Can I Sue A Former Employer For An Injury?
By Daniel Scott. Last updated on 10th January 2022. If you’re looking to sue a former employer for an injury in the workplace, the likelihood is that some time may have passed since you were injured. However, whether you’ve just left their employ or you haven’t been working for them for a while, you could still have the right to claim work injury compensation. You may be able to claim if you were an agency worker or temporary worker too. We have put together this guide to explain how to go about making a personal injury claim against a former employer, and what you may need to know before you go ahead.
In the sections below, we explain the types of workplace accident and injury that could lead to a claim, the legislation that protects your health and safety at work and how your former employer could have breached their duty of care. We also discuss what to do if the company has ceased trading since you left. In addition to this, we offer answers to frequently asked questions surrounding workplace accident claims, and explain how UK lawyers and the courts could calculate your compensation settlement.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Here at UK Law, we could help you if you’re looking to sue a former employer for a workplace accident you believe was their fault. We could provide you with a free, no-obligation eligibility check to see if you could have a valid claim.
We’d also be happy to answer your questions and connect you with our panel of personal injury solicitors, who could begin your claim for you. Our panel all work under No Win No Fee agreements, so there would be no legal fees to pay until your claim ends.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Suing A Former Employer
- What Is A Workplace Injury Claim Against A Former Employer?
- Is A Former Employer Liable For My Injuries?
- What Happens If The Company Has Ceased Trading?
- Workplace Injury Claim Compensation Calculator
- Why Make A Claim Against A Former Employer?
- Workplace Injury Statistics
- Time Limits To Sue A Former Employer
- I Suffered A Workplace Accident, What Should I Do?
- Sue A Former Employer For An Injury With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Similar And Related Guides
- FAQs About Suing A Former Employer
When you’ve worked for an employer, been injured at work and then left a company, you could assume you wouldn’t be able to claim compensation retrospectively. You could feel that since you no longer have a contract with your employer, so you wouldn’t be able to sue a former employer, but if you’re claiming within the personal injury claims time limit that applies to your case, you could still be eligible to claim compensation.
All employers have a duty under the Health And Safety at Work etc Act 1974, to protect you from injury due to your work or workplace. They could do so by ensuring you have the relevant protective equipment and training, making sure that hazards were identified and dealt with so that they do not pose a risk to you, for example.
They could also regularly risk assess the workplace and your job role to ensure that all identified risks were mitigated. A failure to do so could lead to a workplace injury. If you could prove that your employer had been negligent with your health and safety, and this caused your injury, you could be eligible to sue your former employer for personal injury compensation.
A workplace accident could happen for a number of reasons. You might have suffered a workplace injury in a slip, trip or fall incident, or perhaps you’ve been injured by poorly maintained equipment. Maybe you weren’t given personal protective equipment so you could do your job safely or you weren’t given manual handling training and suffered a back injury at work.
No matter what type of accident you may have had at work, if your employer has failed to protect your health and safety at work, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries. Whether you’ve suffered a broken bone, burns, sprains or strains, or you’re looking to make a personal injury claim against an employer for stress, there are various damages you could claim if you could prove your injuries are your employer’s fault.
Can I Sue My Employer If I Get Injured At Work Without A Lawyer?
If you’re looking to sue a former employer, whether you left during your probation period, or after years of service, UK lawyers could help you. While it isn’t a legal requirement for you to have a personal injury solicitor help you with your claim, many people prefer to have such assistance.
That way, they can rest assured that all the legal paperwork was being taken care of professionally. They could also help you fight for the maximum compensation possible for your personal injury claim against an employer.
Proving your former employer is liable for your injuries is something you would need to do in order to have a successful claim. In general terms, if you could prove that your employer had a duty of care towards you, and their breach of this duty led to your injury, you could be eligible to claim.
When Can I Sue My Employer For Negligence In The UK?
A common question regarding workplace accident claims is ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights?’. In general terms, you have the right to be protected from undue risks to your health and safety due to your work or workplace in as much as is practically possible.
