What Happens If An Employee Does Not Report An Accident Or Injury At Work?

You might be aware that if you sustain injuries at work in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could claim compensation. But what happens if an employee does not report an accident in which you sustain injuries? Could you still claim for your injuries?

Employee injured in accident at work

Employee injured in accident at work

We have created this guide to answer questions relating to employee accidents where no one has reported them. In the sections below, we answer frequently asked questions such as:

  • What happens if an employee does not report an injury?
  • Can you get fired for not reporting an injury?
  • Do all accidents at work have to be reported?
  • What happens if an employer does not report an accident?
  • What happens if you can’t work due to injury?

We also offer insight into compensation amounts for injuries you could sustain in a workplace accident. If you would like to obtain free legal advice tailored to your accident at work or would like us to connect you with a solicitor, you can call us on 0161 696 9685 at any time.

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A Guide On What Happens If An Employee Does Not Report An Accident

Workplace accidents could cause many different injuries. You may have injured your back by lifting a load that is too heavy. Perhaps you’ve sustained an injury in a slip, trip or fall accident. Or maybe you’ve burnt your arm on a piece of malfunctioning machinery. To claim compensation for a workplace injury, you would have to prove:

  • Your employer breached their duty of care to protect your health and safety at work
  • Their breach caused you to suffer injury or illness

But what happens if an employee does not report an accident in which you sustain injuries? An accident report can contain information about the injuries someone has suffered and how the accident happened. Without such a report, could you claim compensation? And what happens if it is your duty to report an accident at work and you do not do so?

How This Guide Could Help

This guide explains what happens if an employee does not report an accident that has caused an injury. We discuss how to calculate compensation payouts for your injuries and handle an accident claim when no one has reported the accident.

We also answer questions relating to the reporting of injuries at work, such as ‘How long do you have to report an injury on duty?’ and ‘Can you discipline an employee for not reporting an injury?

We also reveal how we could help those wondering what happens if an employee does not report an accident in terms of their own case. To ask us any questions about this guide, or for free legal advice, please do not hesitate to call us.

Work Injury Claim Calculator

If you are trying to calculate compensation payouts for injuries sustained in a workplace accident, you might be looking for a personal injury claims calculator. As well as wondering what happens if an employee does not report an accident, you might be wondering how much compensation you could get if you are eligible to claim.

We have opted to use the table below as an alternative to an injury claims calculator. The table gives details of what the Judicial College Guidelines deem appropriate payout amounts for specific injuries. If you cannot see your injury here, please call us for further advice.

Injury type and severityCompensation BracketNotes
Elbow injuries: severely disabling£36,770 - £51,460A severely disabling injury.
Injuries to the neck: severe (iii)£42,680 - £52,540Fractures, severe soft tissue damage or dislocations that lead to a permanent disability or a long-term chronic condition.
Injuries to the back: severe (ii)£69,600 - £82,980Leading to bladder or bowel functional impairment. Mobility could be impaired, and there could be nerve root damage or unsightly scarring.
Finger fractures: severeUp to £34,480Causing partial amputation, leading to function reduction, grip impairment, sensation disturbance and deformity.
Pelvic/hip injuries: moderate (i)£24,950 - £36,770Where there isn’t any great risk of future damage or permanent disability but where the injury is significant.
Injuries to the shoulder: moderate£7,410 - £11,980Limited movement caused by frozen shoulder, lasting approximately 2 years. Soft tissue injuries lasting beyond 2 years could also be included here.
Wrist injury£22,990 - £36,770Some useful movement would remain but there would be significant permanent disability.
Head injury: minor£2,070 - £11,980Minimal brain damage, the severity, extent, symptoms and recovery periods would be taken into account when calculating awards in this bracket.

How Is Injury Compensation Calculated?

There are different types of compensation that you could claim when you make a personal injury claim against an employer for a workplace accident. Damages could include:

General Damages

These are non-pecuniary (non-financial) losses. They relate to the loss of amenity, suffering and pain experienced by the victim of personal injury. You can see examples of such compensation amounts in the table in the previous section.

Special Damages

Special damages are financial losses caused by the accident and your injuries. To claim special damages, you would have to demonstrate their financial value. You could use bank statements, bills and receipts to do this. There are lots of different expenses that your injuries could cause, as referenced below.

Medical Expenses

If you have to pay for counselling, prescription medicines or physiotherapy because of your injuries, for example, you could claim for these.

Travel Expenses

It is not uncommon for claimants to claim for travel costs associated with their injuries such as travelling to meet with their lawyer, or attending hospital appointments, for example.

Care Costs

If you are severely injured, you may need home care assistance with toileting, dressing or preparing food. You could include costs for such care within your claim.

Loss Of Earnings

If you lose out on some of your income because you need time off work to recover from an injury, you could claim for the money you’ve lost because of it. Loss of earnings payouts could include bonuses and overtime, and in some cases, future loss of earnings could be considered.

