How to find out if you are entitled to compensation


In simple terms, any person who has been injured and believes that someone else is responsible for their injuries, can make a claim for compensation. The law is the same for adults and children, with the only difference being the length of time you get to make your claim. Children are allowed up until their 21st birthday to pursue a claim, whilst adults have 3 years.

The first question to ask is whether the accident which lead to the injuries was caused by negligence? Could the accident have been avoided by using better practices and did the 3rd party have every reasonable chance to foresee such an accident?

These are the main criteria you need to check to see if you can claim:

  • Was the accident someone else’s fault?
  • Do you know the identity of the liable party (business name and address etc)?
  • If not, did you report the incident to the police or local authority?
  • Have you sought medical treatment from your GP or hospital?
  • If not, are your injuries still presenting symptoms that your GP can diagnose?

Ultimately, you’ll need to speak to a solicitor to confirm whether or not you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. They will assess the merits of your case and be able to tell you if claiming is in your best interest.

Valid work accident claims

Just having an accident at work is not enough to guarantee compensation. To make a valid claim, the injured employee must be able to demonstrate that the employer was liable and exposed the staff to risk of injury, rather than it being their own fault. For example:

  1. Did your employer give you the correct training?
  2. Were you given an induction to the workplace?
  3. Were you provided with personal safety and protective equipment to complete your job safely?
  4. Did your employer adequately maintain equipment and service machines?
  5. Were you advised how to report accidents and how to access the accident book?
  6. Did your employer ensure correct staffing levels and an adequate amount of first aid trained staff?
  7. Did your employer act upon reports of potential risks of danger to employees?

The above is just a guide and there could be many more ways in which an employer would be liable. See the article ‘How do I know if I have a valid work accident claim‘ for more details.

Valid road traffic accident claims

RTA claims can be made for a range of physical and psychological injuries, not just whiplash. And the cause of the accident need not be another vehicle, it could equally be a faulty traffic light or road surface. If the person who caused the accident is insured you can make a claim against the insurers, for hit and run or uninsured drivers the claim will be made against the Motor Insurance Bureau. If the accident was caused by the road surface itself, it may be possible to make a claim against the Highways Agency.

Valid slip, trip or fall claims

Slips, trips or falls can obviously take place anywhere, but to claim compensation you need to prove that responsibility for the accident lies with a third party rather than yourself. Shops, restaurants, libraries and business establishments, for example, all have a responsibility to ensure people’s safety. If they fail to do so and accidents occur as a result, they can be found to have been negligent and liable to compensate the injured party.

Clearly, if you slip and fall after mucking about, any injuries you have are going to be seen as being your own fault. You can’t claim personal injury compensation if an accident was caused by your own actions!

For more detailed information see the following articles:

Reporting the accident

Another important factor in making a successful claim is reporting the details of your accident to the right people. If you’ve slipped on a wet floor in a private establishment (a business premises, a supermarket, a cinema, a restaurant etc) you must make every effort to ensure that the party responsible for running the premises is informed. Any employer or location open to the public should have an accident book and a way of recording incidents. By recording the incident, you are providing proof that you fell in their premises and that your injuries were caused on their patch.

Unless you are severely injured and incapacitated, you should report your accident and injuries immediately and ensure that they are noted in an accident book. If the third party tell you they don’t have an accident book, or won’t let you have access to it, there are things you can do.

Are your injuries serious enough?

It’s not enough to just be injured, the injury has to be severe enough to provide a sufficient level of quantum to enable the claim to be placed. Quantum is the posh Latin term for value of the claim used in the legal world. To ensure that the injury value is sufficient, it is usually the case that an injured client will need to have suffered from their injury for a period of at least a few weeks. Therefore, if you sprained your ankle mildly and recovered within a fortnight, you would struggle to bring a claim. But if you sprained your ankle badly, tearing the ligaments and spent 6 weeks on crutches and then had 5 physio sessions, your claim would easily pass the quantum test.

If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim as medical evidence is needed to support your claim. If you have been suffering in silence and haven’t seen the GP, you still can. If the GP is happy to note that your injuries are consistent with those suffered in a slipping on a wet or dangerous floor surface, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim.

If all this seems a bit complicated, or you haven’t done any of the above, don’t worry – if you contact us we can talk you through it and help you to complete the necessary steps.

Being involved in an accident which isn’t your fault can be rather traumatic, not just for you but also for your family. Most people don’t know how to react after being thrust into such a scenario and it can rock a family to their core when they least expect it.

