Am I Eligible to Make A Work Accident Claim?
The most common questions we’re asked are:
“Can I claim for an accident at work? Who can usually claim?”
There’s not always an easy answer, as it depends on a few different things, like your employment status, how long ago you were injured, how severe your injuries are and whether or not you were following the health and safety rules which your employer should have taught you at the time. Broadly though, you can make a claim if you are (or were) a full or part-time worker, on a temporary contract, or even a contractor. You can also claim if you were simply a visitor to another place of work, even if you weren’t directly employed by that company. As with all workplace accident claims, you will need to prove that your injury was caused by the negligence of your employer (or someone who was working for them). Every employer has a duty to protect you from the risks of injury at work. This includes making sure that you have the proper training, correct personal protective equipment (PPE), appropriate clothing, and adequate health & safety advice. If your employer has failed to protect you, then you may be able to claim for your injury. We can only handle cases where you learned that your employer was at fault within the last three years and where the injury had a long-term effect on your health.
A quick way to understand whether you have an injury serious enough to make a claim, is to ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to any of them is yes, we should be able to help you.
- Have your injuries stopped you going back to work in the same role or reduced your hours?
- After the accident, are you still seeing a doctor, specialist or are you receiving medical treatment for your injuries?
- Have you been in and out of the hospital because of your injuries?
- Have you needed time off work to support your recovery?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these, call us on 01515505228 or fill in our online form and we’ll call you back, free.
Employed, self-employed and temporary workers
While employed by a company, you have the right to be able to work safely and it's your employer's responsibility to minimise risks as far as is possible to avoid injury. Whether you're only there for a day, whether it's during your first week, or if you've been an employee for decades, your length of service doesn't change your employer's responsibilities, so if the company ignores them or doesn't provide you with what you need to do the job safely, you can make a claim if you get injured as a result.
Agency and temp workers
Often when you're employed by an agency, it won't be the agency that trains you. In most cases, you'll be trained and instructed by the company the agency is working with. Similarly, it will be the company, not the agency, providing the tools, equipment, PPE and safety gear necessary to do the job you've been brought in to do, so they are ultimately responsible for your workplace safety.
It's for these reasons that if you happen to be injured while working for an agency, that the claim will be made against the company who provided the training, instruction and equipment. If however, the agency is responsible for your training equipment and safety, the claim may be made against them instead. If you're unsure, our legal advisors can tell you which is more likely based on your circumstances.
Many people believe that if they’re injured at work, and they’re self-employed, that there’s nothing that they can do. This isn’t always true. As with agency and temp workers, if you go to work on premises owned and managed by another company and you get injured there, you may have grounds for a claim as this company is still responsible for the safety of all people on-site. A typical scenario could include self-employed plumbers and electricians working on building sites.
How do I know if I am self-employed?
Most self-employed workers will be responsible for filling out a self-assessment tax for every year, but there are some cases where an employer may handle your pay while contracting you on a self-employed basis so it’s not always clear. If you have a copy of your contract, it might be worth reading through in case it provides any clues. If you’re still unsure, one of our personal injury lawyers will be able to help you.
While less common than accidents at the workplace, employees who work from home may also be injured and there are circumstances where they can make a claim. If there are circumstances in the home that the employer can’t control, such as an employee tripping over shoes left on the stairs by another family member, the employer can’t be held responsible. But if the employer provides equipment for the job that is defective or damaged and this causes injury, then they may be to blame. At the same time, some employers are required to safety check the places where home workers do their job; if these checks aren’t conducted and an injury takes place, again, they may be responsible.
If I am on a zero-hours contract, can I still claim compensation?
If you go to work and you aren't given the proper tools, training or equipment to do your job safely, and you get injured, then you're entitled to make a claim regardless of the type of contract you're on. So if you're worried that a 'zero-hours contract' might stop you from making a claim, speak to one of our team so that they can advise you.
When can you file a work injury claim?
There is no minimum waiting time after your accident to make a claim, but if you know it’s your employer’s fault, then you have a maximum time limit of three years within which to seek legal advice. We recommend that as soon as you discover that your injury or accident was your employer’s responsibility, that you seek legal help as the details around the incident will be more memorable to you, and the records will be easier to access.
