What Is The Time Limit For An Accident At Work?

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Accident At Work Compensation Claim Time Limits Explained

Workplace Injury Claim Time Limits Explained

By Stephen Frost. Last Updated 6th October 2021. Welcome to our guide on work accident claims and the time limit for accident at work claims.

If you have had an accident at work that was not your fault you may be able to make a compensation claim. However, some of the most common questions personal injury solicitors receive are about the UK’s personal injury claim limitation period. Below, you can find out the rules and time limits around making an accident at work claim in the UK.

If you have any questions, please call 0800 073 8804 to speak to one of our advisors, fill out a contact form for a call back or use the live chat.

Select a Section

  1. Are You Eligible To Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  2. Accident At Work Claim Time Limits In the UK
  3. Can I Claim For An Accident After 3 Years?
  4. Making A Claim Close To The End Of Your Personal Injury Claim Limitation Period
  5. Timescale For Personal Injury Claims And Extension Of Limitations
  6. Accident At Work Compensation Amounts
  7. No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claims
  8. How Legal Expert Can Help
  9. The Time Limit for Accident at Work Claim FAQs
  10. Useful Links

Are You Eligible To Make An Accident At Work Claim?

time limit for accident at work claim

Time limit for accident at work claim

No matter how many precautions are put in place in a workplace, people across the country still suffer accidents at work.

Work accident claims can involve injuries that range in severity. From relatively minor lacerations, bruising and sprains through to broken bones, severe burns and even amputation in severe cases. In the worst cases, an accident at work can even lead to a fatality.

Any employer in the UK is responsible for the safety and welfare of their staff, as well as any visitors or customers. They must meet health and safety regulations as well as having sufficient (and valid) insurance in place. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may be able to make a claim for an accident in the workplace.

How common are workplace injuries in the UK?

You may be wondering just how often workplace injuries occur within the UK. Looking at summary statistics for 2020 published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can offer some insight into this topic. The report reveals that in the period 2019/20, 65,427 non-fatal injuries to employees were reported by employers under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). The HSE report also reveals that according to the 2019/20 Labour Force Survey, an estimated 693,000 workers self-reported sustaining a work injury in the same period.

Accident At Work Claim Time Limits In the UK

Workplace accidents can involve a very wide range of circumstances and injury types. Some of the most common types of accidents in the workplace include the following;

  • Workplace slips, trips, or falls.
  • Dangerous workplace practices and procedures.
  • Poorly maintained equipment or dangerous machinery in the workplace.
  • Exposure to hazardous substances.
  • Falling objects.
  • Negligence.
  • Improper or even insufficient training processes.

The standard time limit for accident at work claims in the UK is three years from the date of the accident or the date of discovery of the injury (unless in exceptional circumstances). This is known as the ‘date of limitation’ on the claim.

For most cases, the three year period will begin from the date of the accident. If the injuries do not present straight away or are accumulated over a period of years (such as exposure to loud noise), the claim will be made from the date the injury is discovered. This is known as the ‘date of limitation’.

Can I Claim For An Accident After 3 Years?

In the UK, the general time limit for accident at work claims is three years. This is the timescale for personal injury claims to be made in. However, there are some different accident at work claim time limits. As such, you should get expert legal advice as early as possible.

One of the most common claims for a personal injury case is negligence. Here, the time limit is 3 years. In order to make a successful accident at work claim, you will need to have settled your case, or proceed to court within the 3 year period.

It is possible for courts to extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances, allowing the court case to pass this deadline. If you are already inside your personal injury claim limitation period it is a good idea to talk to an experienced solicitor as soon as possible.

How does the time limit for an accident at work claim affect litigation friends?

As mentioned in the previous section of this guide, there are some cases where exceptions can be made to the work accident claims time limit.

In some cases, a litigation friend will be required in order to claim compensation on behalf of the claimant. This is usually because they are unable to do so themselves, requiring someone else to make legal proceedings for them.

An example of why a claimant may require a litigation friend is if they are under 18 and therefore yet to reach the minimum age to make legal proceedings. In these cases, they can get a parent, guardian or loved one to claim on their behalf. Once a litigation friend is appointed to begin legal proceedings, the usual personal injury claims time limit will come into effect, meaning they have just 3 years to make a claim.

To learn more about whether you could act as a litigation friend and claim compensation on behalf of someone else, please get in touch today for a free consultation.

Making A Claim Close To The End Of Your Personal Injury Claim Limitation Period

Work accident claims cases can involve complex and complicated injuries, as well as a complex case. The more complicated parts of a workplace accident claims case (such as medical examinations, or collecting all the necessary evidence), can take weeks or even months to complete. As such, if you are close to the end of your claims limitation period, it can be difficult to complete it, or progress to court in time.

The time limit for accident at work claims is 3 years. If your accident at work case has not been started or has not reached the court stage before the end of the personal injury limitation period, it is likely that the case will be statute-barred. This means that the three-year statute of limitations is expired. This is defined under section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980.

If you are already moving closer to the end of your limitation period, you should seek expert legal advice as soon as possible.

Timescale For Personal Injury Claims And Extension Of Limitations

Whilst the typical time limit for accident at work claims is 3 years, there are some circumstances where they can be longer. These can include;

  • If the injuries were not immediately evident (such as in hearing loss and exposure to loud noise claims cases) or caused over a long period of time due to some form of exposure, the claim period will begin from the ‘date of knowledge’ of the injury.
  • Workplace injuries sustained by under 18’s. They are not entitled to make a claim in their own right till they are 18, with the three-year statutory period running to their 21st birthday.

