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Dismissed after an accident at work – can I claim compensation?

By Mark Ainsdale. Last updated 8th July 2021. Welcome to our guide on being dismissed after an accident at work.

If you have been injured in an accident at work, there is a very high chance that you will be entitled to compensation. To secure a payout, you need to show that your employer is to blame for the accident. Because of this, many people are worried that they will lose their job if they claim personal injury. They don’t want to upset their employer or cause any friction in the workplace, so they miss out on the money they would have been entitled to.

Dismissed After an Accident at Work

Dismissed After an Accident at Work

It would help if you did not miss out on the personal injury compensation you deserve here at Legal Expert. That is why we have put this guide together, which explains everything you should know about claiming after an accident at work, including whether your employer can legally fire you for doing so.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 073 8804 for further information. You can find further contact details at the end of this guide.

Can I be dismissed after an accident at work?

Simply put, it’s against the law to be dismissed from your job after an accident at work for the sole reason you have made or consider making a personal injury claim against your employer.

If your employer tries to dismiss you from your job on this basis, you could have grounds to claim compensation due to this injustice. In similar cases, your employer may not have technically dismissed you. Still, they may take steps to create an uncomfortable environment for you to work in, attempting to leave you with no choice but to hand in your notice and resign.

Whatever your situation, please get in touch with us today for a consultation about what to do next, and you can get free legal advice from our team of specialist advisors. In the meantime, please read on.

Can I Be Sacked After An Accident At Work?

I have had an accident at work can they sack me? This is a question we often get asked. If you have been involved in an accident in the workplace, and you did not cause it (you weren’t the one at fault), you will have grounds to claim any compensation you believe necessary. If you proceed with this, your employer is not allowed to fire you for doing so. A lot of people worry that they will lose their job, but that should not happen. If for any reason, you are dismissed after an accident at work, you would then have grounds to start a further claim for unfair dismissal.

Although this guide will focus on unfair dismissal due to workplace accidents, it’s not just accidents at work that can result in employees being dismissed unjustly. Dismissal related to being a trade union member, becoming pregnant or whistleblowing can all be considered unfair.

Your employer is also not allowed to create a hostile work environment to force you to leave. This would be classed as constructive dismissal and may also be grounds for a claim.

Unfairly Dismissed after an Accident at Work

By law, all employers must have insurance in place that covers any workplace accidents and workplace injuries. Therefore, when someone claims against their employer, their insurance company will pay out; it does not come directly out of their pocket. So, you are not going to hurt the business itself.

Furthermore, if your employer acts negligently and you suffer injury. As a result, they will recognise that you need to be compensated. So long as you handle the whole process professionally – where we come in – you should not experience any friction or issues in the workplace.

In this guide, we will reveal everything you need to know about claiming for an accident that has happened in the workplace and details on what to do if you are the victim of unfair dismissal after injury at work. This includes details on employer’s liability, common workplace accidents, time limits on making a claim, and much more.

If you’ve been dismissed after an accident at work and would like to see if you can make a claim, read on or call our team today for more information.

What Constitutes An Accident At Work?

An accident at work is pretty self-explanatory: any accident on work premises, including in the car park. No matter whether your place of work is a construction site, an office, or a supermarket, if you have been injured and it was not your fault, you can put forward a claim.

If you’ve been involved in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, you should try and keep records of as much as you can. This includes seeking medical advice from a doctor so your medical records can be used to strengthen your claim.

After an accident at work, what are an employer’s responsibilities in the UK?

If an accident at work occurs in the UK, your employer’s responsibilities include recording and reporting the accident in an accident book. Reportable injuries, previously known as major in which include death and absence from work for more than seven days, should be reported to RIDDOR. But this doesn’t change the fact that the employee shouldn’t be dismissed after an accident at work.  

Employer’s Liability Explained

As per law, all employers are required to provide a safe and healthy work environment. This is following the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and several other pieces of legislation, some of which are specific to certain industries.

As per these regulations, employers need to do the following:

  • Take all of the reasonable steps that are needed to make certain you are free from harm and risk of injury while in the workplace
  • Give you sufficient training so that you can worry without the risk of getting injured
  • Conduct risk assessments to ensure the equipment used and work procedures followed are safe

If an employer has failed in their duty to carry out the three steps above, and you have been injured at work as a consequence, you can claim compensation. This is especially true if you’re unfairly dismissed after an accident at work.