The legislation employers must abide by in this regard include:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
- Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
If your employer breaches your rights, and you suffer injury as a result, you could be eligible for compensation for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. You could also be eligible to include out of pocket costs in injury at work claims, whether your claim is against a current or former employer.
Injury At Work Statistics
Injuries happen every year in workplaces across the country. They can take many forms and the outcomes can vary too. When an employee is injured at work, their employer may need to report it through the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
The RIDDOR statistics for 2020/21 show some of the most common causes of workplace injuries over that period. The graph below has been put together using these figures. As you can see, the most common cause of injury is slips, strips and falling on the same level. This could be due to something like a wet floor or damage to walking surfaces.
Whilst all of the injuries that were reported weren’t necessarily caused by the negligence of the employer(s) in question, the figures do give a good idea of how regularly workplace injuries can occur. However, it’s important to remember that your injury must have been caused by your employer’s negligence in order to make a claim for compensation.
If you believe the company you worked for has ceased trading, you may think you would be unable to claim compensation. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Making a claim against an employer that has ceased trading could be more difficult, however, in some cases it could still be done. Even if a company is in liquidation. When you make a claim against your workplace they have to by law have insurance in place to pay for this – Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969
How Can I Claim Against An Ex Employer If They’re Closed Down?
If your former employer had liability insurance at the time of the accident, you could still claim against their policy. You would need to find out what insurance company the policy was with to make a claim.
If you’re thinking of suing a former employer for an accident at work, you might have searched for a personal injury claims calculator to get some idea of how much compensation you could achieve. We should point out that these online tools only offer a very rough guide, as all claims are different.
Claims are assessed on their own merits. During your case, you’ll need to undergo an assessment with an independent medical expert. They will produce a medical report that could be used in combination with a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to hone in on a value for each injury.
We have produced a table with figures from this publication to give you some idea of possible payout brackets. This particular sum, which is awarded to you for your physical pain and mental suffering, is known as general damages.
|Injury||Severity||JCG Bracket For Compensation (approx)|
|Neck injuries||Severe (iii)||£45,470 to
|Neck injuries||Moderate (iii)||£7,890 to
|Back injuries||Severe (iii)||£38,780 to £69,730|
|Back injuries||Moderate (ii)||£12,510 to £27,760|
|Pelvic/Hip injuries||Moderate (i-)||£26,590 to £39,170|
|Arm injuries||Severe (a)||£96,160 to £130,930|
|Arm injuries||Less severe (c)||£19,200 to £39,170|
|Leg injuries||Very serious (ii)||£54,830 to £87,890|
|Leg injuries||Moderate (iv)||£27,760 to £39,200|
|Whiplash||One or more whiplash injuries with psychological injuries lasting 18-24 months||£4,345|
|Whiplash||One or more whiplash injuries with symptoms lasting between 18-24 months.||£4,215|
In addition to general damages, you can also be awarded special damages. These are amounts that can reimburse you for expenses and outgoings that have taken place due to your injuries. For example, you may be able to claim for a loss of earnings if you have had to miss time at work.
How Long Can I Claim After An Accident At Work If Exceptions Apply?
Usually, you could have three years from the date of an accident to start a claim, or the date you discovered your employer’s negligence contributed to your harm. However, some exceptions could apply. These time limits are all stated in the Limitation Act 1980.
- Claims made by a young person – If you were injured at work under the age of 18, you could have until you turn 21 to claim.
- Lack of capacity to claim – if someone lacks the capacity to claim, someone else could do so on their behalf. If someone regains the capacity to claim, they could have three years from their discharge from mental health services to do so.
If you’d like further clarification on how long you could have to claim, we could help you. Simply call the team and we’ll be glad to assist.
Are you wondering what the accident at work procedure would be if you’ve left the company you were injured at? This depends on whether you’d reported the accident before you’d left or not. Ideally, you should make an accident at work report to your employer or the health and safety officer as soon as possible after an accident.
Your employer should record this in the accident book if they have one. There are also certain injuries and accidents that your employer must report under The Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
Can I Claim Compensation From My Employer If I Didn’t Report The Accident?
