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Is Suing Your Employer While Still Employed Difficult?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 6th September 2023. In this guide, we explain when and how you may be able to sue your employer while you’re employed by them still. If you have been injured in an accident in the workplace, you may need to seek help and treatment from a doctor as soon as possible. Once you have gotten this help, you may need to consider whether or not the accident was your fault. If it was not, and your employer could be held liable for your injuries, you could receive compensation, and so suing your employer while still employed in the UK could be an option.

If you would like to speak to our advisors regarding a case of workplace negligence that has caused you harm, or you would like to begin an accident at work claim against the employer that has been negligent in regards to your health and safety, please do not hesitate to give Legal Expert a call on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively you can contact us online by either using our contact form or our 24/7 live chat service.

Before you try to start a claim, we would recommend that you keep reading to learn more about what to expect if you do end up suing your employer while still employed. We’ll discuss the process involved in claiming against your employer for a workplace injury. So, for advice on how to take legal action, please read on.

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Reasons To Sue Your Employer – What Are The Grounds To Sue Your Employer?

Suing your employer while still employed

Suing your employer while still employed

You may be wondering when suing an employer is possible. You could potentially have grounds to sue your employer if they breached their duty of care, leading to harm. This is known as negligence.

An employer’s duty of care can be found in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It states that an employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the risk of injury to their employees is kept as low as possible.

For example, if your employer is aware of a hazard or risk, such as a wet floor, but makes no effort to rectify the situation, then you could have grounds to sue your employer if you slip and injure yourself.

If you want more information on reasons to sue your employer, including whether you could be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, get in touch with our advisors today.

When Could I Sue An Employer For An Accident At Work?

Before we answer the question, ‘Can you sue your employer while still employed?’ Let us first take a look at the grounds for a lawsuit against an employer. All employers, no matter where you work or what industry you are based in, are legally required to provide you with a safe and healthy working environment, as much as could be deemed reasonable. However, there will still be risks for employees in the workplace, especially in certain fields – such as construction and manufacturing.

If there is a specific danger in the workplace, employers must reduce risks to employees by either removing a hazard or making it clear that a hazard is present so that workers can take steps to avoid being injured. Other steps an employer could take to protect their workers from risks in the workplace could also include providing relevant training, ensuring adequate provision for personal protective equipment if required, and maintaining any equipment used to a safe standard.

Employers could also be held responsible for their worker’s behaviour in the workplace. For example, if an employee demonstrates negligent or dangerous behaviour, it would be the employer’s duty to ensure that the employee in question is told that this behaviour is unacceptable. The employer should take any necessary steps to stop such behaviour.

Further details

When it comes to having grounds to sue an employer for a personal injury, the most important thing is being able to prove that your employer is at fault for your suffering. There are many different ways your employer could be responsible for your injuries. For example, they may have failed to provide the necessary training regarding the risks in your working environment, or they may not have provided you with the required protective equipment. It could also be vital to make sure you report the incident to your employer and/or safety representative if you have one. This is because they will need to make a workplace accident report in the accident book, which all employers must have by law.

If you have suffered an injury because of a lack of care towards your health and safety in the workplace, you could have grounds for making a personal injury claim, and you could use a personal injury solicitor to help put such a claim together. But, aside from accidents in the workplace, there are other reasons you may choose to sue your employer.

These could include stress-related illnesses, which still fall under the criteria to sue your employer for the injury. Other workplace lawsuits could be launched for redundancy, being constructively dismissed, being a victim of harassment in the workplace, wrongful dismissal, being discriminated against or being unfairly treated. All of these are examples of cases where you could sue your employer while employed.

Suing An Employer – Claim Time Limits

If you are planning to sue the company you work for after suffering an accident at work, you must ensure that you start your claim within the relevant time limit. This is three years from the date of the accident, as stated by the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are some exceptions.

For claimants under the age of eighteen, the time limit is suspended temporarily until the injured party turns 18. While the time limit is suspended, a litigation friend can start the claim for them. Otherwise, the time limit will begin on their eighteenth birthday, and last until their twenty-first.