Common Accidents In The Workplace

Many different types of accidents can happen in the workplace. Let’s take a look at the most common…

  • Fights at work (your employer would be to blame if they knew there was a threat of someone being violent towards you and they did not take any action to stop it)
  • Walking into an object that should not be there
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Inhaling toxic fumes
  • Lacerations and cuts
  • Collisions and crashes
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Muscle strains
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Overexertion injuries
  • Falls from heights
  • Machine entanglement

The graph below from HSE shows that there has been a decline in self-reported non-fatal injuries in Great British workplaces since 2000. However, in 2019, there were still around 2,160 injuries reported per 100,000 workers. Although these statistics aren’t related to negligence, we can assume that some of these injuries will not be the employee’s fault, and for even a fraction of these instances to result in dismissal could have a real impact on the quality of life for those affected.

self reported injuries at work statistics graph

Self-reported injuries at work statistics graph

Please note that it does not matter whether your injury was listed above or not. You can still claim for any accident that was not your fault. If you were dismissed after an accident at work that falls into one of the categories listed above, then you may be able to make a claim. The table below also shows hypothetical payouts for work injuries of various types resulting in unfair dismissal.

Updated July 2021.

Description of the injury suffered:Extra notes about the severity of the injury:The typical payout for this sort of claim:
Below Knee AmputationLoss of one leg below the knee.£91,950 to £124,800
Above Knee AmputationLoss of one leg above the knee.£98,380 to £129,010
Minor Leg InjuriesVery minor fractures, sprains, and soft tissue damage.Up to £11,110
Severe Ankle InjuriesCases will leave the foot immobilised for the medium-term.£29,380 to £46,980
Serious Damage to Both HandsPermanent reduced functionality.£52,310 to £79,360
Minor Back InjuriesSprains, lacerations and bruising, which will heal rapidly and have no lasting affect.Up to £11,730
Below Elbow AmputationLoss of the lower arm.£90,250 to £102,890
Above Elbow AmputationLoss of arm below the shoulder.£102,890 to £122,860
Severe Back InjuriesPermanent impact on the life of the victim.£85,470 to £151,070
Severe Toe InjuriesAmputation of one or more toes.£12,900 to £29,770
Very Serious Leg InjuriesPermanent affect on a persons mobility.£51,460 to £85,600
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Severe psychological reaction to a major trauma£56,180 to £94,470

Contact our team today for further details.

What If My Own Behaviour Caused An Accident At Work?

If you are responsible for an accident in the workplace, it is highly unlikely that you will be entitled to compensation. However, if you were in some way partially responsible for the incident, you might still secure a payout. This will be a lower amount to reflect your involvement, but it is definitely worth pursuing, as the compensation will help you deal with any costs you have encountered because of the accident.

You should never merely assume that you are to blame, especially if you only feel this way because your employer or someone else has told you so. For example, if you were not carrying out a task correctly, you may think the accident was due to your actions. However, if you never received the right training on carrying out the task in question, then it is likely that your employer would actually be to blame.

If you were dismissed after an accident at work, even if you feel the accident was partly your fault, you may be entitled to make a claim. Please speak to a member of our team today for more information.

Time Limits For Making Work Accident Claims

It is important to note that there is a time limit for making a work accident claim, and this limit is three years. This means you have three years from the date of the accident. Therefore, if you fell from a height on 12th January 2021, you would have until 12th January 2024 for court proceedings to be issued.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to claim as soon as possible, especially when it comes to unfair dismissal. After all, the details will be fresh in your mind, and it will be much easier to gather evidence. If you were to find a new job and decide to claim against your old employer three years down the line, you would still be well within your right to do so, but the claim process would likely be a little bit more difficult.

Are there any exceptions to the rule?

Yes, there are in the case of workplace accident claims. Some incidents pinpointing an accident date is impossible because symptoms have shown up a long time after the event. A common example of this is industrial diseases.

