I Have Had An Accident At Work – What Are My Rights?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 7th March 2024. On this page, you will find a guide that answers the question; “I have had an accident at work, what are my rights?” As well as many others. Suffering an injury at work can be a traumatic event, especially if the workplace injuries you have sustained are serious. The last thing on your mind will be what your legal situation is, and how you can make a claim for your injuries. So, in this guide, we attempt to educate you on the process of making a claim for workplace illnesses and injuries. What to do if you believe you have a valid reason to make a claim, and what your legal position is.

Within this guide to making a personal injury claim following an accident at work, you will find everything that you will need to know, to begin making properly informed decisions about your own claim. As long as you are ready to begin with the personal injury claims time limit of three years, this guide should be useful to you.

You don’t need to read all of this guide; you can skip over the parts that don’t pertain to your own situation. If you need some additional information, or have some questions you need to be answered, please give the Advice.co.uk team a call on 0161 696 9685. One of them will be on hand to give you the information that you need, and answer any questions that you have.

A man who has been injured by a falling box at work.

Select A Section:

  1. I Had An Accident At Work, What Are My Rights In The UK?
  2. How Long Do I Have To Claim For Workplace Injuries?
  3. How Could A Workplace Accident Happen?
  4. Compensation For Work Injury Claims
  5. Evidence That Can Support Work Accident Injury Claims
  6. No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents In The Workplace
  7. More Information On What Your Rights Are After An Accident At Work

I Had An Accident At Work, What Are My Rights In The UK?

If you’ve had an accident at work in the UK, you might be wondering when you could claim compensation. While you are at work, your employer owes you a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). This means that they must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work. Should they fail to comply with the relevant health and safety legislation, and this causes you to suffer injuries, you might be eligible to seek compensation. If you are wondering whether you can be fired by your employer for a work related accident this guide can help you.

However, your case must meet the eligibility requirements for personal injury claims if you have had an accident at work and would like to seek compensation. This means that you must prove that: 

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care. 
  • They breached this duty. 
  • You suffered injuries as a result of this breach. 

You can ask one of our advisors, ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights in the UK?’ and they can discuss eligibility criteria to make a personal injury claim as well as assess whether your case is valid.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For Workplace Injuries?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for starting a personal injury claim for a workplace injury is typically three years, starting from the date the accident occurred.

The time limit can work differently under some circumstances. The time limit will have a pause place on it indefinitely if the injured claimant has a reduced mental capacity to start legal proceedings for themselves. Instead, a litigation friend could claim on the injured party’s behalf. If no claim is started for them during this pause period and the claimant recovers their capacity to start their own claim later down the line, then the injured party will have the time limit reinstated from the day of recovery.

If a party injured at work is below the age of 18, then the time limit for starting a claim will be put on hold until they reach that age. A claim could be made on the injured party’s behalf by a litigation friend. If this doesn’t happen, then the injured party will have three years to start their own claim from their 18th birthday.

If you’re asking: “I’ve had an accident at work, what are my rights?” or want to learn more about the time limit for claiming, contact our advisors for free today.

How Could A Workplace Accident Happen?

There are several ways you could be injured in a workplace accident due to your employer breaching their duty of care. For example:

  • Lack of training: Your employer may have failed to provide you with any training before instructing you to operate a forklift truck. As a result, you lose control of the vehicle and crash causing you to sustain serious injuries, such as a concussion, broken knee, and fractured clavicle.
  • No risk assessments: Your employer may have failed to carry out a risk assessment before instructing you to carry out manual handling tasks. As a result, you end up lifting items above the recommended weight for your height. This leads to you suffering a soft tissue injury to your back.
  • Faulty machinery: Despite reports about a piece of faulty machinery in a factory, your employer fails to take steps to address the hazard and instructs you to carry on using the workplace equipment. As a result, you suffer a traumatic arm amputation when the machinery malfunctions.

Please note, not all accidents at work will form the basis of a valid personal injury claim. You must prove your employer breached their duty of care and caused you to suffer an injury as a result.

To discuss your specific case or for further guidance on the question ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights in the UK to claim compensation?’, get in touch with our helpful team of advisors. They can assess your case for free and determine whether you have the right to proceed with your claim and pursue compensation for your injuries.

