Workplace Accidents in the UK

What can you do if you are injured at work?

If you suffered from an accident on your job that wasn’t your fault and you now have incurred an injury as a result of it, you may be entitled to compensation through an accident at work claim.

As with all other personal injury claims, accidents at work have to be proven to be the fault of another party (your employer in this particular case) before you can get compensation for the injury you received.

There are plenty of highly professional no win no fee personal injury solicitors that specialize in workplace related accidents – you should seek the legal services of one of these in order to get your evidence in order so you can present it to third party insurance companies.

There is a great deal of diversity in workplace accident claims and although some get settled in months, there are some which can take years to be resolved. The majority of workplace accidents culminate in out of court settlements, but there are some which do eventually enter the legal proceedings phase.

Employer’s liability

Your employer has a responsibility to protect those working for them, as well as contractors and visitors, from accidents / injuries:

  • They have to provide their workforce with the requisite machinery / tools to perform their jobs and they have to maintain this machinery / tools in a safe condition.
  • The workplace has to be kept tidy and safe, with the employees being given appropriate workstations and chars. The floors / corridors should be free of hazards and clean while the doors / gates should be free of obstructions.
  • Those employees whose job description includes lifting heavy objects have to be given proper training on how they must do their job.
  • All employees must be given safety wear necessary for doing their jobs e.g. hardhats, goggles, dust masks, ear defenders, high visibility jackets and safety boots and gloves.

The UK law makes it binding on employers/business owners to provide adequate welfare/safety to their employees as well as visitors. According to the legal clause, it is compulsory for businesses to possess insurance and meet the Health & Safety regulations, so that they are in line with UK law with regards to employers and their duties to their staff.

Injured at work?

If you feel that your injury at work was caused because your employer failed to meet their legal responsibilities, you can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for the damages.

In some cases, even when you had a role in the injury, injury compensation may still be possible if you can adequately prove in court that the employer had the larger responsibility for the injury.

Caveat to claiming compensation for a work accident

Just as in all other cases, the most crucial part of the work accident claim is being able to prove that the injury was due to employer negligence. In many cases, it may be obvious to you that the injury was the employer’s fault, but it can be tough to show in a court.

This is where good accident injury solicitors will show their worth – they’ll help you get your facts in order and present them convincingly in court.

Time limit for filing the claim

There is a 3 year limit for filing the work accident claim in the UK. If you fail to do so by this time, you might be deemed time barred and may not get any compensation whatsoever.

Note that although many accident claims UK are settled amicably and promptly, workplace accidents cases can drag on for years depending on the particular circumstances and the nature of the employers.

How do I know if I can claim?

The following are valid grounds for workplace related no win no fee accident claims i.e. if you get injured at work as a result of the following, you can file for a compensation claim:

  • Tripping, slipping or falling.
  • Dangerous procedures / practices at work.
  • Faulty / poorly maintained machinery / tools.
  • Toxic substances / poisonous environment.
  • Falling object.
  • Health and Safety regulations not being adhered to.
  • Coworker negligence.
  • Training that is insufficient or improper.
  • Being assaulted at work.
  • Suffering an accident while operating a crane / forklift.
  • Erroneous lifting as well as manual handling procedures developed due to absence of training.
  • Industrial injury e.g. vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome.

These are some of the most common injury types for which no win no fee claims are made:

  • Head injury.
  • Scald / burn injury.
  • Brain injury.
  • Amputation.
  • Spinal / spinal cord damage.
  • Eyesight loss.
  • Injury leading to death.

What am I entitled to if I win my claim

You can claim four main kinds of loss / expense as part of your injury at work compensation:

Special damages

These are the prior financial costs that you incurred because of the accident. Receipts will be needed to prove their amount. These expenses include:

  • Lost income: If you accident left your bedridden / unable to go to work for some time, lost income can be claimed as a net amount i.e. income with the national insurance and tax subtracted.
    When you suffer from a work accident, it may be compulsory for your employer (depending on your employment contract) to keep paying you part of your salary while you stay at home. If this is the case, then the lost income claim is calculated as the difference between normal rate of pay and the rate of pay while you were absent.
  • Travel expenses: You can also claim travel costs related to your injury – these include the trips to / from the hospital or your General Practitioner. If you made these trips in a personal vehicle, you can demand compensation as a mileage rate.
  • Medical expenses: Medical expenses compensation can be sought for the injuries you treated with your own money. These include those expenses that you made outside of the NHS (private medical costs), and also prescription costs.
  • Nursing expense: Your injury may have compelled you to hire a professional nurse to facilitate your recovery, and you can claim this expense too.
  • Care and assistance cost: If, while injured, you received care / assistance from a family member, you can make a claim for a per hour monetary compensation rate to make up for the time they spent tending to you. Those individuals who provided you this care will be required to make statements in support of your claim.
  • Loss of holiday: If you had booked a holiday which had to be cancelled because of your injury, you can claim the holiday’s cost. Even if you did go to the holiday, but were limited in terms of enjoyment, you can claim this loss of enjoyment.