What Is A Work-Related Injury?

A work-related injury is an injury that someone sustains while they are at work. In some cases, those who have been injured may not be able to make a personal injury claim because they were at fault for the accident, or because it could not have been prevented. However, if your employer is partially or totally at fault for not taking steps to protect your health and safety at work, they could be held liable for your injuries.

 Examples Of Work Accidents

A work accident that could lead to a claim could include:

  • A trip, slip or fall on a hazard that your employer should have removed, or signposted as a hazard.
  • An injury you sustain due to poorly maintained equipment.
  • Accidents due to lack of health and safety training – for example, if you have not received manual handling training and suffer a back injury from lifting.
  • An injury due to lack of, or substandard, PPE.

What Happens If An Employee Does Not Report An Accident?

You may be wondering whether you could claim compensation if you suffer injuries in a workplace accident even though you haven’t reported it. While it could be more difficult to do so, you may still be able to make a claim. Our advisors could offer you free legal advice over the phone, tailored to your specific circumstances. If you’re unsure as to whether you could claim, why not give us a call?

Why Do Employees Not Report An Accident At Work?

There are some reasons that employees may not immediately report an accident at work. Reasons that they may not make a report could include:

  • An employee feels they were at fault and they would get in trouble
  • They were incapacitated
  • They were unaware that they had an injury at the time
  • The employee didn’t know they could report the accident

What If An Employee Does Not Report An Injury Because They were At Fault?

As an employee, if you cause an accident at work, you should report it to your employer, even if you were at fault. It is important that your employer records and investigates accidents in the workplace. That way, they could put systems and processes in place to avoid the same things happening again.

If you caused an accident and you were injured, you may even find that your employer could be partially at fault. For example, you may have made an error because you were too inexperienced to carry out a task unsupervised. In these cases, you may be able to claim, but your compensation could be reduced to reflect your partial liability.

Each case is unique so call our advisors to discuss yours and find out if you could claim, even if you believe you were partly at fault.

Could I Claim If I Did Not Report Or Record My Workplace Accident?

The answer to ‘ What happens if an employee doesn’t report an accident – could they claim for personal injury?’ is not a simple one. You could be eligible to claim, as long as you could prove that your employer was at fault. However, without an accident report, the process could be a little more difficult. This is why many claimants prefer to use a personal injury solicitor to help them, rather than going it alone.

A lawyer could help you gather the evidence needed to prove your claim. If you have any evidence of the accident and your injury, you should provide these to your lawyer. Evidence such as photographs of the scene/your injuries, witness contact details and medical records could be very useful when it comes to making your claim.

Types Of Reportable Incidents And Injuries

There are certain workplace incidents and injuries that your employer must report to the Health And Safety Executive, under their obligations to RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). They include:

  • 7+ days of a worker being unable to perform their normal work duties
  • Dangerous occurrences
  • Gas incidents
  • Non-fatal accidents to non-workers
  • Occupational diseases
  • Specified injuries to workers
  • The death of a person

Specified Injuries

The list of specified injuries that must be reported under RIDDOR includes:

  • An amputation
  • Broken bones/fractures other than to toes, thumbs or fingers when confirmed by a doctor
  • Burns that are serious, or scalding, that affects over 10% of the body or causes significant harm to vital organs, eyes or the respiratory system
  • Crush injuries to torso or head that cause internal organ damage or brain damage
  • Injuries caused by enclosed space working that involve hypothermia or heat-induced illness or requires the injured party to be resuscitated or treated in hospital for over 24 hours
  • Injuries leading to reduction or permanent loss of sight
  • Loss of consciousness due to asphyxia or head injury
  • Scalping that requires hospital treatment

What Are The Health And Safety Procedures For Reporting An Accident At Work?

When asking what happens if an employee does not report an injury, you may find that they have not reported it because they were not aware of the procedure. In general terms, you should follow the procedures set out by your employer. These could include:

  • Reporting the incident to the health and safety officer (or your employer if there is no designated person)
  • Ensuring your accident is recorded in the accident book – if you have no accident book, you should write a report of the accident and send it to your employer

However, it is vital that you seek medical attention for injuries sustained in the workplace. You should make sure you get appropriate advice and treatment to help you manage your injury. This could also serve as evidence you have had the accident and been injured.

What Happens If An Employee Does Not Report An Injury But Wants To Claim?

As we mentioned earlier in this guide, if you can evidence the accident and injury and prove your employer is at fault, you could still make a claim.

Why Is It Important To Report Workplace Accidents?

Not only is it important that you report your accident from a personal injury claims point of view, but it is also vital that you report an accident in the workplace for other reasons. These include:

  • Ensuring your employer can fix anything that has been broken in the accident
  • Making sure your employer can fulfil their obligations under RIDDOR
  • Ensuring your employer can investigate the incident so that they can take steps to prevent it from happening again

Can You Discipline An Employee For Not Reporting An Injury?