If I’ve had a work accident, what can I claim for?
Any time off work and lost earnings
If your injury has forced you to take a lot of time off, and you weren’t paid during this time, we consider this ‘lost earnings’. Not only will you have lost part of your salary, but it’s likely that you might have lost pension contributions and other benefits during the same period. Using your payslips and medical records we can calculate any earnings lost to-date so that this amount is included in your final compensation settlement.
Any future loss of income
If your injury is quite serious, it could stop you from working in the same job or industry for the rest of your life. If you work in construction and you injure your back so badly that you can never work on-site again, this might reduce the amount of money you can earn in future. We call this ‘future loss of income’. Using your pay history we can work out what you might reasonably have been expected to earn over the rest of your career, and then work out how much you’re likely to have ‘lost’ as a result of your injury. In addition to lost-earnings, this will also be included in your final compensation settlement. If however, your employer can move you into another role that suits you, without your salary being affected, then this might not be necessary.
Any changes to your ability to work
Depending on your circumstances, it’s possible that an accident at work might render you incapable of working at all. This may force you into early retirement and it will also be a big worry. If you are unable to work, we’ll take this into account when calculating your final settlement figure.
Care or support, even if given for free by family and friends
In some cases, you may have needed specialist care or support; either from professionals or from friends and family. If you have required help, even if it’s just for gardening or shopping, we can try to compensate you for the costs and effort. It is possible in some cases to claim an hourly rate for this kind of help, even from friends and family. If you’ve received this kind of support, do tell us.
Any adaptations you might need to your home or car
While less common, there are circumstances where you might need changes making to your home or your car. An extreme example might be if you injure your back or legs at work, and then need to use a wheelchair. In this example, you’d need your home to be adapted with ramps and stairlifts and it is likely that you’ll need a new car to accommodate wheelchair use. Similar changes to your home and transport can be claimed for wherever mobility is impaired. In these cases, work accident compensation would pay out for these alterations.
Travel and accommodation costs
For anyone who has spent time in a hospital or visiting others in the hospital, they’ll be familiar with the parking charges and transport costs. If you need to visit a specialist, you may even find yourself staying in hotels overnight to make sure you get the treatment you need. Over time, these costs can mount up quite quickly, especially if you’re unable to work. Where possible, we can work out your travel costs and arrange to have them paid back to you in your compensation award. It’s useful in these cases to keep receipts and invoices to help prove that these costs were incurred.
General damages for a work accident
General damages are used to describe the compensation awarded for the direct effects of an accident. These direct effects include physical pain and suffering, injuries and impairment, mental pain and psychological harm, difficulty in finding further work, loss of career options and for a reduced quality of life. Many of the costs associated with these aren’t always clear, so working out reasonable compensation amounts for each where appropriate is challenging. For some injuries, the amounts can be worked out from detailed medical reports, but for others, it can be quite subjective; how would you measure psychological harm for example? It’s important that you choose an experienced solicitor who can calculate these awards properly to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to, or you might come up short.
Special damages following an injury at work
Special damages cover expenses that are out-of-pocket. So wherever you’ve had to pay out for things as a direct result of your accident, these expenses can be claimed back. Examples include some of those mentioned above, such as transport expenses, short and long-term medical expenses, any other physical therapy or treatment, or for any possessions of yours that may have been damaged during the accident. Special damages also cover lost income and any future impact on your ability to earn.
In order to claim for all of the above, you will need to be able to prove that these expenses were incurred. So, remember to keep all receipts, records, invoices and details so that you have the evidence necessary to make these claims. In the unlikely event that a client tries to claim more expenses than they actually incurred, a judge may strike out the cases on the basis of ‘fundamental dishonesty’, in a case like this, you will then need to pay the resulting legal costs.
Can I get an interim payment for a work accident?
