Work Accident Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a work injury or illness, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim financial compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused the accident at work. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
By law, your employer will have employer's liability insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.
We can help you make a work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article:
Do I have an injury claim?
You can make a work injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last 3 years and;
- your employer was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
For a FREE legal consultation to find out whether you are eligible to claim, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly what your options are. There is no obligation to start a claim.
How common are work injuries?
The latest data available in 2022 is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report on work accident and industrial accident data (2019/20). In this period, over 693,000 people in the UK were injured at work. There were 111 fatalities.
What are the most common types of work injury?
The most common types of work accidents were:
|Accident type||Percentage of injuries|
|Slips, trips and falls (excluding from height)||29%|
|Hit by a moving object||11%|
|Falls from height||8%|
Industries with a significantly higher risk of injury include:
- Farming, forestry and fishing
- Hospitality and food services
- Wholesale and retail
- Construction workers and other trades
Industrial accident compensation claims
In 2019/20, the HSE recorded 65,000 industrial accidents that resulted in serious injury or death. These figures do not include minor injuries, so number of industrial accidents is likely to be significantly higher.
Although less common than slips, falls and manual handling accidents, industrial accidents involving chemical spills and exposure to hazardous substances can cause life-altering industrial disease.
Your employer owes you a 'duty of care'
In the UK, all employers owe a 'duty of care' to their employees. In most cases, your employer will be liable (responsible) if you are injured during the course of your work.
The 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."
In practice, your employer has a duty to:
- Keep your workplace clean, tidy and safe.
- Provide you with suitable tools and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to enable you to do your job safely.
- Ensure you are fully trained to safely perform any tasks you are asked to do. You should also be fully trained in the use of tools, equipment and PPE.
But is my employer legally responsible?
If your employer fails in their duty of care and you are injured as a result, your employer would be held liable (legally responsible).
In some cases, your manager or another member of staff may not be directly "at fault" for your accident. Many workplace injuries occur because an employer failed to act.
It could be that something was done in a certain way for months (or even years) without incident. This does not absolve your employer from their duty of care, however.
Businesses must carry out regular safety reviews and risk assessments to ensure the workplace meets current health and safety standards. Failure to conduct these regular checks may be taken as evidence of an employer's negligence.
What if another employee caused my injury?
If another member of staff caused your work injury, the company would be held liable for that employee's actions. This legal principle is referred to as 'vicarious liability'.
Vicarious liability entitles you to make a work injury claim against your employer, even if the accident resulted from another employees' lapse of judgment or error.
What if I feel I was responsible (or partly responsible) for my injury?
When bringing a work injury claim, liability may be considered differently than it would be with other types of claim.
If, for example, you were injured as a driver or pedestrian when not at work and you were partly responsible for your accident, you might receive a reduced compensation amount, through a split-liability agreement.
If you were injured at work, however, you may be able to claim the full compensation amount - even if your actions or negligence contributed to injuries.
Your solicitor will consider factors such as:
- Did your employer provide you with adequate training?
- Were you given suitable protective equipment?
- Did your manager ask you to do something unsafe?
Even if you believe you were fully or partly responsible for your injuries, your employer may still have breached their duty of care towards you. Regardless of the circumstances of an accident at work, you should always discuss your options with a solicitor.
What are my 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, your legal rights are extensive. These rights are intended to ensure that:
- You receive the work injury compensation to which you are entitled; and
- Employees are treated fairly when making a work accident claim.
- Your employer cannot dismiss you (or threaten to) if you decide to make a claim.
What should I do after an accident at work?
There are several steps you can take to help support a future claim, should you decide to make one. The following steps should be taken as soon as possible after the work accident:
- report the work accident
- record the details of the accident in your employer's accident book
- if need be, check that your employer has reported the accident to the Health and Safety Executive
- gather details (name and address) and statements from witnesses
- take photos of the scene of the accident
If you have recently sustained an injury and would like to speak to someone about what to do, call us on 0800 376 1001.
Self-employed, temporary and zero-hours contract workers
If you are injured at work, your eligibility to claim compensation is the same for full-time and part-time employees.
