Accident At Work Compensation Claims Guide

All employers have a responsibility to keep their workers safe from injury, including temporary staff. If their negligence led to you or someone you know having an accident and being injured at work, then you are entitled to claim compensation. In this article you’ll find advice on how to make a claim, and how to tell if you are eligible to do so.

Table of contents:

Accidents at work - safety is a job

Accidents at work naturally cause a lot of stress and anxiety, and understandably, compensation claims against an employer present a difficult situation for both parties. However, you can maintain a good relationship and get things resolved in everyone’s interest with the right approach.

Just having an accident at work is not enough to guarantee compensation. It can’t be your own fault – it must be demonstrated that the employer was liable and exposed the staff to risk of injury. In this article we look at what’s involved in a work accident claim, how to make a successful one, and what amount of compensation you can expect.

Why claim compensation?

Claiming personal injury compensation will help ease some of the personal and practical problems you’ll face following your accident. As well as a financial compensation settlement, claiming can also help you in other ways:

  • Making a claim is your legal right, and fairly compensates you for injuries that were not your fault.
  • It can pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
  • It can make up for lost income now and in the future.

Initial help

Managing financially can be a real problem for many claimants. Especially if their injuries are serious enough to prevent them from working and getting paid what they are used to. As such, the driving factor for a claim is usually the sudden loss of income, not the pain or discomfort of injuries. Most employers only pay the standard salary for a short period, then many people find themselves living off nothing more than basic sick pay. We normally find you have two immediate concerns:

  • When will I be able to get back to work?
  • How will I pay my bills in the meantime?

Once your claim is active, we can request a payment for any treatment required to return you to work as soon as possible. We can also obtain a payment on account of your compensation from your employer’s insurance company to cover the period you are unable to work.

All claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, so you will never be charged if your claim fails to succeed. A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you, with the value of the claim including any lost income and incurred costs. In addition, you’ll receive a settlement for the injuries you have suffered and medical treatment that you have required.

Employers are insured

Do not feel that reporting the accident would damage the reputation or financial health of your company. All employers must have insurance to protect both you and them should you have an accident at work. Therefore, any compensation for a work related injury will be paid by the insurance company, not your employer. You can make a claim in the knowledge that you are not jeopardising any colleagues’ employment.

Employer responsibilities

Employers have responsibilities after an accident at work and employees have the right to pursue a claim for compensation. Any worker can claim, whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary agency staff.

It is the employer’s responsibility to understand an accident and take the right measures, rather than the employee.

Every company that employs staff is responsible for their health and safety whilst they are working. If an employer does not have proper procedures in place, they are breaching their responsibilities and they can be prosecuted. Your employer is legally responsible for your safety.

It is up to the employer to carry out risk assessments and ensure the workplace is safe and free from hazardous objects. This includes allocating first aiders and providing training on lifting and handling office equipment. The employer should also ensure that staff are provided with the necessary equipment to protect them while undertaking any activity.

Your employer has a legal obligation to report any accidents to the Incident Contact Centre of the Health and Safety Executive. Any accident will need to be reported, regardless of how minor.

One requirement is to ensure that details of any incident are recorded within an accident book or accident recording system. These details can prove to be extremely important when it comes to a solicitor winning a claim for injury compensation. If an employer has refused you the right to record the details of your accident within their accident book, or you just haven’t done so, it doesn’t mean you can’t claim. A strong record in an accident book is just one of the many key bits of evidence that can help any personal injury compensation claim reach a successful outcome, and you can often find other means of proving what happened.

Making a successful claim

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. Whilst it is vital you seek proper advice to assess whether or not you have a viable claim, there are some basic pointers that can help you identify where you stand.

Potential signs of liability

  1. Did your employer ever give you any training? (this could relate to manual handling training, specific training to use certain machinery or other job relevant training). If the answer is no, your employer has breached health and safety guidance already.
  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 personal safety and protective equipment you should have to complete your job safely? If the answer is no, your employer could be liable for your injury.
  4. Did your employer adequately maintain equipment and service machines? Did they ensure that safety guards and mechanisms worked?
  5. Were you advised how to report accidents and how to access the accident book?
  6. Did the 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. In most cases, it is relatively easy for us to evaluate the likely outcome of a claim for workplace accident compensation. If you are unsure whether you have a valid claim, please do contact us and we’ll be able to tell you.