Some serious cases can go one for a number of years, during which you’re likely to need more medical treatment, support and physical therapy. At the same time, if you’re unable to work, you will still need your bills, mortgage or rent paying. Under these circumstances, we may be able to get what’s known as an ‘interim payment’. An interim payment is a cut of the compensation you would receive at the end, paid to you early, to cover these costs. Unfortunately, an interim payment is only possible if the party responsible (your employer) admits fault. If you’d like to know more about interim payments, one of our solicitors will be able to discuss this with you.
Am I entitled to full pay or sick pay if I’m injured at work?
Many clients ask us whether they’re entitled to full pay if they’re injured at work, or whether they’re entitled to ‘sick pay’. As a minimum you’ll be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you need time off for an injury, you can find out more about your rights to sick pay here. In some cases, your contract may say that you are entitled to sick pay or even full pay, but this is less common. You can check to see if you’re entitled to sick pay using this tool.
Going back to work after an injury
For most work accident victims, they’ll be able to return to work but may need to work fewer hours or perform lighter duties while they recover. In some cases, other arrangements may need to be made to make a return to work possible. Speak to your employer about your options as a suitable role and workplace adjustments may be possible. In the case of long-term injuries, your employer may have a legal obligation to make adjustments to enable you to return to work. In some serious cases a return to work may not be possible, so you may wish to discuss this with our legal team.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Work Accident?
One of the questions that we are most frequently asked is ‘how much compensation could I receive?’ It’s impossible for us to give accurate figures, especially at the beginning of a claim. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will depend on a lot of things, like the severity of your injury, how long it lasted, any lost earnings, the impact on your future, any expenses you’ve had to pay out for during your injury and much more. These expenses and effects will vary from person to person, but we can discuss other cases we’ve handled to give you a feel for what might be possible.
How are compensation amounts calculated?
As mentioned earlier, the compensation you could be awarded will be based on several amounts awarded for different things, whether they are out-of-pocket expenses, general damages for pain and suffering, or for the amendments and changes you may need to your car and home. There are tables set out in law to help guide these calculations, but as everyone is different, these need to be interpreted with your work history and lifestyle in mind. If you’re injured while you are young, and the injury prevents you from working, you’ll be awarded much more in ‘lost earnings’ than someone who is already close to retiring. At the same time, many of these calculations will rely on the evidence we get from yourself, in the shape of medical records, work history, pay slips and invoices. The more comprehensive your record keeping, the more accurate our compensation calculations are likely to be.
After an accident at work, what are my rights?
As an employee, whether full-time, part-time, temp or agency, you have the right to work in a safe work environment within the health and safety regulations that govern UK workplaces. This means that you are entitled to training and equipment designed to minimise the risk of injury to yourself and to others as far as can be reasonably expected. There are dangerous jobs that come with risks, but it is your employer’s job to minimise those risks as much as they can. In some industries, there are special safeguards in place to control for dangerous substances and activities too.
Sadly, despite all the rules and regulations some employees still get hurt. In these cases, it’s their legal right to claim compensation to help them to pay for all of the expenses and medical costs necessary for their recovery and to make amends for any impact that this might have on their future.
On top of the right to claim, employees have the right to be treated fairly by their employer should they decide to make a claim. If you’ve been thinking about making a claim for an injury, and you feel that your employer is treating you differently or poorly as a result, please mention this to one of our legal team.
Who is responsible?
Employers' duty of care
All employers have a duty of care to their employees. As outlined above, they are responsible for providing a safe environment for their employees as well as all the equipment and training necessary to reduce the risk of injury. At the same time, your employer is responsible for keeping up-to-date on health and safety policy and for finding new ways to reduce injury risks, so if they’re using out of date equipment, or are using inappropriate procedures, they may be putting their employees in harm’s way. If you notice anything like this, you should bring it to your employer’s attention, so they can do something about it and review their procedures.
Injuries caused by other members of staff
If you’re hurt in a workplace accident, and the accident was caused by another employee, you may still be able to claim against your employer. In cases like this, the company is still responsible for the actions and conduct of their employees, and we refer to this as ‘vicarious liability’. Often, accidents like these might be caused by errors in judgement or simple mistakes, but if these cause an accident that leaves you with a long-term injury, it’s unreasonable for an employer to expect you to simply accept it. Claims of this kind can run into the tens of thousands, which most people can’t afford to pay, so in these cases, it’s common to claim these damages through the employer’s insurance company.
