How Long After A Workplace Injury Can You Make A Claim?

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 13th February 2024. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, you might be wondering how long after an accident at work can you claim. In this guide, we’ll explain the time limit for making an accident at work claim, which is set out by the Limitation Act 1980.

The time limit given by the legislation above comes with some exceptions. We’ll explain these exceptions, and when you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim while outside the time limit.

Our guide also explains compensation in workplace injury claims. If you have a valid claim, you could pursue up to two heads of compensation; we’ll discuss each head, and how solicitors and other legal professionals calculate these amounts.

Finally, our guide will touch on the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor on your claim.  Read on for more information on claiming for an accident at work, how long you have to claim, and how much compensation you could receive; or, contact our team of helpful advisors for more information. They can offer a free evaluation of your claim when you get in touch by:

Overhead view of two men, one laying on the floor following an accident at work.

Select A Section

  1. How Long After A Workplace Injury Can You Make A Claim?
  2. Workplace Injury Compensation Claim Payouts
  3. What Evidence Is Needed For Workplace Injury Claims?
  4. Claiming For A Workplace Injury With With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  5. Learn More About How Long After A Workplace Injury Can You Make A Claim

How Long After A Workplace Injury Can You Make A Claim?

As discussed above, the Limitation Act 1980 sets the time limit to start a personal injury claim. This means that you will generally have three years from the date of your injury to initiate your accident at work claim.

However, there are some exceptions to this, which we discuss in further detail below.

Time Limits For Under 18s

Injured parties who were under the age of 18 at the time their workplace injuries occurred cannot handle the personal injury claims process themselves until they turn 18. This means that the time limit only starts once they reach their 18th birthday, giving them three years from that date to seek personal injury compensation for their workplace accident.

However, a litigation friend could handle a claim on their behalf at any point before they turn 18. A litigation friend could be appointed by the court, or a person, such as a child’s parent or guardian, can apply to act as their litigation friend and manage proceedings for them.

Time Limits For Those Without The Mental Capacity

An adult without the mental capacity to manage legal proceedings on their own will have the time limit suspended indefinitely. This means that the time limit only starts if the injured party regains the mental capacity to file their own work injury claim. That would give them three years from the date of recovering their mental capacity to file a claim.

However, a litigation friend can be appointed at any time while the injured party is without this capacity to manage the personal injury claim on their behalf.

If you would like to know how long after a workplace injury can you make a claim, speak to a member of our team. They can assess the circumstances of your injury and discuss the personal injury claims time limits with you.

Cartoon depiction of different types of accidents at work.

Workplace Injury Compensation Claim Payouts

If you make a successful personal injury claim, you will be awarded general damages. This compensates you for the pain and suffering your work injury has caused you.

Many legal professionals will refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value this head of claim. This document details guideline compensation brackets for various injuries. You can view the table below to see some of the amounts listed in the 16th edition of the JCG. Additionally, we’ve included a figure in the top row that isn’t from the JCG to show you how personal injury compensation could be awarded for more than one very serious injury and special damages. Special damages compensate for any expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as your loss of earnings and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Please only use this table as a guide.

InjurySeverityNotesCompensation Guideline
Multiple Severe Injuries and Special DamagesVery SeriousPayouts may include compensation for more than injury of a serious nature and related expenses, including care costs, lost wages and cosmetic surgery.Up to £1,000,000+
Brain DamageVery SevereCases involve severe cognitive and physical disabilities requiring full time nursing care. £282,010 to £403,990
Foot InjuriesAmputation of Both FeetThese injuries involve the loss of a useful ankle joint.£169,400 to £201,490
Back InjuriesSevere (i)Severe pain and disability along with impairments to the bladder, bowel and sexual function and incomplete paralysis has been caused by spinal cord and nerve root damage.£91,090 to £160,980
Arm InjuriesSevereThese injuries fall short of amputation, but are extremely serious. The person isn't any better off than if the arm had been amputated.£96,160 to £130,930
Severe Leg InjuriesVery SeriousThese injuries result in permanent mobility problems. £54,830 to £87,890
Neck InjuriesSevere (iii)The claimant suffers significant permanent disability as the result of ruptured tendons, severe soft tissue damage, fractures or dislocations.£45,470 to £55,990
Wrist InjuriesSignificantThese injuries cause significant disability that is permanent, but the claimant keeps some useful movement.£24,500 to £39,170
Facial DisfigurementSignificant ScarringThe worst effects have either been or are expected to be reduced by plastic surgery. However some cosmetic disability will remain and the psychological impact has diminished to relatively minor proportions (if the claimant experienced one).£9,110 to £30,090
Toe InjuriesSevereThis bracket includes amputations or partial amputations due to severe crush injuries, bursting wounds and injuries resulting in severe damage that leads to significant continuing symptoms.£13,740 to £21,070

For more information on the accident at work claim time limit or to receive free advice, you can contact our advisors.

Workplace Injury Claims – What Evidence Will I Need?

As we have said, we would recommend beginning a claim as soon as you are able to. The sooner you start your claim after the accident, the easier it could be to gather some forms of evidence.

To successfully claim for a workplace injury, you will need to prove both that you were injured and that it was caused by the negligence of your employer. Evidence types could include:

  • Witness contact details (a statement can be taken at a later date)
  • CCTV or similar footage or recordings
  • Work documents such as emails
  • Medical assessment of your injury (which can affect how much compensation you are awarded)
  • Photos of the accident site or your personal injury
  • Records of your financial losses.

If you would like to learn more about evidence you could collect for your workplace injury claim and have professional legal help with what to do after your accident at work, please reach out to one of our advisers.

Claiming For A Workplace Injury With With No Win No Fee Solicitors

We hope that you have found this guide useful and you now feel you know more about how long after an accident at work you can claim. If you are eligible to claim, we would recommend hiring a solicitor to help you. One of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel could help you settle a claim for a work injury.

Solicitors who work under this arrangement could offer you the following benefits:

  • You aren’t responsible for their fees if your claim fails
  • Typically, there are zero upfront costs involved
  • No hidden fees since you agree to any charges before working with your solicitor

If your claim does succeed, a success fee will be deducted by your solicitor. However, you won’t be overcharged since this fee is capped, as outlined in the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Get in touch to find out if you could claim after an injury at work. If you have any further questions on the topic of how long to claim after an accident at work, our advisors can help you at any time. You can:

A personal injury solicitor explaining  how long after a workplace injury can you make a claim.

Learn More About How Long After A Workplace Injury Can You Make A Claim

More advice about personal injury time limits can be found on the link below:

Citizens Advice

Health and Safety advice in the workplace:

UK Law Health and Safety

You can find more information on the Mental Health Act on the NHS page below:

Mental Health Act explained 

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

Thank you for reading our guide. We hope to have answered the question “how long after a workplace injury can you make a claim?”.