A Guide to Claiming Industrial Accident Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an industrial accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an industrial accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

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 an industrial accident injury claim?

It should be possible to make an industrial accident 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.

How much compensation can I claim for an 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.

What can I claim for after an industrial accident 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

What is the average injury compensation for an industrial accident 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 industrial accident injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your industrial accident 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.

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.

Industrial accident injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an industrial accident 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 industrial accident injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long do I have to make an industrial accident injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for an industrial accident 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 industrial accident injury compensation.

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

Will I still be able to claim for an industrial accident 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 industrial accident 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.

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 an 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

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.

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 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 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.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

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