All employers have a responsibility to keep their workers safe from injury. If their negligence led to you having an accident and being injured at work, you are entitled to claim compensation.
Work accident claims naturally present a difficult situation for both parties. However, you can maintain a good relationship with your employer and get things resolved in everyone’s interest with the right approach.
In this article you’ll find advice on how to make a claim, how to tell if you are eligible to do so, and how much compensation you might expect.
Table of contents:
- Why claim compensation after an injury at work?
- Employer responsibilities
- What to do after an accident at work
- Reporting an accident at work
- Do you have a valid work accident claim?
- How much compensation you can expect
- Common types of work accident claim
- Your questions answered
Why claim compensation after an injury at work?
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, there many other good reasons to make a claim:
- Making a claim is one of your legal rights after an accident at work, 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.
- Employers can make changes to ensure a safer workplace.
A successful claim will lead to a settlement being made to you which includes compensation for the injuries you have suffered, plus any lost earnings and costs. Any worker can claim, whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary agency staff.
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. Most employers only pay your salary for a short period if you’re off work after your accident, then basic sick pay. We therefore find two immediate concerns:
- When will I be able to get back to work?
- How will I pay my bills in the meantime?
Once a claim is active, it’s possible to request a payment for any treatment required to return you to work as soon as possible, plus a payment on account of your compensation to cover the period you are unable to work.
Employers have liability insurance
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. 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 is a rise in their insurance premium and having to pay an excess towards your claim.
Every company that employs staff has a duty of care to their health and safety while they are working. If an employer does not have proper procedures in place, they are breaching their responsibilities and they can be prosecuted. 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.
Employers also have responsibilities after an accident at work. It is their responsibility to understand an accident and take the right measures, rather than the injured employee.
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, or if you want to discuss the claim with your employer.
Your job security
In the UK you can’t be sacked for making a claim after having an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. You can also make a claim in the knowledge that you are not jeopardising any colleagues’ employment. If you’re unable to do your usual job, your employer should do their best to get you back to work on lighter duties if possible.
What to do after an accident at work
Your employer should have procedures for dealing with injuries but there is more you can do yourself after an accident at work. The following actions should be taken to give yourself the best chance of winning your compensation claim:
- Firstly, seek medical treatment. This could be at the scene, by attending a GP or A&E. However, you can still claim if you haven’t had treatment.
- The matter should be recorded in the employer’s accident book. The injuries should be described and their cause listed.
- If possible, obtain the names and addresses of supporting witnesses.
- Following medical treatment, explain the situation to the employer and discuss the likelihood of any return to work.
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.
Reporting an accident at work
Your employer has a legal obligation to report certain accidents to the HSE via RIDDOR, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
A requirement after any workplace injury is to ensure that the details are recorded within an accident book or recording system. 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.
The injured party should contribute to what is written in the accident report 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 injured party should ask for a copy of the accident book entry.
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.
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. Having supporting statements from colleagues can provide a stronger prospect of success in certain cases.
Do you have a valid work accident 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. 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. 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
- 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.
- Were you given an induction to the workplace? This would include guidance on accident management protocols, safety exits, hazard avoidance etc.
- 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.
- Did your employer adequately maintain equipment and service machines? Did they ensure that safety guards and mechanisms worked?
- Were you advised how to report accidents and how to access the accident book?
- Did the employer ensure correct staffing levels and an adequate amount of first aid trained staff?
- 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 work accident compensation.
How much compensation you can expect
Every claim is different. However, there are guidelines issued by the courts for solicitors and below you’ll find a table showing what amount of compensation you can expect depending on your injury. 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, the settlement value also takes into account 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 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.
The tables below are 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.
