Can I be sacked after an accident at work?

52 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

So you’ve been an injured in an accident at work.

Worried where a compensation claim would leave you?

Many people worry that a compensation claim against their employer might see them being sacked. Or, if not sacked, then cold-shouldered, harassed and effectively forced to resign.

First things first: in most cases, fears like this are totally unfounded. You can’t be fired for making a legitimate compensation claim against your employer following a workplace accident, and such a claim is unlikely to cause you issues at work.

If you work for a large company with an HR department, the firm may not even be aware that a claim’s taking place. Only if you work for a smaller firm, with no HR personnel, might you be unlucky enough to receive negative treatment – and even then, this would be rare.

In short, you should think of a compensation claim as a fair legal process rather than something which could antagonise your employer. We deal with countless cases that are resolved without any ill feeling.

Now let’s cover the situation in more detail.

Table of contents

I’ve had an accident at work. What now?

By law, UK employers have a duty of care to their employees. This means that while you’re at work, your employer is required to:

  • provide you with regular training to carry out your job (this includes training you in the safe use of necessary equipment)
  • take reasonable steps to keep you free from harm, including putting safety precautions in place and undertaking risk assessments
  • provide you with personal protective equipment when needed

All this means that if you’ve been injured in an accident, and there’s evidence your employer has fallen short of these legal standards, you’re likely to be due compensation for any losses you’ve suffered.

What should I do immediately after a workplace accident?

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to sustain an injury, there are certain steps to follow.

Firstly, report what’s happened to your employer as soon as possible. Try to ensure there’s a written record of the accident. This will most likely be in your employer’s Accident Report book, although if this is impossible, you can put it in writing to your employer by other means. Never sign an Accident Report that is inaccurate – especially if you haven’t had a chance to read it or contribute to it.

If needed, you should also escalate your report to the relevant government agency, in this case the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Under the HSE’s Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (known as RIDDOR), your employer is obliged to report certain serious workplace accidents to the HSE.

A written record is a very helpful part of a claim, but don’t despair if you don’t have one. We deal with many kinds of injury compensation claims, and can offer you the best advice for your particular situation.

What else should I do?

More immediately, try to take photos of your injuries, and the place where the accident occurred. If you’ve been asked to work in an unsafe location, for example, you’ll need to prove this. Should you be too badly injured to take photos yourself, and it’s feasible to ask someone else to do this, always do so.

That said, it’s worth pointing out that if taking photos proves impossible, there’s no need to panic. It certainly doesn’t mean your claim will fail.

Another important piece of advice is to seek medical attention for your injuries. If you’ve been badly hurt this goes without saying, but if your injuries are genuine yet more subtle – or likely to worsen over time – then medical advice won’t just help you in the short-term, it will also give you further evidence to submit, in the event of a claim.

One other tip. Most employers will act with integrity in the case of an accident, but some may try to pressure you into signing a form that effectively asks you to accept liability for the incident. Try to avoid doing this (although depending on the situation, a tribunal or court may choose to disregard it in any case).

I’m worried I’ll be sacked if I make a claim. What are my rights?

Your rights are simple. Your employer is not allowed to fire you for proceeding with a legitimate claim. Remember, all employers are required by law to have insurance in place. Employees sometimes hold back from making a valid claim after an accident, wrongly thinking they’ll be leaving their employers out of pocket. But if you do make a successful claim, any compensation will be paid by the insurance company, rather than your employer.

Apart from keeping your job, you also have other rights if you’ve been injured in a work accident, such as being placed on light duties until you recover. Be aware that there’s a three-year limit associated with workplace-related personal injury claims. These claims can sometimes be time-consuming, so our advice would be to get the ball rolling early. The three years begin from the time of the accident.

It goes without saying, of course, that you need to be honest throughout the process. If any part of a claim is dishonest or misleading, it could lead to the claimant’s employment being terminated. The risk of criminal prosecution could also come into play.

One other important point. If you do find yourself in a situation where you’ve been sacked following a legitimate claim – which is thankfully rare – you would then have a further case to claim for unfair dismissal. Employees can only be sacked after an accident for their own gross misconduct, or for being drunk or intoxicated at the time of the incident.

What happens if my claim causes bad relations with my employer?

