I Was Partially At Fault For A Workplace Accident, Can I Claim?

By Danielle Nicholson. Last Updated 14th July 2023. If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, but aren’t sure who was at fault for it, you may wonder whether you’d still be able to claim compensation. If you have caused your own workplace accident entirely, and no one is to blame but yourself, you would not be able to make a claim against your employer. But what happens if you were partially at fault for a workplace accident, but your employer was also to blame in some way? Could you claim compensation? Would your compensation payout be different if you had some liability? And how could you go about getting help with a claim?

Workplace accident compensation claims guide

Workplace accident compensation claims guide

Here at Advice.co.uk, we have compiled this guide to help those people who were partially at fault for a workplace accident. In the sections below, we look at how compensation payouts could be calculated for such claims. And we also illustrate some compensation amounts for injuries that could be sustained in a workplace accident. In addition to this, we look at the legal responsibilities your employer has to protect your safety at work. If they were in breach of their legal obligations, you could make a claim for compensation if it contributed to your accident, even if the accident was partially your fault. We explain how this could happen, and the potential impact of contributory negligence on a personal injury claim.

If you have any questions about the information in this guide, we’d be glad to speak to you. We could also provide free legal advice to potential claimants. And also help them begin a claim for compensation by connecting them with a solicitor to help them. You can reach us on 0161 696 9685.

Select A Section

  1. When Are You Eligible To Claim For An Injury At Work That Was Partially Your Fault?
  2. Partial Fault Workplace Injury Claim Calculator
  3. Damages Which May Be Awarded
  4. What Does It Mean To Be Partially At Fault For A Workplace Accident?
  5. When Could You Claim For Injuries Caused By A Workplace Accident?
  6. What Are Non-Fault Accidents?
  7. When Might Liability For The Accident Be Split Between Parties?
  8. How Is Fault Established In An Accident?
  9. Is It Difficult To Prove Fault Should Be Split Between Parties?
  10. What Is Contributory Negligence?
  11. Claiming For A Work Accident With No Win No Fee Solicitors
  12. Related Services

When Are You Eligible To Claim For An Injury At Work That Was Partially Your Fault?

If you would like to make an accident at work claim, you must meet the eligibility requirements. You must be able to prove that:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this duty.
  • You suffered an injury as a result.

The three points above lay the foundation of negligence in personal injury claims. If this can be proven, you could have valid grounds to seek compensation for your injuries.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) sets the duty of care that employers owe their employees. This is duty of care means the employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. You must be able to prove that your employer failed to uphold this duty and caused you harm, in order to claim for an injury at work.

However, if you ask, ‘I suffered an injury in an accident at work that was my fault, can I still claim?’ It would depend on what degree you were liable for the accident. If your employer took every reasonable and practicable step and you still injured yourself, you would not have a valid claim. However, if some degree of responsibility for your injuries fell onto your employer, you would be able to claim, but your compensation would be reduced accordingly depending on how at fault you were for the accident in which you were injured. This is contributory negligence. We look more at this later in this guide.

If you have any questions, or would like to get a claim started, please contact our advisors.

Partial Fault Workplace Injury Claim Calculator

You may be wondering how much you could claim for a work place injury after an accident in the workplace was caused by the negligence of your employer. Compensation for a work accident claim will be calculated based on various different factors and could include both general and special damages. This is discussed in more detail in the following section.

The table below contains figures of what you could claim for a selection of injuries you might suffer in an accident in the workplace. These are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which was last updated in 2022. Legal professionals use the JCG to help value general damages in claims, but the amounts shown are not a guarantee of what your compensation will look like.

