Time Limits For Claiming After An Accident At Work

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How Long After An Injury At Work Can I Claim Compensation?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 3rd November 2023. This is our guide on the time limits involved when making an injury at work claim. It’s important to know how long you have to claim for an accident at work.

If you miss your window of opportunity, then your claim could be time-barred. Time limits can also differ depending on considerations such as age and mental capacity.

If you have any questions such as, “how long after an accident can you file a claim?”, continue reading. If you need additional advice and guidance, get in touch with our advisors today:

Injury at work

Injury at work time limit claims guide

Select a Section

  1. What Is The Personal Injury Claims Time Limit?
  2. What Are The Exceptions To The Time Limit?
  3. Am I Eligible To Claim For A Work Injury? 
  4. Evidence That Can Support Work Injury Claims
  5. Injury At Work Compensation Amounts
  6. Injury At Work Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

What Is The Personal Injury Claims Time Limit?

As well as satisfying the personal injury claim eligibility criteria, you also have to start the claim within the relevant time frame, so you may like to know ‘’How long after an accident can I claim?’’. Personal injury claims must generally be started within three years of the accident. This is set by the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are circumstances where the injured party cannot start their own claim. In these cases, the time limit is suspended. We look at exceptions to the limitation period in the next sections.

In addition to starting a claim for an injury at work within the time limit, you must be able to prove that your injuries were connected to employer negligence. We define this and give examples of evidence that could be useful later in this guide.

Call our advisors if you have any questions about claiming. They can help you get started right away.

What Are The Exceptions To The Time Limit?

In some circumstances, after an accident at work, how long you have to claim can differ and exceptions to the three-year time limit may be made. For instance, if the injured party is under the age of 18, then the time limit is suspended. A claim could be made on the injured party’s behalf, while this time limit is frozen, by a court-appointed litigation friend. Otherwise, the injured party will have three years to start their own claim from the day they turn 18.

If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own, then the time limit will be suspended indefinitely. A court-appointed litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf during this time, but otherwise, the time limit will only be reinstated if the claimant regains the needed mental capacity. In these instances, the three years would run from the recovery date.

You can contact our advisors for free today if you would like more advice on making an accident at work claim and the time limit for starting legal proceedings.

Am I Eligible To Claim For A Work Injury?

Now that we’ve discussed how long after an accident you can claim, we’ll explore what makes a claim valid.

In order to form the basis of a valid personal injury claim for a work injury, you must be able to prove that your employer owed you a duty of care and that you sustained your injuries because they failed in this duty.

Employers owe their employees a duty of care under the Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). Under this legislation, employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to keep their employees safe in the workplace. This includes a number of responsibilities, such as ensuring they provide adequate training and undertaking risk assessments.

If this duty is breached, and you suffer injuries as a result, then you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. As we’ve already mentioned, you must also be within the correct time limit to be eligible to claim.

To learn more about making an accident at work claim, contact our team of advisors today. They can offer more information on the claims process and can help you identify whether or not your claim is valid.

Evidence That Can Support Work Injury Claims

As part of the claims process, you will need to prove that your workplace injuries were caused by employer negligence. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), your employer owes you a duty of care. This means that your employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. If you would like to claim for an accident, you will need to prove that a breach in this caused your injuries.

Evidence you could submit to claim for an injury could include:

  • Accident log book.
  • Photographs of the accident scene.
  • Medical records.
  • Photographs of visible injuries.
  • Witness contact details.

A solicitor specialising in accidents at work could help you gather evidence and ensure that it is submitted within the personal injury claims time limit.

Call our advisors to find out more about how long after an injury you can claim.

Injury At Work Compensation Amounts

Following an accident at work, you may be wondering how your potential compensation could be calculated. All successful work injury compensation claimants will receive general damages. This head of claim is designed to compensate for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity inflicted by your injuries.

Accident at work solicitors typically refer to the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assess general damages. The JCG features guideline compensation amounts that relate to a number of injuries. You can see some examples of these figures in the table below.

