Injured At Work? Understand Your Rights And When You Can Claim Compensation

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Here we look at your rights and what to do if you’re injured at work in the UK, and whether you can claim compensation.

If you’re thinking about making a work injury claim, we can help you to approach things in the right way so that all parties are happy to get a claim resolved. Often you can be torn between loyalty to your employer and the need to look after yourself. Knowing your legal rights, where you stand and what your employer’s responsibilities are, will help you both to see everything more clearly and avoid misunderstandings.

Table of contents

I was injured at work, what are my rights?

In the UK, you have the same legal rights whether you have been injured at work, are suffering from a work-related illness, or a condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, for example. It is important for you to understand your rights so that you can confidently manage your recovery and working future.

The law says all employers have a duty of care to protect the wellbeing of their employees – it doesn’t matter who you work for or what you do, whether you’re a temp working for an agency, full-time staff or self-employed.

Your rights include being able to:

  • Receive medical attention
  • Report and record your injury
  • Attend future medical appointments
  • Take time off to recover
  • Seek lighter duties

Importantly, if it can be proved your employer has been negligent and you were injured as a result, one of the rights you have is to make a no win no fee personal injury claim. If you want to claim for injuries after an accident at work, our experts can quickly let you know if you have a case.

When you can make a work injury claim

Just because you have been injured at work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation: Your injury must be severe enough; happened within the last three years; and your employer must be at fault.

What injuries can you claim for?

Your work injury has to be severe enough to provide a sufficient level of ‘quantum’ for a claim to be placed with a no win no fee solicitor. To ensure that the injury value is sufficient, it is usually the case that an injured employee will need to have suffered for a period of 4 weeks or more. You have a good chance of claiming compensation if any of the following apply:

  • You are still receiving treatment for a work injury or illness.
  • You have taken time off work to recover.
  • You have been unable to return to work doing the same job or hours.

Note that the injury need not be new – you can also claim if working conditions or an accident at work made a pre-existing injury worse. You may even be able to claim if you are partly at fault, in what’s known as contributory negligence or split liability. Claims can even be made if a company has ceased trading, merged or gone in to administration.

Every injury has its own unique circumstances, and no two are the same. Therefore, it is vital you seek proper advice so that you know whether or not you have a viable claim.

How to know if your employer is at fault

In most cases, it is relatively easy for us to evaluate the likely outcome of a claim. We’ll work out if it can be proven your employer was liable for your injury, failed in their duty of care, and therefore is responsible for compensating you for your injuries and any other losses. Here are some basic pointers that can help you identify where you stand regarding the strength of a claim or otherwise:

  1. Have you had proper training? (this could relate to manual handling or other job relevant training).
  2. Were you given an induction to the workplace? This would include guidance on accident management protocols, safety exits, hazard avoidance etc.
  3. Were you provided with, or advised what PPE you should use to complete your job safely?
  4. Did your employer allow you to work with faulty equipment?
  5. Were you told how to report injuries and how to access the accident book?
  6. Was your environment safe? For example, was it free of hazards that could lead to a fall at work?
  7. Did your employer act upon reports of potential risks of danger to employees?

Furthermore, your employer must follow these laws to reduce the risk of staff being injured at work:

What to do after an injury at work

Below is a basic plan of action you should try to follow if you’re injured at work. This will also give you the evidence you need to make a claim:

  1. Get medical treatment

    If an employer attempts to prevent you from seeking medical attention, they are in breach of the law and acting completely improperly. Most workplaces will have a designated first aid officer in the event of an injury. You should see this person but also make sure that you either visit your GP or local A&E department. Similarly, for an illness you should first visit your GP.

  2. Record the accident details

    If you’re suffering from a work-related illness, ensure your employer has written notification of this. If you’re injured at work, you should record the details within your employer’s accident book.

    If you haven’t done this already, don’t worry, we can help you to do so.

    If your employer won’t record the accident or let you see the book, there are actions you can take. Accident book entries should usually be done within minutes and the injured party should contribute to what is written and only sign it when they are happy with the way the accident circumstances have been recorded. If relevant, previous complaints or comments from staff to management about potential hazards that relate to the accident in question should be noted.

    The injuries should be described and their cause listed. For example: “Joe has suffered a nasty laceration to his right hand and 3 fingers after it became trapped in the cutting machine on the factory floor. The safety guard was broken and not repaired despite the staff informing Management of the issue. Ambulance called and Joe has been taken to Hospital for treatment. This has been reported to Management”. The injured party should ask for a copy of the accident book entry.

