 

The eligibility criteria in accident at work claims are as follows:

  1. You were owed a duty of care by your employer.
  2. They breached this duty by not taking reasonable steps to ensure your safety and follow health and safety regulations.
  3. This breach caused you to be injured in an accident.

Is There A Time Limit When Making Accident At Work Claims?

In most cases, the time limit is 3 years from the accident date, per the Limitation Act 1980. However there are certain circumstances where exceptions can be made. These are:

  • Minors: children will have the standard 3-year time limit frozen until they reach 18 years of age.
  • Lacking sufficient mental capacity: If the injured person does not have the mental capacity to make a work injury claim for themselves, either as a result of the accident or due to a pre-existing condition, they will have the time limit paused indefinitely.

In these scenarios, a litigation friend may be appointed by the court to pursue the claim on behalf of the injured person. To find out more about the time limit for accident at work claims, or for a free assessment of your eligibility, get in touch with us today. 

How Could An Employer Prevent An Accident At Work?

Employers can avoid accidents at work claims by taking reasonable steps to prevent injuries. This is obviously quite a broad category; what’s deemed reasonable for an office would be inadequate for a construction site or factory.

So, to help employers meet their legal obligations, the HSE publish guidance on a variety of topics. We have included some of this guidance below:

  • Risk Assessments: An employer should carry out thorough risk assessments for their premises, identifying all potential hazards and measures to mitigate them.
  • Remove Risks: Some risks can be removed altogether by designing the work environment in such a way that eliminates that risk. For example, manual handling tasks can be avoided by using lifts and conveyors.
  • Training: Employees should receive adequate training to perform their jobs safely. So, if vehicles, machinery, or any other work equipment are being used, only staff who have the right level of training should be using them.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Employees should be provided with suitable protective clothing, such as steel-toe capped boots or safety gloves, free of charge. Damaged or worn equipment should be replaced for free. 

If an employer does not take these steps, this could amount to a breach of their duty of care. And if that breach causes you to be injured, then you could be eligible to claim compensation. 

What Accidents At Work Could Occur If These Steps Are Not Taken?

This section examines the different kinds of accidents that could occur if the above steps are not taken. While we cannot cover every scenario here, we have tried to give a good overview of what accidents could take place.

Examples can include:

  • Your employer had not provided you or your colleagues with any vehicle training. Consequently, the driver of a forklift failed to stop and ran you over, breaking multiple bones.
  • The protective clothing you were provided with was not adequate enough for the substances you were handling in a chemical plant. You suffered a substantial burn injury as a result of a chemical spill.
  • Trailing wires across a walkway meant you slipped and fell while carrying goods from storage to the shipping area. You sustained a badly sprained ankle and damage to your arm in the fall.
  • You were instructed to lift an object that was well above the maximum weight limit. You suffered a substantial soft tissue injury in your shoulder as a result of this.
  • Your employer failed to carry out maintenance checks on the company ladders. Consequently, a fault was missed. You were instructed to install some guttering on the building. The unrepaired fault resulted in you falling from a considerable height in a serious ladder accident.
  • A lack of proper safety guards on a band saw in a machine shop resulted in your left index finger being cut off when the section of wood you were cutting to size became stuck.
  • A warehouse accident occurred after repairs to a conveyor were carried out incorrectly. You experienced a severe chest injury after the goods being transported fell from the faulty conveyor and landed on you.

There are many other circumstances that could result in injuries at work, such as scaffolding accidents or falling down stairs. To find out if you could make an accident at work compensation claim in your particular circumstances, call our advisors today for a free assessment.

A worker in a blue protective jacket holds his injured hand while a colleague assists him following an accident at work.

What Evidence Could Help In Accident At Work Claims?

Evidence forms a key part of all accident at work claims. You will need to demonstrate that the employer’s breach of their duty resulted in you being injured.

Examples of possible evidence include:

  • Medical Records: It is always advisable to get medical attention following an accident, even if you only sustain a minor injury. While your health is, of course, the first priority, the records produced by the treatment can be very useful evidence. 
  • CCTV footage: If available, you can request CCTV footage of the accident taking place. 
  • Photographs: It may also be a good idea to take photographs of where the accident occurred and your injuries
  • Accident Book: All employers have responsibility for recording injuries at work, but those with 10 or more employees are legally required to keep an accident book on site. You can take a copy of your incident report from this. 
  • Workplace Documents: Other workplace documents, such as machine servicing records, training materials, and other paperwork, can be used to show that these important tasks were not completed or performed incorrectly. 
  • Witness Statements: If your colleagues saw the accident occur, they could provide a witness statement. Take down their contact information so their statement can be collected during the claim. 

Working with one of our solicitors may be very beneficial. A trained legal professional can utilise their knowledge and expertise and ensure your claim has the evidence it needs. 

To discuss how to prove your claim, or for a free assessment of your eligibility to begin an accident at work claim, talk to our advisors today. 

A woman sustaining workplace injuries after tripping over trailing wires in an office

How Much Compensation For A Workplace Accident Claim?

Compensation in personal injury claims can be awarded under two different heads of loss. These are:

  • General damages: compensation for the physical and psychological harm caused.
  • Special Damages: compensation for the financial impacts. We’ll look at special damages in more detail below.

In order to calculate a possible general damages figure, reference can be made to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) alongside your provided medical evidence. This detailed publication contains guideline compensation brackets for various injuries. We have tried to provide a broad range of these brackets in our compensation table.