General damages

This is the money that will make up for the pain and suffering, as well as uncertain losses, that occurred as a result of your workplace injury. These losses don’t have a fixed amount and will be calculated by your personal injury solicitor.

Interest

Interest can be claimed on both general and special damages. The ROI depends on whether it is one type or the other. Interest is applicable only after you claim has started in court.

General damages interest will be calculated from when the claim went to court, whereas the special damages interest will be calculated from the day the accident occurred.

Legal costs

You may be entitled to having to your legal expenses paid by the losing side in certain cases.

Have you been in an accident?

Accident at work compensation calculators:

There are a number of personal injury related websites that offer free easy to use calculators, which can give you an estimate on the damages you are entitled to.

These are largely based on the particular body part which suffered injury since different damage to one body part won’t have the same consequences as damage done to another.

As an example, head injury compensation, for very traumatic cases, is the largest because it can be the most traumatic and harmful for the patient in the long run.

The following table lists the typical amount of compensation you can get depending on the body part:

Body PartAmount in GBP
HeadMinor brain damage
Maximum of £33,825
Moderate damage
Maximum of £172,425
Very severe brain damage
Maximum of £317,350
NoseSimple fracture
£1,347.50 to £1,980
Serious or multiple fracture
£8,360 to £18,150
CheekboneNon-fracture injuries
Maximum of £2,337.50
Simple fractures
Maximum of £5,060
Complex fractures
Maximum of £12,413.50
JawLoss / serious damage to multiple front teeth
£6,875 to £8,965
Serious fracture
Maximum of £23,980
Severe injury
£23,980- £35,750
NeckWhiplash injury with good recovery
Maximum of £6,160
Injury with permanent symptoms
Maximum of £19,635
Severe injury
close to £116,600
ShoulderSmall soft tissue injuries
Maximum of £6,160
Moderate injuries causing a frozen shoulder
Maximum of £10,010
ChestSmall injuries
Maximum of £14,135
Major injuries leading to continuing disability
£24,585 – £43,065
Serious injuries
£51,590 to £117,975
Back or spineStrains / sprains
Maximum of £9,790
Moderate injuries to the back
Maximum of £30,470
Paraplegia
Maximum of £126,500
ArmSimple forearm fracture
Maximum of £15,070
Fracture causing disability
Maximum of £30,800
Serious fracture causing considerable disability
Maximum of £47,025
ElbowModerate injuries
Maximum of £9,900
Severe injuries leading to impaired function
Maximum of £25,190
Severe injuries that culminate in permanent disability
Maximum of £43,065
HandSmall injuries
Maximum of £3,410
Large injuries
Maximum of £10,450
Severe injuries
Maximum of £48,675
Losing a hand
Maximum of £86,130
WristSmall fracture
Maximum of £3,712.50
Serious injuries leading that can result in permanent disability
Maximum of £30,800
FingersSmall injuries
Maximum of £3,712.50
Vibration white finger
Maximum of £30,195
Losing a thumb
Maximum of £43,065
Hip / pelvisMinor pelvic hip injury
£3,080 to £9,900
Moderate injury to pelvis
Maximum of £30,800
Severe injury to pelvis
¬£30,800 to £102,850
LegFractured femur
Maximum of £11,055
Severe injury to leg
£75,625 to £106,480
Completely losing both legs
£189,200 to £221,650
KneeCuts as well as soft tissue injuries with good recovery
Maximum of £4,620
Prolonged pain and discomfort
Maximum of £10,780
Severe injury to knee
£54,780 to £75,625
AnkleSmaller ankle injury
Maximum of £10,780
Moderate injury to ankle
£10,780 to £20,900
Very severe injury to ankle
£39,325 to £54,780
FootInjured Achilles tendon
£5,698 – in the region of £30,195
Seriously injured foot
£19,635 to £30,800
Both feet amputated
£133,100 to £158,400

How do I claim?

Here is a basic guideline that you should follow when making a no win no fee personal injury claim:

  • Establish that you have suffered from an injury at work.
  • Consult from an accident specialist firm to ascertain that your injury was a result of employer negligence.
  • Choose the right solicitor – your claim specialist will help you in this task.
  • Talk with your chosen solicitor in depth. You’ll have to tell them in person or through a call about all aspects of your accident.
  • Next, your solicitor will start up the pre-court litigation, while you wait for them to reach back to you. The specialist will make sure you are updated with all changes to your case.
  • Following this, you’ll fill out a claims notification form (CFA) and hand it to the employer.
  • The offending party will then have period to either accept your claim or deny liability.

If they accept

If the employer accepts your claim an out of court settlement can be reached with them. As with all other accident claims how much compensation you get will be negotiated by your lawyer. You’ll get your due compensation once an agreement is reached

If they deny

The matter will go to court, where you will have to prove your claim is valid. Be prepared for a drawn out case, especially if the accident is of a complex nature. If you have strong evidence to back your claim, you will likely get your compensation as well as extra interest on damages.

Got a medical negligence claim? Read our guide here.