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In this guide:
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, you may be able to claim compensation. You normally have three years to claim following the accident.
As well as full-time or part-time employees, it may be possible to claim if you are:
You may even be able to claim if you were partly responsible for your accident (e.g. if you caused the accident but had not been given the correct personal protective equipment, or adequate training).
Your employer has a duty to make sure that you are safe at work. In practice this means they have a responsibility to:
Employers have additional responsibilities for the welfare of certain types of worker, including young people, disabled people and pregnant women.
Many business activities and industry sectors are subject to specific regulations and Approved Codes of Practice, drafted by the Health and Safety Executive. Your employer must comply with these and any failure to do so would be potentially negligent.
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The standard time limit for claiming compensation following an injury at work is three years.
However, there are exceptions to the standard time limit:
No matter how your injury occurred, we recommend you get in touch with us as soon as possible, so we can start to investigate your claim.
Workplace accident claims tend to follow the same five steps:
To assist our investigation it will be helpful for you to:
We’ll then begin our own investigation of what happened, separately to that of your employer (or the Health & Safety Executive). This may include:
Once your claim has started, your lawyer will manage any communication with your employer about your case.
There are strict laws in place to protect your employment rights while making a personal injury claim against your employer, and after it has concluded. Your employer must comply fully with our investigation and not treat you differently because you are making a claim.
There’s no such thing as an average workplace injury claim. The consequences of the same type of injury aren’t the same for any two people so the compensation awarded will be different and tailored to your specific needs.
There are two parts to a personal injury compensation settlement:
Therefore it’s clearly difficult to generalise how much compensation you could claim, without knowing your personal circumstances. This is the value of an experienced personal injury solicitor, who can value your claim accurately in order to get you the compensation you deserve.
A number of factors can influence how much compensation you’re awarded, including:
Accident at work claims can generally take anything from a few months to two years to settle. Some serious injury cases can take longer than this, dependent on how complicated your injuries are.
Cases involving one or more of the factors below often take two years to resolve:
Where your employer has admitted responsibility early on in your case, it may be possible to get “interim” compensation payments – this is compensation that’s paid in advance of your final settlement to cover any immediate needs you have.
There are two ways of funding your workplace accident claim:
The vast majority of the claims we handle are funded by a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that you’ll pay no upfront costs, and nothing if your case is unsuccessful*.
Understandably you might be worried about your job if you’re making an accident at work claim. However, there are laws in place to make sure your employment rights are protected.
Your employer can’t treat you badly simply because you are making a personal injury claim against them. It’s important to remember also that in most cases compensation is paid by your employer’s insurer (and not by your employer themselves).
Following an injury at work, your employment rights are protected by a number of laws. These cover being:
If you think you’ve been treated unfairly because of your claim, you should put your concerns in writing to your employer and ask them for an explanation.
If your employer doesn’t address these concerns, contact our employment lawyers for expert advice on your situation. We can give you practical advice on what to do and, if necessary, represent you in an employment tribunal.
Although there aren’t any hard and fast rules on how long you have to be off sick before your employer can consider dismissal on capability grounds, there are laws to protect you from being treated unfairly as a result of your injury. If you’ve been absent for a long period of time due to your injury, your employer can only dismiss you as a last resort, once all other options have been considered.
It may be the case that your injury is classed as a disability – in this instance you could also be protected by discrimination legislation. A disability is defined as a physical or mental condition which has a long-term and substantial effect on your ability to carry out day to day activities. Long-term means that it is expected to last for at least 12 months and day-to-day activities include walking, getting dressed, etc.
If your injury does amount to a disability, your employer will need to take some additional steps to avoid discriminating against you. This is likely to include getting medical advice as to when and if you can return to work and considering whether any reasonable adjustments could be made to help you get back to work, such as:
We can advise you on your rights if you’re worried that your employer isn’t acting legally. Our dedicated team of employment lawyers specialise in helping people with employment disputes. Contact our team for a free initial consultation about your case.
Depending on the terms of your contract of employment, you may receive paid time off after an accident at work. Even if you don’t receive any paid time off, we’ll work hard to make sure that your compensation takes into account your lost earnings.
You may also be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, although this is only paid by your employer for 28 weeks and often won’t match your original wage. As such, it’s vital to begin your claim as soon as you can. We might be able to secure you interim compensation payments, which can help pay for medical treatment and specialist equipment before your case has finished.
You might be eligible for certain benefits, depending on your situation and the severity of your injury. Some of the benefits you could claim for include:
We’ll review your benefit entitlements with you, making sure that you understand which benefits you should receive. For more information, please visit our page on welfare issues after serious injury.
There are also a range of benefits available if a loved one has died in a workplace accident, such as the Statutory Bereavement Award and the Bereavement Allowance. Visit our page on coping with bereavement for more information on eligibility and how we can help.
* Subject to entering into a No Win No Fee agreement in conjunction with our Allianz Litigate insurance policy and complying with your responsibilities under its terms.
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