Can I claim for an accident at work that was my fault?
If you cause an accident at work that leads to an injury, you may still be able to claim if some of the blame lies with the employer; for example, if they neglected to give you the right training or equipment, resulting in an accident.
Compensation if the claimant is partly responsible
In cases where you are partly at fault, this is referred to as ‘contributory negligence’, where you’re found to have contributed to your own injury. The question of compensation rests on what is known as a ‘split liability agreement’, where solicitors work to understand to which degree each party was responsible, and then using this ‘split’ to give you the compensation amount appropriate to the employer’s level of ‘fault’. If they determine that you were both equally responsible (50/50) then you may be awarded 50% of the total compensation amount. So if you were instructed to move something, even though you knew you didn’t have the right training to do so, and it causes an accident, it doesn’t mean you can’t claim. To be sure, speak to a member of our legal team.
How long do you have to claim after an accident at work?
The time limit for making a claim is typically three years after your injury occurred. After this time limit, your claim is considered to be statute barred, which will stop you from taking the matter to court. There are some cases where the injury won’t be obvious right away, such as with hearing loss or chemical exposure. In these instances, the time limit runs from what we call the ‘date of knowledge’. The date of knowledge is the point at which you learned your employer was responsible for your injuries; so if you’ve been ill for years and you later learn from your doctor that your illness was caused by chemical poisoning in your workplace, your date of knowledge starts at the point you doctor explained that your workplace was to blame.
The time limit and the date of knowledge can sometimes confuse matters, so to understand whether you can claim, speak to one of our advisors and they can help you to understand whether your claim can go ahead, or whether it is statute barred.
What is classed as a ‘work accident’?
Because there are so many kinds of accidents that happen at work, it’s difficult to list them all. They can occur in a multitude of different ways and can have varying consequences. We’ve helped clients who have had short-term injuries after falling over equipment in the workplace, all the way through to workers who have fallen from scaffolding and employees who have been exposed to dangerous chemicals and substances. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines an ‘accident’ as:
“a separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury. This specifically includes acts of non-consensual violence to people at work.
Injuries themselves, eg ‘feeling a sharp twinge’, are not accidents. There must be an identifiable external event that causes the injury, eg a falling object striking someone.”
Some types of work accidents include:
- Falls from height: These can happen in all sorts of ways, but often it will involve falling from scaffolding or ladders. Rope access workers are also at risk.
- Injuries caused by damaged or defective machinery: Dangerous machinery requires special training and sometimes equipment to operate safely, but even then, machines can become unpredictable and dangerous if they’re damaged or are not serviced correctly. Dangerous machinery can lead to serious injuries and in some cases, fatal accidents.
- Slips, trips and falls: These are commonly caused by loose cabling, debris and wet floors that haven’t been signposted. In some cases, damaged step ladders and equipment can be the cause on some jobs.
- Accidents outside of work hours: If you’re on the work premises but are injured before or after your normal working hours, you may still be eligible to claim.
- Manual handling injuries: These can be caused by lifting heavy items and not being provided with adequate materials or training. These can often involve back injuries and long-term strains and nerve damage.
- Electrical and chemical accidents: In construction and industrial settings, electric shocks, electrocution and exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals is a common risk. There are times though where workers are injured by things like faulty wiring, damaged equipment, and harmful substances when they shouldn’t be. In these cases, compensation might be an option.
- Amputation: In more severe accidents involving deep cuts, lacerations or crushing injuries, an amputation may be necessary. This will have a huge impact on your life and your recovery will take a long time requiring a lot of support.
- Fatalities caused by work-related injuries: In rare cases, an accident at work can be fatal to some victims. More common occurrences include explosions, fires and electrocution, but falls from height, vehicle crashes and falling materials can all have the same outcome.
- Vehicle collisions: Trucks, lorries, forklift trucks and plant are all commonplace on construction sites, in warehouses and in industrial settings. Collisions and crashes are not uncommon, often leading to injury.