It is important that if an injury limits a worker’s capacity to work safely, that they report the injury to their employer. A failure to do so could cause further accidents and injuries.

It is unlikely that your employer will discipline you for not reporting an injury, but there is a potential for them to claim you were working unsafely and they were unaware, which could potentially affect your claim against them.

What Is An Employer’s Responsibility In Relation To Duty Of Care?

Your employer has a duty of care to you under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They must take reasonable steps to protect your safety and health at work. Some of the ways they could do so could include:

  • Providing relevant health and safety training
  • Completing regular risk assessments and using the results to reduce risks
  • Providing protective equipment where appropriate
  • Making sure the place of work is well maintained and safe to work in, including all equipment within it

What Happens If An Employee Does Not Report An Accident Caused By An Employer’s Breach Of Duty Of Care?

Even if an accident has not been officially recorded, if you could prove it did, and it was your employer’s fault, you could still claim. We could provide you with free legal advice to help you with such claims.

Workplace Accident Reporting FAQs

How Do You Report An Accident At Work?

If you are severely injured, another member of staff could report your injury, but if you are able to report it yourself, you could do so. You could report the accident by letting the person in charge of workplace safety know about it and ensuring they record it in the accident book. If no accident book exists, you could write a report and submit it directly to your employer. You should also keep a copy.

How Long Do You Have To Report An Accident At Work?

You should report an accident at work as soon as you can. Even if your injury is not one of those that should be reported through RIDDOR, you should ensure it is recorded in your workplace accident logbook as soon as you reasonably can.

If the injury does need to be reported through RIDDOR, it should usually be reported within 10 days of the accident.

What Are My Rights If I Am Injured At Work?

You have rights if you are injured at work or fall ill because of your work. These rights include:

  • Your right to seek legal advice from an injury solicitor (we could provide free legal advice to you if you call us)
  • A right to seek a compensation payout for your injuries and financial costs associated with your injuries (if you didn’t cause them)
  • A right for your employer to treat you the same as other employees who are not seeking compensation. Your employer should not fire you, discriminate against you or mistreat you for making a claim for an injury at work.

If your employer treats you differently because you are launching a personal injury claim against them, they could be in breach of the law.

Can You Be Fired For A Workplace Injury?

A common question for those who are wondering what happens if an employee does not report an accident relates to their employer dismissing them. If you are not to blame for an accident, and your employer could be held liable, they should not fire you for sustaining a workplace injury.

If you were acting irresponsibly or dangerously when you had the accident, they could take disciplinary action against you. Should your actions be considered gross misconduct, your employer could, in some cases, dismiss you.

No Win No Fee Employee Accident And Injury Claims

Now you know what happens if an employee does not report an accident, you might be ready to start a claim. Such claims could be complicated if workplace accidents have not been reported. You may choose to have a personal injury lawyer that could fight for compensation for you. Did you know you could do this without paying the lawyer fees upfront? With No Win No Fee claims, you don’t pay your lawyer anything until the end of your claim. The process works as per the below:

  • You’d need to sign a No Win No Fee Agreement. Your chosen solicitor would send this to you. It contains details of the success fee you would pay them once they achieved a compensation payout for you. Success fees are legally capped and are usually a small percentage of your total compensation payout.
  • When you sign and return the agreement to your solicitor, they will start working on your claim. They will help you collect evidence, build your case and negotiate a settlement for you.
  • Once they achieve a payout for you, they’ll deduct their success fee. The balance of your compensation payout will be for your benefit.

Could No Win No Fee Claims Fail?

If a No Win No Fee claim doesn’t end with a compensation payout, you might worry that you would have to pay your lawyer’s costs or fees. With No Win No Fee claims, this would not be the case. If your claim fails, you won’t pay the success fee. To read more about claiming under a No Win No Fee Agreement, why not read our guide? If you have questions, we could answer them over the phone.

Speaking To An Expert

Would you like to be connected with a personal injury solicitor to help you claim? Or, do you have more questions about what happens if an employee doesn’t report an accident at work? Perhaps you’re looking for free legal advice. If so, we could help. All you need to do is:


Can An Employer Refuse To File A Workers Comp Claim If I Was Partially At Fault? – Here, we look at split liability claims. You can determine whether you could claim compensation for accidents for which you are partially to blame in this guide.

Claiming For Accidents In The Workplace – You can find a general guide to claiming for workplace accidents here.

Unfair Dismissal – As we explained within this guide, your employer should not fire you for an injury that wasn’t your fault. Find out more about unfair dismissal here.

HSE Workplace Accident Investigation Guide – This guide explains why accident investigations matter, and how to go about them.

HSE Investigations – This page explains how and when the HSE investigate accidents within workplaces.

How Long Does An Employer Have To Report An Injury At Work? – This HSE guide explains more about how long an employer has to report employee accidents.

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