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

By Cat Mulligan. Last Updated 18th October 2023. In this guide, we’ll look at how long you have to claim for an accident at work. If you’ve sustained a work injury, you could be entitled to claim against your employer. In order to do so, you’d need to confirm that you were injured because of your employer’s negligence.

Workplace accidents can cause serious injuries that cause long-term health effects. While some can be recovered from, such as fractures and damage to ligaments, some can affect you permanently. For example, brain damage or injury to the spinal cord. A personal injury claim can compensate for this pain and suffering.

However, in order to make a personal injury claim, you need to ensure that your claim is begun within the appropriate time limit. We will explain this in greater detail later throughout this guide.

Our team of advisers are available to offer free legal advice and confirm whether you’re within the time limit to claim. If your claim is valid, you can be connected to an expert personal injury lawyer from our panel. They can then explore No Win No Fee agreements with you and start the claims process.

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how long to claim for an accident at work

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

Select A Section

  1. What Is The Accident At Work Claim Time Limit?
  2. When Could I Make A Personal Injury Claim?
  3. The Time Limit For Claiming For Fatal Accidents In The Workplace
  4. Do I Need Evidence To Make A Workplace Accident Claim?
  5. How Are Accident At Work Claims Calculated?
  6. Accident At Work Claims – No Win No Fee
  7. Helpful Resources

 What Is The Accident At Work Claim Time Limit?

As per the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have 3 years to begin a claim. Following an accident at work, this claim time limit should be adhered to. However, there can be certain circumstances where exceptions are made where you may be able to claim even if it has been over 3 years since your accident at work. The claim time limit exceptions are elaborated upon in the section below.

Are There Exceptions To The Three-Year Limitation Period?  

It’s important to note that there are exceptions to the three-year time limit to claim for a workplace accident. For example, if a young person is injured in the workplace, the limitation period is frozen until their 18th birthday. They will then have until their 21st birthday to bring forward a claim. Prior to their 18th birthday, a litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf.

Moreover, if an adult lacks the mental capacity to make their own accident at work claim, the time limit is permanently suspended. During this suspension, a litigation friend could act on their behalf. If they regain the mental capacity required to make their own claim, the three-year limitation period would be reinstated from the date of recovery.

To discuss your personal injury claim at work, you can contact our friendly team of advisors. They can assess the eligibility of your claim and inform you whether you are still within the correct time limit.

When Could I Make A Personal Injury Claim?

Now that you’ve learned more about the accident at work claim time limit, we’ll explore when you could be eligible to make an accident at work claim. In order to pursue compensation, every personal injury claimant has to be able to prove that:

  •   They were owed a duty of care.
  •   This duty of care was breached.
  •   As a result, they were harmed.

All employers owe their employees a duty of care. This duty is set out under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). It states that employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to keep their employees safe while working. If your employer fails to uphold their duty of care, and this leads to you suffering an injury, you may be able to make a claim.

Read on to learn about compensation for an accident at work and how long you have to claim. Or, contact our team of advisors to find out if your claim is valid. A member of our team can evaluate your claim for free and can answer any questions you might have about the compensation claims process. If your claim is valid, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

The Time Limit For Claiming For Fatal Accidents In The Workplace

You may be asking for how long can you claim after an accident at work if it caused the death of a family member or someone you were financially dependent on. A fatal work injury claim in this scenario may be possible if the employer of the deceased has breached their duty of care and this contributed to the fatal injury. There is, however, a time limit for starting a claim for a fatal accident at work.

Like with claims for non-fatal injuries, there is a three-year time limit for fatal accident at work claims. This time limit usually starts from either the date of death or from the date of knowledge. The latter can be formed on the date of an inquest or the date of a postmortem.

For more advice on how long after an accident at work can you claim, please contact our advisors for free today.

Do I Need Evidence To Make A Workplace Accident Claim?

Gathering evidence is an important part of making a successful workplace accident claim. You’ll need to prove that your employer has acted negligently alongside any injuries you have subsequently sustained. Without evidence, your claim for an injury at work might not end in you receiving compensation.