Compensation Table

Please note that the first entry is not a JCG figure. This information has been provided to act as guidance only. 

Injury TypeSeverityGuideline Compensation Value
Multiple Very Serious Injuries With Significant Financial Losses.Very Serious.Up to £1,000,000 +
Brain DamageVery Severe (a)£344,150 to £493,000
Moderate (c)(i)£183,190 to £267,340
Back InjuriesSevere (a)(i)£111,150 to £196,450
Moderate (b)(i)£33,880 to £47,320
EpilepsyEstablished Grand Mal (a)£124,470 to £183,190
Chest InjuriesTotal Removal of One Lung and/or Serious Heart Damage (a)£122,850 to £183,190
Damage to Chest and Lungs(s)£38,210 to £66,920
Above-knee Amputation of One Leg £127,930 to £167,760
Hand InjuriesAmputation of Index and Middle and/or Ring Fingers (d)£75,550 to £110,750
Total or Partial Loss of Index Finger (i)£14,850 to £22,870
Less Serious Leg InjuriesLess Serious (c)(i)£21,920 to £33,880
Less Serious (c)(ii)£11,120 to £17,180
ShoulderSerious (b)£15,580 to £23,430
Moderate (c)£9,630 to £15,580

Can I Claim Special Damages After An Accident At Work?

Special Damages are the second of the two heads of loss and compensate for monetary losses associated with your injuries. Special damages are about more than simply reimbursing lost salary; they aim to quantify the long-term impacts of your injuries on your day-to-day life

It is very common for compensation under special damages to be higher than that under general damages. We have included some examples of such expenses here: 

  • Lost income due to time taken off work to recover from your injuries. 
  • Transport costs if doctors have advised you to not drive.
  • The cost of in-home care support, such as assistance with preparing meals, cleaning, and caring for your garden, if you are unable to complete these tasks on your own. 
  • Medical expenses such as prescription medications, private healthcare, counselling sessions or other out of pocket medical bills.
  • Any modifications to your home, such as an accessible shower, mobility ramp or stairlift

Remember, in order to claim compensation under special damages, supporting evidence will be required. Keep hold of your payslips, as well as any other documents, such as receipts and travel tickets, as proof of the losses you experienced. 

Since accident at work claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis, we cannot make any guarantees about what compensation will be paid out in this guide. To get a more personalised idea of what your potential claim could be worth, speak to our advisory team today using the contact information below. 

What Is A No Win No Fee Workplace Injury Claim?

Our experienced personal injury solicitors can offer their services on a No Win No fee basis. This particular contract, called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), gives claimants multiple benefits. These include:

  • No upfront fee for the solicitor to start working on the case.
  • There will also be no fees for this work during the claims process.
  • Finally, should the claim fail, you will not pay the solicitor a fee for their work.

Upon the success of your No Win No Fee accident at work claim, you will receive a personal injury compensation payout. A percentage of the payout you receive will be taken by the solicitor as their success fee. However, since success fees are subject to a legally binding cap, most of this payout is yours.

For answers to common questions regarding personal injury claims, have a look at the FAQs at the bottom of the page. For more detailed answers or a free assessment of your eligibility to claim compensation, talk to our advisory team. You can reach our advisors at any time using the following:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Begin your claim online by completing this form.
  • Open the live chat window for a fast response to your questions

A solicitor and his client sat in a bright office discussing accident at work claims

Read More About Accident At Work Claims

You can read some of our other accident at work claims guides here:

We have also included these external resources that you may find useful:

FAQs About Workplace Accident Claims

Can I Claim For An Accident That Was My Fault?

If the accident was wholly your fault, then no, you would not be able to claim. However if the injury was partially your fault, this could be considered contributory negligence. This is where an injured person is deemed to have contributed to their own injuries. In these cases, the injured person may still receive compensation, but at a reduced amount.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Workplace Accident?

Typically 3 years as per the Limitation Act 1980. However, in cases where the injured person is under 18 or lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves, exceptions can be made. 

What Types Of Work Injury Could I Claim For?

  • Broken bones.
  • Cuts and lacerations.
  • Organ damage.
  • Head and brain injuries.
  • Loss of Limbs.
  • Burns and other scarring.

You could claim compensation for several different injuries, so talk to our team today for further advice on what to do after hurting yourself at work. 

How Long Does It Take To Claim Compensation For An Accident At Work?

How long a personal injury claim takes depends on a number of factors. If your employer admits fault straight away, the process can move quicker. If they do not, then the claim could take much longer. Other factors include how severe your injuries are and how quickly evidence can be gathered 

Can I Be Sacked For Making An Accident At Work Claim?

We understand the concerns around making accident at work claims. If you are worried as to whether or not suing your employer will create problems, then we want to assure you of your rights to seek compensation

You cannot be sacked for making a work accident personal injury claim against your employer.

Can I Claim If I’ve Suffered An Injury At Work Whilst Being Self-Employed?

Yes. If you are self-employed, you could claim compensation if you can demonstrate the party in control of the space you were working in caused your injuries. 

Do I Get Sick Pay After Suffering From An Accident At Work?

Receiving sick pay after an accident at work will depend on your contract. However, people who are off work for health reasons may be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). 

We’d like to thank you for taking the time to read our accident at work claims guide. For more information, answers to any questions you might have or for a free assessment of your eligibility to claim, contact our advisory team today. You speak to an advisor at any time of day using the contact details provided above.

Learn More About Claiming Compensation For A Workplace Accident

Below, you can find lots of guides on claiming compensation for a workplace accident:

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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