Can I make an injury claim if I am self employed?

Self employed workers often assume that they cannot claim compensation if injured at work as there would be nobody to claim against other than themselves. This is not necessarily the case.

In general, self-employed workers are responsible for their own safety. However, if the accident was the fault of someone else then they may be able to pursue a compensation claim.

Employers' duty of care

All employers owe a 'duty of care' to their employees.  The employer can be held liable for accidents that arise out of the course of an employee's work - even if the accident occurs off premises.

The employer must:

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Employed and self employed workers are often considered the same way

A claim may be possible if, for example:

  • the self employed person was working for a company that failed to make the working environment safe and a preventable accident resulted from this breach, a claim could be made
  • an individual is self employed but spends most of their time working at one company, they may be able to claim compensation if they are injured while working at this company
  • the company has control over the self employed persons working practice or environment, then the company's duty of care is similar to the duty owed to an employee. The same applies to contractors.

Industries like building and farming commonly rely on self employed workers and contractors who in actuality work on one project for long periods of time.

Although these people do not enjoy the same level of employment protection as their employed counterparts, they would have the same health and safety rights.

An experienced personal injury solicitor will clarify your rights before advising whether there is a case for compensation.

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Faulty equipment

A claimant  may be able to receive compensation from a firm if one of their employee's actions causes an accident or if the firm has provided inadequate or faulty equipment which has resulted in injury.

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Always collect evidence - even if liability is admitted

An accident at work should be recorded in an accident book as soon as possible and the names and addresses of any witnesses should be collected.

If possible, photographs should be taken of the area where the accident occurred. This will act as supporting evidence in court.

Sometimes companies admit liability for the accident immediately and subsequently change their minds. It is therefore imperative that the victim of the accident still collects as much evidence as possible after the accident.

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What can compensation be claimed for?

The amount of compensation available would depend on the severity of the injury and any long lasting effects.

Compensation can also be claimed for loss of earnings, medical costs and travel expenses. Claimants are advised to retain receipts and any other evidence or financial loss as these will support the claim.

Read more: What can I claim for in a personal injury claim?

Use our Online Compensation Calculator
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How can Quittance help with a self employed compensation claim?

If you are self-employed and you have been injured at work, Quittance offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your options and advise you if you have a claim.

Call us on freephone 0800 612 7456 or complete an online form and we will call you back at a convenient time for you.

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.

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