- Construction and building site incidents: There are many dangers on-site and the kinds of danger faced will depend on the project. Many of the accidents and injuries above are possible, but there are so many other types that it’s difficult to list them all.
The caveat to making a work accident claim
The challenge with all work accident compensation cases lies in proving that your employer was to blame for your injuries. While it might be obvious to you and to other bystanders, the key is to find the right evidence to present at court if your case goes that far. The success of your claim will largely be determined by how experienced your solicitor is, how many cases like yours they’ve handled, and how many they’ve won. A successful track record will tell you that they’re able to unearth the right kinds of records and paperwork to support your case. When you’re choosing a solicitor, be sure to ask these questions and to make sure you’re comfortable with your choice.
Choosing the right solicitor and representation
Choosing a solicitor can be difficult. For the best chance of success, you need a solicitor who understands you and has experience in dealing with claims like yours. Ideally, you should be looking for a good track record in ‘winning’ cases for their clients as well as affiliations with known regulatory bodies like the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) or accreditation with The Law Society. You should also look for customer reviews. What do other people say about the firm and the individual? There are lists like the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners that can help you with this. To make matters more difficult, many of the firms you see on TV aren’t solicitors at all. Many of them are Claims Management Companies (CMCs) who pass your details on to other law firms for a fee (We're not one of them). We find that the most important test is for you to talk to a work accident solicitor over the phone. See how well you get along with them and see how comfortable they are in answering your questions. If they seem open and honest, and all of your research points to them being great at their job, then you’re likely to be in safe hands.
How likely am I to win my work accident claim?
Your Legal Friend has over 30 years of experience and to-date we have a 95% success rate, having successfully claimed over £250million in compensation for our clients over the past ten years. Many of our lawyers are APIL accredited as senior litigators and some have been given glowing reviews in the Legal 500 rankings. The likelihood then is that if you speak to us and we take on your case, your odds are favourable.
As with any claim, however, we can’t make any guarantees, because new evidence may come to light at any stage that might complicate matters. We do our level best to communicate any updates and changes to you so that you’re always aware of how your claim is progressing.
Can I make a no win no fee claim?
We’re often asked, “How does ‘No Win, No Fee’ work?” If you’re eligible to make a claim, it’s quite likely that you will be able to claim on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful you don’t pay anything. You only have to pay if your claim is successful, and we take 25% of that amount. If you decide to use our services, all of our charges and the way the agreement works is outlined clearly in your introduction pack, but if you have any questions feel free to talk to us directly.
Our Case Studies
Transport supervisor wins £65,000 after having leg crushed by a forklift truck
Mr Dwyer’s accident occurred at his workplace on an industrial estate near St. Helens, Merseyside. A forklift truck driver mistakenly reversed into him, crushing his leg under the forklift and causing him serious injuries including broken bones in his foot, ankle and leg.
"I was badly injured at work by a forklift truck driver who did not comply with Health and Safety directives and as a result, I had to undergo emergency surgery at Whiston Hospital to save my lower leg and foot from possible amputation” – read Mr Dwyer’s story here
Sunderland warehouse worker awarded £4,500 after heavy-lifting chest injury
37-year-old Paul Pritchard working for the Mitie Group at the local Rolls Royce depot when he was told to lift some heavy aeroplane parts that were stored in such a way that he had to bend down to lift them up. In doing so, Paul strained the right side of his chest wall, which took more than eight months to heal. For four of those months, he was unable to work due to being virtually bed-ridden whilst he recovered. Read Paul’s story here.
Our Experts and Experience
Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury, leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident teams. A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high-quality client care.
Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters, Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.
Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation. Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights into how insurers work, allowing him to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.
Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for our clients.
Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.
Kathryn, also a qualified solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad. Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.
Why Choose Us?