Furthermore, the time limit is suspended indefinitely for those who lack the mental capacity to claim for themselves. If they recover the appropriate capacity to make a claim for themself, then the time limit will reinstate on the date of recovery. If not, a litigation friend can make the claim on their behalf.

For more information on suing an employer following an accident at work, contact our team today.

Points To Remember If Suing Your Employer While Still Employed

Claiming someone who you work for could feel daunting. However, there are a few things that you may wish to remember if you are considering suing your employer while still employed in the UK…

1 – Knowing your rights as an employee.

You may wish to make yourself familiar with the policies and procedures that the company has in place for grievances. So, you could speak to your Human Resources department to access this information. You have a legal right to be treated no differently at work because of any claim you may launch against your employer.

2 – Keeping records of your grievances, type of accident, type of injury, cause of the accident, and any other important details.

It could also be advisable to keep notes of what has happened to you. Without witness corroboration or solid evidence, it could be challenging to prove that your employer has breached your rights, and you could end up in a battle whereby it is simply your word against theirs. This is why we would recommend keeping a journal of what you experience and observe. If your case does go to court, this could be used as vital evidence. It may be prudent for us to mention that many personal injury cases never go to court, as they are settled beforehand.

3 – Making an official complaint.

You may also want to contact your Human Resources department and make them aware of what has happened. This could give them the chance to begin an investigation regarding your complaint, and they can do this in an official capacity. If applicable, it may be a good idea also to make your trade union aware of what has happened, as the representative could give you advice and support on what to do next.

Can you sue your employer and still work for them?

You might wonder if suing the company you work for is possible after an accident caused by negligence. Some people might assume that you can only launch a claim if you stop working for the organisation who’s breach of duty of care caused your injury, but this isn’t the case.

If you’ve been working at your company for more than two years, then you are protected in certain situations from being dismissed without good reason. If you were involved in an accident that was wholly caused by your employer’s negligence, and you lose your job because you start a claim, this could be considered unfair or constructive dismissal.

Unfair dismissal is where your employer sacks you without a good reason. You’re only protected from unfair dismissal if you’ve been employed for more than two years, unless you’re dismissed on the basis of a protected characteristic.

Constructive dismissal is where your employer attempts to create a hostile work environment in an attempt to make you leave. For example, they may make unreasonable changes to the way you work or let other employees harass you.

If you’d like more information on whether you can sue your employer and still work for them, speak with our team today.

Could My Employer Dismiss Me For Suing Them?

Can you sue your employer and still work there? The short answer is yes. If you are making an accident claim for a workplace incident and suing your employer for an injury, you may worry about the impact this could have on your working life. Some people may fear that it could cause issues for them in their daily work, whilst some may worry that they may lose their job making a claim. This is something you should not have to worry about.

If your employer is at fault, they should know that they could have to compensate you, and they should have insurance in place to deal with this. They should also be aware that you could then have grounds for unfair dismissal if they were to sack you. This could put your employer in an even more difficult position, as you could sue your employer for unfair treatment. So this information is worth keeping in mind as you decide whether to sue your employer while employed.

How To Sue Your Workplace – Gathering Evidence

If you are wondering how to sue your employer, part of the claiming process will involve collecting sufficient evidence. This can help prove that when a duty of care that was owed to you was breached, you suffered an injury.

Some examples of evidence that could be useful for an accident at work claim include:

  • Photographs from the accident scene.
  • Video footage of the incident, such as from CCTV.
  • A copy of your medical records containing details about the nature of your injury and what treatment was required.
  • The contact information of any witnesses to the accident so they can give a statement later into the claiming process.
  • A copy of the accident log book with details of the accident that caused your injury. It is a legal requirement for all workplaces with ten or more staff members to have an accident book.

If you need any help obtaining evidence or would like to discuss when you could be eligible to have valid grounds or reasons sue your employer, get in touch with an advisor from our team.

