Can You Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them?

By Cat Way. Last updated on 31st May 2022. In this guide, we aim to answer commonly asked questions including ‘Can you sue your employer while still working for them?’ and ‘When can I sue my employer for a workplace accident?’ If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, it may have happened due to negligence on the part of your employer.

If that’s the case, then you could be entitled to receive compensation from your employer. You may, however, ask questions such as ‘can you sue your employer while still working for them?’ 

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Can you sue your employer while still working for them?

You may also wonder if claiming compensation could create problems with your employer. Some people may fear that claiming could affect their job security or their relationship with their managers.

If you are injured at work and it wasn’t your fault, you should be entitled to make a compensation claim whether you still work for that company or not. In this guide, we’ll explain your rights in regards to seeking compensation from your employer while still working for them. We’ll also look at the possible reasons you could have for claiming against your current employer.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Our advisors are here and standing by the help you. We are available 24/7 for you to get in touch and ask for advice. We will have some questions to ask you so that we can offer you more accurate guidance regarding your situation.

Once we know more about your accident and related injuries, we may be able to connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel. If we believe you could have an eligible claim for compensation, then we will help you get the process started.

You may want to make a claim against your current employer but are unsure if you can. If you sue your employer while still working for them, they cannot legally dismiss you for this reason alone. You have a right to claim compensation for injuries caused by negligence.

Get in touch today.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Suing Your Employer While Still Working For Them
  2. What Are Accidents And Injuries In The Workplace?
  3. Circumstances In Which You Could Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them
  4. Things To Consider Before You Sue Your Employer
  5. What Are Your Rights To Sue Your Employer?
  6. How To Record Your Workplace Accident
  7. How Much Can I Sue My Employer For After An Injury At Work?
  8. Can I Be Fired For Having An Accident Or Making A Claim?
  9. How Much Time Do I Have To Sue My Employer?
  10. I Was Harmed Because Of My Employers Negligence, What Should I Do?
  11. Do You Handle Claims Against Employers On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  12. Contact Us For More Help
  13. Other Information Relating To ‘Can You Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them?’
  14. FAQs About If You Can Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them

Everything You Need To Know About Suing Your Employer While Still Working For Them

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident and it wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. If your employer is at fault for your injuries, then you’re entitled to claim compensation from them. 

Some people could feel nervous about taking such action against their employer. They may worry about how it could affect their job security. Or they may be concerned about how it could affect the attitude of their employer towards them.

There is legislation in place which is designed to protect the safety of employees in the workplace. Employees also have the legal right to take appropriate legal action against employers when necessary. There are also laws to protect workers from unfair treatment if they take legal action. Read on to learn more about what exact rights workers have if they want to claim against their current employer.

What Are Accidents And Injuries In The Workplace?

Your employer has a legal obligation to make sure your working environment is kept as risk-free as is reasonably possible. This is known as their duty of care. This responsibility is included in section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

If there is an avoidable hazard present and it leads to an employee being injured as a result, this is seen as a breach of the employer’s duty of care. They are said to have acted negligently. Employer negligence is a legitimate reason to make a claim for compensation, even while you still work for them. So for those wondering “can you sue your employer while still working for them?” – the answer is yes.

There can be a wide range of circumstances that could lead to a workplace injury caused by your employer’s negligence. The graph below has been taken from the website for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It shows the cause of workplace places injuries that were reported to RIDDOR in 2020/21.

As you can see, slips, trips, and falls were the most common cause of workplace injuries. The statistics show that they were responsible for 33% of them. To illustrate how negligence could cause these kinds of injuries, there may have been a spillage on the floor that was not immediately cleaned up. Alternatively, a stairway could have been damaged and caused you to trip.

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Circumstances In Which You Could Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, it is worth considering the circumstances which contributed to the accident. It is also worth considering the legal requirements your employer is meant to follow regarding the protection of employees’ safety.

As mentioned above, your employer has a legal responsibility to manage your health and safety. This is known as their duty of care. It is not an absolute duty, it is a reasonable one. As part of their duty of care, an employer is legally required to take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of injury to their workers.

