If you had a workplace accident due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Many accidents could lead to a personal injury claim, including slips and trips, falls, machinery accidents and assaults. These could lead to injuries that range from minor sprains and strains to broken bones and brain trauma.
There are several steps you must follow if you want to make an accident at work claim. The process begins with a free consultation with a legal adviser. If your case has merit, they will help you gather evidence to start your claim and handle all communication on your behalf. They will also negotiate the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
To find out how to claim for an accident at work, call 0800 678 1410 today to speak to a legal adviser. You could also use our online claim form to request a call back. They will offer free legal advice and guide you through the claims process.
Who can make an accident at work claim?
Anyone who was injured at work may be able to claim compensation. If you want to make an accident at work claim, a personal injury solicitor will be able to determine within minutes if your case is valid by verifying whether:
- Your employer breached their duty of care toward you
- Their negligence or wrongdoing caused an accident to happen
- You suffered an injury at work as a result of this within the last three years
If you fulfil the above conditions, you can claim against your employer. It is essential to remember that you can make a claim for compensation even if you were partially to blame for your injuries. In this case, your settlement will be reduced to reflect your part of the fault, also known as contributory negligence.
What should I do if I have a work accident?
If you were injured in an accident at work and want to claim compensation, there are a series of steps you should follow:
Report the accident to your employer.
Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible and make sure they record it in the company’s accident book. That is necessary to ensure that the incident is documented and that your employer is aware of your injuries. You can ask for a copy of the report to support your claim. If there is no accident book, write down the details of what happened and send it to your employer or manager. Keep a copy for yourself.
Seek medical care.
Your health should be the top priority, so you should get medical help immediately. This step is essential for your well-being and ensures you receive adequate treatment for your injuries. Your medical records will prove the type and extent of the harm you suffered and how it relates to your accident at work.
Get contact details of witnesses.
If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information and ask them to make notes of what happened. You should do this quickly, as tracking down witnesses later can be tricky. They can provide valuable statements to support your claim if there are liability disputes.
If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. Visual evidence can be compelling in demonstrating the conditions and consequences of the accident. Do this before anything is moved, repaired or replaced. If your accident was captured on CCTV, you should also secure a copy of the footage.
Write down what happened.
Document the details of the accident. Include information about the date, time, location, any equipment involved, and the sequence of events leading up to the incident. Be as specific as possible. You should also include what happened straight after the accident, such as your employer or manager’s response.
Keep a journal.
After the incident, keep a diary to document your daily experiences. This should include any pain, discomfort, and difficulties you encounter as a result of your injuries. Note down the treatments you have received, how the injuries have affected your mental health and all the events you had to miss because of them. This can serve as a record of how the accident has affected your life.
Keep records of financial losses.
Keep track of any financial losses resulting from the accident. These might include medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred due to the injury. You should also preserve any payslips you have received since the accident and any from at least three months before.
Seek legal advice.
Consult with a personal injury lawyer who specialises in workplace accident claims. They can assess your case, help you understand your legal rights, and guide you through the claims process. The solicitors we work with will offer you a free initial consultation and a no win no fee service if you have grounds to take legal action.
Common accidents at work that could lead to a compensation claim
Some of the most common accidents that lead to an injury at work claim include:
- Slips, trips, and falls. These accidents can occur due to wet or uneven flooring, inadequate lighting, cluttered walkways, or other hazards.
- Falling objects. In workplaces with overhead storage or construction sites, items may fall and cause injuries.
- Machinery accidents. Malfunctioning machines or insufficient training can put workers at risk of accidents.
- Repetitive strain injuries. These injuries result from repetitive motions and overuse of muscles.
- Forklift accidents. Improper forklift operation or lack of safety training can lead to accidents.
- Electrical shocks. These can occur due to exposed wiring, faulty equipment, or inadequate safety measures.
- Chemical exposure. Workers who deal with hazardous chemicals may suffer injuries due to exposure if proper safety measures are not in place.
These are just a few examples of accidents that could lead to a workplace injury claim. If your employer has failed to protect your safety at work, they may be liable to compensate you for any damages you sustained.
Common injuries for which you could claim compensation
Any injury you sustained due to your employer’s negligence could entitle you to start a claim for an accident at work. Common workplace injuries that could potentially lead to a claim include:
- Sprains and strains often occur due to lifting heavy objects or overexertion at work;
- Cuts and lacerations caused by contact with sharp objects or machinery;
- Burn injuries from hot surfaces, chemicals, or open flames;
- Repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can result from repetitive motions in the workplace;
- Back and spinal injuries can be caused by lifting heavy objects incorrectly, falls, or accidents involving vehicles or machinery;
- Head injuries resulting from falls, falling objects, or accidents involving machinery or equipment;
- Hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud noises in some industries;
- Psychological injuries due to workplace stress or traumatic events;
- Occupational diseases like mesothelioma from asbestos exposure or dermatitis from contact with harmful substances;
- Fractures and dislocations are often caused by falls, collisions, or accidents involving heavy machinery.
