Have you suffered a minor accident at work that has left you with injuries? Are you suffering from a soft tissue injury such as ligament damage or minor cuts and bruising? Was the accident caused by negligence? If so, you may be able to claim.
You might be under the misapprehension that since your injuries are minor, it is not worth making an accident at work claim. Your employer has a legal duty to protect you while at work, in terms of your health and safety.
Should they fail to do so, and you suffer an injury at work, you could have the legal right to claim compensation. This is the case whether your injuries are severe and life-changing or relatively minor.
In this guide, we take a look at the definition of minor accidents at work and show you what you should do about reporting minor accidents at work. We also give you insight into when and how to make a personal injury claim against an employer if you suffer a minor injury.
We hope you find this guide useful. However, if you would like to talk to us and get a free eligibility check on your case, please call 0800 408 7825. Alternatively, why not keep reading to learn more about how we can help you make a No Win No Fee claim.
Select A Section
- What Is A Minor Accident At Work?
- Health And Safety At Work – Statistics
- Examples Of Minor Accidents At Work
- Recording And Reporting A Minor Accident At Work
- How To Prove Your Minor Accident At Work
- Minor Accident At Work Compensation Amounts
- Start A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Claim
- Workplace Injury Claim Guides
If you suffer a minor accident at work that is not your fault, such as a slip, trip, or fall, leading to minor injuries, you could be eligible to claim personal injury compensation.
Even though you may recover completely from a minor injury, you could receive compensation for your pain and suffering and any costs relating to your accident or injury.
Defining what constitutes a minor accident resulting in injury could be tricky. According to the Judicial College Guidelines, such injuries could include those which are of short duration and that the injured party recovers completely within three months unless they are specific minor injuries referred to within the guidelines.
However, minor injuries can have varying recovery periods. For example, according to the 2019 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines, the minor neck injury category includes injuries with up to 2 years of duration.
What could be considered minor accidents at work?
A minor accident that happens at work could be related to:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Minor manual handling accidents
- Sharp objects or machinery
In some cases, minor injuries could even include those caused by electric shocks or cases of contact dermatitis.
To claim compensation, you would need to have evidence that your employer failed to protect your health and safety at work, as is their duty to you in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and their breach of duty led to the accident and your injuries. We offer examples of such incidents in a later section of this guide.
According to the most recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, in 2019/20, 693,000 people experienced an accident at work that caused them to suffer injuries. This information was gleaned from the Labour Force Survey.
168,000 of these caused an absence of over 7 days from work. 525,000 led to fewer than 7 days absence from work. We’ve included a graph showing the causes of accidents resulting in non-fatal injuries below.
There are lots of minor accidents at work that could happen due to your employer’s negligence in safeguarding you while at work. Some examples could include:
- Slips, trips and falls caused by poor housekeeping
- Dermatitis caused by lack of Personal Protective Equipment (for example, gloves) when employees need to handle harmful chemicals
- Minor manual handling accidents caused by lack of training
- Eye injuries caused by lack of safety goggles
- Poorly stacked goods in a warehouse falling onto a person and causing minor head injuries
- A minor burn injury or scald caused by poorly maintained machinery
These are just a few examples of the causes of minor accidents at work that could lead to a claim. If you would like us to check whether you could claim for your minor accident at work, we would be happy to assist you. Simply get in touch with an advisor today for free legal advice.
If your employer has a minor accident at work protocol, it should show you how to go about reporting and recording minor accidents at work. It may show you how to complete an accident at work report form.
Usually, your employer will have an accident book in which to complete your report. This is a legal obligation for any company that employs more than 10 people.
Reporting incidents to RIDDOR
For certain injuries, reporting accidents at work to the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) is a legal responsibility. Some of these reportable incidents include:
- Deaths of workers
- Fractures (unless to the fingers, thumbs or toes)
- Injuries leading to loss of sight
- Scalping that is treated in hospital
- Burns and scalds covering 10%+ of the body or those causing organ damage, respiratory problems or eye injury
- Head injuries that lead to loss of consciousness
- Injuries leading to incapacity to work for over 7 days
- Crush injuries causing harm to brain or other organs
- Those occurring in enclosed spaces leading to hypothermia or heat-sickness, or where hospital admission for 24 hours is required
Should your employer not have minor accidents at work protocol in place, you could go about recording minor accidents at work by sending an e-mail or letter to your employer containing details of the accident. This could be used as evidence in lieu of an accident report if you later decide to make a claim.
