10 Things to Know about Accident At Work Claims

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10 things to know about an accident at work claim

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 4th September 2023. Welcome to our online guide where we shall be discussed workplace accident claims. Within this guide, we are going to discuss the claims process, the things to know about accident at work claims, and how a personal injury solicitor could be of assistance.

If you have been involved in an accident in the workplace that was not your fault, there is a very high chance that you will be entitled to compensation. Many people worry about claiming against their employer, though, as they fear that there will be consequences and they will lose their job. You do not need to worry about this, as you will discover in further detail below. This guide reveals everything you need to know about making a claim against your employer for an accident that has happened at work. This includes everything from the time limits on claiming to the requirements for any agency workers that wish to make a claim. If you have any queries or are ready to make a claim, you can call us at 0800 073 8804. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions, no matter how big or small.

Select a section

  1. Can I claim compensation for an accident at work?
  2. What are the time limits for making an accident at work claim?
  3. Should my accident be recorded in the accident book?
  4. How long do I need to be working there to claim?
  5. Can agency workers claim for an accident at work?
  6. What are the most common accidents at work?
  7. Can I be sacked for making a claim?
  8. Can I claim for loss of earnings?
  9. How much compensation would I receive for an accident at work?
  10. How do I go about making a claim?

1. Can I claim compensation for an accident at work?

If you suffered an injury while at work, you may wonder if you are eligible to claim compensation. In order to have a valid personal injury case, you must be able to prove that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by your employer.
  • This duty was breached.
  • You suffered an injury as a result.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) sets the duty of care that all employers owe to their employees. Per this duty, employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees while they are at work.

As part of their duty of care, employers need to adhere to other relevant legislation. For example, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 sets out requirements for risk assessments.  Work environments require a risk assessment to identify any areas where reducing the risk faced by employees would be considered reasonable and practicable if it cannot be eliminated. This could include providing personal protective equipment (PPE), which must be provided free of charge if it is a requirement to safely carry out your work duties.

If your employer were to breach their duty of care, and this caused you to become injured in a workplace accident, you could have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim.

To find out if you are eligible to claim for an accident at work in the UK, contact one of the advisors from our team.

2. What are the time limits for making an accident at work claim?

things to know about accident at work claims

things to know about accident at work claims

It is important to be aware of the fact that there is a time limit on all personal injury suits. The accident at work claim time limits is three years after the day/night of the incident. Of course, in some cases, it is not possible to determine an accident date. This is especially the case for those that have been diagnosed with some form of industrial disease. If this applies, you will have three years from the date you discovered the injury. If you are under the age of 18 and you have been injured in an accident while working, you have two choices. You can either wait until you are 18-years-old, by which stage you will have three years to make a claim. Or, to make a claim now, you need to get an adult to do this on your behalf. It is a good idea to talk to your parents, and they will be able to proceed with your claim for you, and the money will be held in a trust until you turn 18.

3. Should my accident be recorded in the accident book?

The simple answer to this question is ‘yes’ but let’s explain what an accident book is and why you need to ensure the incident you have experienced is recorded in this book. An accident book is a document that all businesses and organisations are required to keep by law. It is used to record details regarding work-related injuries for which state benefits could need to be paid. You can find out more about this via the Health and Safety Executive website.

An accident book is a pivotal document for any business for a number of different reasons. Firstly, it helps the employer to manage issues relating to health and safety. Not only this, but it will help you when it comes to making a compensation claim. This is because it serves as proof of what has happened. If you have not reported the incident and it has not been recorded in the accident book, this can make your claim weaker. This is not to say that you do not have a chance to claim, but you will need to work hard to gather other evidence to show that the incident happened.

Health and safety law in the UK requires all people and employers to control premises, from restaurants and supermarkets, to record any dangerous occurrences, diseases, injuries, and incidences. There is no requirement regarding the way that records are kept. However, accident books as the preferred option because they comply with the Data Protection Act requirements. Not only this, but in accordance with RIDDOR, if you have more than seven consecutive days off work because of an accident, it needs to by reported by law.

Now that you are aware of the law behind this book, you may wonder why it is so vital in making a claim. Well, to build a strong case, proving how, where and when an accident happened is pivotal, and this is exactly what the accident book does. It also gives you the ability to showcase liability and negligence too.

