If a work injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an accident at work, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by your employer, your manager or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim financial compensation.
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
With over 1/2 million people injured at work every year, you are not alone
If you've been injured at work, you're not alone; many people experience work-related injuries, and there's support and guidance available to help you through this challenging time.
The latest data available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) indicates that there were over 561,000 non-fatal work injuries in 2022/23.
According to the Compensation Recovery Unit at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), >43,728 employer liability injury claims were registered between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.
The most common types of work accidents were:
|Work accident type||Percentage|
|Slips, trips and falls||29%|
|Hit by a moving object||11%|
|Falls from height||8%|
|Higher risk industries|
|Farming, forestry and fishing|
|Hospitality and food services|
|Wholesale and retail|
|Construction workers and other trades|
Am I eligible to make a work injury claim?
If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for work injury.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
What if I was partially at fault?
Personal injury claims where both the defendant and claimant share some responsibility are relatively common.
In our recent 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of respondents thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.
When fault on both sides caused a claimant's injuries, this is called 'contributory negligence'. In these situations, compensation may still be payable on the basis of a split liability agreement.
How much compensation can I claim for a work injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury (general damages), and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred (special damages).
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
Work accident injury
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General damages are awarded for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your workplace injury. Compensation can include lost wages and business losses (if you're self-employed), and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as surgery, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Average work accident general damages compensation
The following work accident payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Ankle injury||Minor||Minor injury with full recovery||Up to £12,490|
|Ankle injury||Moderate||Full recovery or with mild ongoing symptoms||£12,490 to £24,170|
|Arm injury||Less serious||Fractured forearm||£6,010 to £17,450|
|Arm injury||Moderate||Serious injury with long-lasting effects||£17,450 to £35,610|
|Back injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £2,230|
|Back injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£2,230 to £7,170|
|Eye injury||Minor||Temporary eye injury||£2,000 to £3,590|
|Eye injury||Moderate||Minor but permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes||£8,280 to £19,070|
|Hand injury||Moderate||Moderate hand injury||£5,200 to £12,070|
|Hand injury||Minor||Minor hand, finger or thumb injury||Up to £4,320|
|Knee injury||Less serious||Minimal ongoing symptoms||Up to £12,490|
|Knee injury||Moderate||Mild long-term symptoms||£13,490 to £23,810|
|Leg injury||Less Serious||Simple tibia or fibula fracture||Up to £10,760|
|Leg injury||Serious||Leg fracture with partial recovery||£23,810 to £39,510|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £220|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 1 year||£220 to £1,200|
|Shoulder injury||Minor||Soft tissue injury||Up to £7,170|
|Shoulder injury||Moderate||Fracture of clavicle||£7,170 to £11,610|
|Wrist injury||Minor||Wrist fracture recovering within one year||£3,210 to £4,310|
|Wrist injury||Moderate||Colles wrist fracture||Around £6,750|
What if I sustained a psychological injury?
If you are concerned about the mental and emotional impact of your injury, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey reveals the extent of psychological trauma, with 25.03% of claims involving a psychological injury, 62.38% of which related to a physical injury.
According to the HSE, there 875,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2022/23. Even relatively minor injuries can trigger PTSD.
Some workers remain hesitant to seek help for potential psychological injuries, fearing that their concerns will be dismissed or they will be treated differently.
Factoring compensation for psychological harm will ensure you receive mental health support and other therapies that may not be readily available on the NHS in your area.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
What are my legal rights after a work injury?
Legislation exists to help reduce the risk of injury at work, especially in high-risk industries. If you are injured at work, you have extensive legal rights which ensure:
- You receive the work injury compensation to which you are entitled; and
- You are treated fairly when making a work accident claim.
- Your employer cannot dismiss you (or threaten to) if you decide to make a claim.
Your employer owes you a duty of care
Employers owe a legal duty of care to their employees. In most cases, your employer will be responsible (liable) if you are injured during your work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines an employer's responsibility as:
"...making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace."
Your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe workplace, providing proper tools, PPE and training, and regularly assessing risks. If they fail in these duties and you get injured, they could be held liable. This applies even if your employer's inaction, rather than direct action, led to your injury.
Negligence could also be inferred if safety checks and risk assessments are not regularly conducted, regardless of how long the task has been carried out without issue.
Self-employed, temporary and zero-hours contract workers
If you are injured at work, eligibility to claim compensation is the same as it is for full-time and part-time employees. In addition, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers must now provide free PPE to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.