If you are unsure what evidence to gather, we’ve included some examples below:

  • Medical records can confirm how your injuries were caused and how severe they are
  • An assessment from a medical expert could determine if your employer’s negligence contributed to your injuries
  • Take photographs of any visible injuries you have suffered
  • If your workplace has CCTV, request the footage
  • Record the incident in your workplace accident book

Following a personal injury at work, you might be ready to start a claim. If you would like an injury at work solicitor from our panel to assist you during the process, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our free live chat widget.

How Are Accident At Work Claims Calculated?

If you have been injured in an accident at work, you could be awarded general and special damages following a successful personal injury claim. General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you have experienced due to your injury.

When valuing claims, many legal professionals will use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them. This document lists compensation guidelines for various types of injuries. We have taken figures from the 16th edition of the JCG to create the table below.

Please only use this table as a guide.

Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Amputation of Arms Loss of One Arm (ii) One arm is amputated above the elbow. £109,650 to £130,930
Back injuries Severe (iii) Including disc lesions or disc fractures. These injuries will lead to chronic conditions that persevere despite undergoing treatment. £38,780 to £69,730
Psychiatric Damage Generally Moderately Severe The person will suffer with significant problems regarding coping with daily life and maintaining personal relationships. However, they will have an optimistic prognosis. £19,070 to £54,830
Ankle injuries Severe The injury may require time in plaster or plates/pins have been inserted which causes instability in the ankle. £31,310 to £50,060
Ankle injuries Moderate Fractures and tears to the ligaments that make it hard to walk on uneven ground. £13,740 to £26,590
Brain damage Less severe A good recovery will have been made. However, the person may still struggle with memory and concentration issues. £15,320 to £43,060
Leg injuries Moderate (iv) Multiple or complicated fractures in one leg. The extent of treatment undertaken will affect how much is awarded. £27,760 to £39,200
Shoulder injuries Fracture of Clavicle Award within this bracket will depend on the severity of the injury and whether any permanent residual symptoms persist. £5,150 to £12,240
Injuries Affecting Sight Minor Eye Injuries These injuries could be caused by incidents like exposure to smoke or being struck in the eye. Vision will be temporarily interfered with. £3,950 to £8,730
Shoulder injuries Minor (ii) A soft tissue injury that recovers within a year. £2,450 to £4,350

Special damages compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to your injury, such as:

  • A loss of earnings.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Travel costs.

You will need to provide evidence about these financial losses. Evidence could include payslips, invoiced and receipts.

Contact our advisors today if you have suffered an injury at work to see whether you could make a personal injury claim. They could also offer you free advice and answer any questions you may have about accident at work claims.

Accident At Work Claims – No Win No Fee

In this guide, we have discussed the accident at work claim time limit. However, if you still have any questions or concerns about how long after an accident at work you can claim compensation, do not hesitate to contact our advisors.

Our advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to offer you free legal advice. If they believe that you may be eligible for compensation, they could connect you with our panel of solicitors who have years of experience handling various accident at work claims. They could help you with your specific claim, and they may offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.

With this type of agreement, you are generally not expected to pay your solicitor any upfront or ongoing fees. You are also usually not expected to pay them for their services if the claim fails. However, if your solicitor succeeds with your claim, you will pay them a legally capped success fee from your compensation.

Contact our advisors today to learn more about No Win No Fee agreements or, if you’ve had an accident at work, how long you have to claim compensation. To speak with our advisors today, you can:

Helpful Resources

Compensation Payout For An Accident At Work Knee Injury Claim – If you’ve suffered a knee injury during a workplace accident, our guide explores how you can make a claim. 

What Are My Rights After I Had An Accident At Work? – If you’ve suffered an accident at work, our article discusses what rights you have.

Can You Claim for A Fall at Work in the UK? – Have you suffered an injury due to a fall at work? You may be entitled to compensation. Read this guide to find out more. 

How Do I Know If I’ve Broken A Bone? – Do you suspect you may have broken a bone? This NHS guide involves useful information. 

Health and Safety Executive Statistics – This page includes statistics surrounding workplace accidents from the Health and Safety Executive. 

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents– This charity provides advice and guidance about preventing accidents causing injuries.

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