Can I Get Compensation After A Serious Accident At Work?

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated on 6th November 2023. Do you need help getting compensation after a serious accident at work? Were you harmed in a severe or life-altering way because of something your employer failed to do? This article explains the legal expectations for employers under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 and what is needed to start a claim for compensation against a negligent employer.

Serious accident at work

Serious accident at work

If your employer failed to protect your health and safety whilst on the job and you suffered because of it, we can help. At Public Interest Lawyers we could connect you with a personal injury solicitor to look at your case today. Find out if we can assist by:

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  1. Who Could Claim For A Serious Accident At Work?
  2. What Is A Serious Accident And Injury At Work?
  3. What Evidence Do I Need To Make Serious Injury Claims?
  4. How Much Could You Claim For A Serious Accident At Work?
  5. Make A No Win No Fee Claim After A Serious Accident At Work

Who Could Claim For A Serious Accident At Work?

While you are at work, your employer owes you a duty of care to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your health, safety and welfare while you carry out work-related duties. This is set by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). If you suffer injuries in a serious accident at work, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation.  However, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria for personal injury claims.

All serious personal injury compensation claims must be supported with evidence that proves:

  • You were owed a duty of care.
  •  There was a breach in this duty.
  • Due to this breach, you suffered an injury.

Time Limits For Personal Injury Claims

In addition to meeting the above criteria, all serious injury claims must be started within the limitation period. For personal injury claims, this is generally 3 years from the date of the accident as per the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are some exceptions to this. These include:

  • Those without the mental capacity to handle their own legal proceedings have an indefinite suspension applied to the time limit. TWhile the time limit is suspended, a litigation friend can be appointed to bring forward a claim on behalf of the injured individual. However, if the individual regains the capacity necessary to claim and one was not started for them, they will have 3 years from the date their capacity was recovered to initiate proceedings.
  • Children under the age of 18 have a pause applied to the limitation period. This pause lasts until the injured party’s 18th During this time, a litigation friend can file the claim for them. However, if they turn 18 without a claim having been made, they will have 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday to begin the process.

If you would like to discuss the eligibility criteria and time limits for personal injury claims, please contact one of our team members.

If A Serious Accident Occurs At Work, What Do The RIDDOR Regulations Require You To Do?

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), an obligation is placed on employers and other people in control of work premises, such as those self-employed, to report a serious accident at work, certain occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE are a national regulator for workplace health and safety in Britain. 

If you were involved in or witnessed a serious incident, you should report the accident at work to your employer or the relevant health and safety officer. From here, it is your employer’s responsibility to determine if the incident needs to be reported to the HSE. Not all incidents need to be reported. However, they should be recorded in the accident log book.

If you have any questions about accident at work claims, speak with an advisor from our team.  

What Is A Serious Injury And Accident At Work?

Different types of incidents could result in a serious accident at work. These include:

  • Failure to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). For example, you could suffer a brain injury if you work on a construction site that has falling debris without a hard hat. Your employer is legally obligated to provide you with appropriate PPE if it is required to carry out your work duties safely.
  • Lack of training. For example, if you are expected to use a particular piece of machinery but aren’t trained in how to use it, you could suffer an amputation injury. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, your employer must provide you with training and ensure that you know how to safely use equipment. If they fail to do this and you are injured as a result, you could seek compensation.
  • Not maintaining work equipment. For example, if a ladder rung is unstable or broken, you could suffer multiple injuries falling from a height. All equipment should be regularly checked for damage and taken out of use until repairs are made. If you are injured because work equipment is not appropriately checked and maintained, you might be able to make a workplace injury claim.
  • Failure to carry out risk assessments. A risk assessment could identify areas where extra training or PPE may be needed. For example, you could suffer a serious back injury if the path you are expected to take is slippery and you experience a slip and fall accident.

If you have any questions about when serious injury claims could be filed, please speak with one of our team members. They’re available to give free advice about serious personal injury compensation claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To learn more about serious injury claims, head here

What Evidence Do I Need To Make Serious Injury Claims?

As with all personal injury claims, serious injury claims must be supported with sufficient evidence. This evidence will need to prove liability for your serious accident at work as well as the injuries you suffered as a result.

Here are a few examples of evidence that might be useful:

  • A copy of the accident book. It is a legal requirement for every workplace with 10 or more employees to have an accident log book. It should be filled out with your personal details and information about the accident, including the date and time of the incident.
  • A copy of your medical records. These can illustrate the nature of the injury you suffered and what treatment you required.
  • Witness contact details. If anyone witnessed the accident, they can be contacted at a later date for a statement.
  • Videos of the accident. These could include CCTV or mobile phone footage.
  • These could include images of the accident scene, such as a picture of faulty machinery if this caused your injury. You could also submit photos of any visible injuries.

If you have any questions about what evidence could support serious personal injury compensation claims, please ask one of our team members.

How Much Could You Claim For A Serious Accident At Work?

After a serious accident at work that was not your fault, you could pursue a compensation claim against your employer independently. Or with the help of a personal injury solicitor. If you choose to engage the services of a lawyer they can arrange for you to sit for an independent medical appointment to assess your injuries. This will create a report that can be used as evidence in your claim.

The table below is an excerpt from the Judicial College Guidelines. This publication lists guideline compensation brackets for injuries to acknowledge the pain, distress, and lifestyle damage caused i.e. general damages:

Injury severity guideline compensation award notes
multiple serious injuries multiple injuries Up to £1,000,000+ Multiple injuries that are serious in nature plus financial losses associated with the injuries.
brain damage very severe £282,010 to £403,990 24 hour reliance for basic needs, permanent disability
eyes total blindness (b) In the region of
permanent and complete loss of sight in both eyes
back severe (i) £91,090 to £160,980 spinal cord and nerve damage, severe pain and disability
neck severe (i) In the region of
incomplete paraplegia or resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis.
leg severe (i) £96,250 to £135,920 serious loss of tissue, gross leg shortening and bone graft
arm severe £96,160 to £130,930 almost requiring amputation
pelvis severe (i) £78,400 to £130,930 extensive fractures of the pelvis
chest injury chest, lung(s), and/or heart (b) £65,740 to £100,670 traumatic injury causing permanent damage and impairment of function
loss of earning wage losses Up to £100,000 and over Income lost due to time taken off work can be reimbursed under special damages.

Please be aware, these brackets of damages are not certified awards – only guidelines.

In addition to general damages, you can include proof of financial harm. ‘Special damages’ require documented evidence to show how you lost or needed to use money whilst trying to cope with your injuries.

Perhaps you suffered a loss of earnings or had to pay for medical treatments unavailable on the NHS? With the correct receipts, payslips, or proof of purchase, it can be possible to request these sums back as part of your settlement.

Make A No Win No Fee Claim After A Serious Accident At Work

At Public Interest Lawyer we could connect you with a personal injury specialist today. You could benefit from legal representation under a No Win No Fee agreement (or Conditional Fee Agreement) which means:

  • You don’t have to pay upfront fees to hire a solicitor
  • No hidden costs
  • If for some reason your claim is unsuccessful, there are no fees due to a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor at all
  • A case that wins requires a maximum fee of 25% to cover the solicitor’s costs

No Win No Fee can enable you to appoint a solicitor regardless of your financial position. Solicitors can also offer you advice and support when returning to work. Why not get in touch to see how we could help you after a serious accident at work? It’s free to enquire, totally confidential, and could help you:

Learn More About Claiming Compensation After A Serious Accident At Work