Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?

By Marianne Gray. Last Updated 15th March 2022. As you may know, if you’re injured at work and the accident was caused by your employer’s negligence, you might be entitled to claim compensation for your suffering. When we discuss these types of claims, we’re often asked, “Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?”. The short answer is generally no, so, in this guide, we’ll explain why. We’ll look at your workplace rights, your rights after an accident at work, and explain what wrongful dismissal is. Additionally, we will show you the reasons why you might be able to start a claim and the amount of compensation you could be paid too.

Can I be sacked for having an accident at work guide

Can I be sacked for having an accident at work guide

Advice is here to help if you have any questions pertaining to an accident at work. We could help you start workplace injury claims as well as unfair dismissal cases. Our advisors provide free legal advice throughout the claims process. They will also consider the merits of your claim on a no-obligation basis. Your case could be referred to a personal injury solicitor on our panel if it is strong enough. Additionally, any claims that are accepted will be managed on a No Win No Fee basis.

For more information on starting a workplace injury claim, please continue reading. Otherwise, if you’re ready to start today, why not call Advice on 0161 696 9685?

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A Guide On Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?

If you are injured at work, there may be a case for claiming compensation for your injuries. Luckily, there are laws in place that mean your employer must have insurance in place to cover such claims. Additionally, it is against the law for you to be disciplined, treated differently or sacked for making an honest claim. However, it goes without saying that disciplinary action could be taken if you faked an accident or lied about the cause.

During the course of this article, we will review the duty of care that employers owe to their staff. We will also look at some common injuries and accidents that take place up and down the country too. It’s important to point out that even if you work for a very small company, you are still entitled to protection under health and safety laws.

If you have any further queries after reading this article, our advisors are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about being dismissed after an accident at work.

Time Limits

When making a claim for an accident at work, you will need to stick to the relevant time limits. Usually, this is 3-years from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions that our advisors can tell you more about. This type of case could be handled by a personal injury solicitor who will liaise directly with your employer’s insurers. If you’re claiming for unfair dismissal, you’ll have a lot less time to claim. The time limit here is 3-months less than one day from the date you were sacked.

Our main focus in this guide will be on personal injury claims following an accident at work. However, we will also include information if you have been dismissed unfairly. In some cases, employment laws claims need to be heard by an employment tribunal. However, it is possible for negotiations to lead to an out of court settlement too.

Therefore, for free legal advice on making a claim, please contact our team of advisors today.

Workplace Accident Compensation Calculator

In this section, we will show you what compensation could be payable for injuries sustained. The figures we show are for personal injuries as a whole not just for injuries sustained at work. This part of a personal injury claim is called general damages which aims to cover any pain and suffering caused by your injuries.

Each compensation claim is different from the next, so please use these figures as guidance for now. After your claim has been properly reviewed, we’ll be able to supply a more personalised estimate.

The data in our table has been extracted from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Insurers, lawyers and other legal professionals may use this document when calculating injury amounts.

Compensation Table

InjurySeverityCompensation RangeAdditional Notes
JawVery Serious£28,610 to £42,730Covers cases of very serious multiple jaw fractures requiring a long period of treatment. The injuries will lead to serious pain, paraesthesia and restricted eating.
Facial DisfigurementLess Severe£16,860 to £45,440Facial scarring that results in substantial disfigurement and a severe psychological reaction.
Neck Minor (i)£4,080 to £7,410Soft tissue injuries that don't require surgery but take around one to two years to resolve.
BackModerate (ii)£11,730 to £26,050Examples of injuries in this category include prolapsed discs requiring laminectomy or muscle disturbance resulting in backache.
Arm(D)£6,190 to £18,020Covers simple forearm fractures.
Wrist(E)Around £6,970This category is for simple Colles' fractures.
LegLess Serious (ii)£8,550 to £13,210Fractures of the femur where there isn't any damage caused to articular surfaces.