The majority of reputable employers will view a valid claim in a rational way, rather than seeing it as personal. The truth is, however, that a minority of small businesses do occasionally take claims badly, and may even retaliate by making things more difficult for their employee. If relations between you and your employer do start to sour, to the point where you’re being harassed and unfairly treated, you may feel you have no option but to resign. In this instance, you could have a case for constructive dismissal.

Our partner firm has a leading employment law team who can give advice on your rights, and on what your employer can and cannot do. If, as a result of making a claim, your employer’s behaviour changes and your working environment becomes toxic, it’s important to seek advice immediately.

For constructive dismissal claims, you need to make a claim within three months of resigning.

Will my claim be successful?

This depends. A claim needs to demonstrate negligence on the part of your employer. This could be in the form of anything from insufficient training or substandard equipment to poor health-and-safety guidelines.

But if negligence can be shown, and if you’ve suffered loss of earnings, been negatively impacted or been unable to work as a result of your injury, then there’s a strong chance your claim will be successful. The amount that’s due to you will depend on various factors, including the nature of the accident, the severity of the injury and the length of time you’ve been affected.

Any other questions? Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation consultation.

52 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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Questions & Answers


  1. Stephen

    I have an injury claim with my previous employer (he sacked me due to my injury) 2 1/2 years have now passed and my solicitor has dropped my case. I had 4 case handlers, very little contact with any, now a senior handler has dropped my case. I was told it was a very good case and due the the size of the claim a full partner would be taking over st some point. Now I’ve got 2 months left to get a new solicitor to take on my case, I’m not confident in that. I’m left disabled and unable to find employment.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The fact that you now only have 2 months remaining has put you in a very difficult position as such a short period of time remaining in a claim does make it hard for a Solicitor to take on a case. Although many (indeed most Solicitors) are against taking on a case at this late stage and the majority of our specialist Solicitors also take that view, you should not simply give up and allow the 3 years to pass without trying. There are firms and Solicitors out there who may be able to help you and we do have one specialist partner firm who are not against taking on claims with just a short period of the 3 years remaining.

      You should certainly be making a formal complaint to the Solicitor firm in question (via their complaints procedure) and if they do not resolve the matter, you could then escalate it to the regulatory authorities and perhaps the ombudsman.

      Reply
  2. Ben

    I had have been asking for suitable footwear since 2018, they are very slippery and not much slip protection, i have now had an accident where I’m now on long term sick. With an head injury.

    Will I be sacked if I am still on sick after 28 weeks? My 28 weeks are up next week.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Have you pursued a claim against your employer for the head injury? If not, you should contact us to start the process.

      As to whether or not they will let you go at the end of the 28 weeks, it is unlikely that they would do so immediately, but of course, if you remain unfit to return to work long term, your employer will eventually be within their rights to terminate your employment on ill health grounds.

      Reply
  3. joanne

    My partner has worked for 27 years in a warehouse, some flatpack he moved was stacked incorrectly and fell on his foot and he had injury to his ankle. Took photos of flat pack and injury, had 3 weeks off work with sick notes went back to work for 2 shifts and then got suspended for investigation.

    Cctv used clearly showing flatpack falling, he now has disciplinary next week they saying his fault it fell and clearly stating they think it was planned with him taking photos. His manual handling training is saying April 2020 and it was April 2019, statements have been put in from his friend who witnessed which is on cctv but cos his friend was on his phone and his head bent down on cctv they saying he couldn’t have seen the accident when he was facing my partner and only shows tops of heads on cctv. One of the managers has put he thinks my partner has told his friend what to say when it clearly shows on cctv the flatpack falling.

    He had phone consultation with doctor and has pictures of his injury, they trying to say he pulled the flatpack incorrectly and it was his fault and disciplinary for gross misconduct. Can they actually sack him when it wasn’t his fault? Can he request cctv that other managers have already seen with him on it? It was reported in accident book after he took photos so they saying cos he took photos first they saying falsifying documentation and breach of health and safety, but the training was a year ago. Has he got a good case if they sack him? Thankyou.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      There are two issues here – one relates to the injury at work (an area we can assist with) and the 2nd relates to employment law and his rights under such legislation. If the employer disciplines or dismisses him, he should seek immediate employment law advice regarding the process and his rights.