In order to make a personal injury claim for an accident that causes an injury at work, you would need evidence. A personal injury solicitor could help you gather evidence.
However, there are actions you could take right away that could help strengthen your claim:
- Take some photographs – if you are able to, you could snap some pictures of the accident scene. You could also take some photographs of your injuries.
- Report the accident – as we mentioned in the above section, you should follow the correct procedure for reporting accidents at work.
- Take witness details – if anyone saw what happened, it could be a good idea to see if you could take their contact details. Your personal injury solicitor could approach them for a statement.
- Seek medical attention – if you suffer an injury at work, you should seek medical attention, no matter how minor it appears to be. While this would not usually provide all the evidence you’d need, it could provide a record that you’d sought professional help.
You’ll usually also need to go to an independent medical evaluation appointment so that an independent medic can verify your injuries to prove your claim. A personal injury solicitor can arrange this for you.
If you would like help with making a personal injury claim for a minor accident at work, why not get in touch for case-specific guidance and support? If you have a valid claim, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your claim.
Instead of including a personal injury calculator, we’ve chosen to include a table below illustrating some potential compensation awards. This contains figures that are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, which is a publication that is used to help value claims.
If you’re not sure what bracket could be appropriate for your injuries, please call our knowledgeable advisors. They’ll be able to discuss your circumstances with you and accurately value your claim.
|Minor injuries not specified elsewhere||Recovery within seven days||A few hundred pounds to £650|
|Minor injuries not specified elsewhere||Recovery within twenty eight days||£650 to £1,290|
|Minor injuries not specified elsewhere||Recovery within three months||£1,290 to £2,300|
|Minor eye injuries||Causing initial pain and interference with vision (temporary)||£3,710 to £8,200|
|Minor neck injuries||Full recovery within 1-2 years||£4,080 to £7,410|
|Minor neck injuries||Full recovery within 3 months to 1 year||£2,300 to £4,080|
|Minor back injuries||Full or to nuisance level within 2-5 years||£7,410 to £11,730|
|Minor back injuries||Full recovery within 3 months to 2 years without surgery||£2,300 to £7,410|
|Minor back injuries||Recovery within three months||Up to £2,300|
|Minor soft tissue injuries to shoulder||Considerable pain but almost complete recovery within less than 2 years||Up to £7,410|
It is important to recognise that your compensation could include both general and special damages. General damages cover you for your loss of amenity, pain and suffering. This head of your claim could be worked out by referring to the report from your independent medical assessment alongside the Judicial College Guidelines.
As well as this, you could receive special damages for any financial loss your injuries have cause you. These could include care costs, travel and medical expenses, and even loss of earnings. To find out what costs you could claim for, please don’t hesitate to call our team for further guidance.
If you’re interested in claiming compensation but are concerned about the potential cost of legal representation, you might be interested to learn about No Win No Fee agreements. This is an agreement that allows you to utilise the services of a personal injury solicitor without having to pay their legal fees unless your claim is successfully settled.
You wouldn’t be asked to pay any upfront or ongoing fees. You’ll pay them a small, legally capped percentage of your payout if your claim is successful. This would be deducted from your payout. If your claim didn’t result in compensation, you wouldn’t pay your solicitor’s costs, nor the success fee.
If you’d like help finding a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can contact us via any of the following methods:
- Call the advice line on 0800 408 7825.
- Use the live chat service to discuss your case.
- Complete the online contact form, and an advisor will call you back.
Reporting Accidents – Find out more about reporting accidents that are not your fault.
Average Payouts For A Slip, Trip Or Fall – Find out more about payouts here.
Finding A Back Injury Lawyer – Find out how a back injury lawyer could help you get compensation.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – A charity that aims to reduce serious accidental injury through guidance and information.
Government Guidance On Injury At Work – You can find information for employers about compensation for workplace injuries here.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – Find out whether you could claim SSP if you’ve had to take time off work for your injuries and haven’t been paid in full.
We hope this minor accident at work guide has been useful to you.
Article by OE