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I Had an Accident at Work: What Are My Rights?

It is unlikely that any workplace will ever be 100% safe and free from risks. That said, employers have a legal duty to take practical steps to try and keep staff as safe as possible. If you’re wondering, “What are my rights after an accident at work?”, or “Can I claim compensation for a workplace accident?”, this guide will help. As well as looking at the types of accidents that could lead to a personal injury claim, we explain your right to collect evidence to support your claim.

We’ll happily explain your rights after a workplace accident as part of a no-obligation consultation. During your call, we’ll also check whether you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries at work and, if you are, whether your case could be handled by one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors.

To contact us now you can:

  • Call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist.
  • Ask questions via our live chat service.

Getting legal advice on your rights following an accident at work can significantly enhance the chances of receiving any compensation you might be entitled to for your pain, suffering, and financial losses incurred due to the accident.

What Duty of Care Do Employers Have Towards Their Staff?

In general, all employers must take reasonable and practical steps to protect the well-being of their staff. This duty of care is explained further in the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 (HASAWA). In certain roles and industries, further legislation such as the Work at Height Regulations 2005 or the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998  may extend obligations set by the HASAWA.

Some of the ways your employer could meet their legal duty of care is to provide:

  • A Safe Workplace: This means they should conduct risk assessments regularly, remove as many dangers as possible and try and keep the working environment as safe as possible.
  • Health and Safety Training: Basic health and safety training should be provided on a regular basis as well as any specialist safety training that is required for certain roles or industries.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Where safety issues cannot be mitigated in any other way, you should be provided with PPE. This should be provided free of charge if you’re an employee, fit you properly and come complete with all required accessories.
  • Safe Tools and Equipment: All workplace equipment provided by your employer must be safe to use. That means it will need to be properly maintained, in good working order and used for its intended purpose.

There are plenty of other ways employers can try to protect you while you’re at work. You have a right to workplace safety no matter what type of job you do. If your employer fails to uphold their legal obligations and you’re injured as a result, you may be entitled to claim for any subsequent suffering.

What Steps Should I Take Immediately After Having an Accident at Work?

After having an accident at work, it’s important to follow these steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the priority. Even if the injury seems minor, some symptoms might appear later. Seeing your GP or going to hospital provides a medical record of your injuries.
  • Report the Accident: Inform your employer or supervisor about the accident as soon as possible. The details should be officially recorded in the workplace accident book, which is a legal requirement in many places.
  • Document Everything: Keep a record of the accident details, including the date, time, and how it happened. Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries if possible.
  • Identify Witnesses: Get the names and contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident. Their statements could be vital if you need to make a claim.
  • Follow Company Procedures: Comply with your employer’s accident reporting and investigation processes. This might include filling out specific forms or participating in an investigation.
  • Keep Records of Expenses: Save receipts and records of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, travel costs for treatment, or lost earnings if you’re unable to work.

Consider consulting with a solicitor on our team who specialises in personal injuries at work. They can advise you on your rights and the next steps for potential compensation in a free consultation.

Can I Claim Compensation for an Injury Sustained at Work?

You are well within your rights to start a personal injury claim following an accident at work if:

  • You were owed a duty of care by your employer; and
  • They breached their duty of care because they were negligent; and
  • You were injured or made ill as a consequence of that negligence.

Don’t worry about which piece of law is needed to prove you were owed a duty of care as we’ll check this as part of your free consultation. If you believe your claim meets all of the criteria set out above, we could help you claim so please call one of our legal advisors today.

What Constitutes Negligence in an Accident at Work?

So, as described above, it may be possible to seek compensation for work-related injuries following accidents caused by employer negligence. Some examples of the types of accidents that could be caused by employers negligence include:

  • Falls from heights and suffering a serious back injury because your employer failed to give you a safety harness.
  • Crush injuries sustained after you were trapped against a wall by a forklift being operated by an untrained driver in a warehouse.
  • Broken bones sustained after slipping on a puddle in a kitchen caused by a leak which your employer failed to fix.
  • Falling down an excavation on a construction site and sustaining a serious brain injury because of a lack of warning signs.
  • Where you lost two fingertips while using a cutting machine in a factory because its safety shield was missing.

Whatever injury you’ve sustained at work, you may have the right to claim compensation if your suffering can be proven to have been caused by a negligent employer. Please get in touch if you’d like us to review your options.

What Evidence Will I Need to Support My Right to Compensation?