How to claim for an accident at work on behalf of someone else
If a friend or family member has suffered an injury and cannot claim for an accident at work, you could take legal action on their behalf. To claim for them, you must apply to the court to be named as their litigation friend. Your solicitor can help you fill in and file all the necessary documents. Before appointing you, the court will verify that:
- You can make fair and competent decisions about the claim
- You have no conflict of interest with the injured party
Your role as a litigation friend is to protect the best interests of the individual you represent and make legal decisions on their behalf. You will have several other duties, such as:
- Deal with correspondence and sign legal documents
- Instruct solicitors and take legal advice
- Make sure the claimant attends all medical appointments
- Consider compensation offers from the defendant
- Pay any fees requested by the court
- Attend court hearings if necessary
If you claim compensation for an accident on behalf of someone else, the claims process is the same as with any other personal injury case. You will help your solicitor gather evidence to support the claim, and they will handle all the legal aspects of the case.
How to claim for an accident at work if you are self-employed
If you are self-employed, the benefits guaranteed by employment law, such as minimum wage and sick pay, will likely not apply to you. However, you are still protected by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. That means your employer must take all reasonable measures to keep you safe at work, such as providing training and personal protective equipment.
If you suffered a workplace injury due to your employer’s negligence, you are entitled to claim accident compensation. To make a successful claim, you should follow all the steps detailed in the section above, which include:
- Report the accident to your employer or supervisor
- Gather evidence such as photos and witness contacts
- Have your injuries assessed by a healthcare professional
- Keep all documents related to your financial losses
- Contact an accident solicitor
Can I claim if I lost a loved one in a workplace accident?
You could make a fatal accident claim if you lost a loved one in a workplace accident due to someone else’s negligence. Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, any dependent of a wrongful death victim could be entitled to compensation, including:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Civil partners and former civil partners
- Anyone living in the same household as a spouse or civil partner for at least two years
- Children and other descendants
- Parents and other ascendants
- Anyone treated as a child or parent
- Siblings, uncles and aunts
The compensation awarded to descendants in wrongful death cases could cover:
- The financial benefits expected from the deceased, such as lost wages, pensions and other income
- The loss of services they provided, such as childcare and household chores
- Funeral expenses and financial losses incurred by your loved one between the accident and the date of death
- A bereavement award of £15,120 for the grief and suffering caused by your loss
How much compensation could I receive?
The compensation amount you could receive if you make a claim will depend on the details of your accident and how your injuries have affected you. Your solicitor will consider two areas of losses to calculate your injury compensation award:
General damages cover the pain, suffering and other subjective losses caused by the physical injury. They are calculated based on the recommendations from the Judicial College and historical cases. You can refer to our compensation calculator to see how much you could receive for general damages if you claim for an accident at work.
Special damages cover all the financial losses and expenses you incurred as a result. If your claim is successful, special damages could cover:
- Time off work and loss of earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Care and support needs, even if provided by loved ones
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescriptions and private treatments
- Modifications to your home or vehicle
- Travel costs to and from medical appointments
What is the time limit to claim?
The time limit to make a personal injury claim is typically three years, starting from the date of the accident. Alternatively, the time limit for making a claim could begin on the date your injury or illness was diagnosed. The claim limitation date can differ under certain circumstances:
- The three-year countdown only begins on your 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian could claim on your behalf if you had an accident before that. Afterwards, you have until your 21st birthday to take legal action yourself.
- There is no time limit if the claimant cannot make a work injury claim due to a lack of mental capacity. That could be due to a brain injury, PTSD or another condition, such as Down syndrome. In this case, a litigation friend could claim for them anytime.
- If you lost a loved one due to a work injury, the time limit to claim is three years from the date of death.
- If you were the victim of a workplace assault, you can start a CICA claim within two years after the incident.
Regardless of your circumstances, it is best to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. That will give them enough time to build your case and secure the compensation you deserve.
Will I be offered a No Win No Fee service?
If you have grounds to take legal action, the solicitors we work with will offer you a no win no fee service. That means you do not have to pay any legal fees upfront. Furthermore, your solicitor will only receive a percentage of your compensation award if they win your case. That is known as a success fee and cannot exceed 25% of your settlement.
If you claim on a no win no fee basis, you do not have to pay any legal charges either if your case fails. You will be covered by the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy included in your agreement against all costs and disbursements, such as:
- Police and medical reports
- Court and counsel fees
- Expert witness fees
- Travel expenses
- Cost of printing and copying
- The defendant’s solicitors
By making a no win no fee accident at work claim, you only pay anything if your case is successful. Your deductions include the cost of the ATE premium and the success fee paid to your solicitor.