Employer negligence and claiming compensation

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

Accidents in the workplace can happen to anyone and often occur as a result of negligence on the part of the employer. Employers in the UK have a legal obligation to protect their workers whilst they are on site. Whatever type of job you do, you should be safe and working in an environment that is free from any dangers or hazards.

Health and safety regulations

Employers are responsible for the implementation and adherence to heath and safety laws and guidelines. If these guidelines are not followed through negligence, serious accidents can occur. On occasions, employers fail to implement health and safety regulations correctly, if at all. In such instances, the chance of an accident occurring in the workplace increases significantly.

Such accidents could be the result of employers not providing their employees with the right amount of training, the right guidance when it comes to using equipment or the right tools and clothing to wear whilst they are in the workplace.

If you have had an accident at work because your employer has not taken the necessary steps to protect you whilst you are working and has failed to follow health and safety rules and regulations, then you may be entitled to compensation. If health and safety hasn’t been followed then your employer will be found negligent and liable to pay compensation.

Get legal advice

If you think that your injuries are the result of negligence of your employer, then you should seek legal advice. Hiring a personal injury solicitor who specialises in work accidents would put you at an advantage. They will be able to advise and guide you through the processes involved in claiming for compensation and be able to tell you whether or not you have a strong case for compensation against your employers.

You will have to prove that your injuries are the result of health and safety laws not being properly enforced in the workplace and you will need to have medical records showing the details and extent of your injuries. Your solicitor will be able to tell you more about this and how you will go about claiming for compensation. It may seem daunting but with a good solicitor on hand you will feel very reassured.

Your compensation will cover any medical expenses, loss of earnings and even the impact that the accident might have had on your life. Each case is considered on an individual basis, so compensation may vary from case to case.

38 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. Leanne

    I suffered a back injury 8 months ago. I’ve had an MRI that has revealed to disc bulges pressing on my nerves causing friction, pain and limited mobility. I’m told that this is close to being herniated discs if the treatment doesn’t work and I’m only 20.

    My injury was caused by a wet floor – there was no wet floor sign and no-one informed me & it seems that nobody knew even when I told them after it happened. The staff neglected proper procedure by continuously putting it off for documenting in the accident book so was never done in the end. When I fell my back clicked loudly. My doctor has told me this click was my discs in my lower vertebrae shifting out of place and they are still out of place even now as I have a long recovery, although I am now receiving pain meds which helps a little.

    Please can you help me claim compensation from McDonalds. I’m also in the middle of an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, but was told to pursue a claim with you guys for the pain I’m in daily. Please let me know as soon as possible preferably over email. As my voice is coarse.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We can help you with your claim and look forward to doing so. We’ll email you directly, but you can always call us on 01225430285 or if you can access further help on the ‘start your claim for compensation‘ page of our website.

      Reply
  2. petra

    I’ve been under constant stress of restructures made by my employer annually (sometimes more frequent) over the past number of years. I was even put on a FTC after one restructure after being a hard working permanent member of staff for over 18 years. This job insecurity and constant pressure has taken a big toll on my mental health. Are there any grounds in this situation to pursue constructive dismissal if I leave?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We’re specialists in personal injury, so can’t really advise on employment law matters – but one of the specialist Solicitors we work with has an excellent employment law department, so we can get you advice via them if you make further contact with us.

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    Hello,
    I worked for company few months ago lifting and boxing saddles. I wasn’t given any manual handling training or any paper work to show correct way of using pump truck etc or lifting and bending. I would pack saddles then would have to move them near exit for delivery to pick up. I was laid off but I wasn’t given any training or any health and safety. Since leaving job I suffer with lower back pain. Previous jobs I worked had we have had training n watched videos etc.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You appear to have a valid claim against the employer on the basis of their negligence in failing to provide adequate training to enable you to work safely.

      Reply
  4. Keeley

    I was pregnant in my previous employment and got told I’d never be left alone, the further along I got. Although I was always left alone and an incident happened where I had to go to hospital. Also I was never given or signed a risk assessment. Can I take legal advice on this?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We need to know a little more about the incident you refer to and why you were hospitalised. It is quite possible that you should get some legal advice, but we need to know a bit more about your work and what happened before we can advise further. If you would rather communicate with us privately, please email us directly at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk regarding your situation and we’ll be happy to help.

      Reply
  5. Robert

    I was injured at work due to a work mates negligence I had to leave on medical grounds, I sued the Company but the compensation was a nonsense. I lost thousands of pounds in lost wages, can I sue the person who caused the accident?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whilst the legal system would enable you to make a civil action claim against the individual in question, the reality is that the cost of undertaking such a claim and the risk that you may have to accept to pay those costs if you were not successful or if you were not awarded costs in any judgement render the option meaningless. Such a claim is not a matter that would be pursued by a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.

      Reply
  6. wayne

    My employer should have replaced a bearing on my buss every 3 years but this one slipped under the radar, 9 months later when i was driving it the bearing collapsed and the wheels came off, luck has it no one was hurt apart from me.v It has caused my great amount of mental stress to the point i do not wont to work again driving busses as i cannot put any faith in the maintenance.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Have you made a claim for the personal and psychological injuries sustained in this accident? The maintenance issue you cite should see you able to succeed with a claim.

      Please let us know if you would like our help making a claim for compensation.

      Reply
  7. Anonymous

    My employer is not allowing people to work from home during coronavirus pandemic even though I have full capability too. I sit in an office with 15 people and no one is allowed to wfh despite all having ability to do so. I have spoken with my line manager and director and they have asked the chairman but he is refusing to allow people to work from home completely ignoring the government advice! What action can I take as I feel my employer could be guilty of gross negligence for hundreds of people and their families here…

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      At this stage there is no claim to be pursued and no right to force your employer to allow you to work from home. The government have so far ‘advised’ that people should work from home where possible. Should that ‘advice’ become a legal requirement, your employer would then have to allow you to do so.