    Do not feel that reporting the accident would tarnish the reputation of your company. Your employer is responsible for your safety. Immediately reporting the accident to your employer will help them curtail such accidents in future by adopting proper safety precautions.

    Depending on the type of accident, the employer is legally bound to report it via RIDDOR to the Incident Contact Centre of the HSE. As your employer is responsible for reporting to the HSE, you should always check to see whether this has been done.

  3. Confirm your sick pay

    Not all employees will receive full pay if on sick leave from work, commonly your employer will put you on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Although SSP is far from a living wage, it could be enough to help you get by. Make sure that your employer has registered you for SSP. If you are unsure, you should contact your local benefits office.

    Knowing your rights is key – if you’ve been injured in a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault, you can claim for compensation to supplement your sick pay and cover your losses.

  4. Attend medical appointments

    If you are back at work but still receiving outpatient treatments for your injuries, such as physiotherapy or check-ups with a consultant, your employer MUST release you to attend the same.

  5. Take time to recover

    Taking time away from the workplace to aid your recovery will not only benefit you by reducing the length of time that you are injured, but also benefit your employer by enabling you to return to full duties at the earliest opportunity. If your employer is pressuring you to return to work if you want to keep your job, you should seek legal advice regarding this issue. An unfit employee is a dangerous employee and not only will you be risking your own health by rushing back to work, but you could also be risking the health of your colleagues.

  6. Seek light duties

    Removing you for a time from the situation causing the problem can often help. This would apply to psychological injuries, such as stress, as well as physical injuries. If your usual work involves aspects of hard physical labour such as heavy lifting, carrying, climbing or standing for long periods, your employer is duty bound to accommodate you (where possible) in returning to work on lighter duties whilst you complete your recovery. It could be that you usually work in a heavy lifting capacity but that a back injury will prevent you from doing that for sometime. Therefore, if your employer can accommodate you within an office for a few weeks on lighter duties, you can return to work and continue to earn your usual salary.

  7. Claim injury compensation

    It is your right to make a work accident claim if you suffer an injury or illness at work that is a result of your employer’s negligence. They have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and secure working environment for staff and prevent foreseeable injuries, both physical and psychological.

    A successful personal injury claim will ultimately see a claimant recover a settlement for their injuries, ongoing treatment and also for their special damages, which covers financial losses such as lost income.

Employer pressure – threats are against the law

A very common worry for people is how making a claim will affect their employer. This fear can be played upon, and we understand that you may be placed under pressure by your employer NOT to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation.

Employers that are liable on grounds of negligence for injuries sustained in the workplace have no right whatsoever to prevent an employee from pursuing a claim.

Indeed, the law recognises this and protects your rights in the following ways:

  • It is illegal for your employer to sack you if a claim is made or being considered, and if they do you may have a case for unfair dismissal.
  • Similarly, if employer threats or other pressures force you to leave your job, you may have a case for constructive dismissal.

In such circumstances, you should seek advice from a solicitor or your local citizens advice bureau.

Clearly, the decision as to whether or not to pursue a claim rests with the injured employee. If the injuries are minor, will cause no long-term problems, and the employee can still work and therefore not lose wages, they may well decide that they do not wish to pursue a claim for compensation. However, where the injuries are more serious and an inability to work follows, exercising your legal right to make a claim for compensation is the only option for most people.

Read our guide to work accident compensation for a comprehensive run down of what’s involved in making a claim against your employer.

It’s usually really quick for us to find out if you have a valid claim, call us on 01225 430285, or .

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming, plus work injury claim examples...

I had a fall at work, in the car park I slipped on ice and fractured my arm, some grit was laid but it didn’t cover all areas where the car was parked.
Is this an unfortunate accident or do I have reason to claim?

Ian Morris

We think you may well have grounds to pursue a claim. Please call us on 01225430285 (or request a call via our website), so that we can further discuss your accident and the injuries sustained ahead of having our Solicitors pursue a claim for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

The fact that the employer has gritted some areas of the car park and not others would indicate an inadequate risk assessment and a poor approach to health and safety in this scenario, given the risks posed by the ice. This is likely to provide a positive route in seeking compensation.


can I make a claim if I have not completed two years working for the company?

Ian Morris

Personal injury law affords all employees, regardless of how long they have worked for an employer, the right to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation if they have been injured in a non-fault accident/incident at their place of work. It is important to ensure that the details of an accident and any injury symptoms are recorded with the employer. As such, if an accident book entry has not yet been completed, you should make sure that you report the details of your incident to the right people.

The 2 year issue you are thinking about refers to employment law and an employees rights under such legislation for matters like unfair dismissal etc.

If you would like to discuss your potential claim with us, you can request a call via our website or contact us on 01225430285.