Actions to take

The following actions should be taken to give yourself the best chance of winning your compensation claim:

  1. The matter should be recorded in the employer’s accident book. The injured party should contribute to what is written and only sign it when they are happy it is accurate. Previous complaints or comments about potential hazards that relate to the accident in question should be noted. The injuries should be described and their cause listed. The injured party should ask for a copy of the accident book entry. In circumstances where there is no accident book entry, there are still things you can do.
  2. The injured party must receive medical treatment. This could be by attending their GP, or A&E.
  3. If possible, obtain the names and addresses of supporting witnesses. Whilst the accident book entry is the main evidence for an accident at work claim, having supporting statements from colleagues can provide a stronger prospect of success in certain cases.
  4. Following medical treatment, explain the situation to the employer and discuss the likelihood of any return to work.

It is important to ensure the details of the accident and injuries have been correctly recorded as soon as possible. If you have had an accident at work you should explain to your employer the exact series of events that caused it. Immediately reporting will help them curtail such accidents in future by adopting proper safety precautions.

If the employer is not convinced with your explanation, bring in witness testimonies to verify your story. The witnesses in this case would most probably be your fellow employees and colleagues.

Don’t worry if you haven’t been able to do any of this yet, get in touch and we’ll be able to guide you and help you get your claim off to a good start.

How much personal injury compensation will I receive?

Every claim is different. However, there are guidelines issued by the courts for solicitors and you’ll find a table below showing what amount of compensation you can expect depending on your injury. All our solicitors are experts in handling work accident compensation claims and know how to use these guidelines to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation. You will be advised as to the likely level of compensation for your injuries once initial evidence has been collected.

In addition to the award for your injuries, you will also receive compensation for all other losses and expenses reasonably incurred as a result of the work accident. Your expert solicitor will advise you what expenses you can claim but these are likely to include some or all of the following:

  • Lost earnings if you have been away from work as a result of the accident
  • Treatment for your injuries
  • Miscellaneous expenses (bus fares, painkillers etc)

One of the other major benefits of making a claim for compensation is the possibility of accessing excellent rehab therapies. Our specialist solicitors will look to obtain such treatments for claimants, including physiotherapy, massage therapy, osteopathy and many other kinds of intervention. You can recover more quickly and therefore be in a position to return to work and get back to normality sooner.

Compensation Amounts Guide

The following is a guide to how much you can expect to claim, just for your injury. It does not include amounts for “special damages”, for example, loss of earnings, expenses or medical treatment.

Head and Face

Part Of BodySeverityCompensation Amount
HeadMinor eg: no brain damage£1,600 to £9,700
HeadSerious eg: lasting changes£11,600 to £214,300
HeadSevere eg: full-time care£214,300 to £307,000
EyesMinor eg: temporary vision problems£1,650 to £6,700
EyesSerious eg: lost sight in one eye£6,900 to £50,000
EyesSevere eg: near or total blindness£80,500 to £204,200
EarsMinor eg: partial hearing loss£5,300 to £34,650
EarsSerious eg: hearing loss in one ear£23,850 to £34,650
EarsSevere eg: total deafness£68,950 to £107,500
FaceMinor eg: light scarring£1,290 to £2,670
FaceSerious eg: facial fracture£1,770 to £28,950
FaceSevere eg: facial disfigurement£13,700 to £74,500

Upper Body

Part Of BodySeverityCompensation Amount
NeckMinor eg: whiplash£1,850 to £6,050
NeckSerious eg: fractures or dislocation£29,300 to £42,500
NeckSevere eg: partial or total paralysis£34,570 to £112,800
BackMinor eg: strains or soft tissue damage£300 to £9,450
BackSerious eg: permanent pain£9,450 to £29,500
BackSevere eg: partial or total paralysis£29,450 to £122,300
ShoulderMinor eg: pain for less than two years£300 to £6,050
ShoulderSerious eg: pain lasting a few years£6,050 to £9,750
ShoulderSevere eg: significant disability£9,750 to £36,450
Hips and PelvisMinor eg: recovery within a few years£3,000 to £9,580
Hips and PelvisSerious eg: hip replacement£9,550 to £29,850
Hips and PelvisSevere eg: long term effects, bowel damage£29,800 to £99,550

