Can I claim work accident compensation even if I have left the company?

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

Many people who contact us to discuss accident at work compensation have left the employer where they were injured and worry they won’t be able to claim because of this. Thankfully this is not the case, and as with all claims in the UK, the standard claim limitation period applies – regardless of whether or not you still work for the same employer.

Liability stays with the employer even if you leave

When someone is injured at work, a claim will succeed if the employer carries employer liability insurance and the claimant can be demonstrate that their employer was negligent and at fault for the accident.  As long as the employee was working for them at the time of the accident and details of the incident and injuries were reported to the right people at the time, it doesn’t matter if they then leave to work elsewhere as they can still make a claim against the employer responsible for their injuries.  Liability remains with the employer and your ability to claim compensation doesn’t change – even if you change your job.

What will a claim against a former employer achieve?

If you were injured whilst working for a former employer, you have a right to pursue a claim for compensation as long as you do so within 3 years of the date of the accident and believe that the accident was not your fault. There are many reasons that people seek compensation after an accident at work, including anger and frustration, but most commonly due to a loss of income during the months after the accident if they cannot work whilst recovering from the injuries sustained.

Many people in the UK have doubts about claiming personal injury compensation after an accident. These doubts exist because of the negative myths and untruths that are commonly thrown around regarding the personal injury claims process and no win no fee. In accidents at work, people are also concerned that any claim they make could damage their employer and affect their colleagues and friends. But if it’s handled in the right way, this just isn’t the case.

 

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

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Please note we can only deal with claims within the UK legal system. Your question will appear once approved and we'll answer it as soon as we can. Your email address will not be published, your name will, so feel free just to use a first name.

Questions & Answers


  1. Beverley Patrick

    Can I make a claim against a previous employer. I have been having occipital headaches for around 4 years. I used to push heavy equipment which I believe has caused this to happen. I was a support worker at the time and we did constantly tell the employee that the equipment especially the hoist was quite heavy to push. They changed the hoist but did not change the other equipment.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It would seem that you are outside of any claim limitation period. Any claim must be made within 3 years of the onset of symptoms and you mention that you have suffered with symptoms for 4 years now.

      Reply
  2. Anja

    When COVID happened, I’ve been on furlough April- August. I then got redundant with 4 weeks notice. That means that the notice finished and I left the company on the 4th of September. On the 15th in August I had a car accident (not related to work) and I broke my wrist and couldn’t find a job until the cast was taken off. That saying, I was unemployed with no income for two months. When the HR manager saw me when I was grabbing my stuff 04/09 she went speechless when noticed my hand. That got me thinking. Can I claim anything against that workplace?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      There would appear to be no obvious way of claiming compensation from your employer. The fact that you have been made redundant is obviously upsetting, but an employer can legally make redundancies so long as they follow due process.

      In terms of your hand injury in the car accident, you could make a claim for compensation for the injuries sustained so long as you were not at fault in the accident. If you would like to discuss making a claim for road traffic accident compensation, please call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  3. Toby

    On 25th October 2019 I fractured my elbow whilst at work. I was an events manager and Brewery tap manager in south Shropshire. The injury occurred when I was instructed to load a van of items to go to an event outdoors. The weather that afternoon was very bad and was raining heavily. My employer asked me to load heavy goods onto a van by carrying them or using a forklift by myself. I expressed my concerns and felt it was not safe however they persisted that I continued by myself. As I got off the forklift truck in the brewery, I slipped on the floor and fell backwards hitting my elbow directly on the concrete floor. This floor is located within the brewery stock room and was/is in very poor condition. I was provided with no safety footwear and nothing to protect myself whilst doing this. I was extremely lucky that my head did not hit the floor or the circumstances could have been much worse. An ambulance was called but they made the decision I was ok to travel with a family member to hospital. Following an X-ray I was judged to have fractured my elbow and was in a full length arm plaster. The DR expressed that my injury was down to the unsafe floor and my footwear not being safe after being in wet conditions. Still now I am having difficulty with this elbow. I am unable to rotate that arm as much as my other arm and the same with bending it. I still have pain in my elbow when lifting or extending my arm. It has certainly effected my life since the injury happened. I’m enquiring as to whether this would be grounds to claim against my employer? Please note that I have since left the company.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      This is certainly a matter that you should pursue and we would be more than happy to help you make a claim for the injury to your arm and the long term consequences caused by your former employers negligent approach to health and safety in the workplace.