      In terms of the injury to his ankle, if your Husband didn’t stack the items that fell on to him, he may have a valid right to pursue a claim. We would certainly be happy to assist with a possible claim for compensation. If he would like to take this further, he should call us on 01225430285 or he can ask us to call him if he prefers.

      Reply
  4. Ashley

    Hi, I had 2 slips at work in 2 different times, there was no wet floor sign behind the bar where I work. It resulted in a knee dislocation both times, I took around a month off for the first time then I got sacked after 2 weeks off the second time. I never went and got treated for neither but I’m still having symptoms and It’s affecting my work life, can I still claim?.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the accidents happened within the past 3 years (ideally within the past 2 & 1/2 years), we can further investigate the potential claims for you.

      Were the details of the accidents recorded with the employer in an accident book?

      Reply
      • Ashley

        Maybe the first time it happened, but definitely the second time as my mother had to pick me up from work

        Reply
        • Ian Morris

          This is certainly something we would be happy to investigate and see if we can place your claim with our specialist Solicitors.

          Reply
  5. Ryan

    Injury and work preventing me from working and while being off sick terminated my contact for failing to turn up to a disciplinary, discomfort injury claim put in and liability admitted.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If your injury was caused in a non-fault accident, you can make a claim for personal injury compensation. If you haven’t already got a specialist Solicitor acting for you in your claim, we can help you with that and you can call us on 01225430285.

      For advice regarding your employers decision to terminate your employment and whether or not they acted legally in doing so, it would be sensible to approach a specialist employment law Solicitor for specialist advice.

      Reply
  6. Michael Jones...

    It’s an accident at BT where I worked and union line care saying after 3 years that I cant claim cos there was no CCTV. The boss had to take me to hospital I was that bad, it went into the accident book and i pain into the union, also after 6 months of paying me sick pay I asked for a lighter job and they sacked me and said they are not a charity. I’ve lost a lot of money and been in debt and lots of pain. I’m under the hospital and doctors for my injuries. I still cant walk far. I’ve rang up again today and challenged them and they just didn’t listen.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As more than 3 years have passed since the accident, we cannot help you further as the statute of limitation would bar you from taking action.

      Reply
  7. ann johnson

    Hi asking for grandson, he had an accident at work machine operator they use special gloves, they have recently changed the product and these did not work at protecting him and slicing his hand, he has had two weeks off work and has just gone back, they asked him to sign a liability form which he refused and they have sacked him? are they within their rights to do this?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether they are within their rights to dismiss your grandson is unclear. It certainly sounds somewhat dodgy and we would recommend that he seek advice from an employment law specialist on that issue.

      We can however assist him in making a claim for personal injury compensation caused by the laceration to his hand. Should he wish to make a No Win No Fee claim for compensation, please ask him to call us on 01225430285

      Reply
  8. Steve

    I have worked for a company for 30 years, they have sacked me for being on long term sick, they said they cannot find me any lighter duties so they terminated my employment.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      To ensure that your employer has acted correctly and within employment law, you should make enquiries with an employment law Solicitor.

      Employers can dismiss employees legally if they are found to be unfit for the work that they were initially recruited to perform. Clearly, employers must follow due process whilst an employee is off work on long term sickness leave.

      Reply
  9. Danielle

    I started a job on the November 16 2019 through a temp agency on November 20th 2019. The workplace I was sent to put me on a production line and I burnt both my hands from wrist to finger tips. They gave me 2 tiny packs of burn cream and had me hold a bag of ice then two more packs of burn cream and when I asked for more, I found that they had no first aid kits and they told me they had no more to give so I called my wife to bring me burn cream so I can finish my work day.

    After they asked me what happened, they sent me back to the same line doing the same thing handling heat for the rest of my shift which burnt me more and more. The next day I returned to work for my shift with blisters all over my hands. I only had a few ‘Band-Aids’ but as the they went on my hand started to bleed all over the equipment. I had asked for more ‘Band-Aids’ at which they gave me two, but as my 12 hour shift went on they were falling off.