I slipped on ice in my employers car park and sustained a sprained neck resulting in me having to take 5 weeks off work. I returned to work 2 weeks ago, but the neck pain has come back. Can my employer release me for having more time off due to this reoccurrence of the injury?

Ian Morris

It would seem unlikely that your employer would terminate your employment for taking some additional leave due to a flare up of symptoms from a recent injury.

You may have grounds to pursue a claim against your employer for their failure to ensure that the worksite was safe by not gritting or clearing ice from the car park. Our Solicitors have successfully pursued a number of identical claims against employers who have failed to ensure safety in icy conditions for their staff. If you would like this matter to be appraised by our specialist Solicitors, please call us or use our website to make further enquiries.


I notified my employer of my pregnancy and was off sick for a week for ‘pregnancy related illness’. My employer had not carried out a risk assessment prior to my return to work. During my shift, I collapsed and resulted in minor head injury.

I lone work night shifts in individual homes as a healthcare assistant. I am usually going to individuals who live alone or family/carers are asleep in bed during my visit which is 10pm-7am. I contacted my manager prior to my shift letting her know I felt unsafe to work with my allocated patient due to excessive manual handling and unpredictable behaviour. I was sent there anyway. Could I make a claim?

Ian Morris

There is certainly the potential to pursue a claim in this scenario, but it is unclear (at this stage) whether or not you would succeed. Our specialist Solicitors will know what questions to ask to be able to advise you further and it would seem that the best course of action would be for you to provide further details so that our Solicitors can advise you ahead of pursuing a claim for you.

Please use the form on our website to provide as much detail as possible and we’ll then get you the advice that you need.


I am not injured at work, but I have told my managers that I have a hip replacement and they need to do a risk assessment on me. They just look at me as if I am a liar. I would like to know where I stand on this or get some help.

Ian Morris

You should put your concerns and request for a risk assessment to the employer in writing. This is vital as this ensures that the employer cannot say that they were not made aware of your situation and concerns. Relying on verbal communication is insufficient as this enables wriggle room and dishonesty should things go badly.


I started working for Royal Mail just over a year ago. In my 1st week, I was bitten buy a dog which resulted in surgery on my fingers and I have lost all use of my fingers as a result.

I was only given 4 days of training before being left alone and I wasn’t given the full equipment to do my job safely. I wasn’t issued with a dog peg or shown the coloured board that indicates which houses have dogs in order to provide warning and to be prepared. I believe that this was 100% the fault of Royal Mail as they didn’t uphold their duty of care to me.

I hope you can help? Thank you.

Ian Morris

It would appear that there are questions to ask of your employer with regards to adequate training and provision of equipment, along with the issue of being made aware of any potential risks on the rounds you were tasked with. These questions indicate that you may well have valid grounds to pursue a claim against the employer for personal injury compensation.

We would like to present your claim to our specialist Solicitors for detailed appraisal. Our Solicitors have previously acted with success in matters of a very similar nature for staff with that employer injured by Dogs whilst delivering mail and they would be able to advise you regarding this and if viable to do so, act for you on a No Win No Fee basis.


I hit my thumb at work using a ‘cropper’ after not receiving proper training for the job (i.e not being shown how to hold & use the tools properly), resulting in my thumb being broken in a few places. The employer has now stopped paying for my Hospital appointments so I am missing out on wages, as-well as them pressuring me to hurry back to the job. Am I able to make a claim?

Ian Morris

As your injury can be attributed to inadequate training on the part of the employer, we can clearly argue that your injury could have been avoided if your employer had not been negligent. As such, we feel that you do have a valid claim and our specialist personal injury Solicitors will be able to claim compensation for your injury on a No Win No Fee basis.

In terms of claim settlements, the value for thumb injury claims can become substantial. The thumb is a vital part of the hand and if the strength and dexterity of the thumb is impaired long-term, the value of a claim settlement may increase considerably. Further, in your case, you also have lost income and other costs to recover and our specialist Solicitors would ensure that your rights were upheld and that any recoverable costs or losses were accounted for in any settlement should you succeed with your claim.


I was hurt on a vehicle and I haven’t got a license and the company let people ride them without training and a license can I claim against them?

Ian Morris

If your employer is allowing staff to operate machinery or vehicles without the appropriate or required licenses and training, they are being negligent and you should contact us to make a claim for personal injury compensation.