Agency and temp workers
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 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 as a result of the negligence of the operator of the premises where you were working, you may have grounds for a work accident claim.
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), you have exactly the same legal employment rights as you would have if you worked from your employer's premises.
Homeworkers, sometimes called 'out-workers', may be eligible to claim against their employer if they are injured while working from home.
Whether you will be able to claim compensation if you are injured as a homeworker, will depend on the circumstances of your accident, and the degree to which your employer owed you a duty of care.
An employer will not usually be held responsible for a work accident that occurs as the result of circumstances beyond their control, such as a slip or trip caused by a family member's negligence.
However, an employer is expected to carry out a full rusk assessment of your home working environment. You should be provided and trained in the use of any tools, equipment and PPE you would need to safely carry out your job.
Your employer may be responsible for an injury that arises from defective or inadequate equipment they supplied or approved.
Update: 6 April 2022
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that all employers must now provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract. Under previous legislation, employers only had to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.
If you have been injured at work and your employer failed to provide you with or train you to use PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Can I claim injury compensation for a fall at work?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 693,000 people suffered an injury at work in 2019. 8% of these accidents (55,440) of these work accidents were falls from height.
Despite modern health and safety precautions, falls remain one of the most common workplace accidents, and thousands of workplace-related accidents still occur each year.
An employer's duty of care is extensive. For example, your employer should:
- keep the workplace in good and safe repair
- remove tripping hazards such as trailing wires, damaged carpet and any other obstacles
- keep any height-related equipment, such as ladders and scaffolding, in good condition and properly secure
- install handrails in areas where slips and falls are likely
- take reasonable safety precautions when outside work is necessary, such as gritting icy or frozen surfaces.
Above all, businesses must alert all their employees to the possible dangers, no matter how obvious they may seem.
The most serious injuries we have assisted with result from when working at height. Our claims experience shows that ladders are particularly dangerous (if used incorrectly) and are often involved in accidents at height.
If you are injured in work-related fall you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Work accident compensation amounts
The following work accident payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Ankle injury||Minor||Minor injury with full recovery||Up to £10,960|
|Ankle injury||Moderate||Full recovery or with mild ongoing symptoms||£10,960 to £21,200|
|Arm injury||Less serious||Fractured forearm||£5,280 to £15,300|
|Arm injury||Moderate||Serious injury with long-lasting effects||£15,300 to £31,220|
|Back injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £1,950|
|Back injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£1,950 to £6,290|
|Eye injury||Minor||Temporary eye injury||£1,760 to £3,150|
|Eye injury||Moderate||Minor but permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes||£7,270 to £16,720|
|Hand injury||Moderate||Moderate hand injury||£4,640 to £10,580|
|Hand injury||Minor||Minor hand, finger or thumb injury||Up to £3,460|
|Knee injury||Less serious||Minimal ongoing symptoms||Up to £10,960|
|Knee injury||Moderate||Mild long-term symptoms||£11,820 to £20,880|
|Leg injury||Less Serious||Simple tibia or fibula fracture||Up to £9,440|
|Leg injury||Serious||Leg fracture with partial recovery||£14,320 to £22,130|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £1,950|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 1 year||£1,950 to £3,470|
|Shoulder injury||Minor||Soft tissue injury||Up to £6,290|
|Shoulder injury||Moderate||Fracture of clavicle||£6,290 to £10,180|
|Wrist injury||Minor||Wrist fracture recovering within one year||£2,810 to £3,790|
|Wrist injury||Moderate||Colles wrist fracture||Around £5,920|
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be taken as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less serious injuries.
The following example considers a claimant who has suffered a serious arm injury and a minor hand injury:
A general damages award for a serious arm injury might be £45,000
For a more minor hand injury, in isolation, you might receive £3,000.
However, as there is effectively an overlap between the pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) caused by the two injuries, you might be awarded £45,000 + a percentage of £3,000.
What are the average injury compensation payouts for a work injury?
Average compensation payouts are not a helpful guide when estimating your compensation as:
- Your compensation award will be based on your particular injuries, not on an average. Different injuries, with different recovery periods, will be awarded different levels of compensation. If your work injuries were very serious, leading to life-altering symptoms, the average amount of compensation will be far less than you would be awarded.