Severe injuries to the back (ii)Causing bowel function to be impaired, or bladder function impairment. There could also be an impairment in mobility. Unsightly scarring and nerve root damage could also feature.£74,160 to £88,430
Severe injuries to the neck (iii)Severe soft tissue damage , dislocation or fracture causing permanent disability and long-term chronic conditions.£45,470 to £55,990
Injuries to the elbowA severely disabling elbow injury£39,170 to £54,830
Moderate injuries to the legComplicated or multiple fractures or a serious crush injury to one leg. The extent of treatment, muscle wastage and impact on employment will affect how much is awarded.£27,760 to £39,200
Moderate injuries to the pelvis and hips (i)The injury would be significant but there would not be a great risk of further future damage. There would be no major permanent disability either.£26,590 to £39,170
Injuries to the wristThe claimant would have some useful movement but there will be a significant and permanent disability.£24,500 to £39,170
Severe finger fracturesLeading to a partial amputation, and causing grip impairment, reduction of function, deformity and sensation disturbance.Up to £36,740
Modest injuries to the ankle.Sprains, ligamentous injuries and undisplaced fractures. Whether there is a full recovery will affect how much is awarded,Up to £13,740
Moderate injuries to the shoulderFrozen shoulder injuries leading to limited movement. These symptoms could last around 2 years. Also included in this bracket could be soft tissue injuries leading to symptoms that last beyond 2 years.£7,890 to £12,770
Minor brain and head injuriesBrain damage would be, in these cases, minimal. The extent of the initial injury, its severity, continuing symptoms and recovery period would also be assessed when awarding compensation.£2,210 to £12,770

Damages Which May Be Awarded

Damages awarded in personal injury claims are generally awarded as special damages and general damages.

General Damages

These are what is illustrated in the table in the previous section. They are designed to compensation personal injury victims for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity caused by their injuries.

Special Damages

In addition to general damages, a claim for compensation may include special damages. These are designed to compensate claimants for quantifiable financial expenses caused by their injuries.  Special damages that could be claimed:

  • Care Expenses
  • Income Losses
  • Travel Expenses
  • Medical Expenses

What Does It Mean To Be Partially At Fault For A Workplace Accident?

Every employer in the UK has a legal responsibility to abide by Health and Safety Regulations. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires all employers to ensure that, as far as could be considered reasonably practicable, the workplace and systems of work do not cause risk to health and are safe.

For example, they should ensure that the workplace doesn’t present hazards that could be removed, such as trip hazards. They should ensure that where applicable, employees are trained on how to complete tasks safely. If they do not do so, and you are injured at work because of their negligence, you could potentially claim compensation for your injuries. However, in some cases, an employee could be acting irresponsibly or dangerously. They could be partially at fault for a workplace accident, and in these cases, personal injury claims could be more complicated.

How To Prove Liability

When it comes to proving whether an employer could be liable for your injuries suffered in a workplace accident all the facts and circumstances of the case would need to be assessed. For example, if an employee tripped over an object because they were running, when running was prohibited the reason the object was in situ would have to be examined. It would have to be assessed whether it was a trip hazard that should have been removed. Also if the employee was walking would have they still tripped?

As you can see, such cases could be complex, which is why many claimants that are partially at fault for a workplace accident prefer to use a personal injury solicitor when making such claims.

When Could You Claim For Injuries Caused By A Workplace Accident?

If your employer had asked you to perform tasks you were not trained to do or given PPE to protect you when it would have been appropriate for them to do so, this could lay some liability at your employer’s door. Another example of when injured employees could claim could include situations where inexperienced members of staff are given tasks that they are not knowledgeable or experienced to carry out safely. This could result in them injuring their colleagues.

Compensation For An Accident At Work – Claim Time Limits

If you had an accident at work and are eligible to claim, you will have three years to start your claim as set by the Limitation Act 1980. This is three years from the date of your workplace injury or three years from the date it was connected to employer negligence. However, there are certain circumstances which suspend the work accident claim time limit. These include:

  • Those under the age of 18 cannot start their own claim until they turn 18. However, a litigation friend can start a work accident claim on their behalf at any point while the time limit is suspended. If they turn 18 and a workplace injury claim has not been started, the claimant will have three years from their 18th birthday to start a claim.
  • The time limit is suspended indefinitely for a claimant that suffers a workplace injury but lacks the mental capacity to start their own claim. A litigation friend can start a compensation claim for an accident at work claim on their behalf at any point. However, should the injured person regain their capacity, they will have three years from the date capacity was determined to be regained to start their work accident claim.

Call our advisors if you had an accident at work and would like to start a claim.

What Are Non-Fault Accidents?

Non-fault accidents are when you are not to blame for an accident. As it was not your fault. Accidents happen all the time and some are that just incidents which could not have been avoided. And the injuries suffered could not have been prevented. There are times when we are in situations and environments when a third party owes us a duty of care. This means they are required to look after our safety as much as possible. When this duty is breached it could create avoidable incidences.