    At this time I asked for more because I was bleeding everywhere and they told me I had exceeded my limit for the week. I asked my manager if they had a first aid kit and he told me no, so I had to use box tape and paper towel to tape my hands and palms. I spoke to another leader and told her OSHA would love to hear these concerns that to my knowledge it was against regulation to not have these safety equipment in the workplace. The next day on my day off I got a phone call from the temp service saying I was fired! Now I am out of work I don’t know what I can do .I feel like I was discriminated against and I fear they will do that in the future to someone else I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As a temporary worker, you have the same rights to protection under the health and safety at work act as a permanent or full-time employee. You also have the same rights to training and provision of personal protective equipment. In your case, the burn injuries you sustained may enable you to make a claim. However, was medical attention sought? Is there evidence available to establish proof of the injuries? Was an accident book record made at the time?

      These are just some of the questions we would need to ask in order to establish whether or not you can pursue a claim against the employer.

      Reply
  10. Ashley

    Hello, I use to work at a bar and I slipped over behind the bar due to it being drenched and no wet floor sign (I was working on the floor before I slipped behind the bar) resulting in a dislocation in my knee. Not only did this happen once but twice I dislocated my knee twice within 5/6 months in same work place. I believe both incidents were recorded in accident book however I never went and got treated as it was my 4th dislocation and knew what to do. But then I was sacked as I couldn’t provide evidence or a sick note which resulted in me being in bed rest and no pay for 4/5 months. Will I be able to make a claim? Also my knee is still in a bad way.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Liability wise, you have the right to make a claim. The fact that the incident was recorded in the accident book would also provide evidence as to the fact that the accident happened at work. However, the issue you would have is proving the extent of the injury due to the lack of medical records meaning that there is no medical evidence available to support the claim in terms of injury. As a dislocation of a joint like the knee is a serious injury, it should have been treated by a medical professional in a Hospital. However, given the accident book entry it is worth making a claim and we would be happy to assist you in this matter. Please have a closer look at knee injury claims to get an idea of settlement values.

      Reply
  11. Lauren Mccarthy

    My partner fell and hurt his back at work, (he was walking up steps and to get a part and went to walk back down when a step from under him gave way) due to their steps literally falling apart he landed on his back and had to go to hospital, he was treated for muscle damage and had to take 2 weeks off due to pain and medication. When it came to Wages they didn’t pay him in full for them two weeks off, since then his back has continued to be sore. They keep mounting Masses of work loads on him making him stressed And very sore. Also telling him the workloads are his responsibility and if he doesn’t get the work loads done he will be sacked, even though it’s the managers job to delegate out roles and how much work the men and women must do. My partner was forced to work weekends and over time to get the work loads done. He also slept in twice this week due to having to take sleeping tablets for his back and now they are threatening to fire him. Also his manager said he if he went on a night out with “the lads“ he won’t make him do weekend over time.
    What should we do? We’re afraid they will find an excuse to fire him if we claim against them for the money he lost out on from the two weeks and all the over time he was forced to do.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As your Partner was injured at work in Northern Ireland, his rights to pursue a claim and employment rights if he were to pursue a claim would be subject to the legal system governing Northern Ireland. To this end, he needs to make contact with a Northern Ireland law firm and discuss his situation with someone qualified in that legal system.

      Reply
  12. Kevin

    I’ve been on the sick for 12 months now. On Friday 18-10-19 I received a letter informing me that the Company was going to close the place I work at. My question is can they sack me for being off work for so long? Or make me redundant? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      For queries such as yours that relate to employment law, please contact a law firm specialising in employment law as they will be able to advise you on such matters.

      Reply
  13. mandy

    Hi
    i had two episodes over 1 week where i injured my back by simply picking up a loo roll the first time. and ended up on the floor, went home, i work as a carer in residential home, came back 2 days later. Did 2 night shifts, then a course 2 days later then came back on the following day as a day shift.
    After getting 3 people up i was in terrible pain and could hardly walk, my manager sent me home.
    Subsequently i had an emergency Mri scan the following week and found to have a prolapsed disc. It has been a month since i have been off work and still in terrible pain.
    I don’t want to be off work and asked was there anything in the office i could do, change care plans eat just so that i could be in work and keep myself busy and show my commitment to the company but i was told no.
    I said i was afraid about losing my job and the response i got was, it is not about losing your job its your ability to do the job, obviously i cannot do the job. The consultant stated in the hospital he highly recommended i change my job as this could be a life long problem that could easy arise again, even if i am out of pain,
    i didn’t write anything in the accident book, my fault really but i had witness to see how much pain i was in the first time as i was crying and could hardly walk, the second time i was hobbling around and my manager sent me home.

    i am on sick pay but not even sure i am getting the right amount. Can i be sacked because of my inability to do my job, how much length of time can they wait for me to return to work?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In terms of personal injury compensation and making a claim, you would be able to do so if your back injury was caused by employer negligence. Therefore in your situation we would need to look at the kind of work you undertake and what training and provision your employer has provided to minimise the risk of injury. This would be manual handling training, specifically for care work requirements and what equipment the employer has provided to enable you to lift and move people safely. If the employer has failed in these obligations, a claim may proceed. However, the lack of an accident book entry could be problematic.

