Can I Be Sacked Or Disciplined For Having An Accident At Work?

By Cat Mulligan. Last Updated 12th October March 2023. Being injured at work can be frightening, humiliating and painful. The last thing you need to deal with is the threat of being sacked because of it when it wasn’t your fault. As an employee, you may be worried that your contract will be terminated after an accident in the workplace that wasn’t your fault. You might even be considering not saying anything about your injuries out of fear. If you are asking the question ‘can I be sacked for having an accident at work?’ this article can help.

can I be sacked for having an accident at work?

Can I be sacked for having an accident at work? guide

We explain the law around an injury at work and how you could claim for unfair dismissal if your boss tries to sack you after an accident that was not your fault. You can reach out to our advisors if you’d like free legal advice on your options. Simply:

Select A Section

  1. Can I Be Sacked Or Can I Be Disciplined For Having An Accident At Work?
  2. When Could I Make An Accident At Work Claim?
  3. Dismissed After An Accident At Work – What Evidence Should I Gather?
  4. Dismissed After An Accident At Work – Is There A Claim Time Limit?
  5. Types Of Accidents In The Workplace
  6. Accident At Work Compensation Calculator
  7. Make A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim
  8. Can I Be Disciplined For An Accident At Work? – Read More

Can I Be Sacked Or Can I Be Disciplined For Having An Accident At Work?

If you have had to take time off work, you may be wondering, ‘Can I be fired or can I be disciplined if I’ve had an accident at work?’

The answer to this can be complicated. You may be dismissed after an accident at work on the grounds of negligence or misconduct if you were to blame for the accident. Similarly, you may be disciplined for having an accident at work if your misconduct caused the accident. However, if you can prove that your employer’s negligence was responsible for the accident, you could make an accident at work claim, and they could not fire you.

Per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASWA) your employer owes you a duty of care whilst at work. As part of this duty, they must do all that they reasonably can to keep you safe whilst in the workplace and performing work-related duties. This could include performing regular risk assessments and ensuring the work floor is free of any potential hazards. If your employer were to breach this duty of care, this could result in you being injured in an accident at work. If so, you could be eligible to compensation.

Contact our advisors today to learn more about accident at work claims.

When Could I Make An Accident At Work Claim?

Every employee is entitled to a written statement of the main terms of employment from their employer, but many provide a contract of employment. If you work under an employment contract, you’re seen as an employee.

In addition to outlining their duties, the contract usually describes what the employee can expect from the employer with regards to rates of pay, holiday, sickness and pensions. It may also outline terms of dismissal.

However, an employer can’t dismiss you for making an honest claim against them.

You could have grounds to make a compensation claim if:

  • There is a duty of care in place
  • That duty of care was breached
  • You suffered injuries as a consequence

Contract details vary for different types of workers including full-time staff, contract workers and agency staff. However, regardless of which type of employment contract you have, something worth highlighting to those asking ‘can I be sacked for having an accident at work?’ is that your employer doesn’t have the legal right to do so if the accident wasn’t your fault. Even if you suffer severe injuries as a result, an employer cannot legally dismiss you for a work accident that you didn’t cause.

However, you need to be sure that the injuries were not the result of some activity that you shouldn’t have been doing. Under such circumstances, your employer may not be responsible for your injuries. Furthermore, in cases of gross misconduct, you may be liable for dismissal and have no valid claim for unfair dismissal.

Dismissed After An Accident At Work – What Evidence Should I Gather?

If you have grounds to claim for an accident that led to your dismissal, then it’s helpful to start gathering evidence for your case as soon as you can. With accident at work claims (regardless of whether you’ve been sacked from work), it’s important to acquire evidence that confirms the accident and injuries have occurred. You’ll also need evidence which shows how the faulting party was negligent. The potential evidence that may be available to gather can vary depending on where the accident at work took place and how it was reported. Possible evidence may include:

  • A report of the accident in your workplace’s accident log book.
  • CCTV footage or photographic evidence of the accident.
  • Witness statements from any colleagues or other individuals that witnessed your work accident.
  • A medical report confirming the details of your injuries.

If you hire a work accident solicitor to support you, then they should be able to advise you with gathering evidence for your case.

Dismissed After An Accident At Work – Is There A Claim Time Limit?

If you are out of action due to an injury, you may be wondering, ‘can I be sacked for being off sick?’. If you were dismissed after an accident at work, you may wish to make a claim for your injuries. However, you must start your claim within the relevant time limit.

Generally, you will have three years to start a personal injury claim. This is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980, and starts on the date that you are injured. However, this limit does have some exceptions.

For example, if the claimant is under the age of eighteen when they are injured, the limit will remain frozen until their eighteenth birthday. Then, they will have until their twenty-first to start a claim. At any point before they turn eighteen, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf.