You will need to prove how severe your injuries were to achieve the correct level of compensation. Therefore, during the claims process, you will need to attend a local medical assessment. During the appointment, an independent specialist will examine you and ask questions to determine the impact of your injuries. They may also have access to your medical records. Following the appointment, they will report back to your solicitor with a list of their findings or if you have chosen not to use a solicitor they will send the report straight to you.

You don’t need legal representation to start a claim, but hiring a solicitor could be beneficial. They can help you arrange this medical appointment in your local area, reducing the amount you need to travel.

Please bear in mind that the figures shown here are for your injuries alone. If you make a separate unfair dismissal claim, an employment tribunal could award a separate compensation payment.

Types Of Damages Awarded For Workplace Injuries

You might also be entitled to claim compensation for any costs incurred because of your injuries. This is known as a special damages claim and you could request:

  • Care costs. This might be for the cost of a professional carer or the time of a friend who helped you during your recovery.
  • Medical expenses. A figure that could cover prescription costs or non-NHS services.
  • Travel costs. To recoup the fuel or parking fees related to medical appointments.
  • Lost income. This might be needed if you received less income because you needed time off work while you recovered.
  • Future lost income. This might be claimable if your injuries affect what type of work you can do in the future.
  • Home adaptations. A payment that could cover the cost of building work required to make living with a disability easier. 

You will need evidence to prove that you’ve incurred these costs and also how they were linked to your injuries too. Therefore, our advice would be to keep receipts and bank statements to confirm your outlay. If you are unsure if you can claim something back, we’d suggest checking with your lawyer first.

What Is An Accident In The Workplace

When we talk about accidents at work that could lead to a personal injury claim, we mean those that:

  • Happened in the last 3-years or that you gained knowledge within the last 3 years
  • Were caused by your employer’s negligence.
  • Led to you suffering an injury or being made ill that could have been prevented.

Importantly, it doesn’t matter what type of environment you work in either. You could claim for accidents in your office, staff car park, warehouse or construction site as well.

Common Accidents In The Workplace

There are too many different types of accidents that could happen in the workplace, but here are some of the most common:

Don’t worry if you don’t see an accident similar to your own. We could help you claim for injuries sustained in any type of workplace accident as long as you can prove they happened due to your employer being negligent.

Common Injuries In The Workplace

Here is a list of some common workplace injuries that could entitle you to make a claim:

Please contact us today for free legal advice on whether you have a valid case. If our advisors think you could be eligible to make a workplace accident claim, they can connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel who can help you.

Workplace Accident Statistics

The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s regulator for health and safety in the workplace. They also collate statistics on workplace accidents.

According to their statistics, 441,000 workers reported sustaining a non-fatal injury to the Labour Force Survey in 2020/21. 102,000 of these injuries were reported to require over 7 days of absence from work.

If you need time away from work to recover from a workplace accident, your employer should not unfairly dismiss you due to your absence.

Can I Be Sacked For Having An Accident At Work?

Quite simply, if you have been injured during a workplace accident, which was not caused by you, then you can’t be sacked as a result. Furthermore, you cannot be fired for starting a compensation claim for your injuries if the claim is honest.

How To Check Your Employment Status?

Claiming for unfair dismissal can only happen if you were an employee (including part-time and full-time staff).

Those unable to claim unfair dismissal include:

  • Self-employed staff.
  • Those taking part in unofficial industrial action.
  • Police officers.
  • Armed forces.
  • Registered dock worker

Please note that the above have exceptions. If you believe your employment has ended because of the fact you had an accident at work, our advisors could assess your eligibility to claim. Please call our team today for further advice.

Have You Been Wrongfully Dismissed?

There are a few reasons why your dismissal could be deemed unfair. You will need to verify that this is the case before you can start an unfair dismissal claim. The reasons include:

  • Discrimination.
  • Being on maternity leave or pregnant.
  • You enquired about your legal rights.
  • You reported your employer for wrongdoing (whistleblowing).
  • Refusing to work on a Sunday if you work in a shop.
  • Taking part in legal industrial action.
  • Taking action about health and safety issues (such as starting a workplace injury claim).