The accident book will record the following, which will help you to establish your case:

  • Where, when, and at what time the accident happened
  • The treatment offered and any medical advice given.
  • A brief description of the nature of the incidence
  • Personal details of anyone that was involved

It is important to make sure that you get the accident book’s incident at the earliest opportunity. It is wise to ensure that you view what has been recorded in the accident book so that you can prove it is correct. Once the recording has been made, all employers need to ensure that they hold onto it for a minimum of three years. This is because three years is the time limit on personal injury cases, and so you will have ample time to pursue a payout, although you are advised to do this sooner rather than later.

If you do not record the accident book incident, you can still launch a claim, be it a fall from a height or a back injury at work claim. The strength of your remaining evidence will dictate whether you are successful or not. Moreover, having no record in the accident book will not dictate the final payout you receive – this is based on the pain and suffering you have been subject to, as well as the costs you have had to incur because of your injuries.

Please read on for more things to know about accident at work claims, or give us a call today to discuss your case. 

4. How long do I need to be working there in order to claim?

You may be worried that you cannot make a claim if you have only been at the job for a short space of time. However, this does not matter. If you have been injured and it was the employer’s fault, you should be able to claim no matter how long you have been in the job in question.

5. Can agency workers claim for an accident at work?

The difference between agency workers and full-time workers is one of the things to know about accident at work claims when you’re looking to make a claim. If you are an agency worker, you may be wondering whether you have the same rights as standard employees when it comes to launching a claim.

You will be pleased to know that you can most definitely make a claim if you have been the victim of an illness or injury while providing agency work for a business. After all, it does not matter whether you are in employment or not, and your boss still has the duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment for everyone.

While there may be some differences with regards to the way agency workers are hired, and what they are entitled to, one thing that remains the same is the employer’s Duty of Care. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 refers to everyone working for a specific employer. It does not matter in what capacity the individual in question is working, be it full-time, an agency worker, or a one-off job.

What do employers have a responsibility to do as per the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?

They must:

  • Ensure that all employees know about the potential hazards that a specific workplace has and the steps they can take to lower these risks.
  • Make sure that the working environment fully complies with all standards in place for health and safety.
  • Make sure that all equipment is in the right working condition and that it has been maintained well. This is vital to lower the chance of potential risks.
  • Supply protective clothing and equipment (PPE) when needed.
  • Make sure that all staff has extensive and relevant training.
  • Ensure that all employees have a working environment that is safe and healthy.

If your employer has failed to adhere to the above, irrespective of whether you are an agency worker, full-time employee, part-time employee, or temp worker, you will be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have sustained.

6. What are the most common accidents at work?

You may like to know about the most common accidents at work. As part of their role enforcing health and safety regulations, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) monitors workplace injuries that have been reported by employers under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

According to the HSE, the most commonly reported accidents at work during 2021/22 included: 

  • Slip, trip and fall on the same level.
  • Being struck by a moving object.
  • Act of violence.
  • Fall from a height.

Regardless of the type of accident you were involved in, if you suffered an injury at work due to your employer breaching their duty of care, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. 

Please get in touch with an advisor from our team to discuss the circumstances of your workplace accident and find out if you have a valid case.

7. Can I be sacked for making a claim?

There are many people that have been injured in the workplace, yet they never make an accident at work claims because they are fearful that they will lose their job as a consequence. It is understandable that you may be concerned about this, but there is no need to be, as your employer cannot sack you for launching a claim.

By law, all employers are required to have liability insurance with an authorised insurance company to cover accidents in the workplace. Therefore, if a claim is made, it will be the insurer that pays out. It does not come directly from your employer’s back pocket and, therefore, you do not need to be concerned about the claim having an adverse impact on the business due to the financial damages.

Not only this, but if your employer were to sack you because of the claim, he or she would only find themselves in even deeper water because you would then have grounds for launching an unfair dismissal claim. After all, it is an employer’s responsibility to provide safe and healthy working environment. This is something they are required to do by law. If they have failed to do this, you cannot be the one to suffer in terms of losing your job. To find out more about this, read our guide on workplace accidents and dismissals. For more things to know about accident at work claims, including what can be included and the compensation amounts, please read on. 