How To Choose A Solicitor When Suing Your Employer While Still Employed

Many different injuries could potentially arise as a consequence of workplace incidents. Some could happen because of accidents, such as construction incidents. Such accidents may be a consequence of an employer acting negligently and failing their duty of care towards their employees. For instance, an accident may happen due to an employer failing to provide the necessary training or equipment to prevent workers from suffering illnesses or conditions. Examples may include industrial deafness and repetitive strain injury.

No matter what type of injury you have sustained, one thing could help build a strong argument for compensation and maximise the amount of compensation you could receive. This is finding an appropriate lawyer to take on your case.

You may need to consider many different factors when you are narrowing down your search for the most appropriate accident lawyer for your case. The first thing you may need to look at is the experience of the solicitor. It may be prudent for you to ask what experience they have in pursuing claims of this type.

Other notes

Aside from this, you may also want to look at the success rate of the solicitor. It may also be a good idea to read reviews that have been left by previous clients, as this could provide you with an effective understanding of the quality of service you are likely to experience if you choose the personal injury lawyer in question to help you sue your employer for the injury.

Last but not least, it may also be a good idea to use the services of a solicitor that works on a No Win No Fee basis. By doing this, you would only pay legal fees once your claim is successful. Your chances of winning your case when deciding to sue your employer while employed would increase by using a solicitor.

Calculating Workplace Accident Claims Against An Employer

If your employer has acted negligently, and you have been injured as a result, this may be one of the reasons you could sue your employer. For example, if your employer has supplied you with faulty work equipment, such as a ladder, and using it has led to an injury, you could potentially sue them because of the damage caused.

Whether you are suing your employer while still employed or after leaving their employ, the claims process is likely to be the same. The Judicial College Guidelines can help provide insight into how much you could receive from suing your employer. By analysing previous payouts for general damages, they have created compensation brackets. The ones below are taken from their latest guidelines, published in 2022.

Please remember that every claim is unique. This means that, if you have a successful claim, the payout could differ from the amounts shown below. Furthermore, please bear in mind that these figures only relate to successful claims in England and Wales.

InjuryNotesGuideline Payout
Very Severe Brain Damage (a)There is no language function, double incontinence, and little if any meaningful response to their surroundings. £282,010 to £403,990
Minor Head Injury (e)Little to no brain damage.£2,210 to £12,770
Severe Knee Injuries (a) (i)Severe knee injuries that cause joint disruption, osteoarthritis, and ligamentous damage. £69,730 to £96,210
Severe Back Injuries (a) (iii)Disc lesions, fractures, and soft tissue injuries that lead to chronic conditions. £38,780 to £69,730
Kidney Injuries (b)Significant risk of infection in the future and other loss of natural function. Up to £63,980
Spleen Injuries (a)Continuing risk of internal infection due to loss of spleen. £20,800 to
Arm Injuries (d)Simple forearm fractures.£6,610 to £19,200
Moderate Shoulder Injuries (c)Frozen shoulder that causes a limited range of motion.£7,890 to £12,770
Fracture of Clavicle (e)Consideration is given to the severity of the fracture and the ongoing effects.£5,150 to £12,240
Minor Neck Injuries (c) (ii)A full recovery occurs within three months to a year.£2,450 to

If you’d like to learn more about suing your employer, please contact our advisors for a free legal consultation. They can inform you of your claim eligibility and answer any queries you have about the claims process.

Special Damages When Suing Your Employer

Alongside general damages, you might also be eligible for special damages after suing the company you work for. This head of claim addresses the financial losses you suffer because of your injuries. For example, when suing your employer under this heading, you may be able to recoup the cost of:

  •   Travel.
  •   Housekeeping.
  •   Childcare.
  •   Prescriptions.
  •   Home adjustments.

You must be able to provide proof of your losses to claim under this heading. Because of this, it can be helpful to keep documentation such as receipts, bills, and invoices relating to your losses.

Contact our advisors today to learn more about whether you can sue a company and still work for them.