With over 30 years’ experience in personal injury cases and an ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, we are well placed to handle your claim and to get you as much compensation as possible. We’ve been featured in the Legal 500 and the Chambers and Partners guide for our outstanding work, and we’ve also seen some of our lawyers short-listed for numerous awards for excellence and innovation in the legal field. You can also find many of our certified senior litigators in the APIL directory. Most importantly, we have a 95% success rate on the cases we take on and we’ve won over £250million for our clients over the last ten years. The best way to find out if we’re a good fit for you though is to give us a call. It’s free.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Could I lose my job if I claim compensation?
We speak to many accident victims and sadly, one of the first things they think about is “I’m worried about making a claim against my employer”, or we get asked “can they sack me?”
The answer is a strong ‘no’. You’re protected at work by law and claiming compensation in the event of an accident is your legal right. So, if your employer tries to sack you or terminate your employment, they are only making matters worse for themselves by doing something illegal.
I’ve been injured at work. What should I do next?
A question that commonly comes up in conversations with clients is: “What should I do if I have an accident at work?”.
- In an ideal world, you’ll seek medical attention right away; so, you can be treated and to avoid any complications to your health. This also means that your injuries are officially recorded in your medical file which you can access later if needed
- Your employer should also record and report the incident in the company’s accident book. You will also be required to sign this and often to make your own notes on what happened. In some small companies, they may not have an accident book, so be sure to write up your own notes of the incident and give them to your employer. If you can keep copies or an email trail for your own records, this will be useful. It might be difficult if your injury was severe, but getting photographs of the scene would also be useful. In the case of a serious injury, your employer is legally obliged to report these under the ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013’ (RIDDOR)
- Keep on top of the details. Make sure your notes on the accident are clear, accurate and detailed and be sure to take down the contact details of any eyewitnesses. Better still, ask them to write up their own notes for you to keep if you can.
- If your injury lasts for a long time, you’re likely to pay out for expenses you wouldn’t have had to otherwise. Whether these are bills for medical treatment, parking charges or transport costs, note them all down with the amounts and keep the receipts if you can. We can use these to calculate your loss of income and expenses so that these can be paid back to you as part of your compensation settlement.
- Speak to an experienced work injuries lawyer with a good track record.
Should I make a complaint as part of my accident at work compensation claim?
In most workplaces, employees are encouraged to notify their managers and health and safety officers of any dangers, broken equipment or issues so they can be rectified. In rare cases however, these warnings are ignored and sometimes lead to accidents and injury.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, then you should raise a complaint with your employer and this should be logged. You might take the view that this is a little too late, but it can help to protect other workers from the same dangers in future, especially as they’ll need to make amends in your case.
Is there any reason I might not have a claim?
- The most common reason we see for not having a claim is due to time limits, where victims have known for more than three years that their employer was to blame for their injuries, but they haven’t gotten around to speaking to a solicitor about it.
- The second reason is that some injuries aren’t serious enough to claim compensation. All accidents and injuries are terrible, but if the injury is small and you recover fully within a couple of days, with no lasting impact on your health, life or work, then there isn’t anything for us to claim for. If the injury was your employers fault, you should still report it and note it in the accident book.
- While less common, we do have some people call about making a claim, but during the discussion, it becomes clear that the victim ignored the training they were given, didn’t use the right equipment, or were solely responsible for causing the accident that injured them. Employers are obliged to provide all the necessary training and equipment needed for you to do your job safely, but if you ignore all this guidance and willfully ignore procedures, then there is very little we can do because your employer will use this as evidence against you if you try to make a claim.
Do I need evidence?
To support your claim you will need evidence, the typical things we look for are medical reports, a report noted in the employer’s accident book, photographs of the scene and location and where possible, photographs of your injuries; your doctor or family should be able to help you with this. We will also need reports from any other witnesses and details of all the events after the accident, such as discussions with your employer, doctors or any insurance companies that might be involved. Taken together, we can use this to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accident happened and that your employer and doctors were aware of it.
How do I make a claim for an accident at work?
For the majority of people, it begins with a phone call to a law firm to find the right solicitor to support them. If the solicitor on the end of the phone thinks you have a case, and you’re happy with the way they do business, they’ll often send out a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which works on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. For a small minority, they may wish to make a claim themselves. This avoids having to pay fees to solicitors, but it involves a lot of paperwork and speaking to employer’s, HMRC, doctor’s, workplace safety experts and other parties to help build a case. If you lack experience in dealing with legal matters like this, you may find it easier to have a solicitor handle all of this for you.
