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

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.

how long to claim for an accident at work

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

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.

To contact our team of advisers, you can:

  • Give them a ring on 0800 408 7825 to have a chat.
  • Chat with them over our live chat to receive an instant reply.
  • Fill in our online form to receive a reply whenever you’re available next. 

Select A Section

  1. How Long Do You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?
  2. Are There Exceptions To The Three Year Limitation Period?
  3. How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At Work Involving Under 18s?
  4. Fatal Accidents In The Workplace
  5. How Long After An Accident At Work Can You Sue?
  6. Accident At Work Claim Calculator
  7. Talk To A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Solicitor
  8. Helpful Resources

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

In order to make a personal injury claim, you must have been in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. The accident also must have caused you to sustain an injury.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that all employers have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect employees from harm. If your employer breached this duty of care and you suffered an injury as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. 

You can also claim for illnesses that are caused by employer negligence. For example, you may work with asbestos without the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This could cause you to contract asbestosis.

The Limitation Act 1980 outlines the general personal injury claims time limit, which is three years. This can run from the date you suffered the accident or from when you realised your injuries were caused by negligence. 

However, there are some exceptions to this time limit. Read on to find out more about how long you have to claim for an accident at work.

Are There Exceptions To The Three Year Limitation Period?  

Although the personal injury claims time limit is generally three years, there are some exceptions.

If you’ve been made ill because of employer negligence, you might not realise this at the time of exposure to whatever made you ill. For example, if you’ve worked with asbestos, you may not be diagnosed with asbestosis until years after you worked in the role where you were exposed. In this case, the time limit would run from the “date of knowledge”. This is the date that you became aware that your condition resulted from your employer’s negligence.

If you’re under 18, the time limit is suspended until you turn 18. Once you turn  18, you have 3 years to start a claim if this hasn’t already been done. Before this, a litigation friend can claim on your behalf. This is someone who represents you in your claim and acts in your best interest.

Moreover, if you lack the mental capacity to claim, the three-year limit begins in the event that your recovery commences. Alternatively, someone can act as a litigation friend to make a claim on your behalf while you lack the capacity to do so. 

In some cases, you might make an accident at work claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This could be appropriate if you were assaulted at work. In these cases, the time limit is 2 years. 

To find out more about the different claim time limits and the exceptions that apply, you can get in touch with our team of advisers today. They could connect you with a lawyer from our panel who could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At Work Involving Under 18s?

As people can legally start work at 16 in the UK, you may have suffered an accident at work while under the legal age of majority. The personal injury claims time limit is slightly different in child accident claims. 

If you’d like to make a claim while under the age of 18, someone can become a litigation friend to make the claim on your behalf. This litigation friend can be anyone over the age of 18 who is able to act in your best interests. 

Once you turn 18, you can pursue your own claim, provided that one hasn’t already been made for you. The three-year limit would apply, meaning that you would have until you turn 21 to start your claim.

If you claim while underage and your claim is successful, the compensation money will be placed into a locked bank. You’ll be able to access it when you turn 18.

If you’d like to chat in more depth about how long you have to claim for an accident at work, you can contact our team of advisers. They’ll be happy to help by offering free legal advice.

Fatal Accidents In The Workplace

If your family member has passed due to an accident at work, you may be able to make a personal injury claim on their behalf. Employers have a duty of care to protect their employers from danger. If they breach this duty of care, they could be liable for a negligence claim.

The accidental death claims time limit is three years from the date your loved one passed. However, this can also run from the date the death is linked to workplace negligence. For example, you might have contracted a disease that proves fatal but which is not initially linked to your work conditions. In this case, the three-year limit would run from the date of knowledge and not the date of death. 

If you’d like more information and guidance about fatal accident claims, our team of advisers can offer free legal advice. If you have a valid claim, they can connect you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel to begin the claims process.

How Long After An Accident At Work Can You Sue?

The table below includes information about the time limits of different claims. This includes personal injury claims, child claims, fatal injury claims and criminal injury claims.

Type of claimHow long you have to claim
Personal injury claims (for example, workplace accidents, road traffic accidents, and public place accidents).Three years from the exact date of the accident or from when you discover that negligence caused your injury.
Child accident claims.If you’re under 18, the three-year time limit begins on your birthday. Before this, someone can claim for you as a litigation friend.
Lack of mental capacity claims. The time limit is suspended while the claimant lacks mental capacity. A litigation friend can claim for them at any point. If they recover, the 3-year limit commences.
Fatal injury claims.Three years from the date of the death or the date that it's found the death happened because of negligence.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).Two-year time limit for claims made through the CICA. This can be extended if there are exceptional circumstances that apply.

If you need more advice about how long to claim for an accident at work you have, you can get in touch with our team of advisers today. They’re available around the clock to offer free legal advice and assess how much compensation you may be owed.

Accident At Work Claim Calculator

Some articles have a personal injury claims calculator, but we’ve chosen to include a compensation table instead. This illustrates how much compensation different injuries may be worth depending on their severity.

The below tables includes the latest figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a publication used to help value personal injury claims. 

Injury:Severity:Notes:Compensation:
Mental anguishFear of impending death, or fear that life expectancy will be reduced.£4,380
Ankle injuriesSevereLong treatment period with the ankle in plaster for a long time. £29,380 to £46,980
Ankle injuriesModerateFractures and tears to the ligaments that make it hard to walk on uneven ground.£12,900 to £24,950
Brain damage Less severe A good recovery will have been made. However, all normal functions may not have been restored so there could be some impact on memory and mood. £14,380 to £40,410
Eye injuries Minor These injuries could be caused by incidents like exposure to smoke or being struck in the eye. Vision will be temporarily interfered with. £3,710 to £8,200
Lung disease Where a young person is seriously disabled by the disease and suffers a premature death. £94,470 to £127,530
Back injuries Severe (iii) Including disc lesions or disc fractures. These injuries will lead to chronic conditions entailing disabilities. £36,390 to £65,440
Clavicle fracture Award within this bracket will depend on the severity of the injury and whether any permanent residual symptoms persist. £4,830 to £11,490
Shoulder injury Minor (ii) A soft tissue injury that recovers within a year. £2,300 to £4,080

A claim can be made up of general and special damages. General damages compensate for the physical and mental effect an injury has had on you.

The above table shows the general damages each injury may be worth according to the severity. The awarded bracket depends on how long the recovery takes and how severe the injury is.

General damages compensate for the physical and mental effect an injury has had on someone. Special damages compensate for the financial effect the injury has had on you. For example, you may have paid your own money on prescription medication or had to pay for travel to and from medical appointments. 

For more information on how much you could be owed in compensation, speak to an advisor from our team today. They could also confirm how long you have to claim for your accident at work.

Talk To A No Win No Fee Accident At Work Solicitor

A No Win No Fee agreement is also sometimes known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. It’s a contractual agreement between you and your lawyer stating the outcome your lawyer must achieve in order for them to receive payment.

If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay your solicitor’s fees. If your case is successful, your lawyer will take a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. The legal cap ensures you’ll still receive the majority of the awarded compensation. 

You can contact our friendly team of advisers to discuss No Win No Fee agreements in more detail. They’d be happy to offer you legal advice for free and advise you about your next steps.

If you have a legitimate claim, you can be connected to a personal injury lawyer from our panel to begin the claims process. You can contact our team of advisers by:

  • Calling them on 0800 408 7825 to discuss your claim.
  • Filling out our claims form online to receive a reply whenever you’re free.
  • Talking to them on our live chat to receive a response immediately. 

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.

Thank you for reading our article about how long to claim for an accident at work you have.

Article by OA

Publisher ET