Please note that the figures below are only intended to be used as guidance only. The final award you receive will also be determined by special damages, which we’ll discuss in further detail in the next section.

Injury Severity Amount Notes
Brain Moderate (i) £150,110 to £219,070 Personality change, moderate to severe intellectual deficit and an effect on speech, sight and senses. There will be a related significant risk of epilepsy with no prospects of employment.
Arm Amputation (B) (i) Not less than £137,160 One arm is amputated above the elbow.
Severe Leg Injuries Very serious (ii) £54,830 to £87,890 This bracket includes injuries that result in permanent mobility problems, such as needing crutches for the remainder of the claimant’s life.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Moderate £28,030 to £52,500 Significant effects have been experienced for a prolonged amount of time. Prognosis assumes some future improvement enabling a return to work.
Facial Disfigurement Less Severe £17,960 to £48,420 Issue is substantial and causes a serious psychological reaction.
Back Moderate (i) £27,760 to £38,780 There will be some form of residual disability. Examples of injuries here could include: compression or crush fractures, traumatic spondylolisthesis, and prolapsed or damaged discs.
Neck Moderate (i) £24,990 to £38,490 This bracket includes injuries that cause severe immediate symptoms from fractures and dislocations or chronic conditions that cause function impairments, vulnerability to further trauma and activity limitations.
Thumb Very Serious £19,600 to £35,010 Thumb may have been severed at the base and grafted back. The digit will be deformed and virtually useless.
Shoulder Serious (b) £12,770 to £19,200 This bracket includes shoulder dislocation injuries with damage to the lower brachial plexus leading to pain, sensory issues and grip weakness.
Ankle Modest Up to £13,740 Ligament injuries, sprains and minor fractures.

Another way to find out how much you could potentially receive in the event of a successful claim is by contacting our team of advisors. They can offer a consultation, in which they can provide you with legal advice, tips on claiming, and an estimate of how much compensation you could receive if your case succeeds.

What Else Could I Claim For A Work Injury?

After an accident at work, you might suffer financial harm. If you can prove that any losses or expenses were directly caused by your injuries, you could claim special damages. This head of claim is designed to put you in the same financial position you were in before your injury at work.

Financial harm that could be included in a claim for a work injury, include:

  • A loss of earnings – you may be unable to return to work for an extended period of time after being injured, subsequently resulting in a loss of earnings. A wage slip can be used as evidence of this loss.
  • Care costs – depending on the severity of your injury, for example, if you suffer a traumatic brain injury, you might require someone to care for you. Any invoices they send you may be used to prove their costs.
  • Home adaptations – adaptations might need to be made to your home to accommodate your injuries. For example, you may need a stairlift put in place if you live in a two-storey house and have suffered a paralysis injury.

Get in touch at any time if you would like one of our expert personal injury solicitors to assess your claim for an injury at work and what special damages you could claim for.

Injury At Work Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

One of our experienced solicitors could help you with your personal injury claim for an injury at work. They may offer you a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement.

When working with a solicitor under this arrangement, you aren’t responsible for paying your solicitor for their work if your claim is unsuccessful. However, if your claim is a success, you will pay a success fee to your solicitor. This fee will be deducted from your compensation, and the percentage that this fee can be is legally capped.

Contact our advisors to see if you could be eligible to work with one of our work injury solicitors. They can also give you free advice and answer any of the questions you have that this guide may have not covered

Contact Legal Expert today

Whether you’re still wondering ‘how long after an injury at work can I claim compensation?’ or you’d like to learn more about the services we offer to help you claim, please contact Legal Expert today.

Thank you for reading our guide on the time limit for claiming for an injury at work.

Useful Links

We’ve provided links to relevant pages and other guides you may find useful:

GOV Information about compensation

GOV’s page on compensation as well as expenses and benefits can be found here.

HSE health and safety statistics page

You can visit this page to access all the work safety, accident and injury statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Below, you can find a list of guides which may tell you more about accident at work claims:

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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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