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

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 9th May 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. When Can You Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  3. What Evidence Is Needed For Workplace Injury Claims?
  4. Workplace Injury Claim Compensation Payouts
  5. Claiming For A Workplace Injury With With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  6. Learn More About Claiming For A Workplace Injury

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 Lacking 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.

When Can You Make An Accident At Work Claim?

While you are working and in the workplace, you are owed a duty of care by your employer. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent you from coming to harm while working. This could include:

  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed.
  • Ensuring all staff have received sufficient training to perform their work duties, such as manual handling training.
  • Performing regular risk assessments and maintenance checks.

You may be able to make a personal injury claim if your employer were to breach their duty of care. However, your case would need to be the following eligibility requirements in order to be valid:

  1. A duty of care was owed to you by your employer.
  2. They breached their duty of care.
  3. Because of this, you suffered an injury that was either physical or mental.

To see whether you have a valid case and are within the accident at work claim time limit, you can contact one of the friendly advisors on our team.

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.

Workplace Injury Claim Compensation Payouts

If you make a successful workplace accident claim, you’ll receive general damages. This is one of two types of compensation that could make up your final award.

General damages address your physical and mental injuries. When this type of compensation is calculated, professionals can reference the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides a list of injuries at different severities besides guideline compensation brackets for each.

In the table below, you can find some examples of JCG brackets for different injuries that may be suffered in a workplace accident. Please note that these are not fixed amounts, and that the first entry in this table has not been taken from the JCG.

JCG Compensation Brackets

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. £344,150 to £493,000
Foot InjuriesAmputation of Both FeetThese injuries involve the loss of a useful ankle joint.£206,730 to £245,900
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.£111,150 to £196,450
Arm InjuriesSevereThese injuries have not required amputation, but are very serious. The person isn't any better off than if the arm had been amputated.£117,360 to £159,770
Severe Leg InjuriesVery SeriousThese injuries result in permanent mobility problems. £66,920 to £109,290
Neck InjuriesSevere (iii)The claimant suffers significant permanent disability as the result of ruptured tendons, severe soft tissue damage, fractures or dislocations.£55,500 to £68,330
Wrist InjuriesSignificantThese injuries cause significant disability that is permanent, but the claimant keeps some useful movement.£29,900 to £47,810
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).£11,120 to £36,720
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.£16,770 to £25,710

Special Damages In Workplace Injury Claims

The other head of loss you may receive is special damages. Not everyone will be eligible for special damages. This is because this heading covers the financial losses caused by your injuries.

For example, if your injuries are so severe that you can’t work anymore, this can result in significant lost earnings. You might be able to claim these losses back under special damages.

Other losses you could claim back as part of your workplace accident claim include the cost of:

  • Travel.
  • Childcare.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Prescriptions.
  • Prosthetics.
  • Mobility aids.
  • Home adjustments.

These are just a few examples of costs that special damages could help you with. Our team of advisors are here to help if you’d like to learn more about making a workplace injury claim; get in touch today to get started.

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 Claiming For A Workplace Injury

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?”.