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How Long After an Accident at Work Can You Claim?

As you might know, time limits are applied to personal injury claims in the UK. That is also the case for accident-at-work claims. In this guide, we’ll explore how long after an accident at work can you claim compensation and what exceptions can apply to the accident at work claim time limit.

If you or a loved one has been injured at work and need advice on how long you have to start a claim, we can help. One of our legal advisors could check your eligibility to claim after reviewing your case for free and check if you still have enough time to start the claims process. If your claim is feasible, a No Win, No Fee solicitor on our panel might offer to represent you if you are interested in proceeding. If they do, they’ll act as efficiently as possible to make sure that your case is filed correctly and within the allowable time limits.

To discuss what time is left for you to make a claim with one of our specialists, you can:

  • Call right away on 0333 241 2519.
  • Make use of our 24/7 live chat service.

For more information on the time limits for accident-at-work claims, please read on. If you need further advice about your options, please use the number above to contact us now.

What Is The Work Injury Claim Time Limit?

If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident at work, you might be wondering how long you have to claim compensation for your injuries.

Well, according to the Limitation Act 1980, you have 3 years to start a claim which normally starts from either:

  • The date of the workplace accident in which you were injured.
  • Your date of knowledge if your injuries were not immediately obvious.

Crucially, the Limitation Act enable the 3-year time limit to be extended in some circumstances. We’ll look at these further on through this guide.

For now, it is safe to say that it’s generally a wise decision to begin an accident at work claim at your earliest opportunity. This will give you the best opportunity to gather evidence and to ensure that your claim can be filed within the allowable time limits.

How to Claim for an Accident at Work If I’m Under 18?

Those under the age of 18 cannot start legal action themselves for an accident at work claim. As such, you might wonder if a school leaver who is injured at work could claim compensation for their suffering. Well, they still have a 3-year time limit for claiming but it does not begin until their 18th birthday (meaning they must start their claim before they turn 21 years old).

However, the law can enable parents or responsible adults to claim on a child’s behalf if compensation is required sooner. To do so, the adult must apply to become the child’s litigation friend. If approved, they can start the claims process at any point before the child’s 18th birthday.

If you’d like an accident-at-work solicitor to help you claim on behalf of your child, please call our legal advisors now.

What Time Limits Apply to Those Who Lack Mental Capacity?

The Limitation Act effectively says that no time limit will be applied to claims if the claimant “lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to conduct legal proceedings”.

Therefore, if a loved one has suffered a debilitating brain injury at work or is vulnerable, for instance, it could mean that an accident at work claim could be made at any point. Again, this may require someone else to act as their litigation friend.

Crucially, the normal 3-year time limit would commence on the date of recovery if the claimant regained their mental capacity.

What If I’ve Recently Been Diagnosed With an Industrial Disease?

Whilst not truly an accident at work claim, you could claim compensation for industrial diseases and conditions like asbestosis, black lung disease, Vibration White Finger (VWF) and industrial deafness.

However, it can take months, years or even decades for the symptoms of these conditions to become apparent. As such, you might wonder how long you have to claim for industrial diseases.

Well, typically, the Limitation Act enables time limits to commence on the date of knowledge rather than when your condition began to develop.

As such, if you’ve been diagnosed with an industrial disease within the past 3 years, you could still be within the allowable time limits to start a claim. Please get in touch now to find out more.

How Long Do I Have to Claim if a Loved One Died in a Work Accident?

The limitation period for fatal accident at work claims is still 3 years but it could start on the date your loved one died, the date you were made aware of their death or the date their death was linked to employer negligence (at a coroner’s tribunal for instance).

One exception to this rule is where the estate of the deceased decides to claim for any suffering suffered before death. In this scenario, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1934 states that claims must be started within 6 months after the death.

According to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, some qualifying dependents could be entitled to claim compensation following the loss of a loved one in certain circumstances. The time limit for this type of claim is 3 years from the date of death.

Please contact our legal advisors if you’d like to know for certain how long you have to claim for a fatal accident at work.

If I’m Within The Time Limit Can I Claim for an Accident at Work?

Even if you’re within the accident at work claim time limit, you may still be wondering if you can make a claim. As such, we’ll now look at the typical eligibility criteria you’ll generally need to meet for a claim to be feasible. This includes being able to prove that:

  • At the time of your accident at work, your employer owed you a duty of care.
  • The accident occurred as a direct consequence of your employer’s negligence.
  • Because of the accident, you were injured or made ill.