Often, you will be claiming for a place of employment you were at, say 20 or 30 years ago, as the effects of such illnesses don’t usually show up until later in life. For cases like this, you will have three years from the date of your diagnosis. Moreover, if you were a child when the accident happened, which could be the case if you left school and started working from the age of 16 years old, you would need your parents to claim on your behalf at this age. If they don’t, you have three years to claim yourself from the date of your 18th birthday.

For free legal advice about pursuing a claim for compensation after being injured and dismissed after an accident at work, get in touch with our expert team today. 

What Injuries Can I Claim For In An Accident At Work?

If you have been involved in an accident in the workplace, you can claim any injury you have sustained. This not only includes physical injuries, but you can claim for psychological injuries as well. A lot of accidents can be traumatic, resulting in people needing counselling to help them come to terms with what has occurred. If this applies to you, you will be able to claim the accident’s mental impact.

Aside from this, you will be able to claim any costs that you have encountered because of the accident. This could be a loss of earnings, care costs, medical bills or other payments. It could also be childcare fees. You have required assistance during your recovery or travel expenses because you have had to take public transport or travel to and from the hospital regularly. It would help if you showed that the cost has stemmed from the injury, and you should have receipts or other forms of proof to back up your claim.

Short Term Effects Of A Dismissal Following Accident At Work

If you have been dismissed after an accident at work, there are several short-term effects you may experience. These are as follows…

  • Money problems – When your income suddenly stops coming in due to time off work or losing your job, this can cause serious problems if you do not have any savings.
  • Stress – Losing a job can be extremely stressful, hurting your health, especially when you already have an injury to cope with.
  • Lack of confidence – There is no denying that losing a job can make you feel down, and some people suffer from a lack of confidence.

Long Term Effects Of Dismissal Following Accident At Work

If you have been dismissed after an accident at work, there are several long-term effects you may experience. These are as follows…

  • Money problems – Not only can losing a job create instant money problems, but this can turn into a bigger, long-term issue if you do not replace this source of income as soon as possible.
  • Trouble getting another job – If you have been sacked for injury at work, this does not reflect well on your CV, even though you know it’s not your fault. This is why it is important to claim so you can right this wrong as soon as possible.

Rules Governing Different Types Of Workers After An Accident At Work

I had an accident at work. What are my rights? If you have been involved in an accident at work, your status – i.e. a permanent worker or agency worker – may influence your rights. If you are an agency worker and have been at your place of work for over 12 weeks, you are actually entitled to the same rights as a permanent worker. You should also check out your contract to understand the rules regarding sick pay/accident at work pay entitlement. If you are an agency worker and you have only been on the job for a short amount of time, you can still delay, so please do not let this deter you.

If you’ve been injured and dismissed after an accident at work and aren’t sure what your rights are, get in touch today, and we can help.

Taking Action Against An Employer, What Do I Need To Do?

If you want to take legal action against an employer, you need to get in touch with a law firm with the experience to handle your case professionally and effectively. This is where Legal Expert comes in. All you need to do is give us a call, and we will carry out a free consultation.

We will get to know what has happened to you to advise you in the best possible manner. If you are happy to proceed, we will then handle your case for you, ensuring you are informed throughout and that the highest amount of compensation is secured.

How Can Legal Expert Help With Dismissal Accident At Work Claims

There are many legal firms available in the UK, but you will struggle to find better than Legal Expert. We are always focused on securing the maximum payout amounts for our clients. We’ll provide you with a personal injury solicitor that has up to 30 years of specialist experience, and we will be with you every step of the way when making your claim if you were dismissed after an accident at work. We always put our clients first, and you only need to read reviews that have been left about our company to see that this is the case.

So, how do we actually help you? Well, firstly, we provide free legal advice. This means you can give us a call to discuss your potential claim, and we will provide expert guidance. We can also help you with gathering evidence and organising a local medical if needed.

Once you are ready to start the claim process, we will provide you with the right solicitor. This solicitor will work hard to make sure you get the maximum payout amount. They will also keep you informed throughout, communicating via telephone, email, or any manner that best suits you to improve your experience. We can help you to launch a claim no matter where in the UK you are based.

What Is Involved In No Win No Fee Dismissal From Work Accident Claims?