Hands and Arms

Part Of BodySeverityCompensation Amount
FingerMinor eg: fractureUp to £360
FingerSerious eg: amputation£3,000 to £14,255
FingerSevere eg: multiple amputation£6,570 to £69,050
ThumbMinor eg: recovery within a few monthsUp to £1,680
ThumbSerious eg: tendon or nerve damage£3,050 to £9,550
ThumbSevere eg: loss of grip, amputation£9,550 to £12,740
HandMinor eg: cuts and soft tissue damage£650 to £22,000
HandSerious eg: significant effect on use£22,000 to £47,000
HandSevere eg: amputation or loss of use£47,000 to £153,150
WristMinor eg: quick recovery after fracture£2,650 to £3,550
WristSerious eg: continuing discomfort£5,600 to £18,620
WristSevere eg: partial or total loss of use£18,600 to £45,450
ElbowMinor eg: tennis or golfer’s elbow£2,650 to £9,550
ElbowSerious eg: significant restricted movement£11,850 to £24,300
ElbowSevere eg: surgery or disability£29,750 to £41,650
ArmMinor eg: quick recovery after fracture£5,000 to £29,750
ArmSerious eg: restricted movement or disability£29,750 to £99,450
ArmSevere eg: amputation£73,050 to £228,050

Lower Body

Part Of BodySeverityCompensation Amount
ToeMinor eg: fracture£4,200 to £7,300
ToeSeriouseg: ongoing symptoms£7,300 to £16,050
ToeSevere eg: amputation£23,750 to £42,650
FootMinor eg: constant pain but no disability£5,320 to £10,445
FootSerious eg: fractured heel or foot£19,000 to £53,150
FootSevere eg: amputation£63,820 to £153,250
AchillesMinor eg: weakened ankle£5,520 to £16,050
AchillesSerious eg: partial tendon tear£18,950 to £22,850
AchillesSevere eg: severed tendonUp to £29,250
AnkleMinor eg: sprain or fracture£10,400 to £20,150
AnkleSerious eg: surgery required£23,850 to £38,000
AnkleSevere eg: major disability or amputation£38,000 to £52,995
KneeMinor eg: twists, dislocation£4,600 to £19,950
KneeSerious eg: some disability, long-term pain£19,850 to £32,990
KneeSevere eg: constant pain or disability£39,600 to £73,120
LegMinor eg: fracture or soft tissue damage£1,850 to £19,850
LegSerious eg: long-term effects£21,050 to £103,200
LegSevere eg: amputation£74,450 to £214,300

Work Claims FAQ

Can agency or temporary workers make a claim?

The same health and safety at work regulations cover all employees, therefore any can make a claim. This is regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time, on a short-term contract or even working via a 3rd party agency on temporary terms. Employers must ensure that all staff are adequately trained to work safely and provided with the right equipment. They should also have knowledge of company procedures, how to access support and how to report any incidents and where to seek first aid assistance.

Will claiming compensation cost me my job?

The answer to this is straightforward – no. Another one of those personal injury compensation myths designed to put you off from claiming for your injuries.

Will claiming compensation after an accident at work damage my employer?

Again, this is a myth. Whilst it’s never good to have to claim against their insurance cover, it will not damage the business in the long run. If your employer has breached safety guidelines and is liable it is only fair that you should receive compensation. The worst that will happen to the employer from the perspective of your successful claim against them is that they will be likely to see a rise in their insurance premium and have to pay an excess towards your claim. One positive of such an outcome is that it’s likely to get the employer to make changes to the way that they work, so that future employees can enjoy a safer workplace.

Can I prove that my employer is responsible?

This isn’t something you should normally have to worry about. Your specialist personal injury solicitor will know the law and how to hold someone to account.

Will my colleagues find out about my claim?

Another no. The details of your claim are confidential. Your employer must tell no persons other than their insurers, and your solicitor will adhere to data protection guidelines. It’s up to you who you tell or don’t tell about your claim.

Will me making a claim help protect colleagues?

It’s always important to report any workplace accident. If you do so and then make a successful claim, your employer is likely to sit up and take notice. They can amend their work practices and reduce the risk of the same thing happening again.

How long do I have to claim?

Normally you have three years from the date of the accident to make your claim for compensation. This can be extended for an even longer period in some circumstances, for example, if you were not 18 years old at the time.

Free advice

It is always worthwhile seeking guidance from fully qualified personal injury solicitors who specialise in accidents at work. We can help you to understand the process and complete it without hassle, maintaining your relationship with your employer to its best level.

Contact Direct 2 Compensation for confidential, friendly advice and we can start looking after you and your claim.

18 questions   ASK YOUR OWN

  1. Hi I had an accident at work which resulted in me running over my toe with a cage which tore off my big toe nail I was took to a&e which I had an x ray but nothing was broken but did say I had severe soft tissue damage and of course a lot of pain.
    Now I grant that I was pulling the cage that ran over my toe but I believe there is circumstances ie health & safety etc could you advise please

    1. Wayne

      I am pleased you have found our accident at work compensation information to be of use. Thank you for taking the time to comment to find out more about your options as to any possible compensation after your injuries sustained in an accident at your workplace.

