What Happens If An Employee Does Not Report A Work Accident?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 26th May 2023. 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 you don’t report a work accident in which you sustain injuries? Could you still claim?

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?
report a work accident

Do you need to report a work accident?

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.

Select A Section

  1. Why Is It Important To Report A Work Accident?
  2. Types Of Reportable Incidents And Injuries
  3. Health And Safety Procedures For Reporting An Accident At Work
  4. Why Don’t Some Employees Report An Accident At Work?
  5. Could I Claim If I Did Not Report A Work Accident?
  6. What Is An Employer’s Duty Of Care?
  7. Injury At Work Claim Compensation Amounts
  8. Workplace Accident Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  9. More Resources On When To Report A Work Accident 

Why Is It Important To Report A Work Accident?

Not only is it important that you report a work 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

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

All Types Of Injuries Should Be Reported – Is This True?

There is no requirement for all types of injuries to be reported under RIDDOR, or to be recorded in a work accident book.

The only types of injuries and accidents that should be reported are:

  • The reportable incidents and specified injuries we had highlighted above
  • Dangerous occurrences, or near misses in a workplace that could have resulted in serious injury to a person, or a death
  • Diseases that were caused by exposure to harmful biological agents
  • Injuries that lead to the incapacitation of a worker for more than three days (these types of incidents only have to be recorded in a work accident book)

Regardless of the requirements, reporting all accidents at work can be beneficial. Having an official record of your workplace’s health and safety record in a report book could help you if you chose to later to start a claim. It could act either as supporting evidence of a pattern of negligence in your workplace or as an official record of your injury.

You can reach out to one of our advisers to learn more about the benefits of this type of evidence, or for information about how to ensure that a workplace accident report was made for your injury.

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.

Why Don’t Some Employees 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

Accident Reporting At Work – What To Do In Its Absence

Your employer could face the consequence of not reporting under RIDDOR should you suffer a reportable injury or illness, and it is not reported. Generally, you should be made aware of how to report an accident at work, along with who the relevant person is to report it to. If you haven’t made an incident report in the workplace, you may still be eligible to claim compensation. However, you must be able to support your claim with evidence. This can include:

  • Medical records.
  • CCTV or mobile phone footage of the incident.
  • Witness contact details.
  • Photographs of faulty equipment if it is relevant to your injury.
  • Photographs of any visible injuries.

The examples above are not exhaustive. You may wish to seek legal advice for further information about evidence and accident reporting at work.

Call our advisors for free legal advice about accident reporting at work.

Could I Claim If I Did Not Report A Work Accident?

The answer to ‘ What happens if an employee doesn’t report a work 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.

Time Limit For Claiming For An Accident In The Workplace

As established by the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for starting a personal injury claim is three years. This time limit starts from the date your workplace accident occurred.

The time limit can work differently under some circumstances. If, for instance, someone who is under the age of 18 is injured in a work accident, then the time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. Before that day arrives, a claim could be made on the injured party’s behalf by a court-appointed litigation friend. If a claim has not been made by their 18th birthday, they will then have three years to start one.

If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themself, the three-year time limit will be indefinitely suspended. If this applies, a litigation friend could make a claim on the injured party’s behalf. If the injured party later regains enough mental capacity to make their own claim and one has not already been made, then the time limit will start from the day of recovery.

Contact our team of advisors today if you have suffered an accident in the workplace to see if you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim.

What Is An Employer’s 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

Injury At Work Claim Compensation Amounts

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
Injuries to the back: severe (ii)£74,160 to £88,430Leading to bladder or bowel functional impairment. Mobility could be impaired, and there could be nerve root damage or unsightly scarring.
Injuries to the neck: severe (iii)£45,470 to
Fractures, severe soft tissue damage or dislocations that lead to a permanent disability or a long-term chronic condition.
Elbow injuries: severely disabling£39,170 to £54,830A severely disabling injury.
Pelvic/hip injuries: moderate (i)£26,590 to £39,170Where there isn’t any great risk of future damage or permanent disability but where the injury is significant.
Wrist injury (b)£24,500 to £39,170Some useful movement would remain but there would be significant permanent disability.
Finger fractures: severeUp to £36,740Causing partial amputation, leading to function reduction, grip impairment, sensation disturbance and deformity.
Injuries to the shoulder: moderate£7,890 to £12,770Limited movement caused by frozen shoulder, lasting approximately 2 years. Soft tissue injuries lasting beyond 2 years could also be included here.
Head injury: minor£2,210 to £12,770Minimal brain damage, the severity, extent, symptoms and recovery periods would be taken into account when calculating awards in this bracket.

What Can Accident At Work Compensation Payouts include?

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.

Workplace Accident Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

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.

To learn more about claiming with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can contact our team of advisors:

More Resources On When To Report A Work Accident

Below, you can find links to lots more guides with advice on how to report a work accident, as well as workplace accident claims generally:

For more advice on how to report a work accident, please get in touch.