A Guide to Claiming Building Site Contractor Injury Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a building site contractor accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a building site contractor accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
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?
It should be possible to make a building site contractor injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
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 Liability 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.
What can I claim for after a building site contractor 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
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 considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a serious hand injury can be £20,000
For a minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.
However, if you have a serious hand injury and a minor arm injury, you would typically receive £20,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.Read more about multiple injury claims
What is the average injury compensation for a building site contractor injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a building site contractor injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your building site contractor injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Can I claim for an existing building site contractor injury that has got worse?
Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.
Building site contractor injury compensation calculator
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a building site contractor 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 building site contractor injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a building site contractor injury claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for a building site contractor accident can vary considerably.
For instance, if your employer accepts liability, a claim could be settled in several weeks. However, if liability is denied a claim can take longer. Typically, a work accident claim takes 6 to 9 months. Read more:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a building site contractor injury after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your building site contractor injury claim 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. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
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:
if you can claim
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 do I have to make a building site contractor injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the building site contractor injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your building site contractor injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a building site contractor injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim building site contractor injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a building site contractor injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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 early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an 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.
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert