work accident claim guide

Work Accident Claim: Our Quick Guide To Compensation For Personal Injury

In our work accident claim quick reference guide – you will find how to claim compensation if your suffer injury at work. We explain how to show employer fault, the insurance your employer will have in place to pay your claim, how long you have to claim and how your solicitor calculates the amount of compensation you are entitled to.

What is a work accident claim for compensation?

If you suffer personal injury as a result of a work accident – you may find that you are entitled to make a work accident claim for compensation from your employer. Your solicitor must prove that your employer was legally at fault for the accident and that the negligent act actually caused you injury.

Claim When You Are Not An Employee
If you are injured at work and are technically self-employed or a contractor – you still may be able to make a claim. Your might be treated in a similar way as an employee would be treated. Your de facto employer may provide your hours of work, control your system of work, provide your work equipment and PPE.#
Alternatively, you may be injured by another worker – who is employed, and whose employer will bear the liability through a legal principle known as vicarious liability.

What types of compensation can you claim for a work injury?

The compensation you can claim is made up of four key elements:

1. Pain, suffering and loss of amenity

The physical or psychological injuries you suffer not only causes pain and suffering, but also restricts your ability to enjoy your hobbies and life in general. These losses are known as general damages.

You are entitled to claim work accident compensation for your general damages.

2. Financial loss & Expense

As a result of your injury – you are likely to have an actual monetary loss and additional financial expenses. Examples might include – lost income, medical expenses, travel expenses to the hospital or your GP, etc.

You are entitled to claim compensation for these losses, which are known as special damages.

3. Interest

You are entitled to claim interest on the above two types of loss. The interest rate varies on the type of loss you have suffered.

Your legal expenses are not really classed as compensation. However, you can claim your legal costs in addition to your compensation.

In other words – you can claim the costs of using a solicitor to help you pursue your claim for work accident compensation.

The Legal Costs You Can Claim Depend On A Couple Of Factors
What you are entitled to claim in legal costs will depend on which country of the UK your accident occurs. There are three legal jurisdictions in the UK – each with slightly different rules
Foer example – in England and Wales you can claim the majority of your legal costs, so long as your personal injury pain and suffering (general damages) is worth over £1,500 (over the small claims limit).
Please be aware – for the certain types of road traffic accident the small claims limit in England and Wales was increased to £5,000 from 31 May 2021.

How is the amount of compensation you can claim calculated?

As explained – your work accident claim is primarily for two types of compensation. General damages (for pain and suffering) and special damages (for financial loss and expense as a direct result of your accident).

Independent medical report

Your solicitor calculates your general damages based upon an independent medical expert report setting out your injuries, likely recovery period and any ongoing disability.

Similar injuries in claims decided by the courts

Your injury as set out in the medical report is compared to similar injuries decided by the courts in the past and judicial guidance.

Adjusted for inflation

This compensation figure is then adjusted for inflation and other legal calculation changes to determine a range of values.

Examples of compensation payouts

We have set out the work injury compensation payout amounts by body type for your convenience.

Special damages calculations

Special damages is largely a matter of maths – the sum of all your your financial losses (both now and in the future) that you can prove (supported by evidence and preferably receipts). Such losses can include past and future lost income, medical expenses, care and assistance.

We discuss these losses in more details in our how your solicitor calculates special damages article.

work accident compensation claim
Work Accident Compensation Claim

How to show your employer is responsible for your work accident claim?

You should leave proving employer fault for your work accident claim to a specialist solicitor. Your solicitor will rely on showing negligence and breach of specific laws that protect your health and safety for the specific type of task that you were doing when your injury occurred.

Your solicitor can access important records

You might be surprised to learn that your solicitor can access records your employer must keep by law concerning your accident including:

1. Accident book entries

An accident book entry will describe your work accident and any witness evidence.

Other Accidents Will Be Recorded
Accident book entries will also include other accidents to workers in the workplace, which may include similar accidents as that of your own. This could be vital evidence of employer fault.
2. Investigative Reports

Investigations made by your employer and meetings concerning how your accident happened should all be recorded by your employer.

Your solicitor can require disclosure of these documents as part of your work accident claim.

3. Health and Safety Executive reports

If you are absent from work for over three days as a result of a work accident or you have a serious injury – your employer must report your accident circumstances to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The HSE will often investigate your accident circumstances and documents will be produced as to their findings.

4. Other documentation

There are many more documents your lawyer has the right to see and these can all be used to show your employer was responsible for your accident.

Will your employer be insured for your personal injury at work claim?

“Yes” – your employer will have in place suitable employers’ liability insurance, which will pay your compensation in the event of injury in a work accident.

How long do you have to make a work accident compensation claim?

You have three years from the date of your accident to make a claim for compensation.

There are some exceptions to this rule. If it is more than three years from your accident it might not be too late to make a claim – but you must act quickly and seek expert legal help.

Further accident at work articles, Q&A, FAQ & Blog

See our work injury compensation index to see all of our articles setting out each aspect of the work accidents claim process in detail.

See our work accidents compensation FAQ  / Q&A. Here you can access all the accidents at work frequently asked questions and see answers to online site user questions.

Our work injury blog gives examples of specialist solicitor tips and legal updates

Free Help By Our Specialist Solicitors

You might think you have a claim for compensation following an accident at work or just wish to discuss you accident with one of our specialist solicitors.

See our specialist solicitor free telephone / online help to select from our legal help options – including asking a legal question or speaking direct to a solicitor.