      The fact that you have since left the employer is not relevant to whether or not you can pursue a claim and will have no bearing on the outcome.

      Please call us on 01225430285 for further help. Alternatively, you can start your claim for compensation on our website or make direct contact with us via email at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk

      Reply
  4. Jess

    I left my job because of burnout, which was caused by hostile environment – I reported bullying and colleagues making comments about my medical appointments to my manager, who assured me he’d get them to HR but he didn’t. I had a surgery due to my condition in the Meantime and returned to same hostile environment where the bullying became more subtle as the colleagues were”talked to”. 2 months after returning from my surgery I quit because I developed nervous ticks and anxiety and cried at work everyday. The employee was happy to pay my notice period to see me go. A year later I’m just getting better, unemployed and on ESA- I’m finally realising how bad I’ve been played – I worked for them for 4,5 years and was tossed out once used. They didn’t pay anything beyond notice pay and didn’t provide a lawyer either. What are my chances of suing them? They’re a big corporate and of course new how to use an employee in distress.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Depending on when you left the company, you may be able to pursue a claim. Employment law matters have a short claim limitation period of 3 months (for claims such as constructive or unfair dismissal). However, claims for personal injury compensation – such as work related stress compensation – have a limitation period of 3 years.

      Reply
  5. lacey

    Injured my hand 3 years ago. Left my job this year but never put my accident in the work injury book. Can I still claim

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the injury was more than 3 years ago, you cannot now make a claim as you must pursue any claim within 3 years of the date of the injury.

      Reply
  6. John

    Hi just enquiring if I could make a claim somehow
    I have my own business and employ myself and get paid monthly for work I go and do on top of running the business
    I am a fence erector and have recently been told I’ve got a compressed spine and peripheral neuropathy and may not be able to work again
    It all stems from the repetition of digging the holes constant day in day out would I be able to claim against my company employee liability insurance
    Cheers
    John

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As you are responsible for managing the workload, training provision and the physical carrying out of the manual work, you are also responsible for the management of the Health and Safety element of your work. You can not claim against yourself and appear to have no party against which you could pursue a claim.

      Reply
  7. Cathjones

    I’ve got a bad back leg due to me carrying post bags for many years. I no longer work for Royal Mail, could I still make a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If your symptoms developed within the past 3 years you could then look at whether or not your employer was in anyway negligent.

      Royal Mail would be liable if they had failed to provide you with the correct equipment, training or failed to ensure that weights to be lifted did not exceed the safe limits.

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    I left a job about one month ago, i was fixing pallets. There was a line which was jamming pallets all the time, it’s been reported not only by me, but there was no reaction from managers side. Right now i have problem with shoulder and neck, because we still needed to do numbers even with broken machinery. Can i still apply for personal injury?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      UK law enables any person injured at work to make a claim against their employer if their injury was caused through machine fault or lack of training etc – even if that person has since left the company and no longer works for them.

      Reply
  9. Sue

    I worked for local government in Western Australia as a Parks and Gardens, using chemicals to spray weeds for about 8 years. There was no training on how to use it until at the end OHS was brought it then we were taught. I left that job and ended up doing a chemical course and found that what we as workers were doing was the wrong way of doing things as we all were told at some point in our time that the chemical Glyphosate was not harmful in which I have now found out it is. I found out that it can affect you later down the track. I have a few health symptoms that I’m getting checked out now, so I want to know if my health issues are to be related to this can I make a claim even though I have left their employment?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Given your location in Australia, we cannot advise you. Under UK law you could possibly have a claim but we do not know Australian law and as such suggest that you address this query to a specialist Solicitor working in the jurisdiction in which such a claim would need to be brought.