Accident At Work Compensation Amounts

If you have a valid case for compensation and are within the time limit for accident at work claims, you could be entitled to a payout.

Below we have created a table with accident at work compensation examples to allow people to see the value their claim or injury may have. This is not an exhaustive list of workplace injury types, so if your injury type is not listed please contact us for further information on what your claim could be worth.

Neck InjuryModerate£23,460 to £36,120Moderate neck injuries include longer-term damage to the neck. This could restrict neck and shoulder movement as well as causing pain.
Neck InjurySevereIn the region of £139,210Severe neck injury may include severe, ongoing pain as well as impaired neck movement and partial paralysis of the neck.
Back InjuryMinor£7,410 to £11,730Short-term or temporary back injuries such as sprains and bruising.
Back InjuryModerate£7,410 to £11,980Longer-term back injuries which may include some loss of mobility in the back.
Shoulder InjuryModerate£11,980 to £44,070May include lasting tissue damage restricting arm and elbow movement.
Arm InjurySevere£90,250 to £122,860Major restriction of movement extending into a disability in the arm. Causes suffering and pain.
Elbow InjurySerious£27,220 to £58,100Serious restriction in elbow movement leading to disability or surgery.
Hand InjurySerious£27,220 to £58,100Disfigurement of the fingers claimant is left unable to use the hand properly.
Wrist InjurySevere - Mild£3,310 to £56,180Loss of wrist function through to more mild injuries.
Leg InjurySerious-Moderate£36,790 to £51,460Leg injuries which may lead to restricted movement, disability and life-long problems.
Knee InjurySerious-Moderate£12,900 to £24,580Compensation awards will acount for disabilities to the knee, muscle damage and other leg damage.

The accident at work compensation amounts listed above are taken from the 2019 edition of the Judicial College guidelines.

No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claims

No Win No Fee work accident claims are made under a special type of contract which is called a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’, or CFA for short. The CFA sets out the different terms and conditions of service between the claimant and solicitor. It will detail what services the solicitor will provide to the client, as well as how much and in what circumstances the solicitor will be paid.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you won’t have to make any payments if the solicitor is not able to claim and compensation for you. If you are successful, the agreement sets out how they are paid (usually a percentage of your award which is lower than 25% by law).

Conditional Fee Agreements are used to help people who may be facing financial pressures or difficulties (such as medical bills, loss of earnings and the like) after an injury by offering a way to make a claim without having to make upfront payments.

At Legal Expert, the solicitors we work with across the UK don’t make any upfront charges or apply any hidden costs.

How Legal Expert Can Help

Legal Expert work with a dedicated panel of specialist legal solicitors across the country. The solicitors we work with have the knowledge and experience to help you make a successful personal injury claim, getting you the compensation you deserve.

To contact our experts, call us today on 0800 073 8804 for a free consultation. We can tell you everything from whether you’re within the time limit for accident at work claims to how much compensation you could be eligible for. You can also contact Legal Expert and start your work accident claims process by using our online contact form or sending an email.

The Time Limit for Accident at Work Claim FAQs

In this section, we’ll take a look at some commonly asked questions surrounding the time limit for accident at work claims.

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

You could have the right to claim compensation if you’ve been injured at work and it wasn’t your fault. Providing you can prove that your employer owed you a duty of care that they failed to uphold, you could be entitled to a payout for any injuries that you sustained as a result.

Is there a time limit on accident claims?

Yes, personal injury claims must be made within the legal statute of limitations. Typically, this is 3 years from the accident date or date that knowledge of subsequent suffering was acquired.

How long can you claim after an accident at work?

As mentioned above, typical work accident claims have a time limit of 3 years. However, exceptions apply. if the claimant is unable to claim, whether they’re incapacitated or underage, this limit is frozen until they’re able to do so.

Should I get a lawyer for work injury?

Though it’s not a legal requirement to have legal help if you want to make a claim, a lawyer can help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Therefore, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our advisors to see how we could help your case. For information on our services and contact details, please continue reading.

Can I sue my employer for stress and anxiety?

Just like you could sue for physical injuries, it’s also possible to claim compensation for psychological injuries, such as stress and anxiety.

Can I sue my employer for an accident at work?

Providing your employer breached their duty of care to you and you suffered as a result, you could have grounds to make a claim against them.

How much money can you get for suing your employer?

Personal injury claims are valued on a case-to-case basis due to the fact that the extent of every claimant’s suffering differs. For a free consultation, please get in touch today.

Why are No Win No Fee agreements so popular?

No Win No Fee agreements allow claimants with valid grounds for a payout to get legal help, regardless of their financial situation. This is because there’s no financial risk involved in this type of contract, as the lawyer won’t take payment unless they win the client compensation. What’s more there’s no hidden or upfront costs to pay.

Useful Links

Thank you for reading our guide on time limits for accident at work claims.

Accident At Work Claims
Find out more about how to make an accident at work claim, how they work and what you could be able to claim for with our handy guide.

Reporting Accidents And Incidents In The Workplace
Guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for how to report accidents and incidents in the workplace.

Thank you for reading our guide to work accident claims and the time limit for accident at work claims.

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