If you believe you have grounds to seek compensation for a work-related injury or illness, please contact a legal advisor as soon as possible.

When Am I Owed a Duty of Care by My Employer?

You will need to prove that your employer owed you a duty of care at the point your accident at work occurred.

Normally, this is quite straightforward because various pieces of legislation place health and safety obligations on employers including:

Therefore, if you are thinking about claiming for an accident at work, it may be more wise to spend time collecting evidence to prove how and why the incident occurred. We’ll provide more information about this shortly.

What Types of Workplace Accidents Can I Claim Compensation For?

So long as your accident at work claim meets the criteria listed earlier in this guide and is started within the work injury claim time limit, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Some examples of workplace accidents that might mean you can claim include:

  • You tripped over an extension cable that was trailed between desks in an office and tore your Achilles tendon.
  • Your fingers were broken by a packing machine in a factory because its safety guard was missing.
  • As a result of poor maintenance, you were trapped in a lift at work for several hours causing you to become anxious and emotionally distressed.
  • Because your employer failed to provide a safety harness, you fell from a scissor lift and suffered a spinal cord injury.
  • A lack of proper training meant you sustained a chemical burn at work while mixing cleaning materials.

Many other forms of employer negligence could result in an accident at work claim. Therefore, please get in touch now to find out if you could be entitled to compensation even if we’ve not described your accident here.

What Evidence Helps to Support Work Accident Claims?

As well as ensuring that your accident at work claim is made within the permitted time limit, you must also provide evidence to prove how the accident happened and who was responsible for it.

The types of evidence that can support work accident claims include:

  • Medical records and hospital reports.
  • Accident report forms.
  • Photographs of the accident scene.
  • Witness statements from colleagues, customers and members of the public.
  • CCTV footage of the accident.
  • Proof of any costs incurred because of your injuries.
  • External investigation reports.

If your claim is handled by a work accident solicitor on our panel, they will use any evidence you’re able to supply and may gather further information to support your case where needed.

If you’d like us to check if you have enough evidence to support a compensation claim, please give our legal advisors a call now.

work accident background

Check if you’ve still got time to claim compensation for a work accident with our offer of a free consultation.

Our solicitors, with 30+ years of experience, offer a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service to pursue compensation without needing to pay any upfront fees.

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Alternatively, call now on 0333 241 2519 to speak to a specialist solicitor.

Do You Need to Use a Solicitor for Work Accident Claims?

Instructing a solicitor to help you claim for a work accident can make things very much easier. If your case is taken on by a solicitor from our panel, they will:

  • Collect and collate evidence to support your case.
  • Prepare as strong a case as possible.
  • Ensure the claim is filed on time.
  • Fight your corner if any objections are raised by your employer.
  • Try to secure as much compensation as possible so that any settlement supports your recovery as much as possible.

The cost of employing the services of a solicitor can seem off-putting, that’s why ours provide a No Win, No Fee service for any work-related personal injury claims they take on.

After you’ve signed a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), your solicitor can get to work without being paid upfront for their work.

You will only need to pay for your solicitor’s efforts if they win compensation on your behalf. If that happens, a success fee will be deducted from your settlement. Legally, the success fee percentage is capped at 25 per cent for your protection.

How Long Will a Workplace Accident Claim Take?

It’s not possible to state exactly how long a claim will take because each case is unique but we can offer some guidance.

For instance, if your employer accepts liability for injuries that you’ve recovered from already, it could mean compensation is paid within 4 or 5 months.

However, even if liability has been accepted, the workplace accident claims process could take over a year in cases involving more severe injuries. This might be the case if your injuries take longer to heal or if medical specialists need time to determine how you’ll suffer in the future.

It’s worth reiterating that the time limit for an accident at work claim generally starts on the date you were injured or when you became aware your injury or sickness is work-related, in most instances. So long as your case is filed on time, the duration of the claims process won’t have any impact on your right to claim compensation.

Contacting Us About Accident at Work Time Limits

We hope by now that it’s fairly clear how long after an accident at work you can claim compensation. If you’d like to clarify your options or discuss starting a claim, you can:

  • Phone 0333 241 2519 right now.
  • Use our online chat service – available 24 hours a day.

Seeking legal advice about the accident at work claim time limit and how long you have left to claim compensation as soon as possible after an injury at work is vital. Not only can it ensure you don’t run out of time to make a claim but it can also enhance the chances of you receiving the compensation you’re entitled to for your pain, suffering, and financial losses incurred due to the accident.

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