- You can also claim compensation for any costs or losses you incur as a result of your workplace injury. If your injuries affect your ability to work for a longer-than-average period, you should receive compensation for the total value of your actual lost earnings, including future lost earnings.
Is it worth claiming for multiple minor injuries?
Yes. even relatively minor injuries can result in reasonable compensation settlements, especially if you have incurred expenses or taken time off work as a result of the accident.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your claim from the initial consultation, through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will liaise with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments and claim benefits to cover your mortgage and living costs. while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to cutting-edge medical treatment, physiotherapy and prosthetics not always available on the NHS.
- Planning: for short- and long-term adjustments, including adaptations to your home.
Will I get financial advice?
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your work accident claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.
How long after an accident can I make a claim?
A claim must usually be made within 3 years of the date of the injury.
After this time limit expires (claim limitation date), a claim becomes 'statute barred', meaning (in most cases) you can no longer make a work injury claim.
In cases where there is a delayed diagnosis, the 3-year time limit starts counting from the claimant's 'date of knowledge'. The date of knowledge is the date the claimant became aware (or could reasonably been aware) of their injuries.
How can I speed up my work accident claim?
There are basic steps you can take to speed up the claim process, such as responding to your work injury solicitor's questions as fast as possible and by quickly returning any paperwork.
There are a number of other factors, within your control as a claimant, that can affect how long a claim will take. See:
How long does a work injury claim take?
The time it takes to settle a work accident claim can vary considerably.
If your employer accepts liability a claim might be settled in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, a claim could take significantly longer.
On average, work accident claims take 6 to 9 months.
Should I make a work injury compensation claim?
Injured claimants are usually ready to make a compensation claim against a negligent driver, or the local council for failing to maintain a pavement.
However, employees are sometimes reluctant to make an injury claim against their employer.
Why might an injured employee be reluctant to claim compensation?
Employees often form close bonds with their employer. The boundaries between professional and personal relationships can be come blurred.
Some workers have concerns about being fired or even being unemployable as a result of making a claim. By law, employees cannot be discriminated against for making a claim.
Compensation is paid by insurers, not by the company itself, and many employers recognise how important it is to support an injured worker during their recovery.
How will compensation help me move forward after an injury at work?
Financial compensation may be necessary to support your treatment and recuperation. There are also other reasons to consider making a claim.
You and your family may be unable to meet your living costs (e.g. mortgage repayments) while you are unable to work.
Whatever the circumstances of your accident, speaking to a specialist solicitor at the earliest point can reduce the stress and financial burden of a work injury, so you can focus on your recovery.
No win, no fee
No win, no fee removes the risk from making a work injury claim. If you don't win your claim, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I don't win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. work accident claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
How we can help you
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 injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim for an accident at work, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a callback from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Work Accident Claim FAQ's
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.
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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) 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.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need to visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of a work injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
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.
Can I claim if my employer has gone bust?
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 my employer's insurer has gone bust?
Even if both your employer and their insurer has gone out of business, you may still be able to make a claim for your work-related injury.
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.
Can Quittance assist with an industrial accident claim?
Industrial accidents occur most frequently in industries that require manual labour or use dangerous machinery such as mining, construction, agriculture and manufacturing. However, employees in any sector may be involved in an industrial accident.
Our panel of solicitors has assisted with a wide range of industrial accident claims, including:
- Manual and heavy lifting accidents
- Dangerous machinery accidents
- Hazardous substances accidents
- Falls from height
- Accidents involving workplace vehicles such as cherry-pickers, forklift truck and tractors.
What is the legislation relating to safety at work?
This legislation protects both employees generally and also workers exposed to particular risks. These rules include:
- Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
- Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- Manual Handling Regulations 1992
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- Working Time Regulations 1998
- Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Work at Height Regulations 2005
- Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
- Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
- Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2007
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
- Guidelines For The Assessment Of General Damages In Personal Injury Cases. Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain 2018. Health and Safety Executive, 2017.
- Health and Safety at Work 2017. Health and Safety Executive, 2017.
- Workplace Accident Statistics. Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 2018.
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.