work injury claim

Work Injury Claim: The Different Ways To Claim Compensation Before Time Runs Out And Limitation Expires

This article we explain what a work injury claim is and how to start your compensation claim.

We discuss how long you have to claim before it is too late, with exceptions to the general rule.

What is a work injury claim for compensation?

A work injury claim for compensation is a claim for money to compensate you for injuries you have received – both physical and psychological – and expenses plus financial losses you have incurred (as a direct result of your injury).

A compensation claim is also known as a damages claim, as it is the damage caused to your person and your finances as a result of an accident.

How do you start a work injury claim against your employer?

How you start claims for personal injury in a work environment, will largely depend on how much your claim is likely to be worth.

Small work injury claims worth less than £1,500

Small claims for work injury are classed (at the time of writing) as claims worth less than £1,500 for personal injury general damages.

Solicitors generally do not get involved in small claims as legal costs cannot be claimed from your employer even if your claim is successful.

Using Legal Protection On Your Household Contents Insurance
You may be able to have the help of an insurance panel solicitor should you have the benefit of legal protection cover on your household contents insurance (usually even if your claim is a small claim).
Legal protection is a before the event insurance. In other words – you have paid a small sum for cover by a solicitor should you have need of it.
The insurer has a relationship with a solicitors firm or an inhouse solicitor who is funded by your insurance policy.
This cover can be up to £50,000 – £100,000 of legal fees.

Online portal for claims between £1,500 – £25,000

In recent years – the government set up an online claims portal for your solicitor to use if your claim is worth up to £25,000.

The means of starting your claim in this format is via a claims notification form (CNF).

The process for starting this type of low value claim is governed by a set of rules descibed in a Pre-Action Protocol.

work injury compensation claim
Work Injury Compensation Claim

Work injury compensation claims worth over £25,000

Your solicitor will send a letter of claim to your employer if your potential work injury claim is expected to be worth over £25,000

The letter of claim should include the following details:

  1. Your personal details – including your name, address and national insurance number.
  2. A description of how your accident happened.
  3. An explanation as to why you believe your employer is responsible for your accident.
  4. A description of the law you are relying on to claim your employer is responsible for your accident. See our accident at work claim article for a description of the law that you can rely on to claim compensation.
  5. A full description of your injuries – both physical and psychiatric. If injuries are ongoing you should state this.
  6. A description of your financial expenses as a result of your work accident. Any ongoing expenses should be stated, including lost income. As you are making your claim against your employer – it is likely your employer will have the details of your lost income. However, it is still important to include details of lost income in your letter of claim.
  7. A request that any relevant documents that your employer has should be sent to you. There exists an obligation on your employer to send you copies. Our workplace accident records article describes the types of documents your employer should keep following injury at work.
  8. A request that your employer send a copy of your letter of claim to his employer liability insurers.
Getting Your Letter Of Claim To Be Taken Seriously
Your employer’s insurers will often be reluctant to take your letter of claim seriously unless a personal injury specialist solicitor is involved.
Wording is everything to exert maximum pressure on your employer from the outset.

How do your start your claim in court if your employer will not accept fault?

Often a letter of claim will not be enough to force your employer (or employer liability insurer) to accept fault or offer you the correct level of compensation.

Issue court proceedings

Therefore, your solicitor you will need to force your employers hand by starting your claim in court, known legally as issuing proceedings.

Documents and court fee to issue proceedings

Certain court documents should be completed by your solicitor, a court fee paid and medical reports sent to the court to show exactly what injuries you have suffered.

How long after your injury at work do you have to start your claim for compensation?

The law allows you three years from the date of your accident at work (or your knowledge of injury) to start your claim for compensation at court before you claim is statute barred and it is too late to claim. 

There are however a number of exceptions to this rule.

The three year time period is known as the statutory limitation period and applies equally to most types of accident claim.

See our detailed motor vehicle accident claim article, which describes exceptions to the 3 year limitation period. We use a road accident as an example – but it applies equally to work accident claims.

Work Injury Claim Summary & Next Steps

You now know what a work injury claim is, how long you have to start a claim before it is too late and how to start a claim both in and out of court.

See our worker compensation insurance article to learn about your employer’s insurance that will pay you compensation for work injuries.

Specialist Solicitor Free Help

See our specialist solicitor free telephone / online help options. You can choose from a number of free help and assistance options we provide.

For example – you can ask a question, speak to our solicitors direct, have an online assessment and more.