What Is An Accident At Work And Can I Claim Compensation?

This guide will look at when you could be eligible to make an accident at work claim. If you’ve suffered harm after an accident at work that was your employer’s fault, you could potentially hold them liable for your injuries. 

accident at work claim

You would need to prove that the negligence of your employer caused your accident and subsequent injuries in order to make a claim after an accident at work. Later in this guide, we will look at the duty of care of employers in further detail. 

If you get in touch with our advisors today, they can provide you with personalised, expert advice on your situation. If they deem your claim to have a solid chance for success, they could pass you on to a solicitor from our panel, who can help you start a claim. 

Read on for more information about accident at work claims, or get in touch with us via our website to find out more. 

Select a Section

  1. What Is An Accident In The Workplace?
  2. The Different Ways Accidents At Work Can Happen
  3. How To Prove An Accident At Work Claim
  4. Check Your Eligibility To Make A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim

What Is An Accident In The Workplace?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Britain’s regulator for health and safety at work, defines an accident as a separate, identifiable or unintended incident that causes physical injury. A duty of care binds your employer under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure this doesn’t happen and your safety is protected. 

If your employer is not taking reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe in the workplace, and this leads to injury, this is when they could have breached their duty of care. You could then potentially claim compensation from them. 

For example, if you were working in an office with laminate floors and something had been spilt in a walkway, this could be a slip hazard. If the spillage was not cleaned up in due time, despite your employer being aware of it, it could lead to serious injuries. 

Accident At Work Statistics

The HSE also provides plenty of statistics to refer to when looking at accidents in the workplace. Figures taken from the Labour Force Survey in 2019/20 show that 693,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury at work. Also, a total of 38.8 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and injury. 

From HSE statistics, we can also see that slips, trips or falls on the same level are currently the most common cause of non-fatal workplace injuries. They made up 29% of causes in 2019/20. This is followed by handling, lifting or carrying injuries at 19%. 

Tragically, some accidents at work can even result in fatalities. In 2019/20, 111 fatal injuries were reported under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). 

If you’d like to know if you could make an accident at work claim, why not contact our advisors for free legal advice?

The Different Ways Accidents At Work Can Happen

Accidents at work could happen in a variety of ways. Some causes could include:

  • Slips, trips and falls – These could be caused by bad lighting, ignored spillages, cluttered walkways, or impractical layout design.
  • Workplace vehicles – This could include vehicles such as forklifts, especially if the right training is not provided. It could also cover cars provided by the business for work purposes. 
  • Equipment or machinery – Employers should assess the risk of machinery, and perform regular checks to ensure it is still working to a safe capacity. It is also important that employees are trained properly to use machinery or equipment, as a lack of training could potentially lead to injuries.
  • Incorrect or lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Appropriate PPE can vary between sectors and isn’t always necessary. However, if it is essential to your role, your employer should provide it to you and ensure it’s suitable for use.

However, this list is not exhaustive. Accidents at work could happen in many more ways. Get in touch with us today to find out if your accident at work could make for a valid claim. 

How To Prove An Accident At Work Claim

To make a personal injury claim against your employer, you would need to prove that your accident did cause harm and that your injuries were a direct result of their negligence. 

A solicitor can help you figure out what the best evidence types would be for your specific case. However, some generally desirable examples could include:

  • CCTV footage 
  • Photographs
  • Witness contact details (to take statements at a later date)
  • Medical reports
  • Accident reports (such as in the workplace log book)

If a solicitor takes on your claim, they will arrange for you to attend a medical appointment. This is part of the claims process and the purpose is for an independent medical professional to:

  • Assess the severity of your injuries.
  • Assess whether they were caused or exacerbated by the incident (or aren’t linked to it at all).

The professional would then produce a report. The results of this report will be key in valuing your injuries and, therefore, your claim. 

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

The time limitation to make a personal injury claim is set by the Limitation Act 1980. Generally, the time limit is up to 3 years after the date of the accident or the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge is the date you gain knowledge that negligence at least contributed to your injuries.

However, there are a few exceptions to this. For example, this is true in the cases of minors or those with diminished mental capacity. 

For minors, a litigation friend (an adult with the claimant’s best interests at heart) is required to make a claim on their behalf, and they have until the claimant is 18 to do so. Once the claimant has turned 18, they themselves then have 3 years to make a claim if one has not already been started on their behalf. 

Likewise, a litigation friend is needed for those who lack the mental capacity to claim. However, in these instances, the time limitation is suspended indefinitely. If the claimant can be considered to make a full mental recovery, they will then also have 3 years to claim from the date of recovery.

Check Your Eligibility To Make A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim

If you’ve already suffered financially due to your injuries, a No Win No Fee agreement could be beneficial as a way to fund your solicitor’s work. This would mean that you would not have to pay your solicitor any upfront or ongoing fees.

If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work at all. However, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation amount (once it is fully paid) if your claim is successful. 

Your solicitor will discuss this success fee with you before they take on your case, so there are no nasty surprises at the end. It is also legally capped, which means you are likely to keep most of the compensation you’re awarded.

Get in touch with us to learn more about No Win No Fee claims or potentially start a claim. Our advisors can offer free legal advice and even connect you with an experienced solicitor from our panel. 

Use our website to get in touch today. Alternatively, call us on the number at the top of the page. 

Other Sources Of Information On Workplace Accidents

Thank you for reading our guide on whether you could make an accident at work claim. We hope it answered any questions you may have had. Please see below for more relevant links. 

Physiotherapy Services – Search for NHS physiotherapy in your area.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – A charity that aims to reduce the rate of accidental injury through advice and guidance.

Statutory Sick Pay – An overview of statutory sick pay and how you can access it after an accident has led to a loss of wages. 

We also have some other guides on our site that you may find useful: