I Had An Accident At Work – What Are My Rights?

By Lewis Houston. Last Updated 25th September 2023. If you’re asking ‘What are my rights after being injured in an accident at work?’ the answer could vary depending on a number of factors. These factors could include what your employment status was at the time of the accident, who or what caused the accident, whether you were injured or not, and more. This guide will explain more about your rights after an accident at work when it comes to sick pay, reporting an accident and claiming compensation if the accident was not your fault.

In the sections below, we explain in detail about worker’s rights, focusing on those that could affect your ability to claim compensation. We also explain how you could claim compensation if you’ve had an accident at work that could have been avoided if your employer had taken care of your health and safety at work.

If, after reading this guide, you have further questions about making a claim, or would like a free eligibility check on your claim, you can speak to our team in confidence on 0800 408 7825.

We’d be glad to give you more information after assessing your case over the phone. We could also connect you with a legal professional who could take your claim forward for you.

i had an accident at work what are my rights

I had an accident at work what are my rights? UK law guidance

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I Had An Accident At Work – What Are My Rights?

If you have had an accident at work, you may be wondering what your rights are in regard to making a claim. When in the workplace, there is specific legislation that outlines how you should be treated. The Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) lays out your rights regarding health and safety in the workplace, including stipulations such as your right to a reasonably safe working environment. This is your employer’s responsibility – to take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe at work. Some of the other rights you are entitled to as an employee include:

  • Receiving National Minimum Wage
  • Protection against unlawful discrimination
  • Statutory minimum rest breaks
  • The minimum level of paid holiday time

You may also have contractual rights, which you can find in your contract of employment. These can include:

  • Contracted paid holiday time: your contract may include details of extra paid holiday time
  • Contracted sick pay: Every employee is entitled to statutory sick pay after a certain amount of absence, but your contract may include details of an internal workplace sick pay scheme, which may be more than SSP
  • Your notice period: This period can differ depending on where you work, but most contracts will include a notice period letting you know when your employer must notify you if your position is terminated
  • Salary and bonus bands: Your contract may also contain information surrounding your pay, such as pay rises after a certain amount of time or when certain responsibilities are fulfilled

If you are injured as a result of your employer failing to comply with the HASAWA, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Call our team of expert advisors today to learn more, or read on to find out what to do after an accident at work.

Your Right To Be Safe At Work

Your employer has a legal responsibility to protect your safety and your health at work. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that it is the duty of each employer to ensure, as much as could be considered reasonably practicable, to ensure the welfare, health and safety of all employees.

This duty extends in particular to:

  • Keeping the workplace and systems safe and reducing risks as much as possible
  • Ensuring the transport, handling and storage of materials is as safe as possible
  • Providing training, instruction, supervision and information to employees to ensure their safety as much as could be considered reasonable
  • Providing a working environment that comes without unnecessary risk to health and safety

There are many different ways an employer could protect an employee’s health and safety at work. They could provide manual handling training for those who need to handle goods as part of their job.

In some cases, they could provide personal protective equipment to people whose risks of harm could be reduced by wearing it. Other steps they could take would be to regularly risk assess your job and your workplace, and act on the results of these assessments to reduce identified risks as much as they reasonably could.

What Rights Do Agency Workers Have If Injured In The Workplace?

If you are wondering ‘what are my rights after an accident at work as an agency worker?’, you may be surprised to know that you would, to some extent, have the same rights as a contracted or full-time employee.

If you’re an agency or temporary worker, you might be under the impression that you would not be able to claim compensation for an accident in the workplace, but this is simply not the case.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident or fallen ill because of a lack of health and safety provision at work, you can contact our team at any time. We would be happy to assess your eligibility to claim. We could also connect you with a legal professional that would be able to fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Is The Average Payout For An Injury In The Workplace?

As well as asking ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights?’, you may also be wondering is there an accident at work compensation calculator I could use to find out how much I can claim?

We have chosen to give you information on compensation payouts in the table below rather than including a personal injury claims calculator in this guide. This is because a calculator wouldn’t be able to assess the severity of your injury and take into account all the specific facts of your case.

The figures you see below are from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication that the courts and lawyers use to hone in on compensation payouts for personal injury claims. We believe this could give you some insight into how much specific injuries could attract in terms of compensation. If you’ve suffered a different injury than those listed below, we could give you further insight into guideline payouts over the phone.

These JCG figures are the most up-to-date figures available, taken from the sixteenth edition, published in April 2022.

