How Long Do I Have to Claim for an Accident at Work?

Learn how long to claim for an accident at work with this guide. In it, we look at how long you have to file a compensation claim for a workplace injury. We also discuss what exceptions apply to the claims time limit. 

how long to claim for an accident at work

A guide on how long to claim for an accident at work

In addition, we discuss the legislation designed to reduce hazards in the workplace and what your employer’s duty of care is. We also explore workplace accident statistics. 

We look at potential causes of workplace injuries and the employer negligence that could lead up to them. In addition, we discuss the steps you could take following a workplace injury to strengthen a compensation claim, should you wish to file one. 

Then we explore examples of potential compensation. We also include examples of what costs you could recover. Finally, we look at No Win No Fee arrangements and how you could benefit from one should you wish to claim compensation. 

To speak about your potential claim:

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Choose A Section

  1. How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?
  2. What Causes Accidents At Work?
  3. Gathering Evidence For A Claim
  4. How To Value An Accident At Work Claim
  5. Do No Win No Fee Lawyers Handle Workplace Accident Claims?
  6. Advice On How Long To Claim For An Accident At Work

How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?

Employers owe their employees a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). This means, that as far as reasonably practical to do so, your employer must take steps to reduce hazards in the workplace. 

If you’ve experienced a workplace injury due to your employer breaching their duty of care, you might be eligible for compensation. When considering how long you have to claim for an accident at work, you will need to take into account when the incident happened, or when you became aware that it was caused by negligence. 

Typically, you have three years to start your compensation claim. However, this may be extended in some circumstances, for example: 

  • If you are under the age of 18 at the time of the injury, you have three years after your 18th birthday to begin a claim. A litigation friend can claim for you before this point, and the time limit is suspended. 
  • If you lack the mental capacity to pursue a claim yourself, the time limit is frozen and a litigation friend can claim on your behalf. 

To find out how long you have to claim for an accident at work, contact our advisors.  

The Latest Workplace Accident Statistics

2020/21 saw 51,211 non-fatal workplace injuries reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). These statistics are collected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  

Of the reported injuries:

  • Contact with moving machinery caused 1,860
  • Slips, trips and falls on the same level caused 16,698
  • Falls from a height caused 4,143

 What Causes Accidents At Work?

Injuries at work could occur when your employer breaches their duty of care. 

Workplace injuries resulting from negligence could be caused by:

  • Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE): Any necessary PPE should be provided for free by your employer if it is required to carry out your work duties safely. Burn injuries could occur, for example, if heat resistant gloves are not provided for welders. 
  • Inappropriate training: Any training required to carry out your job safely should be provided by your employer for free. Back injuries could occur, for example, if you’re not trained on how to safely carry out manual handling tasks. 
  • Faulty equipment: Your employer must maintain equipment and carry out necessary inspections. Amputation injuries could occur, for example, if a safety shield slips from a piece of machinery. Faults that are observed during an inspection should be repaired before equipment is used again. 

To discuss your workplace injury, contact our advisors. If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee lawyer from our panel. 

Gathering Evidence For A Claim

The steps you take following a workplace injury could be used to strengthen your compensation claim, should you choose to file one. In order to claim, you must be able to prove employer negligence. 

After an injury, to support your claim for compensation, you could:

  • Seek medical attention: Details of your injuries and the treatment, along with the date on which you first sought medical attention, will be included in your medical records. For compensation claims, you might be invited to an independent medical assessment for a more thorough view of your injuries.  
  • Request CCTV footage: You have the right to ask for CCTV footage that you appear in.
  • Fill in the accident at work report form: This could prove when the accident that caused your injury occurred. You could fill it out with your name, the date and time, as well as any relevant details. If you’re incapacitated or can’t fill it out for any other reason, then a colleague can do this for you. 
  • Seek legal advice: To find out how long to claim for an accident at work based on your circumstances, you could speak to our team of advisors. They can also offer you advice on other aspects of claiming and may be able to pass you to a lawyer from our panel. 

To discuss your potential claim and what evidence could prove employer negligence, contact us today. 

How To Value An Accident At Work Claim

You may be wondering how to calculate accident at work compensation. Compensation claims could consist of two heads, if successful: general damages and special damages. We will discuss each of these separately below. 

General Damages

The pain and suffering caused by your physical injuries, as well as any emotional distress suffered as a result, are compensated for under general damages. When placing potential value on your claim, legal professionals will refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Within the JCG are injuries listed alongside some guideline compensation brackets. The table below contains some examples: 

InjuryPotential CompensationNotes
Minor eye injuries£3,950 to £8,730Minor injuries that cause some initial pain and temporary vision interference, such as smoke exposure.
Asbestos-related disease (b)£65,710 to £91,350Lung cancer in an older person from past asbestos exposure.
Bowel injuries (e)£12,590 to
Permanent damage from penetrating injuries with eventual return to natural function.
Severe back injuries (ii)£65,740 to
Includes special features such as nerve root damage, mobility impairments, bladder and bowel impairments, sexual dysfunction and/or scarring.
Lesser injuries to hips and pelvis (i)£78,400 to £130,930Significant injury with little or no residual disability.
Below-elbow amputation£90,250 to £102,890Amputation through the forearm.
Moderate ankle injuries£13,740 to £26,590Fractures and ligamentous tears resulting in less serious disabilities, such as difficulty standing for long time periods.
Multiple facial bone fractures£14,900 to £23,950Involves permanent facial disfigurement.
Scar- Single noticeable scar or several superficial scars£2,370 to £7,830Minor cosmetic deficit to the arms, legs or hands.
Less severe psychiatric damage£1,540 to £5,860Length of disability and the extent of which lifestyle was impacted.

Special Damages

 To recover costs incurred because of your injury, you could claim special damages. In order to claim special damages, however, you must supply evidence, such as receipts. 

You could recover costs for:

  • Loss of earnings: You could recover your lost earnings if you’ve been absent from work while you recover. Also, you could claim for the time taken off work to attend medical appointments for your injury. 
  • Cosmetics: If you require any specialist makeup or ointments to disguise or minimise scarring. This could also include any plastic surgery to conceal your injuries. 
  • Travel expenses: Mileage, taxi fares and bus fares to attend medical appointments could be recovered. 

Our advisors could provide examples of special damages and the evidence you could save to claim under this head. Get in touch today. 

Do No Win No Fee Lawyers Handle Workplace Accident Claims?

Your accident at work claim could be denied if you don’t start it within the appropriate time limit. The claims process could be easier to navigate using No Win No Fee lawyers. 

There are no upfront solicitors fees with a No Win No Fee arrangement. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay your lawyer anything as the claim progresses.

A legally capped success fee, taken from your award, applies to successful claims.  If the claim isn’t successful, then this fee won’t be due. The No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel can take on eligible workplace injury claims. 

Get Advice On How Long To Claim For An Accident At Work

Our advisors are available with free legal advice 24 hours per day, seven days per week. They could advise you on employer negligence, whether your claim is valid and what evidence you could gather to support it. 

They could provide you with an estimate of your general damages based on your injuries. Also, they could advise on what special damages you could claim and what evidence you should save in order to do so.  

Eligible claims might be passed onto our panel of personal injury solicitors. 

To get in touch today:

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 Advice On How Long To Claim For An Accident At Work

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Writer Danielle Button

Publisher Fern Styles