Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work Or For Making A Claim?

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 22nd April 2024. 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.

A worker lying unconscious on the ground with their yellow hard hat lying next to them.

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. Can I Be Disciplined For Having An Accident At Work And Making A Claim?
  3. Am I Eligible To Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  4. Workplace Accident Compensation Payouts
  5. Work Accident Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  6. More Guidance On Your Rights And Claiming After A Work Accident

Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?

No, you cannot be sacked for having an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), your employer owes you a duty of care. 

We’ll discuss this more later, but this generally means that they need to take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe. If they fail to fulfil this, and you are injured, they cannot fire you. This would be wrongful dismissal. 

However, if you were responsible for the accident, then it might be different. For example, you could be let go on the grounds of gross misconduct if you endangered yourself or your coworkers, and this caused the accident. In this case, you wouldn’t be able to make a claim.

Contact our team of advisors today if you’ve had an accident at work and would like to know what steps you should take next.

Can I Be Disciplined For Having An Accident At Work And Making A Claim?

You also can’t be sacked for making an accident at work claim. If you are injured because your employer failed to fulfil their duty of care, you have the right to make a claim without being penalised. This includes being sacked or disciplined.

Because of this, under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, all workplaces are required to have employer’s liability insurance, which means that any compensation won’t come out of your employer’s pocket. 

Similarly to the above, if the accident was your fault, then your employer may be able to discipline you. For example, if you engaged in reckless behaviour, and this caused your injuries, you may receive a written warning. 

Our advisors are here to help. If you’d like to learn more about whether or not you could be sacked for having an accident at work, get in touch. Or, read on if you’d like to find out whether or not you could make an accident at work claim.

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.

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.

InjurySeverityCompensation RangeAdditional Notes
Multiple Severe Injuries Plus Special DamagesSevereUp to £350,000+Multiple severe injuries alongside special damages, which can include lost earnings, travel costs, and childcare.
BackSevere (i)£111,150 to £196,450Severe damage to spinal cord and nerve roots causing serious consequences.
BackModerate (ii)£15,260 to £33,880Examples of injuries in this category include prolapsed discs requiring laminectomy or muscle disturbance resulting in backache.
Facial ScarringLess Severe£21,920 to £59,090Facial scarring that results in substantial disfigurement and a severe psychological reaction.
Jaw FracturesVery Serious (i)£37,210 to £55,570Covers cases of very serious multiple jaw fractures requiring a long period of treatment. The injuries will lead to serious pain, paraesthesia and restricted eating.
ArmSimple fractures£8,060 to £23,430Affecting the forearm.
LegLess Serious (ii)£11,120 to £17,180Fractures of the femur where there isn't any damage caused to articular surfaces.
Neck Minor (i)£5,310 to
Soft tissue injuries that don't require surgery but take around one to two years to resolve.
WristUncomplicatedIn the region of £9,070This 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.