Agency and temp worker claims
A work injury compensation claim would usually be made against the company where you were working when injured, rather than the agency that technically employed you.
If the agency has more control and responsibility for your role (e.g., if the agency provides training or equipment), the agency may instead be liable.
Self-employed worker claims
Self-employed people often work on premises owned or operated by another party. For example, self-employed electricians or plumbers working on a building site.
If you are self-employed and are injured because of the negligence of the operator of the premises where you were working, you may have grounds for a work accident claim.
Zero-hours contractor claims
Regardless of the type of contract you have, your employer still owes you a duty of care.
If your working conditions are unsafe in any way and you are injured as a result, you can claim work accident compensation even if you are on a zero-hours contract.
If you work from home (WFH), your legal rights as an employee remain the same as if you were working at your employer's premises.
Those who work from home, also known as out-workers, can potentially make a claim against their employer if injured while working in their home setting.
Your eligibility for compensation depends on the specific details of the accident and how much responsibility your employer had to keep you safe.
Generally, employers aren't liable for accidents caused by factors they couldn't control, such as a trip or fall resulting from a family member's actions.
That said, employers should conduct a full risk assessment of your home working environment. They should also supply and train you in the use of necessary tools, equipment, and protective gear required for your job.
If you're injured due to faulty, inadequate or substandard equipment provided or approved by your employer, they could be held responsible, regardless of where you work.
I need the money now - can I get an advance on my compensation?
If you suffer financial hardship because of a work injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 2%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Could I lose my job if I claim against my employer?
No, if you make a claim against your employer, you cannot be legally dismissed.
The law is clear on this point. If an employer tries to dismiss an employee or forces an employee to leave because they made a claim, there would be a case for unfair or constructive dismissal.
How long does a work injury claim take?
The time it takes to deal with a claim for an injury at work will depend on the specifics of your case.
Most work injury claims, from the simple to the more complex, usually take about 6 to 9 months to complete. This is an average, however and some complex or disputed claims can take much longer to complete.
If you want to know how long your work injury claim might take, speak to a specialist work accident claim.
If you get hurt at work and make a claim, and your employer quickly agrees that they are responsible, the claim can sometimes be resolved in a matter of weeks.
An employer is more likely to accept responsibility for a job-related injury if the cause was obvious, and obviously not your fault. For example, if you were hurt by a broken machine that wasn't fixed even after it was reported, or if you slipped on a wet floor that wasn't marked, your employer is likely to have breached their duty of care. In such cases, the employer's liability is clear, and the claim process can complete quickly.
If your employer disputes your claim and argues they are not to blame, a work accident claim can take much longer.
An employer is more likely to dispute liability is cases where the cause of the accident is less obvious, such as repetitive strain injuries caused by doing the same task over and over, or from stress at work.
An employer may also challenge their liability if it is less clear that the accident happened "during the course of your employment". Depending on the nature of your job, your employer's solicitor may initially refuse to accept liability if, for example, you were injured during a lunch break away from the office, or during a work social.
To prove your employer is to blame, your solicitor will need to prove that your injuries were caused by your work. Medical evidence can take longer to gather for occupational health conditions, and these claims therefore frequently take longer to prove liability and to negotiate a settlement.
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. It may be possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on their behalf.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if my employer has ceased trading?
Yes. If your employer has ceased trading, you can usually still claim compensation for an injury that happened during your employment.
However, the claim may take considerably longer to process. This delay is due to the time it takes your solicitor to identify your ex-employer's insurance company at the time your injury occurred.
What if I was injured when working off-premises?
If you were working at the time of the accident, it does not matter where the accident occurred. You can usually still make a claim.
How do I make a claim?
The first step is to contact a personal injury solicitor for an initial claim assessment. You can find out if you have a claim in minutes by speaking to a legally trained advisor on 0800 376 1001. Your solicitor will put no pressure on you to to proceed with a claim.
If you choose to proceed, your solicitor will send you with a no win, no fee agreement, officially known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Next, a local medical appointment will be scheduled to assess your injuries. Your solicitor will then collect evidence and notify either your employer or their insurance company of your claim.
Following the insurer's acceptance of liability, compensation settlement negotiations will take place. While court proceedings are rare, they may be initiated if a settlement can't be reached. Once you agree to a settlement, you'll receive your compensation.
How we can help you with your work accident claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
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- Guidelines For The Assessment Of General Damages In Personal Injury Cases 16th Edition. Oxford University Press, 2023.
- HSE work-related fatality figures 2022/23.
- Health and Safety statistics: 2022 to 2023 annual release
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.