Injury AwardNotes
Brain damage - moderate (i)£43,060 to £90,720The claimant suffers concentration and memory problems along with a small risk of epilepsy due to brain damage.
Ankle - very severe£50,060 to £69,700A significant fracture with extensive soft tissue damage. May be deformities or in some cases, below-knee amputation.
Elbow - severe£39,170 to £54,830A severely disabling injury. Limited mobility. Effects may be permanent.
Pelvis and Hips - Moderate (i)£26,590 to £39,170Although injuries in this bracket are significant, they don't result in major permanent disability.
Arm - less severe£19,200 to £39,170The claimant has suffered significant disabilities. However, they've either experienced or are expected to make a substantial degree of recovery.
Toe - severe£13,740 to £21,070The claimant may require amputation of one or two toes following a severe crush injury, or has bursting wounds causing severe damage. Injuries in this bracket cause significant continuing symptoms.
Leg - less serious (ii)£9,110 to £14,080In this bracket, the claimant suffered a simple fracture of their femur with no damage to articular surfaces.
Neck - minor (i)£4,350 to £7,890Covers strains and sprains. Injuries usually resolve within 1-2 years. This category also relates to exacerbation or acceleration injuries
Shoulder - moderate£7,890 to £12,770Frozen shoulder with limited movement and discomfort which could persist for up to 2 years.
Back - minor (iv)Up to £2,450Slight injuries which fully resolve within 3 months

Your Right To Claim Costs And Losses Caused By An Accident At Work

Additionally, you might also be awarded special damages as part of your accident at work compensation payout. This is to compensate you for any expenses incurred as a result of your injury at work. 

Examples of losses you could be compensated for include:

  • Medical expenses, such as therapy and prescriptions. 
  • Loss of earnings for time you spent off work recovering from your injuries. 
  • Travel costs, including taxi fares to medical appointments. 
  • Adaptations to your accommodation, such as installing a stairlift. 

In order to claim special damages, you should submit evidence of your expenses. For example, bank statements, invoices and receipts. 

If you would like to further discuss the question: ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights?’ please contact an advisor. They can also advise you on what costs you might be able to recover under special damages.

Do I Get Full Pay If I Have An Accident At Work?

‘Do I get paid if I’ve had an accident at work?’ is a question some people may ask if they’ve been injured in such an incident. The answer to this question can vary depending on certain factors like your employment status and what benefits your employer offers.

If you work and are employed by someone (i.e you aren’t self-employed), you should be legally entitled to statutory sick pay if you are injured and it affects your ability to attend work. To be eligible, you would need to:

  • Have an illness for 4+ days in a row (this includes non-working days)
  • Earn £120 per week or more on average (before any tax is taken)
  • Follow the rules for getting sick pay that your employer has in place
  • Not be in an ineligible category

Statutory Sick Pay is currently £95.85 per week, and you can claim it for up to 28 weeks.

If you check your contract, you may find that you could be entitled to contractual sick pay, which could be more than Statutory Sick Pay. Your employer should give you details of how much you can get and how long for in your contract of employment.

Your Right To Industrial Benefits If Injured Or Made Sick In The Workplace

In some industries, you may be eligible for industrial benefits if you’re injured or fall ill while in work or at an employment training course or scheme. The Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) could be paid to you if your disability is assessed at being 14% or above.

To be eligible for the scheme, you’d need to be employed or on an employment training course when a workplace accident occurred or you contracted a disease. The scheme covers a number of diseases, a full list of which can be found in the Government’s technical guidance for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

We should stress that claiming IIDB would be separate from any personal injury claim you could make against your employer.

Your Right Not To Be Dismissed Because Of An Accident At Work

If you’re wondering ‘what are my rights after I had an accident at work’ in terms of whether your employer could dismiss you, this would largely depend on whether the accident was your fault.

Can My Employer Fire Me For An Accident At Work If It’s My Fault?

If you had an accident at work because you had behaved in a dangerous or negligent manner, your employer could take disciplinary action against you. In cases of gross misconduct on your part, you could be dismissed after an accident at work.

What If An Accident At Work Isn’t My Fault?

If you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault and wish to make a claim against your employer, you have the right to be treated the same as you would if you had not made a claim.

There is legislation in place to protect you from unfair treatment (which includes dismissal) due to whistleblowing. Therefore, you should not be put off making a personal injury claim for fear that your employer would treat you differently.

Your Right To Report And Record An Accident At Work

If you have had an accident at work, you should report it, whether the accident has caused you injury or has damaged something. Who you report an accident to depends largely on where you were when the accident occurred and your employment status.

  • If you are a worker, you should report your accident to your employer. This may be via your manager, first aider, or another responsible person. Your staff handbook may have information on who to report an accident to.
  • If you’re self-employed, and you were working on your own premises, you should report it to the Health and Safety Executive.

There are certain accidents and injuries that should be reported under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). These include:

  • The death of any person
  • Specified injuries – fractures (not including those to thumbs, fingers and toes); amputation; scalping that requires treatment at the hospital; loss of consciousness (caused by asphyxia or a head injury); serious burns; injuries leading to the likelihood of loss or reduction in sight; crush injuries to the torso or head which damage internal organs or the brain; enclosed space injuries that lead to heat-induced illness, hypothermia or those that require admission to hospital or resuscitation.
  • Worker incapacitations over 7 days
  • Non-fatal accidents that happen to non-workers
  • Occupational disease
  • Dangerous occurrences (further information on what should be reported as a dangerous occurrence can be found here)
  • Gas incidents

What Should I Do After An Accident At Work That Isn’t Reportable Under RIDDOR?