Hello. I work for Amazon like delivery driver for 2 years. Yesterday I was at work and I stop the van and when I got off the vanto deliver the parcel I injury my left leg ankle, I was lucky that people who were in the yard helped me and lifted me, this people call my manager to let him know and to pick me to the hospital and to pick the van and parcels….now I have to stay home and I D’ont get paid. I deliver 170 stop a day with 280 parcels and I have to move quickly to finish my route…

Ian Morris

What caused you to injure your ankle? The number of deliveries that you perform is irrelevant in terms of any claim for personal injury, so we need to identify a hazard in the pavement or some form of disrepair to the ground or vehicle issue to enable a claim to proceed.


I had a accident at work buy my symptoms only lasted around 14 days can I claim compensation?


So this happened now all most 18 days ago and I still have redness in my left eye and are still taking eye drops

Ian Morris

Given that you continue to have symptoms, albeit mild and are still needing to use some form of medication to alleviate the symptoms, it may well be the case that you have a valid claim. We’d certainly like to speak with you to find out a little more about the incident so that we can advise you further.

Ian Morris

What injuries did you sustain and what happened? Generally speaking, symptoms must persist for at least 4 weeks for the minimum value needed to be able to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. As your symptoms lasted just 2 weeks, unless you have any scarring or ongoing issues that can be attributed to the injury, it is unlikely that you meet the required claim value.


I’ve just had carpal tunnel release surgery just over a week ago the surgeon has advised 4 weeks off since surgery I have had at least 5 messages from my line manager and via him through other people is this normal? I feel this is putting undue pressure on me and my recovery when I told him of my surgery I think he expected me to return to work the day after.

Ian Morris

If you have provided a Doctors note regarding a pre-determined period of absence from work, your employer should not contact you in that period – other than a polite check in with you to see how you are doing and whether the recovery is going well. If your employer is contacting you in a pressuring manner in a bid to force you to return to work earlier than the Doctor suggests that you should, the employer is breaching a duty of care towards you. You should raise this issue with Senior Management and the HR department at your workplace if this is happening.

In terms of your rights in general, if your carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by your work, you have the right to pursue a claim for compensation for the pain and discomfort caused by the injury, the impact of the condition on your personal life and to recover any lost income caused by the condition or time off due to surgery. Our Solicitors have specialism in such repetitive strain injury claims and can pursue your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome claim on a No Win No Fee basis.


I injured my right foot whilst at work back in May this year. It was caused by a faulty ladder on wheels that stopped suddenly whilst I was pulling it and the ladder foot went into the side of my foot. I reported it to my workplace and details were recorded in the accident book. I went to the minor injuries hospital, had an x-ray and the Doctors told me I had soft tissue damage. I’ve been off work for 4 weeks straight and also had days off here and there between the injury and myself having to get sick notes. I went back to work yesterday to be told in my review this Friday (on probationary period at work as recently started in April), I will be getting dismissed as I’ve had more time off than working even though this is due to being injured at work. I was just wondering what I’m entitled to and for some advice on the situation. The ladder I was injured with at work is still being used by other colleagues at the workplace, so they haven’t even done anything about it.

Ian Morris

It is unfortunate that you are within your probationary period as periods of absence – for whatever reason – during such a period of new employment, often leads to the employer declining to allow an employee to remain with the company. You could see if the senior management team within the company are willing to accept the mitigating circumstances for your absence being an accident at work and allow you to remain with the employer – perhaps with an agreement to extend or re-start your probationary period.

In terms of your injury and the cause of your problems, it would appear that there is potential to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation as the ladder was faulty. We would be happy to further investigate your potential claim for personal injury compensation and have our Solicitors consider further pursuit of a claim for recovery of lost income and compensation for your injury on a No Win No Fee basis.


I had an accident at my company’s warehouse but it involved a company we do work for. Their crate support holding 800kilos of glass gave way when the screws pulled through the timber supports. Who do I claim against? My company or the other company who’s product it is?
I ended up under the glass and I had an open fracture to my ankle and broke my tibia and fibula with multiple fractures. I have 5 metal plates in my ankle/lower leg and multiple screws.

Ian Morris

It is unclear who would be held liable and it could even be that both parties – your employer and the 3rd party company are found to share the liability. Until the incident is fully investigated and a claim is processed, it is unclear as to whether your employer has handled and stored the crate correctly or whether the 3rd party company had ensured that the crate supplied was in good order when it was dispatched to your worksite. One thing that is clear is that there is a valid claim to pursue here and you should start the process with us at the earliest opportunity.

In reality, you should not be concerned as to who the claim will be made against. Your injuries are serious, with life long consequences and you are fully entitled to be appropriately compensated for such pain, discomfort and for the future restrictions that your injury will cause you. Regardless of whom the claim is against, your employment will not be effected and you should not worry about your job or any employment rights.