There are a number of protected characteristics that cannot be discriminated against including:

  • 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.

It’s important that you could be fired if any of the above apply to you, but it cannot be the reason you were fired. If you would like advice on whether your dismissal was unfair, why not enquire with our team today?

Have You Been Fairly Dismissed?

It’s worth bearing in mind that there are a number of reasons why employment could be ended fairly. For your information, these include:

  • You’ve committed misconduct or gross misconduct.
  • You are unable to do your job competently. This could include poor performance or the fact you’ve been off ill a lot.
  • Your role has become redundant.
  • You don’t have the legal right to work in the UK any longer.
  • Any other substantial reason. These might not be set out in legislation, but they are where your employer is able to show they had good reason to let you go.

Again, if you believe you have been sacked unfairly, please call our team today for free legal advice on your options.

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 dismissed unfairly, 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 My Employers Duty Of Care?

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work 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.

How Could Being Dismissed Unfairly Affect You?

If you were unfairly dismissed after an accident at work, it could lead to several different issues including:

Short-term Effects

  • Financial issues.
    If you do not have any savings, losing your job unfairly can mean you are unable to pay important bills like rent or mortgage payments.
  • Stress and anxiety.
    The effect of losing your job without warning or unfairly can result in health issues. This can make things very difficult especially if you are still recovering from injuries sustained at work.
  • Confidence problems.
    You may find it difficult to get another job because you lack confidence as a result of your unfair dismissal.

Long-term Effects

  • Ongoing money issues.
    If you are unable to find new work because of your dismissal, your loss of income could have serious implications. For instance, you might be evicted if you’re unable to pay the rent.

If You Caused The Accident, Could You Still Make A Claim?

In some cases, you could still claim if you were partly responsible for the accident. That might be the case if you caused the accident because you had not received proper training, for instance. If on the other hand, you chose to not follow the correct procedures or not wear protective gear that your employer had supplied, a claim is less likely.

The best way to check your eligibility to claim is to call our team. They’ll review what happened, consider your role in the accident and let you know if we could help you claim.

No Win No Fee Claims For Having An Accident At Work

We know from experience that some people decide not to claim because they are concerned about the cost of a solicitor. It is important to note that to make a personal injury claim you do not need a legal representative. However, they have many benefits. They have the legal knowledge and experience to be able to file your claim correctly. Including taking all the leg work away from you and gathering all the evidence needed.

For those who want to use a solicitor but do not want to pay upfront or do not have the funds to pay upfront, they could use a No Win No Fee solicitor. That makes the process less financially risky but still provides you with access to a legal specialist.

To verify your case’s feasibility, a solicitor will review it. If they accept the claim, you’ll be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will fund the case and explain what the solicitor needs to do to be paid. Importantly, it will clearly show that:

  • No money is requested upfront for solicitor fees.
  • Solicitor’s fees will not be charged while the claim is ongoing.
  • In cases that don’t work out, you will not need to pay any solicitor’s fees.

You will only need to pay solicitor’s fees if they win compensation for you. When that happens, they will retain a percentage of your compensation as a success fee. This fee is listed within the CFA, so you’ll know about it before you agree to work with the solicitor. To put your mind at ease, we should explain that success fees are capped legally to stop overcharging.

Why not call today to check if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis?

Speak To An Expert

Hopefully, now that we have answered the question, “Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?”, you’re in a position to decide what to do next. 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.

You can begin your claim when it suits you as our claims line is open 24-7. We offer free advice on the claims process, your options and potential compensation amounts. If your claim seems to have a reasonable chance of success, we could partner you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel. Should they decide to work for you, they will conduct their duties on a No Win No Fee basis.

More Information

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.

To demonstrate some other types of claims we could help with in the future, here is a sample of our other guides:

Car Accident Claims – Details on what compensation could be paid following a road traffic accident.

Leisure Centre Injuries – This shows how a personal injury solicitor could help you claim for gym or leisure centre injuries.

Pothole Accident Claims – Explains how to claim for injuries that result because of potholes.

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.

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