The way an employer’s duty of care works depends on how the business operates. To summarise, certain legislation obliges employers to identify potential risks and hazards which could cause injuries to staff within their workplace. The employers should then take reasonable action to minimise the danger from these potential risks.

Can I sue my employer? What to consider

If you are injured during work, there are certain questions worth asking about your employer. These apply regardless of what exact injuries you have and the details of the accident which caused them. Could your employer have reasonably foreseen the events that occurred which caused your injuries?

Did action or a lack of action from your employer contribute to your injuries? If the answer is yes to both, then you could have grounds to claim against your employer for negligence. This applies whether you are still working for your employer or have left them since suffering your injuries.

If you’ve had an accident at work, you may still be unsure if the circumstances justify taking legal action. You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on potentially claiming for your accident.

Things To Consider Before You Sue Your Employer

Starting a compensation claim against your employer could feel daunting. Therefore, you’ll want to be confident that you have solid grounds to start legal action. There are a few actions to consider if you are thinking about making a personal injury claim against your employer.

Understand your rights as an employee

It may prove valuable to familiarise yourself with your employer’s grievance policies and procedures. You could potentially speak to your Human Resources department to access this info. You may also be able to access them through your company’s intranet. Also, check your contract of employment—this will contain details of your rights.

Keep notes of your accident, injuries and other relevant details

When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, it could be useful to keep notes of what has happened to you. In cases where there is a lack of witnesses or other solid evidence, it can be more difficult to prove your employer has breached your rights. 

Your notes could explain important info such as what injuries you’ve suffered. They could also explain the type of accident which caused them and why the accident happened. The notes you take could prove useful if your claim ends up going to court.

It’s also important to log your accident in the work accident book. Details of what happened and how it occurred should be recorded. Ideally, complete this as soon after the accident as possible, and make sure it’s you that enters it and not a manager. If someone else completes it, double-check it before signing.

Make an official complaint

You may want to get in touch with your Human Resources department to make a complaint. If you do so, you should make them aware of the injuries you’ve suffered and the incident which caused them. This could lead the department to start an official investigation into your workplace accident. 

If you are part of a trade union, you could also make them aware of what happened. A representative from the union could possibly advise you on what action to take following a workplace injury.

You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on what action to take if you’re considering suing your employer.

What Are Your Rights To Sue Your Employer?

Some people may ask the question ‘can I sue my employer?’ because they are unsure what rights they have following an accident at work.

You may have the right to start a compensation claim against your employer if they breach the duty of care which they owe you to protect you from harm while in work and this breach leads directly to you suffering harm. Whatever injuries you may have and however severe they may be, you may be able to seek compensation for them if they were ultimately caused by your employer’s negligence. If there is evidence that shows your employer’s negligence has caused you harm, it is worth seeking legal advice on whether you can claim. This is something UK Law could help you with.

You can contact UK Law for free if you have any questions about your rights to claim against your employer. Our panel of personal injury lawyers can also provide advice if there is a specific claim you’re considering making against your employer.

How To Record Your Workplace Accident

There is legislation that requires certain work-related injuries, illnesses or incidents to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This legislation is known as RIDDOR – The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

All employees should report workplace accidents to their manager or supervisor. You have a legal requirement to correctly follow RIDDOR at your workplace if you are considered a ‘responsible person’. These can include employers, managers or supervisors.

A workplace accident needs to be reported under RIDDOR if any of the following categories apply to it:

  • Fatal accidents and non-fatal injuries
  • Occupational diseases
  • Dangerous occurrences, also known as ‘near misses’
  • Incidents that cause an employee to be absent from work for more than seven days
  • Incidents that involve gases

To report an accident under RIDDOR, an employee should usually follow these steps:

  1. Check if there’s no immediate risk of danger.
  2. Make sure that colleagues involved in the accident receive the appropriate medical treatment if necessary.
  3. Report the accident to a manager or supervisor (this may be the last step an employee can follow if they are not a manager or supervisor themself).
  4. Record the incident in the company’s accident book or a similar type of log.
  5. Report the incident under RIDDOR to the HSE. This is usually done online.