Different images of female and male workers suffering an injury in an accident at work, such as a slip and fall.

Compensation For Work Injury Claims

If your accident at work compensation claim succeeds, your award could be made up of two heads: general damages, and special damages.

Every successful claimant receives general damages, as this heading covers the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Those who value this head of claim may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help, as this document offers guideline compensation brackets for a number of injuries. The table below illustrates some of these guidelines, but please note that the top entry is not featured in the JCG.

InjurySeverityNotesAmount
Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Significant Financial LossesSevereMultiple serious injuries along with financial losses, such as lost earnings and pension contributions.Up to £1,000,000+
HeadVery SevereWhile there may be some ability to follow basic commands and a return to waking a sleep patterns, there is little to no language function and a need for full-time professional care.£344,150 to £493,000
HeadModerately SevereInjuries in this bracket amount to a very serious disability, which could be physical or cognitive. There is a severe dependence on others and a need for constant professional care.£267,340 to £344,150
BackSevere (i)This bracket contains the most severe injuries, including damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots that lead to severe pain and substantial disability. £111,150 to £196,450
BackSevere (ii)This bracket contains injuries with special features excluding them from lower brackets, for example, nerve root damage with loss of sensation and impaired mobility. £90,510 to £107,910
ShoulderSevereSignificant disability caused by severe damage to the brachial plexus. £23,430 to £58,610
ShoulderSeriousThis bracket includes serious dislocation with damage to the lower part of the brachial plexus that causes continuing pain and weakness of grip.£15,580 to £23,430
KneeSevere (i)This bracket contains serious knee injuries that include disruption of the joint, gross ligamentous damage, loss of function, pain, and the development or risk of osteoarthritis.£85,100 to £117,410

Special damages covers the financial losses that you incur as a result of your injuries. For example, under this heading, you could potentially claim back the cost of:

  • Home adjustments, such as the installation of a stairlift.
  • Mobility aids, such as a wheelchair.
  • Lost earnings, including pension contributions, after taking time off work to recover.
  • Other medical costs incurred, such as prescriptions.
  • Travel to medical appointments, solicitors meetings, or work if you are left unable to drive.

Contact our team of helpful advisors today to learn more about making a claim for an accident at work in the UK. They can evaluate your claim for free, and can answer any questions you might, such as, “I had an accident at work, what are my rights?”

Evidence That Can Support Work Accident Injury Claims

To make a successful personal injury claim if you’ve had an accident at work, you will need evidence that supports your case. The aim is to collect enough evidence to prove that your employer was liable for the accident and the severity of the injuries you suffered.

Examples of evidence you may be able to gather for your claim include:

  • Medical records confirm your injuries and the medical treatment you’ve received for them.
  • Any video footage (like CCTV footage) that shows the work accident that caused your injuries.
  • Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries.
  • A copy of the accident report from your employer’s work accident book.
  • The contact details of any witnesses who saw your work accident. This can be especially important if you were working for cash in hand at the time.

If you contact our advisors about your claim, they may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel who could assist with gathering evidence, provided you have a valid case.

No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents In The Workplace

If you had an accident at work and have valid grounds to claim personal injury compensation, then you could choose to seek legal advice from a solicitor. If you discuss your work injury claim with our advisors, they could review your case and they may then connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

One of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel may offer to support your work accident claim under what’s called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If a solicitor supports you under this agreement, it means you won’t have to pay them any upfront or ongoing fees for their service. Also, you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work if your claim proves unsuccessful.

If your claim is a success, then the No Win No Fee solicitor that supported you can take what’s called a success fee. This is typically taken from your compensation as a legally capped percentage, ensuring you receive the most of your awarded settlement.

For more advice on No Win No Fee solicitors or other aspects to claiming compensation for a workplace injury, such as your rights after such an incident, contact our advisors for free today. To do so, you can:

A solicitor explaining to a claimant what their rights are after an accident at work in the UK to claim compensation.

More Information On What Your Rights Are After An Accident At Work

If you have had an accident at work, gov.uk websites can be a good source of information, such as:

The UK Health & Safety Executive website also has some useful information, such as these pages:

Thank you for reading our guide answering the question ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights in the UK to claim compensation?’. If you need any other guidance, please contact an advisor on the number above.