8. Can I claim for loss of earnings

Yes, if you have missed work due to your injuries or illness, you can claim for loss of earnings. Of course, you may be entitled to full accident at work sick pay while you are off work, and so it is wise to check your contract first and foremost. Nevertheless, if you are self-employed or not entitled to sick pay, and so you have missed out on income due to what has happened, you will claim for this. However, you will need to make sure you have proof of the income you have lost, so keep a hold of relevant payslips and invoices that will back up your typical earnings.

9. How much compensation would I receive for an accident at work?

One thing that a lot of people ask us when they call our helpline is how much compensation they will receive. This depends on the nature of the accident you have been involved in and your injuries, for instance, how severe they were or if they’ve affected you in the long term.

In the table below, you will be able to see the typical payout amount based on the injury that has been suffered. This should help to give you a better understanding of the amount of compensation you could be entitled to. Please note that while you may have come across an accident at work claims calculator online, these tools only ever provide very rough estimates and you should not rely on their figures.

Edit
Injury Type Severity Typical Award Bracket Notes
Brain Damage Very Severe Brain Damage £282,010 to £403,990 In these cases, there will be little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to environment, little or no language function, double incontinence and the need for full-time nursing care.
Brain Damage Moderatley Severe £219,070 to £282,010 These cases will involve serious disability. Disabilities may be physical, for example, limb paralysis, or cognitive, with marked impairment of intellect and personality.
Brain Damage Less Severe £15,320 to £43,060 In these cases the injured person will have made a good recovery and will be able to take part in normal social life and to return to work. Tthere may still be persisting problems such as poor concentration and memory or disinhibition of mood.
Back Injury Severe (i) £91,090 to £160,980 Cases of the most severe injury involving damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to a combination of very serious consequences not normally found in cases of back injury.
Back Injury Moderate (i) £27,760 to £38,780 Includes cases of residual disability where the disability is less severe than the category above.
Neck Injuries Severe (i) In the region of £148,330 Neck injuries resulting in little or no movement in the neck and severe headaches which have proved intractable, despite wearing a collar 24 hours a day for a period of years.
Neck Injuries Moderate (i) £24,990 to
£38,490
Injuries such as fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and which may necessitate spinal fusion, and chronic conditions which leave markedly impaired function.
Psychiatric Damage Generally Severe £54,830 to £115,730 In these cases the injured person will have marked problems with respect to life, education, work and relationships. The prognosis will be very poor.
Shoulder Injury Severe £19,200 to £48,030 Injuries in this bracket are associated with neck injuries and involving damage to the brachial plexus
Shoulder Injury Moderate £7,890 to £12,770 Includes Frozen shoulder with limitation of movement and discomfort with symptoms persisting for about two years and soft tissue injuries with more than minimal symptoms persisting after two years but not permanent.

If the injury you have sustained is not featured in the table above, don’t worry. You can give our team a call, and they will happily provide you with more information on this.

10. How do I go about making a claim?

Hopefully, you now have all of the information you need regarding making an accident claim against your employer. The only thing left to do is start the claim process. To do that, give Legal Expert a call, and we will assist you every step of the way. Our personal accident at work claims line is 0800 073 8804, which is open seven days a week so that you can call at a convenient time.

Please note that we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are other ways you can get in touch with us too, including the live chat feature on our website, as well as via email, our online contact form, or by using the request a call back feature on our website.

You will be pleased to know that all of the advice and the accident at work compensation examples we give are provided free of charge, and there is no obligation to continue with our service once you have spoken to one of our advisors. However, if you do, we promise that our team will work as hard as possible to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Useful Links And Things to know about accident at work claims 

We hope you have found this guide useful and you now have all the information you require to make a decision on how and whether to make claims for accidents at work. However, we know that you may require some further assistance, so we have put together a collection of links to assist you.

Health and Safety Executive
This link takes you to the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive. Here you will find plenty of information regarding the health and safety laws that are in place in the UK. You will also find lots of guidance, as well as the latest health and safety news.

Dismissal and your rights as an employee
This link takes you to the UK Government page on workplace dismissals. You will find out everything you need to know regarding your rights, including the reasons you can be dismissed, as well as what to do if you are dismissed, and constructive and unfair dismissals.

HSE RIDDOR Stats

This is another link to the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive, where you will find statistics regarding RIDDOR.

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

 

 

 

 

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    • 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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