You might not think it is worth going through the hassle of putting in a claim for compensation, but it doesn’t take much time at all and provided you hire a good solicitor who has experience in dealing with such matters, you will find the process of claiming for compensation rather easy.

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  1. Hi I have worked for 27 months as a lone worker although I understand the role as lone worker my problem is I am treated as such in work for 27 months I have been ignored, felt isolated, and completely alien with my line manager and other employees, I have tried to exchange pleasantries with other employees and I don’t receive a response they just walk away from me ignore me,, the priest leaves money around all the time making me feel distrusted when I have never give him cause to not trust me,, I work in a presbytery it’s a cold, hostile environment, I am now of work through stress, and depression and have saw my doctor he understands and as given me a sick note,, and referred me to therapy,, have I a good case for personal injury. Thank you.

    • Before you could seek to make a claim, you’d need to make sure that your employers are made aware (in writing) of your grievances and concerns. This then gives them an opportunity to resolve the problem.

      If the employer fails to act on your notice of concern, it does not mean that you have a definite claim, but it does at least open the door for further investigation as to whether the employer should have acted on your concerns. If it were then found that they should, but did not, you would have a valid claim.

  2. In 2014 i was injured my neck and shoulders the doctor said to much lifting heavy machine parts, took time off with pay work mans coop. In 2016 the same thing i went to open old clam the case worker said not the same close it up. File a new one sent me to every Doctor they said i’m Okay made me more cray, my work would never answer phone to me,i was calling twice daily, so no choice i try for unemployment, got few checks until unemployment sent letter my Job said i quit a lie, i had no one, my old Job got rid of workers, just keep me back in the washroom washing Machine parts the heaviest was 65lb. i would have 8 big machen’s are more in a day, i would put machine parts away where they went wash and mop take garbage out i was so busy for 10 hours i would not take break i had to get it done they loved my work being fast from this day i’m in pain every day neck shoulder thighs . in late 2017 after all the Doctor not saying what was hurting me, now i have a great doctor i have Degenist disc any thing i can do for how i was treated?

    • Under UK law, you are out of limitation as more than 3 years has passed since you developed symptoms of injury. As such, we cannot help you claim compensation from your employer.

  3. Hello on dec 25th dec my wife fell on a wet floor in Sainsburys. The wet floor sign was up but the floor was unduly wet from cleaning even the tho store had over 90 mind of opening time.
    Itvwas all logged at the time. I did contact legal aid who say since the floor sign was up i cannot get compensation. Is this true? I dont think Sainsburys duty of care was upheld that time and the floor was dried up with a machine just after the accident ( i have a video) so why was it left in that state. Aby help is appreciated Stephen

    • The provision of or placement of a hazard warning sign is just that – a warning of a possible hazard. Erecting a hazard sign does not in and of itself absolve the proposed defendant of liability should someone then slip. Whilst the defendants may have met the required duty of care by erecting the hazard warning sign, it would be sensible for us to have the matter reviewed for your wife. If it can be shown that the provided sign was an inadequate warning given the condition of the floor, the claim may be able to proceed.

      To this end, we suggest that you email the video clip you mentioned to us at: in order that we can seek further opinions from our specialist Solicitors and investigate whether or not we can take this further for you.

  4. Hi
    My knee was painful and I went to the doctor and he put me on antibiotics/anti inflammatory tablets, Last week I was working in a loft space and my knee popped. I was taken to hospital and am signed off sick for 5weeks
    Where do I stand and what, if anything does my employer have to do for me

    • You can hold your employer liable for your injuries and losses if you can attribute the cause of your knee injury to employer negligence. In this case, you need to ask why your knee ‘popped’? If it was simply an accidental injury with no employer negligence, the employer has no obligations towards you other than to fulfill whatever contractual agreements you have and await your return to work.

      However, if your knee injury was sustained as a result of a lack of training, insufficient and incorrect working equipment or some other employer negligence issue then you can pursue a claim for compensation and loss of income. To further discuss the specifics of your knee injury to find out if you can pursue a claim, you can call us on 01225430285.

  5. Hi, I was wondering if I have a compensation claim at work. I have recently had to take time off work due to constant back pain caused by incorrect manual handling procedures used by my company. I have self medicated to ease the pain but I know that if I go back to work I will be back to square one again. Other than reporting this on my self certification there is no record of this in the accident book.

    • You should make a written representation to your employer regarding your condition and their incorrect manual handling procedures. This will put the matter on record with the employer and provide important evidence in any future claim. Of course, it would also be wise to see your GP to have the details of your symptoms recorded within your medical records.