Our specialist Solicitors will ensure that your claim is handled expertly and that the full extent of your injuries and losses (such as lost income) are accounted for and recovered in your final compensation settlement.


I’m 67 and had an accident at work which my employer has admitted responsibility for. If I cant return to work how many years pay can I be reasonably be expected to receive?

Ian Morris

When an employee passes the age of statutory retirement, claiming loss of income for future losses is not an exact science. Much will depend on your pre-accident health and what (if any) agreement you had with the employer regarding your continued employment post statutory retirement age.


I injured my back in July 2021 when lifting a heavy sewer camera in to the side of my work van. This caused a trapped nerve in my back leading to tremendous pain in the back and when walking. I have received physiotherapy though my companies insurance, and I am also having physiotherapy from the NHS. However, 10 months on from accident I am still in a lot of pain and my left leg and foot is always numb and I have to always use a stick to walk.

About 4 weeks ago I had to attend an appointment with the occupational health where I was assessed. They have advised that I am no longer able to carry on working in this job. My company has now offered me a deal for redundancy under ill health. This will be paid at normal redundancy rate which I am happy with.

Could you advise me if I can claim industrial injuries on top of the redundancy? This Friday (29th of May), I have to sign the forms to accept the redundancy offer. After I have signed this form would I still be able to put in a claIm for industrial injuries or would I forgo the rights to do this? Thank you.

Ian Morris

You should still be able to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation as a result of your injury. Whilst your employer is dealing with your loss of employment appropriately via a redundancy agreement, that will not include personal injury damages. Of course, you should carefully read the agreement you are being asked to sign to ensure that there is no clause within the agreement that will prohibit a claim for personal injury. If there is no such clause, you can sign the agreement and contact us to further discuss a potential claim for personal injury compensation.

The only impact of the redundancy would mean that you would not be entitled to future loss of income in any claim as the redundancy settlement would be seen to have covered the employment and income situation. You may have some lost income in the previous year that could be claimed for along with a settlement to cover the impact on your mobility and physical well-being caused by the injury to your back.


My Father-in-Law has been working in UK for 2 years for the same company. He started suffering with sight loss due to his work and has signed off with sick notes and going to many hospital appointments.

The employer has now terminated his job and sent a p45 to him. Is he able to claim any compensation from the employer? My Father-in-Law is now registered as blind now. He has 10% sight left in one of his eyes but the other one is 100% blind.

Ian Morris

If the sight loss that your father-in-law has suffered has been caused through employer negligence, he can pursue a claim for personal injury compensation and loss of income against the employer.

With this in mind, we need to know what caused his sight loss – what work he was doing and whether the employer failed to provide the correct PPE and training.


I have chronic piriformis syndrome from sitting on a hard plastic chair at work for 10 hours a day. I am being paid sick pay but am struggling to pay for treatment. Will I be able to claim any money back?

Ian Morris

Have you ever requested a work station assessment from your employer? If it can be shown that you have complained about the chair and the employer has done nothing – or if the chair in question is not fit for purpose and your GP directly links your piriformis syndrome to the chair you sit on at work, you would be able to claim personal injury compensation and recover lost income or incurred costs.


Hi I’m a self employed plasterer. I recently cut my fingers a tendons on my left hand. I was told to use a scissor lift to which my ticket had run out and had to climb over it to get access to the work in doing so I slipped and cut my hand on metal stud work. Am I at fault for this or is the company I subcontract to partly to blame?

Ian Morris

At worst, I would suggest that this would be a split liability matter. Although you knew your ticket had expired and you probably should have refused to access the scissor lift, the fact that your ticket situation was not checked by the main contractor indicates that they have been negligent.


Hi there,

I was pushing a tip skip at work when the holding clip came off the lever and tipped on to me. I went to hospital and have been told I have shoulder ligament damage and now need to go for scans for a shoulder impingement. Would i have any grounds to claim for compensation?


Ian Morris

We think you have valid grounds to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. Please call us on 01225430285.


I had an accident at work .I was helping a colleague turn over a large steel frame , whilst doing this the frame slipped my colleague lost his grip and the frame dropped pulling my arm sharply . I have been off work for 8 weeks and my boss said if I can’t return to work in next few weeks I’ll have to resign , have I got a case?

Ian Morris

We think you have valid grounds to pursue a claim against your employer. Whilst the cause of your injury was an accident, it was avoidable if better practices had been used in the process of the work you were doing. With this in mind, our Solicitors can seek to make a claim on the basis of employer negligence which if successful, would enable you to recover compensation for the impact that the arm injury is having on you and also to recover lost income caused by the injury. Our No Win No Fee service is here to help you with your claim.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285