      An employer is within their rights to dismiss an employee who is medically unfit to perform the duties that they were employed to do. However, an employer is only likely to take such a decision after a considerable period of absence – for any employee who is not still in a probationary period. With regards to how long the employer has to wait for you to return to work, that is a question that you should address to an employment law Solicitor.

      Reply
  14. David

    I was hurt at work on the 11th july when using a wheelbarrow to move turf, when going down a slight slope the load in the wheelbarrow shifted pulled me to the ground, as I could not take the strain when I got up the wheelbarrow was broken at the mooring at the back on one side. I have been off work since July 12th when I attended the hospital which they advised me I have tendinitis. Since then I have seen the doctor whom advised it seems to be a possible rotor cuff injury and physiotherapy who sent me for a ultrasound, which I was advised the results today which was that the muscle and tendon is intact but there is a small amount of fluid in my subdeltoid bursitis. He advised I will need to continue physio and I may need a steroid injection if it does not improve.
    My employer has not been the most pleasant over the whole ordeal after advising them the expected recovery time one of the managers fired me over the phone in which I emailed asking for written notice and reasons for the termination which he replied that the phone call was me him accepting my resignation. I have managed to move past this but it was still stressful to have to endure such treatment.

    I am currently only earning ssp which I had to go to the HMRC to get my employer to pay ssp as they said I was not entitled when hmrc said I was.

    My question is based on what has happened should I consider looking further in to making a compensation claim?

    What would a claim be worth?

    Can I claim for my lose of income?

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is not possible to assign a value to your claim at this stage as we simply do not know enough about your injury or the long term consequences of the injury you have sustained. The only genuine way to assign an appropriate value to a claim for personal injury is to have a claimant examined by a medical expert and for a detailed report to be provided to a Solicitor that gives a prognosis for recovery or the long term implications of an injury.

      You do have a right to make a claim as there may be an argument that the nature of the work you were doing was dangerous. Perhaps the wheelbarrow should not have been used in the area in question? Perhaps it was overloaded or you were not trained to use it?

      Reply
  15. Linda

    Hi there, I work full time for a local authority. There was a faulty handle on a door in the building I work which was reported to my bosses several times. I was closing the door one day and had to pull it with some force when the handle came off and I staggered backwards and fell down with some force onto my back. I ended up in severe pain and unable to walk properly so had to be off for two weeks. My back flared up again just over two months later, again, to the same severe extent as before. I was off for 6 weeks that time. I do a very manual job which I love but there are tasks I’ve been asked to do now, due to changes in circumstances in work, that are causing me slight back pain. I’m terrified now that if my back goes again and I have to be off, that they will sack me. I love my job but feel I’m being treated very unfairly as when I raised this issue they did hint if I couldn’t carry out these new tasks, they’d have to redeploy me or ultimately, pay me off. I’m a park ranger so I wouldn’t be able to do that type of job anymore, it would have to be perhaps office based which I don’t have the skill set for nor do I want to do this. The other option would be to have me work evenings in a football facility which is unsuitable for me.
    I can still carry out every other aspect of my job. The task they are asking that I’m finding too much is emptying over 50 bins over the whole park, 200 odd acres using a wheelbarrow. The bags of refuse weigh up to 12 to 14 kilos. We usually use a petrol driven buggy but it keeps breaking down and they won’t replace it. I’m so worried about this and would welcome any advice. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The initial cause of your injury (the faulty door handle that had been reported to the employer), is likely to see you succeed with a claim for back injury compensation. If you have not already pursued such action, we would be very happy to speak with you about your rights and explain how we can help you make a No Win No Fee claim with our specialist Solicitors. If this would be of interest, please do call us on 01225430285.