      As you may appreciate, it is very difficult for me to advise you as to any possible claim at this stage as I don’t know what caused the cage to roll over your foot and damage your toe. Although you were pulling the cage, you may well still be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have sustained if we can demonstrate that your employer has in someway been negligent in their approach to health and safety in the workplace. For example, if the cage that you were pulling was faulty you may have a right to claim compensation or if the cage were overloaded for example. Also, if there are any hazards on the floor of the workplace that could have caused the incident, the employer would be likely to be held liable. Another possible area that requires further attention will be with regards to what footwear the employer requires staff to wear and whether there are any issues with this.

      We need to know more, so please either email me further information so that I can respond in greater detail or better still, forward your telephone number to us by email: [email protected] and I will call you. A quick chat on the phone will enable me to get a firm understanding of your injuries and the cause and allow me to ascertain whether or not you have a viable claim for compensation.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Yours sincerely


  2. My boyfriwnd broke his finger and is now doing therapy but is scared and still uses his righr hand with the broken finger because they keep telling him he’s on the line to be fired. They call him lazy and to suck it up. He btoke his finger at work because they didnt have the right lever to pull the air gun pressure.
    What should he do. Hes alwayd stressed

    1. Kelly

      Your boyfriend’s injury would appear to have been caused because the employer has failed to provide the correct equipment needed for the job. As such, they are responsible for his injury and would most likely have to accept liability for his injury should he opt to pursue a claim for compensation.

      We would be delighted to assist him with a claim against his employer. Should he wish to pursue this further, please email a contact number to us.

  3. Hi I work in lifting and re stumping houses I have had no prior back problems as far as I am aware I started getting back pain on the 15th of March I just assumed it was from working too hard as of the 19th of April my partners brother is a doctor and he suggested I go and get scans done on my lower back so I had ct and xray of my lumbar region they found disc bulge of L5/ S1 which is touching my sciatic nerve on my right leg is giving me back pain some days worse than others I had no lifting training by my employer and my employer has made me lift average of 20 to 50 kg posts for houses by my self for 5 months also c channel steel beams weighing from 70 to 200 kg just me and him as a results of his excavator being stolen off him so we had to lift them by hand also lifting ][ beams that look like this double c beams that we use to lift the houses with that weigh up to 200 kg and pine and hard wood blocks of wood used to stack sort of like jenga the game to support beams on average working 12 hours a day 5 days a week. I’m 26 6:4 foot tall do or would i have a case for compensation he just got someone else in to help me 2 weeks before I last work and he struggled doing what I was and he is only 22 I’m also concerned as I’m not there now that the same thing might happen to the other bloke as my boss just drives you constantly get 10 mins for smoko and 30 for lunch boss has no regard for workers well being just his pocket $ signs I also have shoulder problems now still waiting on tests my neck gets stuck a lot some of the steels I had to carry on my shoulders and also had to half squat with those steels on my shoulder and even lift them over my head

    1. Thank you for coming to our website to discuss the back pain you have suffered as a result of the heavy lifting you are tasked with at work.

      On the basis of your comment, I would say that you have a viable and valid claim for compensation to be made against your employer. In the UK, employers are obliged by law (Health & Safety at work act) to ensure that employees are provided with adequate training, guidance and support to ensure that the risk of injury is minimised as far as possible. In the case of heavy lifting, it is vital that an employer provides manual handling training to demonstrate how to lift safely, but also ensure that item weights are listed and that employees are aware of the maximum weight they can lift safely. Employers must also ensure that lifting equipment is available to ensure that those items that are unsafe for a person to lift manually can be lifted and moved mechanically.

      You should ensure that the full details of your health symptoms and cause are recorded with your employer and then seek the services of a specialist injury compensation solicitor.

  4. Hi I have been working on site sanding lead paint of windows with no extraction, little ventilation, no over clothes and have had to buy a more suitable dust mask than my employer provides. Due to this I no have lead poisoning and my levels are close to being suspended from work

    1. Dave

      It could well be that tour employer has breached their health and safety responsibilities in this case and exposed you to a hazard that was avoidable.

      We’d like to put your claim to our specialist Solicitors and let them investigate this for you. Please either email your number to me or call us on 01225430285 so that we can discuss this with you in greater detail.