When you report an accident at work, your employer or responsible person should write a report in the workplace accident book. This could serve as proof of the accident occurring.

If your employer does not have an accident book, it may be wise to send them the details of the accident in writing. That way, you have proof that you’ve reported the incident.

How Long After An Accident At Work Can You Report It?

You should attempt to report an accident as soon as it could be considered practical to do so. This way, the area could be made safe and your employer could take steps to make sure the accident doesn’t happen again. In terms of RIDDOR incidents, they should be reported within 10 days of the incident.

How Long Can You Claim After An Accident At Work?

If you have had an accident at work, you may have the right to claim if another party such as your employer caused the accident through negligent behaviour. However, there is a limit to how long you have to start a potential claim. Due to the Limitation Act 1980, there is usually a three year time limit for starting a personal injury claim. This time limit normally applies from the date the work accident occurred.

The personal injury claims time limit that would apply to your claim could differ depending on how old you were when you were injured, when the injury was discovered and whether you had the mental capacity to claim. The table below offers some insight into how long you might have to make a claim.

SituationTime Limit
Accident that caused injury where injury was discovered immediately (18+)3 years from the accident date
Accident that caused injury where injury was discovered later (18+)3 years from the date knowledge of the injury was obtained
An accident that caused injury that happened when you were under 183 years from the date you turned 18.
Adults without mental capacity to claim3 years begin when they regain mental capacity. Can be represented by a litigation friend. Call for advice

If you are running close to the time limit that applies to your case, your personal injury lawyer could launch protective proceedings to ensure your case doesn’t become time-barred. This could give you more time to negotiate a settlement out of court, gather more evidence, or investigate the claim further.

How Do I Prove A Claim Following An Injury At Work?

If you’ve had an accident at work, you may want to know more about the standard procedure after you have been injured at work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) establishes health and safety procedures in worksites across Great Britain. They state that certain injuries need to be reported by your employer under RIDDOR. As such, you should first report the accident to your employer. This is so they can be made aware of any potential safety issues and so they can be reported to the HSE. 

If you’ve had an accident at work and want to potentially receive compensation for it, you need to prove that your injury was caused by employer negligence. To do this, you will need evidence. Potential evidence you could use includes: 

  • Photographs of your injury and the accident site.
  • CCTV footage. In certain instances, you can request this. It can help depict the series of events that caused the accident. 
  • Medical reports. An independent medical assessment will be organised as part of the claims process to determine the severity of your injuries. Solicitors from our panel can ensure that they arrange this as close to you as possible for your convenience. 
  • Witness statements. If you get the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident, your solicitor can contact them and take a statement as part of the claims process. 

If you have questions about your injury at work rights or want to see if you’re eligible to claim, please contact us for free legal advice. 

Can A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help Me Make An Accident In Work Claim?

Have you been injured at work as a result of your employer breaching their duty of care? If so, you may benefit from working with a personal injury solicitor. As discussed in this article, if you had an accident at work, the law states that you need to prove negligence occurred. A solicitor can help you gather evidence to do so. Additionally, they can ensure your claim is presented in full within the relevant time limit.

Our panel of accident at work lawyers could work with you under a No Win No Fee arrangement called a Conditional Fee Agreement. This typically means there will be no requirement for you to pay an upfront or ongoing fee to your solicitor for their work. Also, if your claim is not successful, your No Win No Fee solicitor won’t ask you to pay them for their work.

Alternatively, they’ll take a success fee if your claim is successful. However, the percentage they take is legally capped.

For more information on whether you could work with a solicitor from our panel, speak to our advisors for free and at any time by:

  • Calling 0800 408 7825
  • Using our online live chat widget on your screen
  • Filling out your details in our contact form for a call back

More References On Your Rights After An Accident At Work

Below, you can find more useful resources on your rights after an accident at work:

  • Accident At Work Reporting Procedure RIDDOR – This HSE publication discusses the response procedures for accident at work which employees and employers should follow.
  • Accident At Work Gov UK – This page on the government website offers some more information about injuries at work.
  • Report A Health And Safety Concern – You can report a concern about health and safety at work here.
  • Public Accident Claims – We also provide advice on public injury claims. If you’ve been injured in a public place, you may want to check out this guide on accidents in public places and how to claim against someone’s public liability insurance.
  • Public Park Accidents – You can find information on claiming for accidents in a public park here.
  • Public Transport Accidents – You may have been injured on your way to work on public transport. If so, this guide could be useful.
  • If you’re looking for advice on making a workplace injury claim, head here. You can find examples of different accidents in work, potential compensation awards, and advice on No Win No Fee agreements.