How Long Can You Claim After An Accident At Work?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 10th January 2024. The answer to the question ‘How long can you claim after an accident at work?’ is not always as simple as you might think. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a workplace accident that causes injuries, and the person claiming, the work injury compensation time limit could vary. We have created this guide to illustrate the differences between the workplace injury claim time limit that could apply to a variety of claims.

Injured person with a compensation claim form on their desk

How long can you claim after an accident at work guide

In the sections that follow, you can read about how the work injury claim time limit could differ when someone is under the age of 18 or is mentally incapable of claiming. We also discuss the difference between the date of an incident and the date of knowledge, and how this could affect how long you could have to claim. In addition to all this, we show you how solicitors and courts calculate compensation payouts and show you how our advisors could offer free legal advice tailored to your situation. To start your claim right away, or to ask us anything about the claims process, simply call our team on 0161 696 9685. We’d be delighted to help you.

Select A Section

  1. How Long Can You Claim After An Accident At Work?
  2. Work Injury Compensation Calculator
  3. How Is Work Injury Compensation Calculated?
  4. Eligibility To Claim For An Accident At Work Claim
  5. Injury At Work Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis
  6. Resources For How Long You Can Claim After An Accident At Work

How Long Can You Claim After An Accident At Work?

You would also need to claim within the accident at work claim time limit. The Limitation Act 1980 was enshrined in law to set limits on how long claimants could have to make certain types of claim, but there is not one set limit for all. If you’re wondering ‘how long can you claim after an accident at work?’, the answer would largely depend on who was making the claim and when they were aware of their employer’s contribution to their injuries. It could also depend on their age, whether they have the mental capacity to claim, or whether they are claiming on behalf of another person.

What Is Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980?

Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 refers to legal actions relating to wrongs that cause death or personal injury. It sets a time limit of 3 years for making a claim for most claims. The 3-year period begins either on:

  • The date of the incident – If you’re aware you have sustained injuries right away, the limitation period would begin on the date of the accident.
  • The date of knowledge – If you sustain injuries that manifest themselves some time after the workplace accident, or you are unaware of your employer’s contribution to your injuries, you could have 3 years from the date you became aware of this.

Fatal Work Injury Claim Time Limits

If you’re wondering how long can you claim after an accident at work in which a loved one died, there is, again, a 3-year time limit. However, the date the 3-year limitation period begins could be:

  • The date of the person’s death
  • The date the death is linked to the accident

How Long After An Injury Can You Claim Compensation As A Parent?

If you’re launching a claim on behalf of your child, you would do so as their litigation friend. You could have until your child’s 18th birthday to claim. If your child turned 18 during the claims process, they could ask you to step down as their litigation friend. They would then be able to handle their claim themselves.

If you sustained injuries when you were under 18 and no one made a claim on your behalf, you could claim at any time up until your 21st birthday. However, we would urge you to claim as soon as you are able, as it could be more difficult to gather evidence as time passes.

How Long Can You Claim After An Accident At Work If You Recover Mental Capacity?

In cases where those who did not have mental capacity went on to recover their capacity, they would be subjected to a 3-year work injury claim time limit which would begin from the date they were discharged from the treatment they were receiving.

If you would like to benefit from free legal advice from the team relating to a claim that involves diminished mental capacity, our advisors would be happy to help you. All you need to do is call.

Work Injury Compensation Calculator

Before we answer the question of ‘What is the time limit on a personal injury claim?’, let us look at how compensation payouts are calculated. Solicitors and courts assess each case according to the facts, circumstances and evidence, and no two claims are precisely the same.

An important piece of evidence that could affect your compensation payout significantly is the medical report. You would obtain this vital piece of evidence by attending an appointment with an independent medical professional. They would assess your injuries, look at any appropriate past medical notes, and put together a medical report.

This report would evidence your injuries and give a professional opinion on your prognosis. Solicitors and courts could use this to come to an appropriate payout for your injuries.

The Judicial College Guidelines

As a personal injury claims calculator could not assess all this evidence, the figures they produce would only be rough estimates. To give you some idea of payout amounts for specific injuries, we have chosen instead to take figures from a legal publication known as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and put them into the table below. Solicitors may use this publication to help them value your injuries.

The below table include some compensation figures from the JCG for certain injuries. The table should be viewed as a guide only. Please also note that the first entry in this table is an estimated figure that is not based on the JCG.

