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

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.

What are my rights after I had an accident at work guide

What are my rights after I had an accident at work guide

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.

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A Guide On What Your Rights Are After Having An Accident At Work

‘What are my rights after having an accident at work?’ is a common and somewhat complex question we get asked. It could also lead to other, more specific questions, such as:

  • ‘What are my rights if I’m injured at work and I have to take time off?’
  • ‘What are the accident at work employer’s responsibilities in the UK?’
  • ‘What are my rights if I’m injured at work due to my employer’s negligence towards health and safety?’
  • ‘Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?’
  • ‘What are my rights after an accident at work when it comes to getting paid?’

These questions and more are answered in the sections of this guide. Below, we take a general look at worker’s rights, as well as looking in detail at your rights if you’ve been injured or fallen ill at work and it was someone else’s fault.

What Are Workplace Rights?

Before we answer the question ’what are my rights after I had an accident at work?’, let us discuss what workplace rights are.

Simply, put, workplace rights are legal or contractual rights that you are afforded while you are in employment.

Some legal working rights you have include:

  • Being paid the National Minimum Wage
  • Being protected from unlawful deductions from your pay
  • Having the statutory minimum holiday allowance
  • Being protected from having to work more than 48 hours on average per week
  • Being entitled to receive Statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoption pay, and shared parental pay
  • Having your health and safety at work protected
  • Being protected from unfair dismissal

Some contractual working rights you might have if they are written into your contract include:

  • Contractual holiday rights
  • Contractual sick pay
  • Paid overtime

In this guide, we look at what rights after an accident at work you would have from a legal standpoint.

What Rights Do You Have If Injured 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 Are My Rights After An Accident At Work If My Employer Has Been Negligent?

If your employer has failed to take reasonable action to protect your safety and your health at work and you have become ill or injured as a result, you have the right to claim compensation from your employer. You could claim compensation for both the injuries and illnesses you’ve suffered and the financial expenses caused by them.

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 ‘what are my rights after I had an accident at work?’, 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.

Injury AwardNotes
Back - minorUp to £2,300Slight injuries which fully resolve within 3 months
Neck - minor£4,080 to £7,410Covers strains and sprains. Injuries usually resolve within 1-2 years. This category also relates to exacerbation or acceleration injuries
Arm - moderate£6,190 to £18,020A straightforward fracture of the forearm.
Shoulder - moderate£7,410 to £11,980Frozen shoulder with limited movement and discomfort which could persist for up to 2 years.
Ankle - very severe£46,980 to £65,420A significant fracture with extensive soft tissue damage. May be deformities or in some cases, below-knee amputation.
Elbow - severe£36,770 to £51,460A severely disabling injury. Limited mobility. Effects may be permanent.

Costs And Losses You Could Be Compensated For

In addition to the compensation you could receive for the physical and mental suffering you’ve experienced because of your injuries or illness, you could also claim for special damages. These are designed to compensate victims of personal injury for the financial losses and costs their injuries or illnesses have caused.

They could include:

  • Travel costs
  • Care costs
  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses

You’d have to be able to prove these costs and losses were sustained because of the injury to include them within a claim. Documents such as receipts, bills, payslips and bank statements could be crucial in ensuring you get all the compensation you are entitled to claim.

Your Right To Sick Pay If Injured In The Workplace

‘Do I get paid if I’ve had an accident at work?’ This is another question that could be considered somewhat complicated and it would depend on your employment status, among other things.

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 here.

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.

Time Limits To Make A Claim Against Your Employer

While you have the right to claim after an accident at work in which you are injured, there is a limit to how long you could have to claim, according to the Limitation Act 1980.

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.

No Win No Fee Claims After A Workplace Accident Or Injury

Now you know your rights after an accident at work, you might wish to exercise your right to utilise the services of a personal injury solicitor to assist you with your claim. You may be pleased to know that you don’t have to pay a lawyer for their services upfront if they take your case on under a Conditional Fee Agreement. These are what are often referred to as No Win No Fee claims.

If you start a claim under No Win No Fee terms, you’d be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement to sign. This document sets out a success fee, which you’d pay to your solicitor once your compensation had been paid out. The success fee is capped and is usually a small percentage of your final settlement. It is only payable if compensation has been achieved.

If your lawyer doesn’t successfully negotiate a settlement for you, you don’t have to pay the fee. You don’t have to pay the costs incurred by your solicitor while they were fighting your claim, either.

We could connect you with a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer from our panel if you would like to find someone who works under these terms. We could also answer any questions you might have about No Win No Fee agreements over the phone.

Speaking To A Solicitor About Your Claim

As well as answering the question ‘what are my rights after an accident at work?’, we hope this guide has provided you with confidence that you could begin a claim without the fear of being treated differently by your employer.

If you would like to ask us any questions about claiming, or would like our help with finding a lawyer that could help you, you can reach us in a number of ways:

Quick References

Accident At Work Reporting Procedure RIDDOR – This HSE publication discusses the procedures employers should take to report accidents.

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.

 

Guide by OE

Edited by II