A Guide to Claiming Building Site Contractor Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
In this guide we explain everything you need to know about making a successful contractor accident compensation claim.
Although there have been significant reductions in the numbers and rates of injury over the last 20 years, with an average of 75 workers a week having sustained a serious injury on a building site in 2013/14, construction remains a high risk industry.
But with 40% of the workforce self-employed, a mix of contractors, sub-contractors, self-employed workers, independent contractors, agency workers and casual labourers may be at work on a building site.
Who is responsible for contractors' safety, and who is responsible if a contractor on a building site is injured?
Do I have a building site contractor injury claim?
You should be eligible to make a building site contractor injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
If these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To confirm whether you are eligible to claim you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.
A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. You will be under no obligation to start a claim with Quittance.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?
Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.
In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.
What the regulations say
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
All employers have a duty to ensure the safety of workers. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to plan, control, organise, monitor and review their work to manage health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Furthermore, revised legislation - Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) - came into force on 6 April 2015. CDM 2015 stipulates:
The principal contractor for every construction project must draw up a construction phase plan. He must have the skills, knowledge, experience, and where relevant, organisational capability to manage health and safety risks during the construction phase.
Contractors who carry out the actual construction work - individuals or companies - must plan, manage and monitor construction work under their control so it is carried out without risks to health and safety. Where a project involves more than one contractor activities must be co-ordinated with others in the project team.
- Be consulted about matters that affect their health, safety and welfare
- Take care of their own health and safety, and of others who might be affected by their actions
- Report anything they see which is likely to endanger either their own or others health and safety
- Co-operate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors and other duty holders
Health and Safety in Construction HSG150, published by the HSE, details exactly the measures required to prevent accidents in all aspects of this hazardous industry.
What should I do if I have an accident?
Any contractor, sub-contractor, self-employed or a worker involved in an accident on a building site should:
- Report the accident to his employers or principal contractor and complete the site health and safety procedure (accident book)
- Make notes as soon as practicable about the accident, photograph the accident scene and injuries sustained if possible.
- Take names and contact details of any witnesses.
- Seek medical advice and make notes of every aspect of that advice.
- Report the accident to the HSE or relevant authority
Who can I claim against?
On a building site the employment status of the workers may affect who has responsibility for some aspects of health and safety and the provision of safety equipment. Therefore it is important to determine whether the claimant is regarded as an employee, self-employed or a contractor.
Generally when a worker sustains a workplace injury the insurance cover is provided through the mandatory Employers Lliability insurance. This applies to employees, contractors, casual workers or temporary staff, but not the self-employed.
In the construction industry where employers engage independent contractors, sub-contractors or agencies who agree to provide their own insurance for themselves and their workers, there may be a chain of two or three people responsible for contracting the claimant. Each may have some liability for the claimants injuries.
The amount of money you could claim for your building site contractor 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 building site contractor 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.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your building site contractor injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your building site contractor injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your building site contractor injury.
What do I pay if I win my building site contractor 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 do not win my building site contractor injury claim?
If your building site contractor injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
Building Site Contractor Injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is 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 behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
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 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 an 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.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert