Work Injury Claim: How to start your compensation claim before it is legally too late
This article sets out what a what a work injury claim is; how to start a compensation claim against your employer and how long you have to start your claim from the date of your injury before it is too late.
What is a work injury claim for compensation?
Before you find out how to start your claim it is important you appreciate what a work injury claim for compensation actually is.
A work injury claim for compensation is a claim for money to compensate you for injuries you have received – both physical and psychiatric – and expenses plus financial losses you have incurred as a result of a work accident.
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?
A work injury claim is commenced when you send what is known as a letter of claim to your employer, which 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.
As you are making your claim against your employer – it is likely your employer will have the details of your lost income, but it is still important to include lost income in your letter.
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.
See our workplace accident records article for a list of the types of documents your employer should keep following a your injury at work.
8. A request that your employer send a copy of your letter of claim to his employer liability insurers.
Your employer’s insurers will often be reluctant to take your letter of claim seriously unless an UK personal injury specialist solicitor has drafted.
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 his insurers to offer you the correct level of compensation, so you will need to take the next step of starting your claim in court, known legally as issuing proceedings.
To issue proceedings certain court documents should be completed, a court fee paid and medical reports sent to the court to show exactly what injuries you have suffered.
See our no win no fee work injury lawyer article – to see how to instruct a specialist solicitor for free to start your personal injury claim in court.
How long after your injury at work do you have to start your claim for compensation?
In the UK 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 are 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 – that uses a motor accident as an example to describe in more details the three year limitation period with exceptions to the three year period (examples are given for road traffic accidents but they apply equally to accidents at work).
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 compensation for claims made against your employer.
Specialist solicitor online help
See our specialist solicitor free telephone / online help – to choose from a number of help and assistance options we provide if you are considering making a work injury claim.