      You are clearly concerned about your long term fitness to perform your duties. Perhaps one benefit of making a claim that you may not have considered is that you could potentially access expert specialist medical treatments at the cost of the defendant insurers if you were to succeed. Of course, there is no guarantee, but it is common for such therapies to really benefit personal injury claimants and help them to recover fully.

      Reply
  16. Daniel

    Hello there, I had an accident at work two weeks ago involving 300kg and a forklift. My back and hips and shoulder are all in spasm and have been signed off until the 27th. It’s not right that I have to suffer being paid 94 pounds a week when the accident wasn’t even my fault. I currently smoke cannabis at weekends and rarely in the evening, my boss said if I was to claim he’s had a medical done on me and would have me sacked. Can he do that due the the urine sample he’d want from me? I have been smoking more to help with pain relief since I been signed off so any tests would come up positive. I feel that my boss is shafting me and I’m scared to put in a claim.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not your employer has a legal right to demand that you provide a urine sample for testing is a moot point and should not stop you from investigating whether or not you can pursue a claim for compensation against the employer.

      The best course of action in any claim enquiry is to do what you have done and be completely honest up front so that a Solicitor can advise you on the basis of full facts. The key in this incident was the cause of the injury and not whether or not you may have consumed cannabis at some stage. Clearly you have suffered painful and mobility restricting injuries and have every right to make a claim against the employer.

      Reply
  17. Keith

    Hi my employer caused an accident. I got injured badly and had a lengthy time to recover. I have to see a nerve specialist now for spinal nerve injury as well. My employer is going to sack me on thurs. Have you any advice please?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You have suffered a serious injury. Nerve damage is known to be a serious issue and recovery can be prolonged and possibly limited, so looking in to a possible claim is sensible in the circumstances.

      For us to advise you as to whether or not you have a valid claim to pursue for compensation for the spinal nerve damage and any associated loss of income and care costs, we need to know more about the accident. We need to know what happened, what you were doing and how you were injured in order to ascertain areas of potential negligence. You can call us on 0122543028 if you’d like to discuss things further, and we have more info on spinal injury claims here.

      Reply
  18. Sherry owens

    I started a new job needed a box cutter took one from home and got cut. After being cut I was told that the box cutter I had was not surppose to be used only the retractable one and they issued them. But I was never told anything about what kinda box cutter to have are they will issue me one. Can i be fired my boss said HR could fire me for this. Can they?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      I don’t foresee how you can be fired for this action, but your choice of using your own box cutter and then suffering injury would render you unable to make a claim for compensation against the employer.

      Reply
  19. Chris

    I had a workplace accident in November 2017 in which I was burnt. I spent 9 days in hospital and needed a skin graft. I had 13 weeks off work.

    On my return to work, I was threatened with the sack for putting a claim in. I had my company first aid certificate taken off me and I was bullied for 3 months until I left the company. I had a letter last week telling me that my solicitor who was handling my claim is no longer seeking damages and dropped the case. Can I appeal or try again with another solicitor?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You do have the right to seek a 2nd opinion from another specialist Solicitor with regards to the closing of this claim and potentially switch to using them instead. It would be useful to know on what grounds the Solicitor has dropped the claim – I assume that the employers insurance have provided a robust defence that indicates that the employer was not negligent?

      Reply
  20. David clark

    I have broken my knee in an accident at work and now my company want to sack me for gross misconduct.
    Myself and one other were putting a memorial headstone up in a cemetery and due to its proximity we were unable to use the electric sack truck in the normal way we usually do because there’s was kerb surround directly behind.
    So we made a decision to load the headstone from the front and lower it into position, although this is not a procedure we normally do there is no written rule not to.
    As we loaded the headstone in a forward motion with the sack truck it hit the wet cement and just went over knocking me off my feet and falling on me trapping my leg underneath and on top of the kerbs behind me resulting in me breaking my knee.
    They have informed me they are going to sack me and the other lad for gross misconduct – in breaking health and safety regulations.
    However, at the same time are offering me a redundancy payout instead and not firing the other lad.
    Something doesn’t add up to me – any advice would be great.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whilst you may well have worked in an unsafe manner, we feel that you could still pursue a claim against your employer – although you are likely to have to accept some contributory negligence. The fact that the employer HAS no written policy that has been breached does give possible cause for optimism with a claim against them.

      Given the nature of the working area there is also a possible failure of adequate risk assessment from the employer too.