      Reply
  10. Rebecca

    Can I make a claim if I left the company feb 2017? I had developed Crohn’s disease 2011 due to ongoing the work related stress and anxiety. This got worse and worse and I coped for years yet then had seizures due to exhaustion and work worries and pr sure and finally to top it all off I had non direct threats made from staff who wanted to stab me and openly put me down in front of my team. I had no back up from management at all as everyone denied it and I was the one then causing hassle and problems for raising it. None of them admited to it, managers did nothing and as there were redundancies being offered in the building (not my direct department) I asked for it and was given it due to my health so I took redundancy and the payout and focussed on getting better. I was an emotional wreck and in physical pain for months, years I’m fact. This still gets to me and what I went through has to be considered. It made me ill and now have disability for life. Causing me a lot of difficulty now obtaining a stable income.
    Now I am mentally stronger and feel able to fight this. I had no one supporting me and can provide medical evidence to show the conditions I developed and support needed, including psychological counselling. As I left in Feb 2017 Do I have a case?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The fact that you have left an employer would have no impact on any claim you were to subsequently make against the employer. The most important factor in any claim for compensation is being able to demonstrate that another party (employer or organisation) has been negligent and that their negligence has lead to you suffering an injury or illness.

      In your case, if you believe that your employer was negligent towards your Health and Safety, you can seek to make a claim for compensation.

      Reply
  11. stephen webster

    Hi, i was getting out of a firms vehicle at work when i stood on a bolt in the technicians parking area and went over on my ankle. This was last October. Went to doctors in October 2017, he said i had damaged ankle. Since then i have been on the sick for 3 months March to May 2018 as i could hardly walk taking pain killers every day. Retired from work at the end of may 2018 due to not been able to work because of it. Had two injections in my right ankle, one in May and one in August they have not helped, still painful, also affecting my hip now. Next step is ankle fusion, there is no alternative. I was a service driver for Lookers plc having to get in and out of vans all day, some very tightly parked causing twisting of the ankle. Could i still put a claim in? if so how do i go about it?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Given the severity of the injury you sustained and the huge impact it has and is having on your day-to-day life, I think it would be a wise move to make a claim for compensation.

      Reply
  12. Jason norman

    Hi there. I was working for a primary school when I was poisoned with salt for 6 months accused having obscene pictures on my laptop which were never there, of which resulted in me suffering severe depression. Can I still claim..

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Jason

      Thank you for contacting us. Your situation of suffering mental health problems because of the negligent actions of your employer is something that you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation for. However, as I am sure you will appreciate, the situation in which you find yourself isn’t a straightforward one as gaining evidence to support the allegations you make may not be a simple process. It goes without saying that your employer will use the 2nd allegation you raise (improper content on your PC) to discredit you should they have to defend any claim and when it comes to pursuing a No Win No Fee claim for compensation, this could make the risks of failing with the case higher.

      No Win No Fee claims will be pursued by us and our specialist injury compensation solicitors if the criteria of the claim scenario passes a strict risk assessment protocol. In simple terms, the specialist injury compensation solicitors that we use need to be of the view that any claim has a greater chance of succeeding than failing in order for them to be able to pursue the matter on a No Win No Fee basis. It is obvious that a No Win No Fee solicitor will only be able to charge their fees if they win a claim, so they need to be as sure as they can that they have a strong claim to pursue. Of course, there is always a risk with all claims and this is taken in to account within the risk assessment protocol I mentioned earlier.

      We would certainly be happy to get you in touch with one of our specialist solicitors as it is only by them asking the relevant questions and then being able to properly assess the strengths or weaknesses of any enquiry that they can offer expert advice and let you know if you have a viable claim for compensation.

      I hope that this response helps you and we look forward to helping you get some advice from one of our expert solicitors.

      Reply
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