Office Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an office accident, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to 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
Slip, trip and fall claims are the most common category of work accident claims in offices. Slip and trip accidents injured around 17,000 workers in 2020/21 according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive, accounting for over one-third (33%) of employee injuries. This represents over a 10% increase on the previous year.
Do I have an injury claim?
It should be possible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last 3 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 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
Typical causes of office accidents
Slips trips and falls in the office are typically caused by everyday workplace hazards, such as:
- cables from electrical equipment that have not been secured safely
- files, boxes or other objects left lying on the floor
- damaged carpets
- spillages on hard floors.
Slip, trip and fall accidents may result in sprains, cuts, bruises and fractures. 95% of serious trip and fall accidents result in broken bones.
Electric shock and burn injuries are also common in the workplace. These are typically caused by faulty electrical devices, such computers, printers and kettles.
Compensation is calculated based on the injuries that are sustained and the impact these injuries have had on a claimant's life, rather than the context or cause of the injury. For the purposes of an injury claim, the cause of the injury does matter, however. It must be shown that an office accident was the cause of the injuries, and that the accident itself was caused by another party's act or negligence.
Accidents at office workstations
Office accidents may also occur in less obvious situations. For example, a poorly organised work area that is not ergonomically sound may cause or exacerbate a back injury, while a keyboard that does not provide wrist support may cause or exacerbate a wrist injury. Poorly illuminated offices and high-glare computer screens are known to cause vision problems in some workers.
Many workstation accidents manifest as a type of repetitive strain injury, a muscle impairment injury caused by the continuous performance of a repetitive action such as typing. Repetitive work practices that put pressure on joints, such as resting on the elbows for a continuous period, may also cause tendonitis or bursitis.
Each of these situations may result in an office accident compensation claim.
Who can make a claim?
If an office worker was injured in the last 3 years as a result of an office accident or poor working practices, he or she may be eligible to claim compensation.
Claiming against your employer
Claims are brought against the employer or their insurance company, even if the accident was the fault of a co-worker.
By law, all employers must carry Employer's Liability Insurance, a special type of insurance that pays compensation to employees who are injured in the workplace. It is usually the employer's insurance company who would pay compensation.
Is my employer liable?
Employers have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are not put in harm's way. By law, they must take reasonable steps to ensure that their work environment conforms with safety requirements. As part of this obligation, an employer must:
- carry out a risk assessment to identify potential hazards in the workplace
- eliminate any risks that can be eliminated, such as installing cable tidies to remove the risk of trips and falls
- provide safety equipment where necessary
- train staff on safe working practices.
To win a claim, the claimant's solicitor will need to prove that the employer failed to take reasonable steps to keep the premises safe and protect people from injury. Negligence is almost always established where the employer has breached a specific health and safety rule.
It may be possible to claim for existing injuries that have worsened as a result of an office accident. For example, an employee with epilepsy may make a claim if they are forced to sit too close to a bright computer screen for long periods, and their condition is made worse. Read more about making a claim for an existing condition.
Office 'clean as you go' policies
Clean as you go is identified as a health and safety best practice. Members of staff are trained to actively look for potential workplace hazards during their ordinary duties and take immediate action to remove any danger. This may include removing waste to bins, cleaning up spills and generally keeping workstations in a safe and hygienic condition.
Employers who enforce a proactive clean as you go policy may be able to mount a successful defence to an office accident claim. These policies demonstrate that the employer takes employee safety seriously and is taking reasonable steps to protect workers from injury.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
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 an 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 more serious back injury can be £25,000
For a more minor wrist injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £2,900.
However, if you have a more serious back injury and a more minor wrist injury, you would typically receive £25,000 + a reduced percentage of £2,900.
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 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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following an office injury injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able 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 long does an office injury claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for an office accident can vary considerably.
If your employer or their insurance company accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a few weeks. If the employer denies liability, it could take significantly longer. Usually, a work accident claim should take 6 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
What to do after an accident
If the employer admits responsibility for the office accident, the chances of a successful claim are very high.
There are a number of things that can be done to help build a strong case:
- report the accident
- record the incident in the accident log book
- take photographs of the scene of the accident
- record the name and address of any witnesses to the accident
- if necessary, report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive or check the employer has done so.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee takes all of the risk out of making an injury claim. If you do not win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
No win, no fee promise
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, after 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 won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
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 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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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 feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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 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.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
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.