A Guide to Claiming Industrial Accident Injury Compensation

In the following article we set out what you need to know about making a successful industrial accident compensation claim.

Introduction

The number of industrial accidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been steadily declining over recent years, thanks to a greater emphasis on health and safety and better awareness of the types of injuries than can befall people in the workplace.

Despite this improvement, in 2013/14, the HSE recorded 78,000 industrial accidents that resulted in major injury or death. These figures do not include the incidents that caused only minor injuries, so it is likely that the actual number of industrial accidents is significantly higher.

Anyone who has suffered an industrial accident may be eligible to make a work accident claim for compensation against their employer.

Do I have a industrial accident injury claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a industrial accident injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

However, there may be other considerations that mean you have a valid claim - even if the above points do not apply to you.

To find out for sure, you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.

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.

Read more

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How much compensation can I claim for a industrial accident injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your industrial accident 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 industrial accident 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.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • 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.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your industrial accident 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.

Common Types of Industrial Accident Claims

Industrial accidents occur most frequently in industries that require heavy manual labour or use dangerous machinery such as mining, construction, agriculture and manufacturing. However, employees in any sector may be caught in an industrial accident.

Injury lawyers have assisted with a wide range of industrial accident claims, including:

  • Manual and heavy lifting accidents which may cause deep muscle tissue damage, particularly back injuries and neck injuries. Employers should provide lifting equipment to reduce the likelihood of injuries together with safety training on proper lifting techniques.
  • Dangerous machinery accidents which can cause cuts and lacerations, crush injuries and wounds from flying debris if the machinery is not fitted with appropriate safety guards. Training and safety advice is required if such equipment is used. Failure to provide adequate training may be evidence of an employer's negligence.
  • Hazardous substances accidents which can cause chemical burns, skin irritations or respiratory illnesses if toxic chemicals are inhaled, ingested or splashed on the skin. Exposure to hazardous substances can even result in poisoning in extreme cases. Workers should receive safety goggles, breathing masks and other personal protective equipment when working with hazardous substances.
  • Falls from height can cause broken bones and other major injuries. The Work at Height Regulations lay down guidelines for the safe use of ladders, scaffolding and platforms including when harnesses and automated hoisting equipment should be used.
  • Accidents involving a forklift truck or other workplace vehicle such as a cherry-picker or a tractor. Seat belts and helmets should be worn where appropriate and workers should receive training on the safe operation of the vehicle.

This list is not exhaustive. Workers in any sector can claim compensation for an industrial accident whether they were working full-time, part-time, as a self-employed contractor or even if they were visiting a place of work at the time of the accident.

Is my employer liable?

Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must take all reasonable steps to reduce the risks present in the workplace.

As part of their duty, employers must abide by an extensive health and safety legislation, including:

These pieces of legislation clearly define an employer's responsibilities to their employees. If an employer does not follow the legal guidelines and an employee suffers injury as a result, then the employee will be eligible to make a compensation claim.

How does no win, no fee work?

Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a industrial accident injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my industrial accident 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%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my industrial accident injury claim?

If your industrial accident injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

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:

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Industrial Accident 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 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*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

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.

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

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 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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

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