No Win No Fee Claims Against An Employer While Still Employed

Some people may fail to make a personal injury claim because they fear it would be too expensive. However, this isn’t something claimants should worry about when it comes to No Win No Fee solicitors. You don’t need any money to begin your claim, as with this approach, you don’t pay anything upfront. Instead, under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement, the solicitor takes their ‘success fee’ from the compensation.

This will typically be a percentage (no more than 25%) of your payout. And you would agree on the percentage beforehand. If there is no compensation, you would not need to pay the solicitor this success fee. All of our solicitors work on this basis. And so they would do this for you too if you sue your employer while employed.

Start A Claim Against An Employer

No matter whether you are in a position to make a workplace accident claim, you still have queries about the personal injury claims process, or you would like to see if you could be eligible for compensation, you can call us on 0800 073 8804 or leave your details via our contact form, and we will get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you if you want to sue your employer for the injury. But to find out how to win a lawsuit against your employer, get in touch with us at any time.

Further Information

Who Pays Your Medical Bills? – This guide reveals who pays your medical bills if you suffer an injury at work in a workplace accident.

British Army Accident At Work Claims – If you have been injured in the workplace while working for the British Army, you may be wondering how to claim. This guide reveals all.

NHS Accident At Work Claims – We also have a guide that provides plenty of useful information for anyone that has been injured while working at the NHS.

Health And Safety Legislation – You can use this link to learn about all of the different laws in place for workplaces in Great Britain about health and safety.

Unfair Dismissal – If you have been dismissed from work and believe that you have been unfairly treated, you can use this link to determine whether this is the case.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) – This link tells you about the legislation in place for reporting injuries.

Nerve Damage Injury Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – This article provides more information about claiming if you’ve suffered nerve damage from an injury.

How Much Compensation For Slipping On Wet Floor Claim? – This article provides more information about claiming if you’ve slipped on a wet floor.

Neck Injury Compensation Claims And Settlement Calculator – This article provides further information about claiming compensation for a neck injury.

Who Has Overall Responsibility For Reporting Injuries At Work – Information on who is responsible for reporting workplace accidents.

Get more information on claiming for a laceration injury and scarring with our helpful guide.

Sue Your Employer While Employed FAQs

What reasons can you sue your employer?

These include pay deductions, wrongful termination, discrimination against staff, sexual harassment and defamation.

Is it easy to sue an employer?

It may not feel easy, but a personal injury solicitor can help to make the claims process smoother.

Is suing an employer after an accident allowed?

Yes, you even have the right to make a claim against an employer you still work for. It can be difficult to know how to sue your employer. Some people may even feel uncomfortable at the thought of it. However, it’s important to remember that any compensation you receive will not come directly from your employer.

Your employer must have an insurance policy in place to cover personal injury claims. This is as per the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. Generally, the compensation would come from your employer’s insurance provider. So, your employer’s personal finances would not be affected.

Additionally, you can still sue your employer if you no longer work for them following the accident.

Some people also wonder, “can I sue a freelance employer?”. The answer to this is that if you are freelance, you are self-employed. In these cases, you may be able to make a claim if you’re injured whilst working on a self-employed basis. However, you would need to establish negligence caused you to sustain harm.

If you need any additional information on making a personal injury claim against your employer, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Can I sue my job for emotional distress?

You can do this, though you must prove that the emotional distress is a direct consequence of your job.

What constitutes unfair treatment at work?

This includes any offensive comments, unfair dismissal and discrimination in terms of treatment and the pay structure.

What factors could contribute to a hostile work environment?

These include singling out an employee due to their colour, race, sexual orientation, gender, age or religion.

What are the 3 types of harassment?

These are verbal, visual and physical.

How can you prove harassment?

This means the defendant bringing about harassment to their victim and recognising that their actions constitute harassment.

Should I report my boss to HR?

This is possible, but you should only consider it a final resort and after significantly poor behaviour.

Do you still have any questions on how to sue your employer while employed. If so, you’re welcome to contact Legal Expert today by phone or online using the contact details mentioned 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.