It is important that you build as strong a case as possible when suing your employer following an accident at work. Some examples of the types of evidence your solicitor might source to help prove your case include:

  • Photographs: Having pictures that you or someone else has taken at the accident scene can help to prove the cause of your accident. Similarly, pictures of any visible injuries can help you to prove your level of suffering.
  • Medical Records: Usually, your solicitor will request copies of X-rays, medical records and test results from the hospital or medical facility that treated you. These can go some way to confirming the extent of your injuries and the treatment you’ve endured.
  • Accident Reports: Most companies need to keep an accident report book to record details of any incidents in the workplace. Additionally, some accidents are investigated by public bodies like the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). You have the right to request copies of both types of reports.
  • Witness Statements: In some cases, the extent of your injuries, the cause of your accident or both will be contested by your employer. As such, your solicitor may collect witness statements you collected earlier to prove your version of events.
  • Video Recordings: Videos captured on CCTV cameras, mobile phones and body cameras can make it a lot easier to prove that your accident actually occurred. You’re well with your rights to request copies of CCTV footage (and other recordings) of your accident.
  • Financial Records. The records of your expenses, receipts and bills you’ve kept can be used when calculating compensation for the financial losses you’ve incurred directly because of the accident at work.

If you have any evidence to support your right to compensation, call our legal advisors for free advice on how to begin the claims process.

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Understand your rights after an accident at work and explore your options with our free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, giving claimants a risk-free way to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Alternatively, call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak to a legal advisor now.

What Compensation Can I Claim Following an Accident at Work?

If you can prove that your accident at work was caused by your employer, you’ll have the right to claim compensation. Your payout could include compensation for general damages. This is to cover any pain, suffering or loss of amenity your injuries have caused. Importantly, both physical and psychological injuries can be claimed for here.

Additionally, special damages could form part of your payout and could cover:

  • Loss of income.
  • Rehabilitation and medical expenses.
  • Travel costs.
  • Future loss of earnings.
  • Care and support costs.
  • The cost of modifying your home if the changes will make it easier to cope with your injuries.

Any costs you claim will need to be proven by supplying financial evidence. Generally, this means you’ll need to provide bank statements, wage slips and receipts.

Do I Have the Right to Compensation If a Loved One Died in a Fatal Accident at Work?

Even though compensation won’t ever cover the loss of a loved one fatally injured at work, it can help financially.

You may have the right to start a claim on behalf of yourself or the deceased’s estate (or both) if their death can be linked to an accident at work caused by their employer’s negligence.

If claiming on behalf of the deceased’s estate, compensation could cover their death and any pain and suffering they faced before they passed away.

Separate compensation could also be awarded to cover funeral costs, loss of companionship and if you’re facing financial difficulties because you were reliant on the deceased’s earnings, pension or other benefits.

If you’d like to know more, please contact one of our specialist advisors. They’ll handle your call sensitively and won’t put any pressure on you to begin a claim.

How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim After an Accident at Work?

You have a right to claim compensation for an accident at work but you must start the claims process within the allowable time limits. Generally, this is 3 years from the date of your accident as per the Limitation Act 1980.

This time limit may be effectively paused in exceptional circumstances. For instance, if a loved one has lost the mental capacity to claim permanently because of a severe brain injury, there is no time limit for claiming and you could be entitled to claim on their behalf.

Can I Be Dismissed for Having an Accident at Work?

If your accident at work claim is for a legitimate injury, you should not face any negative consequences if you decide to claim compensation from your employer. That’s because being sacked, bullied, treated differently, denied promotion, demoted or disciplined because of your claim are all examples of actions that could also mean you have the right to compensation for unfair or constructive dismissal.

If you believe that your employer has taken unfair action against you because you’ve started an accident at work claim, speak to our team to see if we could support further legal action.

What Should I Do if My Employer Is Pressuring Me Not To Claim?

If you’re being pressured by your employer not to sue, it’s vital to seek advice from a legal advisor who specialises in employment law or personal injury. They can provide guidance on how to proceed with your claim and protect your employment rights.

Will I Need a Solicitor If I Sue My Employer?

Our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for all accident at work claims they take on. So long as your claim meets the eligibility criteria set out earlier, you could be entitled to proceed with a claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To offer this type of service, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be drafted for you. If you sign the CFA, you:

  • Won’t be asked to pay for your solicitor’s work in advance.
  • Won’t have to pay anything for your solicitor’s work if they lose the case.
  • Will have a percentage of any compensation you receive deducted as a solicitor’s success fee.

The maximum success fee percentage when a CFA is used is 25 per cent. That means that you’ll keep most of any compensation payout following an accident at work.

If you make a No Win, No Fee claim with one of our solicitors, they’ll generally:

  • Deal with everything on your behalf during the claims process.
  • File your claim on time and in the correct format.
  • Ensure that you’re kept up to date.
  • Deal with all negotiations and legal arguments for you.
  • Aim to secure as much compensation as possible.

To find out if you have the right to claim compensation for an accident in your workplace, please contact one of our legal advisors today.

Contacting Us About Your Rights Following an Accident at Work

If you’ve recently experienced an accident at work and are seeking advice or support to understand your rights, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can do so by:

  • Calling our team on 0333 241 2519.
  • Connect to our 24/7 live chat service.

Whether it’s exploring a compensation claim, understanding your legal rights after an accident at work, or just needing someone to talk to about your situation, we are here to help.

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