View settlement values
Head and Face Injury Values
|Part Of Body||Severity||Compensation Amount|
|Head||Minor eg: no brain damage||£1,600 to £9,700|
|Head||Serious eg: lasting changes||£11,600 to £214,300|
|Head||Severe eg: full-time care||£214,300 to £307,000|
|Eyes||Minor eg: temporary vision problems||£1,650 to £6,700|
|Eyes||Serious eg: lost sight in one eye||£6,900 to £50,000|
|Eyes||Severe eg: near or total blindness||£80,500 to £204,200|
|Ears||Minor eg: partial hearing loss||£5,300 to £34,650|
|Ears||Serious eg: hearing loss in one ear||£23,850 to £34,650|
|Ears||Severe eg: total deafness||£68,950 to £107,500|
|Face||Minor eg: light scarring||£1,290 to £2,670|
|Face||Serious eg: facial fracture||£1,770 to £28,950|
|Face||Severe eg: facial disfigurement||£13,700 to £74,500|
Upper Body Injury Values
|Part Of Body||Severity||Compensation Amount|
|Neck||Minor eg: whiplash||£1,850 to £6,050|
|Neck||Serious eg: fractures or dislocation||£29,300 to £42,500|
|Neck||Severe eg: partial or total paralysis||£34,570 to £112,800|
|Back||Minor eg: strains or soft tissue damage||£300 to £9,450|
|Back||Serious eg: permanent pain||£9,450 to £29,500|
|Back||Severe eg: partial or total paralysis||£29,450 to £122,300|
|Shoulder||Minor eg: pain for less than two years||£300 to £6,050|
|Shoulder||Serious eg: pain lasting a few years||£6,050 to £9,750|
|Shoulder||Severe eg: significant disability||£9,750 to £36,450|
|Hips and Pelvis||Minor eg: recovery within a few years||£3,000 to £9,580|
|Hips and Pelvis||Serious eg: hip replacement||£9,550 to £29,850|
|Hips and Pelvis||Severe eg: long term effects, bowel damage||£29,800 to £99,550|
Hands and Arms Injury Values
|Part Of Body||Severity||Compensation Amount|
|Finger||Minor eg: fracture||Up to £360|
|Finger||Serious eg: amputation||£3,000 to £14,255|
|Finger||Severe eg: multiple amputation||£6,570 to £69,050|
|Thumb||Minor eg: recovery within a few months||Up to £1,680|
|Thumb||Serious eg: tendon or nerve damage||£3,050 to £9,550|
|Thumb||Severe eg: loss of grip, amputation||£9,550 to £12,740|
|Hand||Minor eg: cuts and soft tissue damage||£650 to £22,000|
|Hand||Serious eg: significant effect on use||£22,000 to £47,000|
|Hand||Severe eg: amputation or loss of use||£47,000 to £153,150|
|Wrist||Minor eg: quick recovery after fracture||£2,650 to £3,550|
|Wrist||Serious eg: continuing discomfort||£5,600 to £18,620|
|Wrist||Severe eg: partial or total loss of use||£18,600 to £45,450|
|Elbow||Minor eg: tennis or golfer’s elbow||£2,650 to £9,550|
|Elbow||Serious eg: significant restricted movement||£11,850 to £24,300|
|Elbow||Severe eg: surgery or disability||£29,750 to £41,650|
|Arm||Minor eg: quick recovery after fracture||£5,000 to £29,750|
|Arm||Serious eg: restricted movement or disability||£29,750 to £99,450|
|Arm||Severe eg: amputation||£73,050 to £228,050|
Lower Body Injury Values
|Part Of Body||Severity||Compensation Amount|
|Toe||Minor eg: fracture||£4,200 to £7,300|
|Toe||Seriouseg: ongoing symptoms||£7,300 to £16,050|
|Toe||Severe eg: amputation||£23,750 to £42,650|
|Foot||Minor eg: constant pain but no disability||£5,320 to £10,445|
|Foot||Serious eg: fractured heel or foot||£19,000 to £53,150|
|Foot||Severe eg: amputation||£63,820 to £153,250|
|Achilles||Minor eg: weakened ankle||£5,520 to £16,050|
|Achilles||Serious eg: partial tendon tear||£18,950 to £22,850|
|Achilles||Severe eg: severed tendon||Up to £29,250|
|Ankle||Minor eg: sprain or fracture||£10,400 to £20,150|
|Ankle||Serious eg: surgery required||£23,850 to £38,000|
|Ankle||Severe eg: major disability or amputation||£38,000 to £52,995|
|Knee||Minor eg: twists, dislocation||£4,600 to £19,950|
|Knee||Serious eg: some disability, long-term pain||£19,850 to £32,990|
|Knee||Severe eg: constant pain or disability||£39,600 to £73,120|
|Leg||Minor eg: fracture or soft tissue damage||£1,850 to £19,850|
|Leg||Serious eg: long-term effects||£21,050 to £103,200|
|Leg||Severe eg: amputation||£74,450 to £214,300|
Types of work accident claim
Any number of injuries can be inflicted on a person involved in an accident at work and while no claim is ever the same we do find some common scenarios and injuries that lead to claims for personal injury compensation.
Common workplace accidents
- Slip, trip or fall at work
- Construction site accidents
- Faulty work equipment
- Forklift truck accidents
- Factory accidents
- Inadequate PPE
- Inadequate training
- Ladder accidents
- Manual handling accidents
- Office accidents
- NHS worker claims
- Care worker claims
- Support worker assault
- Wet floor accidents
- Falling objects
Common workplace injury claims
- Acoustic shock injury
- Amputation injury at work
- Back injury lifting at work
- Burn injury at work
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Electric shock
- Fracture injury at work
- Head injury at work
- Industrial disease claims
- Neck injury at work
- Occupational dermatitis or eczema
- Repetitive strain injury
- Slipped disc at work
- Soft tissue injury at work
- Stress at work claims
- Vibration white finger
See if you can claim accident at work compensation
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. It’s usually really quick for us to find out if you have a valid claim, just leave a question below or call us on 01225 430285, or we can call you back.