  5. I hurt my back several times last year due to the work I perform. I had a car accident 4 years ago and my boss blames that accident for my back injuries. My primary care physician says that my back problem is not at all related to the accident but rather is due to long hours standing at work. I was referred to physical therapy and I was given a medical clearance to work as long as I keep up with the physical therapy. My boss ignores what my doctor says and keeps saying that my problem was caused by the accident I so He is not responsible for that. He recently fired me saying that I could become a liability for him. What can I do?

    1. Vanessa

      Your employers point of view/opinion is irrelevant – if a physician/Doctor has linked your back pain symptoms to the nature of the work you perform.

      As your Doctor has drawn a link between the two (your symptoms and your work) you need to speak with your employer to see if they can do anything to change your work station/job role to one that doesn’t cause these problems. Further, and perhaps most importantly, if your back pain has been developed as a result of employer negligence, such as a lack of manual handling/lifting training or the failure to provide adequate and correct assistance with the work, you should pursue a claim for compensation to cover the pain, discomfort and injury caused to you by your work.

      I hope this helps.


  6. How do i handle an old on the job permeantly partial injury that is being aggation by the job im performing now

    1. Angela

      If you have a pre-existing injury/health condition that is being agitated by your work, you should advise the employer and discuss the situation with them. It could be that they could agree to some simple changes to your workstation or provide a simple piece of equipment that helps you and prevents the work from exacerbating/worsening your health.


  7. Hello, I fell about 6 months ago at my now previous employer off of a broken chair. As a result I am in pain management and have had 2 sets of xrays and one MRI confirming my L4 L5 and S1 discs are messed up and one is slightly bulging into my spinal sac. I sat on the tile floor for 5 mins before someone picked me up and notified the GM in which it took her 15 mins to check on me. I asked about putting this down in the incident report book and she refused because it was 5 mins before I clocked in (I sat down to put my work shoes on and fell) She also admitted she knew the chair was broken but I didn’t. She said all I had was a bruised tailbone LOL! Now I am in constant pain and cannot stand or sit more than a couple hours. I am unemployed and about to lose everything I have worked for. When discussing my schedule she said I needed to be put on 2 higher vol days because she had no one to cover it. She didn’t work with me at all. Please help! Here in AZ

    1. Shannon

      By ‘AZ’ do you mean Arizona? If so, we’re not really able to help you as we work within the legal system covering the United Kingdom.

      Your boss should not have refused to make a record of the injury – regardless of whether or not your shift had started, you were injured on the work premises, so they have to record the details. I would suggest that you make a full report to them in writing and retain a copy for your own evidence. You should definitely speak with a specialist personal injury lawyer working where you live.

  8. Hi 8 of august last year 2015 I had an accident at work and received 11 stitches on my left arm I thought it wudnt be a problem but it really is now also received 2 more stitches at the same place of work only a couple of months ago on the same arm near the wrist just wondering cud u give me any advice have I left it to long to do anything r wud I be intitled to sumthing . Thank you

    1. Richard

      You have certainly not left it too long. If you want to make a claim for compensation after an accident at work, you have a period of 3 years from the date of the accident in which you are able to pursue a claim. If you leave it longer than 3 years, you will be statute barred and unable to take action.

      Given that you had an injury on 8th August 2015, you would have until the 8th August 2018 to pursue a claim. We would be very happy to talk over the details of your workplace accidents with you so that we could then ascertain whether or not you would be able to pursue a claim for compensation. Please call us on 01225430285 – a quick 5 minute chat would enable us to explain your rights and help you to pursue a claim for compensation.

  9. Hello my names peter just a quick question regarding injuries at work I fell at work over a palet truck used for moving palets of trays it was my own fault as i was using it at the time in moving a palet of trays I wrote that down in the injury report book at work at the time , I was then taking to hospital x rayed resulting in me having fractured my left shoulder the accident itself as i said was my own fault , however I was told to work outside in the yard a few times before this incident because we were short staffed , and I am not trained in anyway or signed off to work outside in the yard or use any equipment such as the palet truck as my Pacific job with the company I work for is dispach operative packing food products in to trays for distribution do i have a case against the company for making me work outside in the yard with out any formal training is using equipment etc thank you .

    1. Peter

      Thank you for your enquiry. I would suggest that it is worth us getting our specialist solicitors to discuss this with you. Although you feel responsible for the placement of the pallet truck that you fell over, you have also cited a lack of training for the area in which you were working at the time. With this in mind, there maybe something we could do.

      Clearly, I don’t know the full details at this stage, but I would suggest that you call our office on 01225430285 (or make a contact enquiry through our website) so that we can discuss this with you and find out more. We could then offer proper advice to you and potentially help you make a claim for compensation.

Leave a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *