All employers have a legal responsibility to keep their workers safe. If an employers negligence led to you being injured in an accident at work, you are entitled to claim compensation.
We can help you to claim compensation that will pay for your injuries, lost earnings, expenses and more.
Suing your employer for a work injury naturally presents 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.
In this article you’ll find advice on how to make a work accident claim, how to tell if you are eligible to claim, and how much compensation you might expect.
Table of contents:
- What should I do after an accident at work?
- Do I get paid if I get injured in a work accident?
- Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?
- Can I claim compensation if I’m injured in a work accident?
- Is my work injury serious enough to claim compensation?
- What types of work accident or injury can I claim for?
- Can I claim for an illness or disease caused by my job?
- The top reasons to make a work accident claim
- How will claiming affect my employer and colleagues?
- How long does it take to make a work accident claim?
- What proof do I need to make a work accident claim?
- How to report being injured in an accident at work
- How much compensation can I claim for a work injury?
- Do I have to pay for a no win no fee work accident claim?
- Who pays compensation for an accident at work?
- How long do I have to make a work injury claim?
- How do I start an accident at work injury claim?
- Accident at work claim examples – questions and answers
What should I do after an accident at work?
Firstly, employers 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.
Secondly, it’s also important to understand you as an employee have rights if you’re injured at work. There are several things you can do yourself to help your recovery, and also to help win a compensation claim:
- Firstly, seek medical treatment. This could be at the scene, by attending a GP or visiting A&E.
- The accident should be reported to your manager by yourself or a colleague.
- Ensure that the accident is recorded in the employer’s accident book. The injuries should be described and their cause listed.
- Certain injuries and accidents should be reported to the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR.
- 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.
- If you need time off work to recover, confirm what pay you’ll receive – most employees will be entitled to sick pay (SSP).
- If you’re unable to do your usual job, your employer should do their best to find you lighter duties while you recover.
Don’t worry if you haven’t been able to do any of this yet, we’re here to guide you.
Do I get paid if I get injured in a work accident?
Usually, yes, you will receive some pay if you need time off after an accident at work. How much will depend on the situation and the contract you have with your employer.
Sadly not all employees receive full pay if they are off work injured – commonly your employer will put you on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Although SSP is far from a living wage, it could be enough to help you get by.
However, it’s important to remember that you have the right to more than just sick pay. If you’ve been injured in a work accident that wasn’t your fault, you should be treated fairly and allowed to claim compensation.
As well as a payout for your injury and its affect on your life, depending on your specific situation, you can also claim for loss of earnings, treatment for your injuries and any other expenses.
Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?
You can’t be sacked for being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, or indeed for making a compensation claim against your employer.
Good employers will deal with accidents in a professional and effective manner. They will record details of an accident in their accident book, report it to the HSE via RIDDOR if required, and not stand in their employees way should they need to make a claim for compensation.
Bad employers will be less helpful, they may try to prevent access to the accident book and be obstructive towards staff who are injured, perhaps even threatening them with the sack.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you’ve been fired following a legitimate claim 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.
Can I claim compensation if I’m injured in a work accident?
To have a valid work accident claim, it must be demonstrated that the employer was liable and exposed the staff to risk of injury, rather than it being their own fault.
You can also claim if working conditions or an accident at work made a pre-existing injury worse.
You may even be able to claim if you are partly at fault, in what’s known as contributory negligence or split liability.
Claims can even be made if a company has ceased trading, merged or gone in to administration.
However, not all accidents are claimable and just being injured at work is not enough to be able to sue your employer.
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 employer 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?
- 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 have have proper procedures and risk assessments in place?
- 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 work accident claim in one phone call with you.
Is my work injury serious enough to claim compensation?
Your work injury has to be severe enough to provide a sufficient level of ‘quantum’ for a claim to be placed with a no win no fee solicitor. Quantum is the posh latin term for value of the claim used in the legal world.
To ensure that the injury value is sufficient, it is usually the case that an injured employee will need to have suffered for a period of 4 weeks or more.
You have a good chance of claiming compensation if any of the following apply:
- You are still receiving treatment for an old work injury or illness.
- You have taken time off work to recover.
- You have been unable to return to work doing the same job or hours.
If you are unsure whether your injuries are serious enough to win a claim, see the questions at the bottom of this article for some real-world scenarios.
What types of work accident or injury can I claim for?
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 accidents and injuries that lead to claims against an employer:
Common workplace accidents
Common workplace injury claims
Can I claim for an illness or disease caused by my job?
If you have been diagnosed with a health condition that is linked to your job, you can make a claim for industrial disease compensation.
Claims can be made when the illness is diagnosed and linked to the work you performed, the conditions in which you were working and the level of health and safety management of your workplace at the time.
For industrial injuries or health problem claims, there is still a limitation period in place – ie a time limit in which you have to make a claim. However, there is a slight difference in that the limitation period may begin at the date of a diagnosis rather than the actual date of the injury or the date at which you ought to have known that your health problem could be linked to your work. This is because the effects of an industrial illness or injury can take many years to materialise and present symptoms.
Common claims for industrial illnesses
The top reasons to make a work accident claim
Claiming personal injury compensation will help ease some of the personal and practical problems you’ll face following your accident.
A successful claim will include compensation for the injuries you have suffered, plus expenses and recovery of any lost income – both now and also in the future.
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 you could be reduced to basic sick pay.
As well as receiving a final compensation payout, there many other good reasons to make a claim:
- Making a claim is one of your rights after an injury 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.
- Before a claim is settled, you may be eligible for interim payments.
- Employers can make changes to ensure a safer workplace.
How will claiming affect my employer and colleagues?
A very common worry for people is how making a claim will affect their employer. As we’ve stated, in the UK at least, 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.
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.
Do not feel that claiming will 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 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.
How long does it take to make a work accident claim?
Work accident claims can take a few months to a few years to process. It largely depends on your injuries and how complicated your case is.
If your employer admits liability quickly and your injuries are relatively minor, a claim could be settled within 6 months.
In complex claims involving serious injury or lengthy investigations by the Health & Safety Executive, it can take a year or more.
Our team should be able to give you an idea of how long your claim will take after assessing your case.
What proof do I need to make a work accident claim?
To make a successful accident at work claim you need to prove that the accident was not your fault. You also need to prove that your employer was at fault – usually because they have been negligent in some way.
To do this, it helps if you have evidence of the following:
- That the accident was reported to and recorded by your employer in the accident book.
- That the cause of the accident existed, by way of photographs and/or witnesses.
- That medical treatment was received.
- That your injuries were independently assessed and recorded in a medical report.
- That you have a record of financial losses.
Sometimes it’s not possible to have all this evidence to hand, which is where we can help. For example, you may still be able to claim if there’s no accident book record, or if you haven’t yet seen a doctor.
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.
How to report being injured in an accident at work
A requirement after any workplace injury is to ensure that the details are recorded within an accident book or recording system 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.
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.
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.
If the employer is not convinced with your explanation, bring in witness testimonies to verify your story. Having supporting statements from colleagues can provide a stronger prospect of success in certain cases.
Furthermore, 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, which you can view on the government website.
How much compensation can I claim for a work injury?
Every claim is different so it’s impossible to say exactly how much you can claim for being injured at work. 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.
In addition to the award for your injuries, the compensation settlement value also takes into account psychological damage, plus other losses and expenses incurred. 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.
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 upfront payments to cover the period you are unable to work.
Claimants who are pro-active, cooperative and retain a keen interest in what is happening, will stand the best chance of a final settlement value adequately meeting the full extent of the injuries they have sustained – check out our top tips for maximising your compensation settlement.
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.
Head and Face Injury Compensation 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|
Hand and Arm Injury Compensation 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 Compensation 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|
Do I have to pay for a no win no fee work accident claim?
A No Win No Fee agreement enables a solicitor to pursue a claim on the basis that they will charge no fee to the claimant if they fail to succeed with the claim.
A claimant will pay nothing if their claim is unsuccessful so long as they have not acted fraudulently and have cooperated fully with their Solicitor during the pursuit of the claim.
If a solicitor succeeds with a No Win No Fee claim for their client, they will deduct up to 25% of the awarded compensation. This deduction goes towards the Solicitors legal fees, with further costs chargeable to the defendant.
The only other cost that a claimant may face on success of their claim is for any provided After the Event (ATE) insurance cover that the Solicitor had to put in place at the outset of the claim. In the vast majority of cases, the Solicitors working with Direct2Compensation will not recommend that an ATE policy is obtained for the claim. Again, it is worth noting that should a policy be recommended, the premium is only payable if and when a claim succeeds and never payable if a claim fails.
If a claimant has pre-existing Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) cover in place, a Solicitor may attempt to use that, meaning that there will be no need for an ATE policy and no further cost when succeeding with a claim.
While a private medical report is usually required to provide evidence of your injuries, you should not have to pay for this and it will be arranged by your solicitor.
One other financial impact to consider is how a compensation payout will affect any benefits you claim. If you currently receive state funded benefits, such as Universal Credit or similar, winning compensation could affect your benefits entitlement and the amount of benefit payment that you receive.
Who pays compensation for an accident at work?
All employers should have liability insurance to cover any compensation payouts for an accident at work.
The claim is dealt with by the insurance company rather than your employer, and your solicitor will negotiate with the insurance company.
How long do I have to make a work injury claim?
Usually you have 3 years from the date of your injury to make a claim. This time limit is called ‘limitation’, after which the claim will be statute barred and you will be unable to seek compensation.
An exception to this rule is for minors. A person under the age of 18 years at the time of their accident have until their 21st birthday in which they can register a claim. Another exception is for industrial diseases, where the limitation period is 3 years from the date of medical diagnosis. This is because industrial illnesses may take years to present. There are other very rare exceptions to the 3-year rule that may enable an individual to overturn the limitation limit. This would normally apply to individuals who were so seriously injured that they could not manage their own affairs and no carer commenced a claim for them.
It is advisable to make a claim at the earliest opportunity and to not wait the full 3 years. This allows time to prepare a strong claim and therefore maximise the prospects of a successful outcome.
How do I start an accident at work injury claim?
With Direct2Compensation, starting your compensation claim for an accident at work couldn’t be easier.
Our staff will be able to quickly identify whether your accident will enable you to pursue a successful claim against your employer.