      We would like to speak with you to find out more about your work and discuss the alleged manual handling issues in order to ascertain whether or not you have a valid claim for compensation against your employer. Please use our ‘start a claim’ page to send us your contact details. We can then call you to help you with this matter.

  6. I was working on an aircraft under pressure to get the flight out – so working quickly. Through the flight I got into some equipment to move it off the stand. As I got in the equipment I hit my head hard causing a lot of bleeding. The airport responders attended where I was assessed. My BP dropped and I felt very ill for a while. I was then taken to the hospital where I then received stitches. The equipment in question doesn’t seem to have any rubber protective equipment across the board. Would I have a claim against my company or the manufacturer at all?

    • It is more likely that you would have a claim against your employer, rather than the manufacturer as the employer has tasked you with using that equipment and possibly placed you at risk of injury. I assume that you are not required to wear a hard hat or similar PPE equipment?

      You could well have a claim and we would be happy to further investigate this for you. If you would like to take it further, why not email your contact details to us ( so that we can call you to discuss your options or you can call us on 01225430285.

  7. I crushed my hand at work on a piece of machinery and although my hand is not broken , I have burst a few blood vessels in hand in which i recieved a couple of stitches and wrapped up. I have a 2 week medical line but my work still wants me to go back on light duties and ignore the medical line , who is in the right myself or my employer.

    • No employer can question the opinion or advice of a qualified medical expert and as such, if you have been advised not to work for a period of 2 weeks by your GP or Hospital Doctor, then you should follow that advice. However, it may be that your Doctor has simply said that you cannot do the job you usually do as it would worsen your injury. As such, if the employer is able to offer you a different role that does not affect your hand injury in anyway, there is no harm in getting in to work and continuing to earn your income.

      Returning to work or otherwise would not impact on the outcome of any claim for accident at work compensation that you may choose to make. Given that your hand was crushed, something has clearly gone wrong and as such, we would like to investigate that further for you to see if you have a valid claim for work accident compensation. If you would like to take this further, please call our team on 01225430285, email me or use our ‘start a claim’ page and we’ll call you to find out more about the work, what happened to you and how you were injured and offer advice to get your No Win No Fee claim started.

  8. I was picked up by my friend from eye casualty where I was told to be extremely careful and not to traumatise my eye at all. My friend took me for a quiet pub lunch. We sat at a large heavy wooden table with four benches round it. Suddenly the table upended and all I could see was the large table and parasol coming towards me. I was soaked from the drinks, glass all around me and badly shaken. We discovered there were no bolts on the hinges holding the table down on at least two sides. Photos taken. Aches and pains everywhere which I reported to GP but nothing much visible. I will be seeing eye specialist next week to check my eye but again nothing visible. Tee shirt ruined.

    However, now when I go out I am anxious about sitting at pub tables and find I am nervous about even sitting in chairs in public places. The brewery took a week to get back to me and have offered new clothes and a lunch in another of theirs pubs. That’s fine but it doesn’t cut it for me. I feel a cheque for a couple of hundred pounds would help me to get over the distress rather than another lunch I don’t feel up to. What do you think?

    • The lack of bolts on the hinges holding the table down is likely to be seen as an act of negligence should you pursue a claim for compensation. Thankfully, it seems that you escaped serious injury in this accident but the aches and pains, plus the associated anxiety caused to you in this incident is likely to be seen as sufficiently serious injuries to warrant making a claim against the brewery. To add to this, you have not yet seen your eye specialist and must be concerned about any possible impact that this incident has had on your recovery to your eye problem. You should definitely report your anxiety on both counts to your GP.

      We would be very happy to further investigate your claim against the brewery and invite you to use our ‘start a claim‘ page so that we can then call you before getting a specialist Solicitor to discuss this matter with you.

      You may prefer to liaise directly with the brewery to see if you can reach a satisfactory outcome, but our advice would always be to speak with a specialist personal injury Solicitor before agreeing any settlement as it is unlikely that you would be adequately compensated by dealing with the insurers directly.

      • Thank you so much for your reply I really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.
        Would I be able to have a phone call free of charge from a solicitor? I would like to have a modest settlement with the brewery but would love the advice from a solicitor before negotiating with them.
        Kind regards

        • Please call us on 01225430285 so that we can arrange for you to have a brief chat with one of our partner Solicitors.

    • Hi my brother had a accident 10 years ago. A police car hit him on the road. We went solicitor but they said we need to do a case. But I was young and my mum wasn’t very knowledgeable about these. From then he had a mental health. Do I have a claim.