If, for some reason you haven’t reported the accident, and have since left the company, you should write to your former employer and give them your accident report. You should include all relevant details and keep a copy of your report. While it might be more difficult to gather evidence if you haven’t reported an accident, this may not stop you from claiming compensation.
What Else Do I Need To Do?
There are other steps you could take if you’ve hurt yourself at work, whether you intend to make a claim or not. These could include:
- Seeking medical attention – it would be wise to ensure you get the right treatment and advice for your injury. This could also provide evidence that you’ve been injured.
- Gathering witness details – you could also take down the contact details of witnesses. Your lawyer could approach them for a statement later on.
- Taking photographs – if you photograph the scene or your injuries, this could be useful when it comes to proving your claim.
- Keeping receipts – If you incur expenses due to your injuries, you should keep records of these expenses.
- Get legal advice – we would be happy to advise you as to whether you could have a valid claim. We could even connect you with our panel of solicitors who could assist with your claim.
If you want to sue a former employer for a workplace injury, you might prefer to have a solicitor to help you. That way, the legal legwork would be taken care of, and you could concentrate on your recovery. While not all UK law firms offer you the chance to fund your solicitor with a No Win No Fee agreements our panel of personal injury solicitors do.
How Do No Win No Fee Solicitors Work?
This type of claim requires you to sign a No Win No Fee agreement with your solicitor. This effectively promises to pay them a small, legally capped percentage of your payout once it comes through. It is often referred to as a success fee.
Once you sign the agreement and your personal injury solicitor receives it, they will be able to start your claim
When your compensation comes through, your personal injury solicitor will deduct their success fee, leaving the balance for your benefit.
If your solicitor doesn’t achieve a payout for you, you don’t pay them the success fee.
If you have questions about making claims under these terms, we’d be happy to answer them. Please don’t hesitate to call our team and we’ll be glad to assist. You can reach us via our contact form, or by calling 020 3870 4868.
Can I Claim Compensation From An Employer If I’m Not An Employee? – Here you can find our guide to claiming compensation if you are not classed as an employee.
Injured Due To Criminal Activity – Here, you can find our guide relating to criminal injury claims. If you’ve been injured at work due to criminal activity, this guide could be useful.
Accident Working In A Gym – This guide relates to gym accidents. If you work at a gym and were injured in an accident there, this could be interesting reading.
Compensation For Accidents At Work – You can find out more about accident at work compensation on the government’s website.
Health and Safety Legislation – Here, you can find the legislation that applies to you.
RIDDOR Information -You can find information on reporting workplace accidents under RIDDOR here.
Who Will Pay My Compensation?
Usually, when you sue a former employer, it will be the insurer that will pay your compensation. Most of the negotiations for compensation could take place between the insurance company, their lawyers and your lawyer or yourself.
Will I Need To Meet My Solicitor In Person?
Due to technological advancements in recent years, it isn’t necessary for you to choose a solicitor based locally. You could have the whole of the UK to choose from when finding a personal injury lawyer for your case.
Much of your claim could be handled via phone, e-mail, video, fax and other digital communications platforms. Therefore you would not necessarily have to meet your lawyer in person. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot meet your lawyer in person. Your lawyer could travel to meet you or vice versa.
Will My Case Go To Court?
When people sue a former employer for a workplace accident, they could assume that their case would go to court. This is not the case in a large number of claims. Many claims settle without the courts being involved at all.
However, sometimes negotiations may not go well and the liable party could dispute or refuse your claim. If so, you could file court paperwork. Solicitors could support you as you take your former employer through the courts to get the compensation you deserve.
How Long Do Claims Take?
Another common question claimants may ask is how long their compensation will take to come through. This depends on the case. Some claims settle relatively quickly if they are straightforward and the liable party admits fault. However, in some cases, where injuries are complex, or the liable party disputes your injuries or version of events, it could take some time for your claim to end.
Thank you for reading your guide. Hopefully, now you have more of an idea regarding whether or not you can sue a former employer.
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