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Can I Sue My Employer For Negligence At Work?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 15th November 2023. Have you been harmed in a workplace accident? Were you injured because of employer negligence? Have you experienced emotional distress or anxiety because of how your employer treated you? If so, you may be eligible to claim against your employer.

 can I sue my employer for negligence

Employer negligence causing injury

In this guide, we’ll address the question “can I sue my employer for negligence?” and answer other related questions you may have. We’ll also talk about different potential scenarios which may lead someone to claim against their employer for negligence. We’ll also discuss claiming with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to do so, we are here 24/7 to give you free legal advice on the matter. There are a few different ways in which you can reach us.

Select A Section

  1. What Is Employer Negligence?
  2. The Criteria For Employer Negligence Claims
  3. How Long Do I Have To Claim For Employer Negligence?
  4. How Do I Prove Employer Negligence At Work?
  5. Accident At Work Compensation Examples
  6. Make A Claim For Employer Negligence With One Of Our No Win No Fee Solicitors
  7. Learn More About Workplace Negligence Claims

The Criteria For Employer Negligence Claims

If you suffered an accident at work, you might be wondering if you can make a claim. The first step in making a personal injury claim following employer negligence is establishing whether or not you were owed a duty of care.

Your employer owes you a duty of care while working to take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe, as outlined within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  This could include providing adequate training, undertaking risk assessments, or providing personal protective equipment (PPE). If your employer breaches this duty of care and you suffer an injury as a result, this is known as negligence.

In order to form the basis of a valid accident at work compensation claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this duty.
  • You suffered an injury as a result.

To find out if you could be eligible to make an accident at work claim, contact our team of advisors today. Or, read on to learn more about claiming for negligence in the workplace.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For Employer Negligence?

You will only be able to successfully sue your employer for negligence if you start your claim within the time limit to do so.

In a personal injury claim, the time limit to do this is typically 3 years from the date of the accident or the date of knowledge as per the Limitation Act 1980. However, in some instances, the time limit will be suspended.

Under 18s, for example, cannot start a claim for themselves so do not face a time limit until they turn 18. A claim can be started before this date with the help of a litigation friend.

People who have limited mental capacity will also not face a time limit. A litigation friend can start a claim for them, but if such a person gains or regains mental capacity, then they will also face a three-year time limit which will start from the date they gained the capacity to start a claim.

If you have any more questions about what suing your employer could entail or how to sue a company for negligence, then please reach out to one of our team.

What Is Employer Negligence?

Are you wondering, ‘what is employer negligence?’ Essentially, it is when your employer breaches their duty of care. This duty of care includes doing whatever is reasonably practicable to reduce risks to your health and wellbeing in the workplace. If you have evidence that your employer has acted negligently, you may be able to sue for a work injury.

There are plenty of ways that negligence in the workplace could occur. For example:

  • Your employer failed to provide you with adequate training on health and safety.
  • They failed to maintain a machine, resulting in it malfunctioning and causing a defective work equipment injury.
  • You could suffer a trip or fall at work if your employer has failed to identify and fix hazards such as trailing cables or uneven flooring.
  • If you carry out work in which you need to wear protective equipment, but your employer failed to provide you with any, this would count as employer negligence.

Continue reading to find out what legislation is in place that sets out your employer’s duty of care. Alternatively, speak to us at any time and we can offer free guidance on how to go about making an accident at work claim.

How Do I Prove Employer Negligence At Work?

In order to successfully claim against your employer for negligence, you would need to prove that their negligence somehow led to you being harmed. However, you may be unaware of what constitutes employer negligence. Negligence in the workplace can take many different forms. In order for your employer to be found guilty of negligence, you must have been injured due to a breach of the duty of care that they owed you by law. This duty of care is listed in section 2 of the Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974.

This duty of care states that your employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that your working environment is as free as possible of potential risks to your physical and mental health. If they do not do this and you are injured as a result, this could be employer negligence.