      It would be wise to see what our specialist accident at work Solicitors have to say about your situation and we would therefore encourage you to make further contact with us so that we can take some further information and then present a detailed enquiry to an expert Solicitor for consideration.

      On the issue of dismissal or redundancy, it would seem that you need some additional expert legal advice on an issue of employment law. As you can appreciate, employment law differs from personal injury law and as such we would recommend that you discuss that element of your enquiry with a suitably qualified expert employment law Solicitor.

      Reply
  21. Neil Dylan

    I was sacked after my first accident at work. In the dismissal letter, the company admit the accident wasnt entirely my fault.
    No accident book was filled in after the accident, no back to work after being off with whiplash either.
    Other drivers have been involved in more serious accidents at work during my time, and have not been sacked.
    Do I have a case for unfair dismissal, as I have had no other disciplinary with the company before this accident?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      With regards to the accident at work, as your employer has stated in writing that it was not entirely your fault there is a possibility that you could make a claim for accident at work compensation that would settle on the basis of shared liability. If you would like to take that further, please contact us and we’ll investigate this further for you.

      We cannot advise on employment law matters, but do share work with a specialist employment law Solicitor that we could put you in contact with. If you would like to speak to them, please let us know and we can forward you the details.

      Reply
  22. Melts

    Hi, I worked for a scaffolding company and had been working for them for just over 4 yrs. Around 2-3 yrs ago the boss drop a scaffolding tube on my face and I had to have stitches. At the time my employer told to me go to the Hospital, but pressured me to not tell the Hospital that I worked for him and told me to tell the Doctors that the laceration injury had happened in my own back garden – otherwise he said he would sack me. Due to his pressure, I lied to the Hospital because I really couldn’t afford to lose my job as I had my 1st baby on the way (but noted on the hospital computer system)
    So I hadn’t had no training or anything at this point, and they didn’t pay my wages for the time I had off.
    Due to these injuries I now have trouble eating because of the location of the laceration and where the tube hit my jaw bone, and the location where it’s stitched. It’s never been right since and I now get awful headaches regularly.

    Is their a case?

    I also have another possible claim due to an accident working at the same company. Whilst at work my my teeth pretty much smashed out by a scaffold board, due to unsafe loading by the boss. I’m in total agony everyday and my teeth are on the verge of dropping out any minute. My boss has now decided to get rid of me due to his unsafe company. Is there a work compensation claim at all?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      With the first incident, you may well have a valid claim for accident at work compensation, but it really will depend on when the accident happened. You need to contact your GP and ask them to advise you when you had the facial injury because if it happened more than 3-years ago there is nothing you can do. However, if it happened less than 3 years ago we may be able to help.

      On the second injury at work, this sounds more recent and if I am right in assuming that it happened within the last 3-years, I think we should definitely try to pursue a claim for accident at work compensation for you. We cannot of course guarantee that we would succeed with your claim but we do guarantee that it will cost you nothing should your claim fail.

      The situation that your former employer put you in with regards to pressurising you not to pursue a claim or tell the truth to the Hospital authorities is disgusting and is something you should consider reporting to the Health and Safety executive as it sounds as if that employer needs to be audited and forced to change their ways.

      We’d be delighted to assist you with your claims.

      Reply
  23. Darren Butler

    I had a bad accident on my thumb. I didn’t claim because i was told i would be sacked instantly. It’s been over 3 years. I work with this injury all the time, because it’s manual work and use my hands all the time on machinery and with hand tools it can be very uncomfortable. Can I claim any sort of benefit for working with this injury?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do regarding your injury in terms of any claim for compensation. If the injury gets to the point where you are disabled by it, you may be entitled to disability benefits, but that would not be compensation.

      The law only allows a maximum period of 3 years to take action. Your employer has behaved terribly in pressurising you not to claim with the threat of dismissal. They have undermined your legal rights and left you in the situation in which you find yourself.

      Reply
  24. Andy

    Can my boss sack me after having an accident driving his work van which could be my fault?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You can not be dismissed (legally anyway) simply for being involved in a road traffic accident – whether you are at fault or the innocent party.

      You can only be dismissed legally for acts of gross misconduct, continued breaches of company discipline (that have been noted and dealt with by an employer) or through a genuine redundancy process.

      Reply
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