Similarly, for those who do not have the mental capacity to claim for themselves, the time limit is frozen indefinitely, and their claim can be made by a litigation friend.

To find out how the personal injury claims time limit could affect your claim, contact our team of advisors today.

Types Of Accidents In The Workplace

Being injured in the workplace can be alarmingly easy if health and safety observance is missing or impaired. Health and safety laws are crucial for the wellbeing of everyone and the consequences of not applying them can be fatal. There are some common examples of possible injuries such as:

  • Slipping on a wet, unattended surface
  • Tripping down badly marked or poorly lit stairs
  • Contact with heavy objects
  • Malfunctioning machinery
  • Lack of personal protective equipment where its necessary
  • Workplace violence

Using evidence such as the accident log book at work and the RIDDOR system of reporting injuries, you could begin to build a case today. However, you’d also need to prove that your employer caused your injuries.

What Are My Rights After An Accident At Work?

If you have been injured at work due to the negligence of your employer, you have a right to make a claim for financial compensation due to your injuries. These injuries could be physical, psychological, or both.

Additionally, if your employer dismisses you due to you making a claim against them, this also could be a violation of your rights. In this circumstance, not only could you claim for personal injury compensation, but you may also be able to make a separate claim for unfair dismissal.

Accident At Work Compensation Calculator

A personal injury solicitor would approach your claim in the following way:

  • Firstly, they can arrange for you to attend a medical assessment with an independent GP or specialist.
  • The resulting report can be used as evidence in your claim.
  • A lawyer can also use the report and a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to value your injuries.

The JCG is a publication that legal professionals use to help them value injuries. We used figures from these guidelines in our compensation table below.


Injury Severity Notes Amount
Back injuries Severe (iii) Disc fractures or lesions that lead to chronic conditions. Disabilities such as severe pain and discomfort will persist despite undergoing treatment. £38,780 to £69,730
Back injuries Moderate (i) The lumbar vertebrae has suffered a crush or compression fracture which causes constant discomfort and pain. £27,760 to £38,780
Arm injuries (b) Serious fractures to one or both forearms. This results in a functional or cosmetic residual disability. £39,170 to £59,860
Arm injuries (d) Simple forearm fracture. £6,610 to £19,200
Neck injuries Severe (iii) Ruptured tendons, severe soft tissue damage, fractures or dislocations. How much is awarded will depend on how long the symptoms persist for. £45,470 to £55,990
Elbow injuries (b) Despite the elbow’s function being impaired, there is no major risk of requiring surgery in the future or of there being a significant disability. £15,650 to £32,010
Elbow injuries (c) Simple fractures in the elbow, lacerations or tennis elbow syndrome. How long the injury takes to recover will affect how much is awarded. Up to £12,590
Ankle injuries Moderate Fractures and ligamentous tears that that make it difficult to stand and walk for a long time, with difficulty walking on uneven ground. £13,740 to £26,590
Ankle injuries Modest Ligamentous injuries, undisplaced fractures or sprains. Whether a full recovery has been made will affect how much is awarded. Up to £13,740
Chest injuries (g) Fractures of ribs or soft tissue injuries that cause significant pain for a few weeks. Up to £3,950

It’s important to note that these amounts are not guaranteed. They merely represent what would be possible if your medical evidence supports it.

Special damages

General damages compensate you for the injuries you’ve suffered due to the accident that wasn’t your fault. You could also claim special damages, which compensates you for financial losses caused by your injuries.

You can use documents such as receipts, statements and bills that prove out-of-pocket costs caused by your injuries. These costs may include:

  • The costs of needing care
  • Loss of earnings
  • Childcare costs
  • Missed bonuses or pension contributions
  • Travel expenses to hospital or work
  • Medical equipment

Make A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim

If you have experienced an accident at work, then get in touch with our advisors today. Not only can they offer you tailored advice, but they may also be able to connect you with an expert lawyer from our panel.

All of the lawyers we work with assist their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. But what does this mean?

In short, when you work with a No Win No Fee lawyer, they will make you aware of the success fee you need to pay should your claim succeed. This fee is taken from your compensation as a percentage that is legally capped.

If your No Win No Fee lawyer is not successful in helping you win your claim, then you are not required to pay them this percentage.

If you wish to hire legal help, then doing so in this way can help reduce the financial risk of doing so. Reach out today for more information and to get started.

Can I Be Disciplined For An Accident At Work? – Read More

Thank you for reading this guide. In conclusion, we can offer further help with the following guides about:

We also have some other guides you may find useful:

We hope this dismissed after an accident at work claims guide has been helpful. Throughout it, we’ve addressed questions such as ‘can I be sacked for having an accident at work’. However, if you would like to ask any other related questions, then you’re welcome to contact Public Interest Lawyers today.