So, let’s say that you’re making a dismissed after an accident at work claim. One of the important factors you need to consider is the legal fees you will need to pay. Many people do not take legal action because they are worried that they won’t be able to afford it. Plus, they fear that they are going to spend money on a solicitor, and then they won’t get any compensation at the end of the claim is unsuccessful.

Some cannot afford to pay for legal fees and wait for ‘x’ months until their compensation comes through. Does this sound familiar? Understandably, you would be concerned about this, but there is no need to worry, as the No Win, No Fee approach answers all of these potential problems.

The No Win No Fee approach means that you only pay your solicitor if a successful claim. If they do not secure a payout for you, you will not have to pay them any legal fees. Instead, you pay the solicitor a percentage of the compensation you win. This is a figure that will have been agreed on beforehand. This eradicates any of the financial risk associated with making a claim.

It means that no matter the outcome of your case, you are not going to end up out of pocket. Several extra benefits come with this. Firstly, you can be sure that your solicitor will be doing everything to win the claim. After all, if they aren’t successful, they don’t get paid! This also means that a No Win No Fee solicitor will never mess you about or waste your time. If they do not believe your case is strong enough, they will tell you from the off.

Free Advice On Dismissal After An Accident At Work – Or Start Your Claim Today

If you have been injured in the workplace and dismissed after an accident at work to make a claim, call us today for some free legal advice. You can also get in touch if you have been injured and you are yet to make a claim; we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

We have a team of friendly and experienced professionals that will provide you with free advice. When you call us, you are under no obligation to use our service. However, if you do want to continue and make a claim, be it for the work accident itself or the unfair dismissal, we can provide you with the best solicitor based on the ins and outs of what has happened to you.

There are several different ways you can get in touch with us. The best way to contact us is to ring our direct line on 0800 073 8804, which is available seven days per week from 9 am until 9 pm. To request a free call back, use the contact us box on the homepage of our website.

We also have a live chat feature, which is also available seven days a week and an online contact form. Finally, you can send an email to info@legalexpert.co.uk, and one of our team members will respond to you as quickly as possible.

Helpful Links

Rights of agency workers

To find out more about your rights as an agency worker, including equal treatment, pay, maternity rights, and much more, head to the above link.


This link takes you to the UK Government Health and Safety Executive website, where you can download a free copy of RIDDOR, which is the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.


You can head to the above link for statistics regarding non-fatal injuries at work in Great Britain.

How to claim compensation after an accident at work?

Find out how to claim and also how much compensation you could claim.

Sick Pay After an Accident at Work

Are you wondering what your rights to sick pay were (and, if applicable, are)? Read this guide. 

I Had an Accident at Work. What Are My Rights?

For more information and guidance about claiming after an unfair dismissal or workplace accident, look at our guide.

Accident At Work Claims Against The NHS

A Guide To Brain Injury Compensation Claims After An Accident At Work

Dismissed After an Accident at Work: Some FAQs

What are my rights if I have an accident at work?

If the workplace accident resulted from your employer’s neglect of their duty of care, you could have a right to be compensated (should you make a claim). You could also have the right to, at least, Statutory Sick Pay. 

Can I be disciplined for having an accident at work?

If you were to blame for the accident, your employer might consider disciplinary action. However, discuss this with HR or check your workplace policy to be sure. If your employer’s action (or inaction) led to an accident and you were injured, you could make a personal injury claim. 

What is considered a work-related injury?

A work-related injury would be one endured where your employer had a responsibility to keep you safe. If they failed in that responsibility and you were injured. As a result, you could make a claim.

What are the five fair reasons for dismissal?

Five feasible reasons include incapability for the role, poor conduct, redundancy, illegal employment and another substantial explanation.

Can an injured employee be dismissed after an accident at work?

Unless the employee has placed their colleagues in harm’s way, they cannot be dismissed purely due to being hurt.

What happens if I am dismissed from work?

It is wise to begin looking for a new role as soon as possible so you can return to work. But this doesn’t mean you couldn’t consider a claim for unfair dismissal from your previous employer.

Could a company dismiss you without warning?

An employer can sack you at any time, but they must have a justifiable reason for doing so. Otherwise, you could claim unfair dismissal.

Do I receive full pay if I’m injured at work?

Normally, the employee receives Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), meaning a percentage of their usual salary.

Thank you for reading our guide about being dismissed after an accident at work.

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