Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 5th Septemeber 2023. This guide will provide a comprehensive answer to the question, “can I be sacked for having an accident at work?” You’ll find details of your legal rights and what action you can take in the wake of a workplace accident. We also discuss compensation payouts for injury at work claims and the role that No Win No Fee agreements play.

We’ll also explore the eligibility criteria when it comes to making a claim after an accident at work, such as the time limits that apply. However, we appreciate that you may prefer to speak with someone about your case. If so, we can help.

Can I be sacked for having an accident at work guide

Can I be sacked for having an accident at work guide

Advice has a team of advisers on hand 24 hours a day to provide vital legal support and guidance. So if you have a question, big or small, get in touch. If you’d like to make a claim, we can help with that too. You can contact us in any of the following ways:

Select A Section

  1. Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?
  2. Have You Been Wrongfully Dismissed After An Accident At Work?
  3. What Are My Workplace Rights?
  4. What Is A Workplace Accident
  5. Am I Eligible To Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  6. Workplace Accident Compensation Payouts
  7. Work Accident Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  8. More Guidance On Your Rights And Claiming After A Work Accident

Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?

If you have been injured in an accident at work which was not caused by you, then you can’t be sacked.

This applies even if the workplace accident happened on your first day or your 1,000th day in employment.

It also applies to people on agency contracts, temporary contracts, working part-time, and contractors working on-site who may otherwise be self-employed.

Furthermore, you cannot be fired for starting a compensation claim for your injuries if the claim is honest. That is the reason all employers, by law, have to carry insurance (known as employers’ liability insurance).

However, if an employer investigates the incident and determines that you did cause the accident which led to you or someone else suffering an injury, they may have grounds to sack you under gross misconduct.

It’s always best to check your contract of employment which contains all of your legal rights. Let’s take a look at other circumstances in which you could be wrongfully dismissed after an accident at work.

Have You Been Wrongfully Dismissed After An Accident At Work?

If your employer has dismissed you after an accident at work, it could be that this action was wrongful or “unfair” (a term used in law). If so, you could bring a separate claim against your employer under employment law.

There are a few reasons why your dismissal could be deemed unfair. They include:

  • Discrimination – under the Equality Act 2010, an employer cannot make decisions that discriminate against a number of protected characteristics. They include:
    • Your age
    • Any disability.
    • Your sexuality.
    • Your gender.
    • Race, ethnicity or country of origin.
    • Being married or in a civil partnership.
    • Your religion or beliefs.
    • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • You enquired about your legal rights.
  • You reported your employer for wrongdoing (whistleblowing).
  • Taking part in legal industrial action.
  • Taking action about health and safety issues (such as starting a workplace injury claim).

If you would like advice on whether your dismissal was unfair, get in touch at the number at the top of this page for a free case check.

What Are My Workplace Rights?

Employees/workers have a number of rights in the UK, they include:

  • Being paid the National Minimum Wage.
  • A statutory amount of paid holiday (annual leave).
  • Protection against unfair dismissal.
  • To not work more than 48 hours a week on average (this can be opted out of).
  • Protection against discrimination.
  • A statutory length for rest breaks.
  • Protection against whistleblowing.
  • To not have unlawful deductions taken from their salary.

Additionally, according to this government website, you could be entitled to:

  • Shared parental pay.
  • Paternity or maternity pay.
  • Statutory sick pay.
  • Statutory adoption pay.

To help you understand if you could claim for being sacked after having an accident at work, our team provide a free review of any case. Why not get in touch today to see if you might be eligible to start a claim?

What Is A Workplace Accident

An accident at work is an unintentional incident that exposes someone to the risk of injury. Sometimes people don’t suffer harm, but other times they do and the impact can be significant.

A workplace accident could happen in any setting. For example, accidents can happen in an office, staff car park, warehouse or construction site.

Some working environments carry greater risks, however. Employers have a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to take action to protect their staff from risks, so far as it’s reasonably possible for them to do so. This is known as a duty of care.

When it comes to claiming compensation, it’s necessary to show that your employer breached their duty of care. For example, they may have failed to give you proper training or didn’t supply you with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).

Let’s look at some other examples of workplace accidents.

Examples Of Potential Work Accidents

You cannot be sacked for being injured, but you may be sacked for causing an accident at work if you acted negligently or in an unsafe way. However, in order to make an accident at work claim, you must be able to prove that your accident occurred as a result of employer negligence. Some examples of how employer negligence could contribute to an accident at work include:

  •   Slips, trips, and falls can occur if spillages are not cleared up within an adequate time frame or if appropriate signage is not used.
  •   Inhalation of toxic fumes can occur if your employer fails to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as a facemask.
  •   Manual handling injuries can occur if your employer does not provide adequate training or equipment to help you move heavy objects.

These are only a few examples of how an employer’s negligence could contribute to an accident at work. For more information, read on. Or, to call out advisors for answers to questions like “Can I be disciplined for having an accident at work?” and more.

Proving An Accident At Work Claim

To help you prove an accident at work claim, it’s necessary to supply evidence that your employer was at fault. This can take a variety of forms, but the most compelling pieces include:

  • CCTV footage showing what happened
  • Witness evidence provided by anyone who saw the accident take place or who is aware of the cause
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident, showing the causes (like liquid on the floor or broken equipment)
  • Medical notes from any doctors or healthcare professionals who treated you after the accident.

Am I Eligible To Make An Accident At Work Claim?

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, all employers have a legal duty to try and keep staff safe in the workplace. It is fair to say that no workplace will ever be completely risk-free, but regular risk assessments should be carried out to try and spot any hazards. If any are found, they must be removed where possible. If they cannot be, the employer should:

  • Train staff on how to complete tasks safely.
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment to try and mitigate any risks.
  • Offer adequate workplace safety training.

If dangers in the workplace are not mitigated and result in an accident in which you have been injured, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.

You needn’t worry about the financial impact of making a claim either. That’s because, according to the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, all companies must have an insurance policy in place to cover such claims

Accident At Work Claim Time Limits

Whether you were dismissed after an accident at work or not, you may still be eligible to claim against your employer.

When taking action, you must do so within the limitation period. This is the time you have to issue court proceedings against your employer. Typically, the time limit is three years from the date of your workplace accident. However, for claimants who are under 18 years old, the time limit does not begin until their 18th birthday.

Other exceptions may apply in certain cases. Our advisors could discuss your time limits following an accident at work.

If you have any further questions relating to: ‘can I be sacked for having an accident at work?’ Get in touch at any time and an accident at work solicitor from our panel can provide free, friendly legal advice.

Workplace Accident Compensation Payouts

Those eligible to make work accident claims may have questions about how much compensation they could receive. Such claims are valued on a case-by-case basis and there are numerous factors which could influence the final payment. For instance, the severity of your initial injuries could affect the amount of compensation you receive.

If your claim is successful, your settlement will include general damages, which compensates you for the pain and suffering you have endured. Some legal professionals may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value claims. This document provides compensation guidelines for numerous injuries. The table below shows some of the amounts listed in the 16th edition of the JCG.

This table should only be used as a guide.

Injury Severity Compensation Range Additional Notes
Facial Scarring Less Severe £17,960 to £48,420 Facial scarring that results in substantial disfigurement and a severe psychological reaction.
Jaw (i) Very Serious £30,490 to £45,540 Covers cases of very serious multiple jaw fractures requiring a long period of treatment. The injuries will lead to serious pain, paraesthesia and restricted eating.
Back Moderate (ii) £12,510 to £27,760 Examples of injuries in this category include prolapsed discs requiring laminectomy or muscle disturbance resulting in backache.
Arm (D) £6,610 to £19,200 Covers simple forearm fractures.
Leg Less Serious (ii) £9,110 to £14,080 Fractures of the femur where there isn’t any damage caused to articular surfaces.
Neck Minor (i) £4,350 to
Soft tissue injuries that don’t require surgery but take around one to two years to resolve.
Wrist (E) In the region of £7,430 This category is for simple Colles’ fractures.

Dismissed After An Accident At Work – Special Damages

If you are sacked from work following an injury, then it could be that your income is affected. This loss of earnings could be reimbursed to you under a head of claim known as special damages. This is when you could claim back certain costs associated with and caused by the injury you’re claiming for.

Other examples include medical costs and damage to personal property caused by the same accident.

If you’ve been dismissed after an accident at work and want to know how your finances may be affected and addressed, get in touch with our advisors for free advice today.

Work Accident Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you have been dismissed after an accident at work, we would advise working with a lawyer if you are eligible to claim.

However, if you are concerned about the cost of working with a lawyer that requires upfront payment after being sacked at work, you could potentially work with a No Win No Fee lawyer instead. Any lawyer that offers this service is only paid a success fee if they help you settle your claim. A failed claim means you aren’t liable for paying their fees.

If your lawyer does help you secure compensation, they’ll deduct a success fee. Since it is legally capped as per the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, your lawyer cannot overcharge you.

Speak to our advisors at any time. They can verify your eligibility to claim at no extra cost to you. You can contact us by:

  • Speaking to a trained advisor on 0161 696 9685.
  • Asking for free legal advice in our live chat channel.
  • Completing our enquiry form so that we can arrange to call you when it’s convenient.

More Guidance On Your Rights And Claiming After A Work Accident

Thank you for reaching the end of our article. We have tried to help you by answering the question, “Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?”. In this part of the guide, we have listed some useful external resources for you.

Unfair Dismissal – This government page explains your rights with regards to unfair or constructive dismissal.

Disciplinary Procedures – Acas advice on when disciplinary action can be appropriate.

How To Get Medical Records – NHS information that shows how to get copies of your medical records.

Below, you can find links to lots more guides on accidents at work:

Hopefully, you now understand more about if you can be sacked for having an accident at work. If you have any further queries, please get in touch with us at any time.