If your claim is successful, your employer’s insurance provider would be responsible for awarding you with the compensation. You do not need to worry that the person directly responsible for your injuries will be put under financial strain as a result of the work negligence claim.

Accident At Work Compensation Examples

If you have been injured as a result of employer negligence at work, your personal injury compensation settlement could include general and special damages. General damages is awarded to all successful claimants and compensates you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries.

When valuing this head of claim, legal professionals may use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This document lists guideline compensation amounts for various injuries, and we have included some of the figures from the 16th edition of the JCG in the table below.

It is important to note that various factors could affect how much you receive for the injuries you suffered due to workplace negligence. Please only use this table as a guide.

Type of injurySeriousnessCommentsPotential settlement
Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Financial ExpensesSeriousMultiple severe injuries and their financial expenses such as travel and medical costs.Up to £1,000,000+
Brain damageVery Severe 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.£282,010 to £403,990
Brain damageModerately Severe There will be significant dependence on others and a need for constant professional and other care due to being seriously disabled.£219,070 to £282,010
Brain damageModerate These cases include intellectual deficit of varying degrees, personality changes and a risk of epilepsy£43,060 to £219,070
BackSevere Severe back injuries involving serious damage to the nerve roots and spinal cord. £38,780 to £160,980
BackModerateCan include instances such as, but not limited to, a compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae where there is a substantial risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain and discomfort.£12,510 to £38,780
NeckSevere The top of this bracket will include injuries associated with incomplete paraplegia or resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis. Up to roughly £148,330
Leg injury Very Serious Injuries leading to permanent problems with mobility, the need for crutches or mobility aids for the remainder of the injured person’s life will be included in this bracket.£54,830 to £87,890
Shoulder injuriesSerious Includes cases of dislocation of the shoulder and damage to the lower part of the brachial plexus causing pain in shoulder and neck, aching in elbow.£12,770 to £19,200

What Else Can You Include In A Claim For Negligence In The Workplace?

You can sue an employee for negligence and your payout could potentially be awarded under two heads of claim. The figures in the table above are examples of general damages. This is the amount that’s awarded to cover the pain and suffering you have had to endure due to your injuries.

However, it isn’t just the impact of the injuries on your quality of life that you can be compensated for. Compensation for negligence at work can also be awarded for other losses related to your injuries.

You could be eligible to receive a payment known as special damages. This can be made up of a variety of financial costs and losses that you have experienced due to your injuries. You will need to provide evidence of these expenditures during your claim.

We’ve included some examples of potential special damages payments in the list below:

  • Loss of earnings – Your income may be affected due to your injuries. If you are unable to work, then the money you would have earned during your recovery period may be reimbursed to you as part of your claim.
  • Medical costs – For instance, if you have had to spend money on prescriptions or other medical care.
  • Damage to property – The incident that caused your injury may also have caused your damage to your personal property. Special damages may cover the cost of these repairs or replacements.

If you have any more questions regarding negligence in the workplace, feel free to get in touch at any time. Our advisors are always available to help you.

Make A Claim For Employer Negligence With One Of Our No Win No Fee Solicitors

One of our accident at work solicitors may be able to assist you with your claim, provided you have a valid case. Furthermore, they may offer to represent you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. When working with a solicitor under this arrangement, you usually won’t be charged any service fees upfront or whilst your workplace negligence claim is ongoing. Furthermore, if your negligent employer claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work.

Instead, a legally capped success fee is taken from your settlement by your solicitor if your claim for employer negligence is successful.

For more information on employer negligence, their duty of care and compensation for an accident at work, speak to our advisors for free using our 24/7 live chat service. You could also be connected with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. To reach our advisors today, you can:

Learn More About Workplace Negligence Claims

In order to produce this guide, we have used a combination of resources which you can find in the references section below as well as those which have been referenced in the guide itself. Here you can find out more about your rights as an employee in the UK.

Read this to learn more about claiming for accidents while working abroad. If you want to speak to an advisor about questions such as “can I sue my employer for negligence?“, then you are welcome to contact Legal Expert on the phone or online using the contact details above.

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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.