      Reply
  8. yvonne

    I had a car accident on my way home from work and broke my back in 2 places. the company car lost power and i since found out that this had happened to someone before myself. i don’t think this was ever reported, could my company be classed as negligent as they are now trying to push me out of the company as at the moment i cannot do my job due to having also a displaced coccyx and I am awaiting some more surgery?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is almost certainly the case that you would not be able to hold your employer liable for the accident you have had. Even though your vehicle lost power and another company vehicle may have previously suffered the same mechanical fault, the fact that the company were not made aware of the issue as it was not reported, would indicate that the employer would not be seen as being negligent.

      Reply
  9. David

    I have been employed for 8 months with a company now yet I’m still waiting for PPE boots and jacket, I’ve stood on a rusty nail and also I am supposed to get 1 hour unpaid lunches which I rarely get due to work loads, the foot injury is in the accident book. I want to sue for gross negligence and excessive workloads is this possible? I have logged almost every time I’ve not had a break and also I have a log of my foot injury.

    Reply
  10. Sapheer

    In 2015/16 I developed arthritis in my knees and back due to being coerced to carry heavy pouches in my work place contrary to health and safety.

    I was classed as being a disabled employee following my consultation with employee health services.

    Thereafter I worked by carrying very light bundles in my hand for delivery.

    In 2019 my new manager coerced me to start carrying pouches again even though I informed him I had back and knee problems. This resulted in my sick leave from 30/7/2019 to date.

    I have been recently diagnosed with spondolytis and a bulging lower back disc. I also suffer stress from the period stated to datw.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If your employer is not following health and safety guidance and asking you to lift items of an unsafe weight in an unsafe manner and without adequate training, they are being negligent and you may be able to make a claim against them.

      As your symptoms date back to 2015, you may struggle in your claim as the injuries are clearly more than 3 years old. However, it may be possible to claim for the exacerbation of your symptoms and recover damages for that aspect of your situation.

      Reply
  11. Damaris

    Can an employee institute a civil claim against the employer if the incident was caused by negligence of the employer?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Under UK law, if there was an incident at work that was caused by employer negligence the employee would have every right to start legal proceedings against the employer – either via a personal injury claim or employment law.

      Reply
  12. Julie

    Can I seek compensation from my employer for their failings which led to my psychiatric trauma and ultimately quitting my job?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You do have a right to make such a claim. You will need to be able to draw on documented evidence to support any such claim.

      Reply
  13. Ana

    Can I claim compensation for personal injury by a colleague for sexual harassment?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If it can be demonstrated that your employer failed to protect your safety at work, you may have a right to make a claim. In this case, your employer will need to have been informed of the harassment that you suffered from in writing and then failed to act on these reports.

      Reply
  14. Jack

    I had an accident at work, my foot was trapped on a lorry and as I fell my foot came loose propelling me out of the lorry. I landed on my arms and broke both my arms. I was employed through an agency where I had no health and safety training on the job, I was just sent out with a colleague to assist them. Where do I stand am I eligible to make a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As an agency worker, you are afforded the same rights under the Health and Safety at Work Act and safe working regulations as any full time employee. We would be happy to assist you make your claim for accident at work compensation and can advise you as to what you need to do and how to go about ensuring that your claim has the very best possible prospects of succeeding.

      Reply
  15. Barry

    Hi I had an accident at work in July last year and am in the middle of a claim. I lost my job in september due to taking too much time off work but the company never gave me any verbal or written warnings. I believe they were worried about me making a claim and found an easy way of getting me out of the company, also I never had any introduction or manual handling procedures. I have reported them to hse but they are not even bothering with the company when the place is a health trap. We was made to work when the factory was smoked out by plastic burning from the machines and some of the plastic said it was dangerous to you lungs. I believe the company is negligence to all their staff.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Employers are legally able to terminate employee positions on the grounds of ill health and inability to work – even if they were injured whilst at work. That said, they must follow due process and act in accordance with Employment Law.

      Your current solicitor should ensure that your personal injury claim is represented properly and if applicable, claim loss of income relevant to the loss of your position with the firm.

      Reply
  16. Christopher

    I had a seizure at work after informing my manager I was left unattended without seeing a first aider or any other management staff for 45 minutes. Does this count as gross negligence?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is certainly foolish and not good practice as it would have been wise to immediately call medical professionals to attend you.

      Reply
  17. Summer

    As an employer what are my legal obligations following a work place accident that resulted in a death and also what are the duties on the individuals involved and the managers?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In a serious incident at work resulting in serious injuries or a fatality, the relevant authorities will investigate the matter (Police, HSE and RIDDOR). Your obligations as an employer is to fully cooperate with any such investigation and provide all relevant documentation requested (such as training records, maintenance records, insurance details etc).

      The individual Managers and business owner/Directors can face prosecution if it is shown that they failed in their duties to minimise the risk of such a serious incident.

      Reply
  18. Bill M

    My wife had a box fall on her head at Chick-Fil-A. She asked to go home to check it out, and the employer advised her to finish her shift.

    Is this considered negligence?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In the UK, an employer cannot prevent an employee from seeking medical attention for an injury. Refusing to grant someone access to medical attention is an act of negligence as it is only a qualified Medical Practitioner (such as a Doctor or a Nurse Practitioner) who can diagnose and confirm an injury.

      An employer may well doubt that a worker has been sufficiently injured to warrant medical treatment, but that is only a doubt and could well prove to be a misjudgment. As such, best practice would be that an employer ensures that a medical expert assesses the injury at the earliest opportunity.

      Reply
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