Injury Severity Description Compensation Amount
Multiple Serious Injuries Plus Special Damages Serious If you are claiming for multiple serious injuries suffered at work, your compensation payout may cover all of these as well as relevant special damages, such as loss of earnings. Up to £500,000+
Back Injury Severe (i) This bracket applies to back injuries which involve damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to severe pain and disability. £91,090 to £160,980
Neck Injury Severe (i) A neck injury that may be associated with incomplete paraplegia or resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis. This bracket may also apply to an injury that means there is little to no movement in the neck even after wearing a collar 24 hours a day for a period of years. In the region of £148,330
Neck Injury Moderate (i) This bracket may apply to fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and they may also necessitate spinal fusion. £24,990 to £38,490
Knee Injury Severe (i) A serious knee injury involving issues such as disruption of the joint, loss of function and considerable pain. Lengthy treatment will be required. £69,730 to £96,210
Knee Injury Moderate (i) An injury usually involving dislocation, torn cartilage or meniscus. This leads to issues such as weakness, minor instability or another mild future disability. £14,840 to £26,190
Ankle Injury Very severe May include cases of a transmalleolar fracture plus soft tissue damage resulting in deformity and the risk that a future injury to the leg may necessitate a below-knee amputation. Bilateral ankle fractures may also apply. £50,060 to £69,700
Ankle Injury Severe Severe ankle injuries which may necessitate lengthy treatment and lead to lengthy residual disability. £31,310 to £50,060
Shoulder Injury Severe Injuries covered by this bracket are often associated with neck injuries plus damage to the brachial plexus as well. £19,200 to £48,030
Shoulder Injury Serious Shoulder injuries covered by this bracket may include dislocations, a rotator cuff injury, soft tissue damage or damage to the brachial plexus that causes pain in the shoulder and neck. £12,770 to £19,200

How Is Work Injury Compensation Calculated?

Solicitors and courts calculate work injury compensation by assessing all the evidence of your injuries and how they affect you, as well as any financial impact of those injuries. The types of damages you could claim could include:

General Damages

We illustrated these types of damages in the table above. General damages compensate victims of personal injury for the non-pecuniary costs of their injury. This means they are meant to compensate the victim for the suffering, the pain and the loss of amenity the injured party sustains.

Special Damages

These compensate victims for the pecuniary (financial) cost of their injury. There are several different costs and losses that you could experience if you’re injured in a workplace accident. Some common special damages claims could relate to:

Loss Of Earnings

Your injuries may cause you to take time off work while you recover. If this is the case, you could lose out on income. Loss of earnings payouts could include actual and future losses, as well as taking into account bonuses and overtime.

Travel Costs

Some claimants incur travel costs from attending appointments with their lawyer or medical appointments. They could include these costs within a personal injury claim.

Care Costs

Some victims of personal injury are so badly injured that they are unable to look after themselves and need care at home. The costs of this type of care could be included within their claim.

Medical Expenses

It is not uncommon for victims of personal injury to incur medical expenses relating to medications and other types of medical care. If you incur costs for physiotherapy, prescription medications or other medical treatments, you could include these within your claim.

Eligibility To Make An Accident At Work Claim

Employers have a responsibility towards their employees to protect them from reasonably foreseeable harm related to their work or workplace. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 enshrines this duty in law.

To claim compensation for an accident at work, you would need to demonstrate that:

  • Your employer had a duty to protect you from harm at work.
  • They failed to do so.
  • That failure caused or contributed to your injuries.

Injury At Work Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you contact our advisors about your accident at work claim, then our team could review your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If they find you do, then they could connect you with a solicitor on our panel who could support your case. Our panel of solicitors can support claims for workplace accidents under a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When you make a work accident claim under a CFA, you generally won’t have to pay your solicitor for their services before the claim starts or while it is being processed. You usually also won’t need to pay for their services if the claim fails.

Following a successful claim, your solicitor will normally take a success fee. This is a small, legally capped percentage taken from the compensation awarded to you.

If you have any questions about No Win No Fee solicitors or other queries such as “How long after an accident at work can you claim?”, then you can speak to our advisors for free today. You can contact them by:

Resources For How Long You Can Claim After An Accident At Work

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

  1. Accidents at work FAQ
  2. How to make an accident at work claim
  3. Agency worker accident claims
  4. How to make a claim if injured as a temporary worker
  5. I hurt myself at work, can I make a claim?
  6. Can you sue your employer for an accident while still employed?
  7. How to prove an injury at work
  8. Will claiming against my employer create problems?
  9. Advice on claims if injured working for cash
  10. Do I need accident at work solicitors near me?
  11. Employers’ responsibilities after an accident at work
  12. What happens if an employee does not report an accident or injury at work?
  13. Do I need a lawyer if I get an injury at work?
  14. New employee had an accident at work – can they claim?
  15. I had an accident at work, what are my employers’ responsibilities?
  16. I didn’t take time off work after an accident, can I still claim?
  17. Who pays my work injury medical expenses?
  18. How to claim for a work accident
  19. What to do if I injured myself at work?
  20. Workplace accident claim time limits
  21. Accidents caused by tiredness and fatigue
  22. Can you be fired for a work-related accident?
  23. Foot injuries caused by a lack of safety books
  24. Could I make a workplace injury claim if I’m not an employee?
  25. Tendon injury at work claims
  26. Can you claim for an accident at work if you suffered no injury?
  27. How to claim for an injury at work when self-employed
  28. Can I claim if assaulted at work?
  29. Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?
  30. With this guide you’ll be able to understand what you should do if you’ve had an accident at work and how you can gather supporting evidence to help a claim

What Is A Safe Workplace? – This shows how employers could provide a safe place for their employees to work in.

General Health And Safety Guidance – The Health and Safety Executive offer a wealth of guidance and information to employers when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

Workplace Health And Safety Statistics – You can find information on workplace injury statistics here.