Do I need a lawyer to make a work accident claim?
No. You can make a claim yourself. You just need to decide whether you’re comfortable handling the legal process and paperwork on your own and whether you’re sure that you know which questions to ask and which evidence and paperwork you need to collect to put a robust case together. There will be deadlines and enforceable timescales that you will need to adhere to when dealing with your employer’s solicitors and the court. For people with legal experience, this may be a suitable option, but for many, when they realise how much work is involved, they often choose to have a specialist handle this on their behalf.
What Is the Accident at Work Claims Process?
The process of making a claim looks quite different depending on the role you play in the process. For you as a client, it looks like this:
Free no obligation consultation
After receiving your phone call or contact details, we’ll talk to you about your accident, what happened, the impact these injuries have had on your life and much more. From these details, we’ll be able to decide whether you might have a claim. This call is completely free, and the details are strictly confidential.
Working out who is responsible
Once you’ve instructed us by signing our paperwork, we’ll work to understand exactly what happened to you and how this was allowed to happen. We’ll collect evidence from your employer and we’ll involve safety experts to determine whether your employer failed to do their duty in protecting you.
Understanding what you need
As part of the process, you may need help and support during your recovery, but we’ll also need to understand what you’ll need in the long-term. For this, we’ll draft in the help of medical experts to work what levels of help and rehabilitation you’re likely to need both now and in the future so that we can fight for the compensation to support you throughout this time.
Depending on your injuries, you may be entitled to benefits and other kinds of support. As part of the claims process, we’ll help you to access these benefits and we’ll put you in touch with other support groups and associations to help you with the other non-legal aspects of your recovery. In some cases, we may be able to get some of your compensation early (interim payment) to help towards your costs.
Many claims are settled outside of court. Once liability has been established and the evidence proves that your employer is to blame, they’ll often award the compensation you need without having to go to court. In very rare circumstances your employer (or the insurer who provides their policy) will fight the claim to the end, in which case you may need to attend court. If you do, we’ll be there to help you and support you every step of the way.
Will I need a medical for a work accident claim?
We are often asked: “Will I need to undergo a medical examination as part of my accident at work claim?”
The answer is ‘yes’. You will likely need a medical examination so that we can understand your current state of health, and whether it will get better or worse over the long-term as a result of your injuries. We need this information to calculate the likely costs of your future medical care and support, as well as any ‘future losses’
What does a work accident claim cost?
A common question we hear during our first phone call with clients is: “Will I receive a big legal bill for making an accident at work compensation claim?”
Checking the cost before you commit is a sensible thing to do. Many people don’t realise that ‘No Win, No Fee’ means that if you win, there is still a fee for the work. Most solicitors won’t feature the amount on their site, but to save you the trouble of having to ask, if you lose, you pay nothing. If you win, we’ll take 25% of the final compensation amount to cover the costs of our work, the rest goes straight to you. There are some exceptional circumstances where instead of taking a cut of your compensation, we can claim our costs from the defendant, such as with asbestos or mesothelioma cases. If you have any queries around our charges, we’ll be happy to discuss these over the phone.
Who pays compensation for accidents at work?
Employers are obliged by law to have valid Employers Liability insurance in place to cover claims by employees for any accidents and injuries. Your claim is made against that policy, rather than against your employer directly, so don’t be worried about making a claim as it is the insurance company that will compensate you.
What benefits are there if you’re injured at work?
For some people who are left permanently disabled due to an injury or accident at work, there is the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). The IIDB is a non-fault scheme provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The level of disability will affect how much of this benefit you can claim, and this will need to be assessed by a medical advisor who will rate your condition on a scale of 1% to 100%. Usually, to qualify you will need to be assessed as 14% or more. For more information on this scheme, visit the DWP page.
For an informal, confidential chat with one of our expert personal injury solicitors, call us now on 01515505228 (calls are free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.