If you are injured in a workplace accident and are not sure who could be considered at fault, we could offer free legal advice over the phone. In some cases, claimants may not be aware of the responsibilities of their employer and may feel an accident was all their fault when their employer could be held accountable for partial blame.

When Might Liability For The Accident Be Split Between Parties?

In some cases, where someone is partially to blame for a workplace accident, but their employer is also liable, the cases could be settled by split liability. This could mean that your employer has to pay you compensation, but it may be lower than it would have been if you were not at fault at all for the accident.

For example, imagine you were working on a piece of machinery at work that was not operating properly and you were under time pressure so instead of reporting the issue, you carried on working. You were injured when the machinery malfunctioned. You could be partially to blame for the accident because you carried on using the machinery you knew was not functioning as it should. But what if there was an issue because your employer had failed to maintain the equipment as they should have done? This could be considered split liability, as there is fault on both sides.

How Is Fault Established In An Accident?

You need to prove that your injuries were caused by employer negligence in order to make a claim. This can be done by gathering evidence. Below, we’ve compiled a short list of examples:

  • Visual evidence – This could include photographs of the hazard that caused your injury, and photos of any visible injuries too. It could also be that the incident was captured on CCTV.
  • Medical records – It’s your right to request your medical records at any time. Details on your injuries and related treatment will feature here, amongst other information.
  • Witness contact details – If anyone saw the incident that caused your injuries, make sure you have a way to reach them to see if they’ll consider issuing a statement.

There are more examples too. Get in touch for additional information, including the answer to the question, “I was injured in an accident at work that was my fault, can I still claim?”

Is It Difficult To Prove Fault Should Be Split Between Parties?

Workplace injury claims could be complicated if there are potentially two parties that both had some part to play in a workplace accident. Both your actions and your employer’s responsibilities would have to be assessed to determine whether you had acted recklessly, negligently or dangerously. Also whether your employer had breached their responsibilities towards your health and safety.

What To Do If An Accident Occurs In The Workplace?

To ensure you have the strongest possible, even if you were partially at fault for a workplace accident, the steps you could take could include:

  1. Report the accident in the workplace accident book
  2. Ensure that you note down all the details of the accident
  3. Take photographs of the scene/your injuries
  4. Take witness details
  5. Get medical attention
  6. Seek free legal advice to see if you could have a claim

We could provide an eligibility check on your case over the phone if you’ve been partially at fault for a workplace accident in which you were injured.

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence is a legal term that means you are partially at fault for an accident. This does not necessarily mean that you would not have a route to compensation. Seeking compensation when contributory negligence is a factor means you would have to provide solid evidence that another party (your employer) was also at fault for the accident that caused you injuries.

When making such a claim, according to the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945, the damages recoverable would be reduced to the extent a court deems equitable and just, according to the claimant’s share in the responsibility for damage. What this means is that your compensation award would be reduced by your share in the blame for the accident.

For example, if you were deemed to be 25% responsible for the accident, your employer would only pay you 75% of what they would have paid if they were totally at fault for the accident.

Claiming For A Work Accident With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you have a valid injury at work claim, you could seek legal representation from a solicitor who has experience with this type of case. Our advisors could review your claim, and if they determine it’s a strong case, they may connect you with a solicitor on our panel.

One of the solicitors from our panel may offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When working with a solicitor under this arrangement, you will not be required to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Additionally, if your claim is unsuccessful, then you won’t need to pay your solicitor for the work they have done on your claim.

A success fee is subtracted from the compensation given to you should your claim prove successful. This is a legally capped percentage of your compensation that’s taken by the solicitor supporting your claim.

For more advice on making a workplace injury claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can:

  • Call us on 0161 696 9685 for free legal advice
  • Live chat with our team
  • Fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Related Services

We also have a bunch of dedicated guides on making an accident at work claim, which you can read below:

HSE Health And Safety At Work Guidance – You can find information on health and safety at work on the HSE website.

Accident Statistics UK – You can look at the most recent accident at work statistics here.

Health And Safety Law Explained – The HSE have explained an employer’s responsibilities according to civil and criminal law here.