      • If you are now over the age of 21 years, you would not be entitled to take any action in this matter. The law is strict when it comes to how long you have to make a claim for compensation and that is a maximum of 3-years from the date of an accident for any person ages 18 or older. For those under the age of 18 at the time of an accident, the law allows them until their 21st Birthday to make a claim.

  9. Hi I am a fireman and had a hiatus hernia operation carried out 12 months ago and made a full recovery . I recently injured myself carrying out a heavy lifting procedure in work in an awkward position . I was told to do this by a manager and he watched me do it. The strain injury was to the hiatus hernia I had repaired 12 months ago. I am now off work with all the symptoms back of hiatus hernia . The investigation is ongoing as I write but I need some outside advice . Thanks

    • You could seek to make a claim for compensation for the injury sustained if the employer has been negligent towards your health and safety at work. In your case, your employer must ensure that you have received adequate manual handling training and that you are not made to lift incorrectly. Also, the employer should take in to account your level of fitness and consider any pre-existing injuries or noted issues that may impact on your ability to lift safely.

      Of course, in the role you fulfil, there are risks to safety that cannot be totally avoided, but the standard obligations for the Fire Service to adhere to the requirements of the Health & Safety at work act remain in place.

  10. my wife has received a head injury whilst walking along a pavement and tripping over a raised water meter cover on a small newly built housing estate. Most of the houses are occupied and the pavement was opened up for public use8/9 months ago possibly longer. It is too soon to say what the long term affect will be on her health but being in her mid 70,s it could have longer term repercussions so I feel she needs to consider all her options when she feels sufficiently recovered. I have taken plenty of photographs with a 50p coin to guage size of hazard and intend advising the developer and local authority but don`t hold out much hope as local residents have been complaining to the planning officer for months saying the state of the pavements are an accident waiting to happen and the developer is very cavalier in his attitude. The pavement is a route for children walking to the village school and this played a part in granting planning permission for the site, It seems to me both developer and planning/building control have been negligent one for giving public access for something not fit for purpose the other for not using their enforcement powers when public safety is being put at risk. Does my wife have a winnable case?

    • As you can imagine, at this stage we can’t say for certain that your wife has a winnable claim for tripping accident compensation. However, I can say that on the basis of your initial description of the incident and cause of your wife’s injury, it would seem that she has a valid claim for tripping accident compensation that warrants further investigation as the relevant ‘boxes’ appear to have been ticked in that there is a tripping hazard protruding from the pavement surface that has been in situ for many months (if not longer).

      We would need to see the photographs of the ‘hazard’ and discuss the situation in more detail to give a more qualified view, but our initial view is positive. We would like to help further with this as and when your wife feels able to do so. At that time, please either call us on 01225430285.

      Whilst it is always wise to avoid delays in making a claim, your wife does have 3 years from the date of her accident in which she can make a claim.

  11. Hi Ian

    I was in the store yesterday (25 June) at around 15.50h/16.00h

    I entered the store and initially looked at the refrigerated meats. I did not pick up any items.

    I then walked across the aisle and in the middle of it slipped, fell and landed on my bottom/back.
    I dropped both my iphone and wallet.

    I am 6ft and 15 stone and the noise from the fall alerted the whole store.

    A number of shoppers assisted me.

    It became immediately apparent that I had slipped on pink yoghurt type product that was on the aisle flooring and the skid mark was visible.

    I fell into a metal basket holding crisps which was knocked over and cut my arm. My iphone screen smashed.

    I did get up but was obviously shocked.

    Two members of staff came to the shop floor and one of them took a photograph of the yogurt.

    The yogurt was cleaned up and I went into the back of the store with the Duty Manager and left my details. The incident was filmed on CCTV.

    I was actually quite shaken by the incident.

    I awoke this morning with a very sore lower spine; my right knee is also sore. I called the local GPs and I have an appointment at 4.30pm today to check that I have not damaged anything.

    As my back is sore I have decided to remain at home today so that I dont have to drive 40 miles round trip for 2 hours.

    I am actually quite annoyed about this incident.

    The accident shows negligence with regard to Health and Safety.

    The accident have led to personal injury.

    The accident has led to the damage of personal items which are essential for my work.

    I don’t think that the injuries are long term, just soft tissue.

    Do I have a claim?

    • The scenario you describe certainly indicates that you have a valid claim for slipping accident compensation and on that basis, we suggest that our team call you to help get the ball rolling.

      At Direct2Compensation we can link you with some of the best slipping accident compensation Solicitors available and our No Win No Fee service means that you can pursue the claim without having to take any personal risk.

      Of course, there can be no guarantee of success with any claim but given your description of the incident, we think this claim should be pursued and we look forward to helping you with that.

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