Health & Safety Breach Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a work injury resulting from a health & safety breach, we can help you claim 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 your injuries. 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 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?

    As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury happened:

    • within the last 3 years, and;
    • someone else was to blame, and;
    • that person owed you a duty of care.
    Check my claim

    Claim eligibility - Common questions

    Do I need a diagnosis to make a health and safety breach injury claim?

    If you have been injured and are awaiting the results, you should still seek legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner you start a health and safety breach injury claim after an accident, the more likely your claim is to succeed.

    How long do I have to start a claim?

    You have three years from the date of your slip, trip or fall to start your compensation claim.

    However, most solicitors will not accept a claim if the three-year deadline is close (within a few months). Slip and trip claims can take some time to gather evidence, carry out a medical assessment and negotiate a compensation settlement with the defendant. If the defendant doesn’t accept responsibility for your accident, your claim can take even longer.

    If you are thinking about starting a No Win, No Fee claim, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as you can. You can discuss your options with a claims specialist with no obligation to proceed if you are not ready.

    Can I claim for a condition that emerged many years later?

    Yes. The HSE has identified "high latency" (meaning "delayed") conditions which can be caused by previous work activity and often appear years after exposure. These conditions are:

    • Asbestos-related disease
    • Work-related hearing loss
    • Cancers Vibration-related disease
    • Other respiratory disease

    How common are health & safety breach injuries?

    According to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures, 1.6 million people suffered from a work-related illness or injury last year.

    In the same period, the Labour Force Survey showed that were 550,000 injuries at work and over 71,000 work injuries reported to RIDDOR.

    A high percentage of these injuries resulted from a workplace health and safety breach.

    Who is most at risk?

    Manual occupations have the highest injury rates, with sewerage and waste supply, agriculture, construction and transport being the industries most at risk.

    According to a recent report by the HSE, the most frequent workplace injuries resulted from manual handling, slips, trips and falls from height.

    Prolonged exposure to health and safety breaches can lead to employees developing occupational illnesses, such as RSI and upper limb disorders. Examples include where employers fail to:

    • Provide the correct PPE and ergonomic support.
    • Mandate and monitor regular breaks.
    • Rotate job tasks to ensure exposure does not exceed required limits.

    How are different industries affected?

    For each condition, there are higher reported cases amongst specific industries or work environments.

    For example, work-related musculoskeletal disorders are common in construction and healthcare, while respiratory diseases are more likely amongst those who work with certain fumes, gases and dust.

    Skin diseases are more common with florists, hairdressers and chefs. Cancers are more common in construction, shift work or exposure to mineral oils, solar radiation or silica.

    Safety breaches could be relatively minor, such as not regularly mopping wet floors or providing the correct type of gloves. They can also be more serious, for example, failing to erect scaffolding correctly or to carry-out proper training for a large piece of machinery with dangerous moving parts.

    Although specific health and safety rules vary, if your employer breaches their duty, and you are harmed as a result, you may be able to claim whatever industry you work (or worked) in.

    Your employer's 'duty of care'

    All employers owe a 'duty of care' to their employees, contractors and anyone visiting their premises. 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."

        What other legal obligations does my employer have?

        Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a duty to:

        • Carry out full and ongoing risk assessments of work roles and the work environment
        • Implement adequate preventative measures and controls to avoid or minimise risk - including providing suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)
        • Appoint competent persons to help with implementation and ongoing inspections
        • Provide clear and regular instruction and training to employees on the risks and control measures
        • Set up emergency and accident reporting procedures
        • Work together with other employers sharing the same workplace

        In addition to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, there is a wide range of specific legislation setting out employers' legal duties to protect workers from harm.

        What other work safety legislation exists?

        Other more specific legislation aimed at ensuring health and safety at work include:

        With the legal framework and practical information now available to employers, breaches of health and safety should be minimised.

        Changes to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

        The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.

        This legislation means that employers now have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

        Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

        If you are injured at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.

        How much compensation can I claim for my injury?

        The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

        • the severity 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

        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

        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
        • Physiotherapy
        • 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.

        For example:

        General damages for a serious head injury can be £30,000

        For a less serious shoulder injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £5,200.

        However, if you have a serious head injury and a less serious shoulder injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £5,200.

        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 compensation for an 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 an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

        Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

        Will a work injury claim affect my benefits?

        It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?

        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 much can I claim?

        How long does a health & safety breach claim take?

        How long it takes to process a work injury claim will depend on the circumstances.

        If your employer or their insurance company accepts liability, a claim might be concluded in a few months. If your employer denies liability it could take significantly longer.

        Most work accidents take 6 to 9 months to settle.

        Read more:

        How long will my claim take?

        Caring and sensitive support

        Your solicitor will handle your 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.

        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.

        Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

        How does no win, no fee work?

        No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

        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 making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee 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, once your claim is settled. 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 injury claim?

        If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

        Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

        Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

        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:

        Call me back
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        • Tick icon Find outif you can claim
        • Tick icon No obligationto start a claim

        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.

        Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

        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.

        Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

        How long do I have to make an injury claim?

        In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

        The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

        Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

        In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

        Calculate your claim limitation date

        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.

        Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

        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.

        Read more about interim compensation payments.

        Chris Salmon, Director

        Author:
        Chris Salmon, Director