How Much Can I Sue My Employer For After An Injury At Work?

When you successfully sue your employer for an injury at work, you will receive general damages. These aim to compensate you for your injuries and related loss of amenity, but the amount you receive may differ depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, consideration may be given to:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How long your recovery will take
  • The effect your injuries have on your working and social life
  • The cost of your treatment

As such, it can be hard to find an average amount for compensation payments when you are suing your employer. However, the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can provide some guideline amounts that are often used by solicitors to help them value your claim accurately. You can find some examples of this illustrated below. The figures should only be used as a guide.

InjurySeverityCompensation
Brain InjuryVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990
Brain InjuryModerately Severe£219,070 to £282,010
Brain InjuryLess Severe£15,320 to £43,060
Face Injury - ScarringVery Severe£29,780 to £97,330
Face Injury - ScarringLess Severe£17,960 to £48,420
Face Injury - ScarringLess Significant£3,950 to £13,740
Back InjuryModerate£24,990 to £38,490
Back InjuryMinor£4,350 to £7,890
Shoulder InjuryModerate£7,890 to £12,770
Shoulder InjuryMinor£4,350 to £7,890

As part of your compensation, you may be able to claim special damages when suing your employer. These cover the financial losses your injuries might have caused, and can include:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Travel costs
  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Housing adjustments, for example having a stairlift fitted

Please ensure you have sufficient evidence when claiming these costs back under special damages, such as payslips and receipts.

To learn more about what you could claim for when you sue your employer, contact our expert team today. They can offer free legal advice, as well as an estimated value of what your claim may be worth.

Can I sue my employer for other damages?

In addition to covering general damages, compensation payouts for work injuries can also account for financial losses. Such losses fall under special damages. The money you receive under special damages can potentially cover the following:

  • The money spent on medical treatment for your workplace injuries.
  • Money spent on travel to receive your medical treatment.
  • Loss of earnings created due to having to take unpaid time off work recovering from your injuries.

To learn more about what you can include within an accident at work compensation claim, as well as get a more concrete idea of what you could receive, please get in touch with our team.

Can I Be Fired For Having An Accident Or Making A Claim?

Some people may worry that making a compensation claim against their current employer could affect their job security. If you have good reason to believe negligence on the part of your employer contributed to your injuries, then you have the right to claim against them. 

Even if you’re already aware of this, you may still be concerned about how your employer will react. You may fear that they will make life difficult for you in the future or even fire you in retaliation.

By law, an employer cannot dismiss one of their staff for making a compensation claim against them. If it is established that a workplace accident was caused by negligent behaviour by an employee, then that employee could reasonably be dismissed by their employer. However, an employer can’t fire one of their workers simply for being involved in an accident or for taking legal action on it.

Can you sue your employer while still working for them if they make your working life difficult?

Unfortunately, some employers may decide to fire an employee when they start a compensation claim. If this happens to you, then you could have grounds to sue your employer for unfair dismissal. If your employer does not fire you but takes steps to make life difficult for you at work, you may feel pressured to leave the company. Should this happen, you could claim against your employer for constructive dismissal.

We can support you with both claims for personal injury and for issues relating to employment law. Simply get in touch on the number at the top of this page to find out more.

How Much Time Do I Have To Sue My Employer?

If you are injured in a workplace accident, then there is usually a time limit for when you can claim against your employer. Under the Limitation Act 1980, the standard amount of time you have to claim for a workplace injury is three years from the date of the accident which caused your injury. 

Certain types of potential work injuries and illnesses may not be immediately obvious, however. In such cases, the three-year time limit starts from the ‘date of knowledge’. This is the date upon which you knew or suspected that your injury or illness was at least partially the fault of the defendant.

The three-year time limit can be affected under certain circumstances. For instance, if someone under the age of 18 suffers a work injury, then the three-year time limit is frozen for them. The time limit remains frozen until the injured party reaches their 18th birthday. 

Can I sue my employer if I’m under 18?

You cannot start a compensation claim on your own if you are under 18, but you’re allowed to once you are 18. Alternatively, a compensation claim can be started for someone under 18 by a chosen representative. The representative is known as a Litigation Friend and they could potentially be a parent or guardian.

Another way the three-year time limit can become frozen is if the injured party lacks the mental capacity to start a claim on their own behalf. This may be the case because of the workplace injury the person suffered. Or it could be because of a pre-existing condition. 

In either case, the three-year time limit for claiming is suspended unless the injured person recovers enough psychiatric mental capacity to act on their own behalf. Before the injured person recovers sufficient mental capacity, a work injury compensation can be started on behalf of that individual by a litigation friend.

I Was Harmed Because Of My Employers Negligence, What Should I Do?

If you’ve been injured because of your employer’s negligence, you’re entitled to consider a compensation claim against them. You may be wondering, however, what actions to take and in what order.

Just after the work injury has occurred, your first priority should be to seek the medical care you require. Obtain whatever medical evidence you can acquire regarding the treatment you receive for your injuries. This evidence could prove useful later when making your claim. You should also make sure that the work accident that caused your injuries is reported in the correct manner. If you can’t do this yourself, ask a colleague to report the accident for you.

What evidence might I need?

When you’ve sufficiently recovered from your injuries, your next step should be to gather other evidence which can support your potential compensation claim. The evidence available to you will depend on where and how the accident took place. Photos, CCTV footage or witness contact details are examples of the types of evidence you may be able to gather.

When you’ve acquired your evidence, the next step is to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor who can support your compensation claim. We highly recommend choosing a solicitor who has experience in working on workplace accident claims. 

When you’ve chosen your solicitor, they will ask you about the accident and review your evidence supporting your claim. If your solicitor is confident your case can succeed, you can then sign a No Win No Fee agreement with them. 

From here, formal legal proceedings for your claim will follow. Your solicitor should help guide you through all the following steps. You’re welcome to contact UK Law if you would like to begin a claim or if you have any questions about how to claim for a workplace accident injury.

Do You Handle Claims Against Employers On A No Win No Fee Basis?

Here at UK Law, our panel of personal injury lawyers can handle your workplace accident claim on a No Win No Fee Basis. When you sign a contract with a solicitor, you may sign a No Win No Fee agreement. This type of agreement can offer you several benefits. Some examples are:

  • You won’t be required to pay your solicitor’s legal fees if your case is unsuccessful.
  • This should mean that your solicitor will work very hard to support your case since they have taken on the risk of not being paid.
  • You should not be required to pay any solicitors fees upfront or while your claim is being set up.
  • You’ll only need to pay your solicitor fees if your case is a success.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, a legally capped percentage of your compensation is usually taken by your solicitor to cover their payment. The details of how this payment works should be explained in the contract you sign with your solicitor. You can review this information before signing the contract.

Contact Us For More Help

If you have any questions about claiming compensation from your employer, then we are happy to help. Our panel of lawyers can answer any queries you may have about these types of claims. You can contact us in a few different ways:

Other Information Relating To ‘Can You Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them?’

For more guides and other useful information related to work injury claims, you can access the resources provided below:

A Guide To Accident At Work Claim

You can read our separate guide on making a compensation claim for different types of workplace accidents.

A Guide To Self Employed Accident At Work Claims

This guide offers an in-depth look at how you can make a work injury claim while self-employed.

What Are My Rights After An Accident At Work In The UK?

You can also read our extensive guide on the different rights legally protecting you if you work in the UK.

Your Rights Following Unfair Or Constructive Dismissal

This government page explains the different circumstances which could give you the legal right to claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.

Requesting CCTV Footage

If you appear in CCTV footage then you have a right to request it. This could be a very useful piece of evidence to have whilst making your claim.

How Do I Know If I’ve Broken A Bone?

Fractures are just one of the injuries you can sustain at work. This is an NHS guide that gives more information on this specific injury.

FAQs – Can Sue Your Employer While Still Working For Them?

Is it worth suing your employer?

If you have good reason to believe that your employer has caused you an injury or illness through negligence, you have the right to pursue a compensation claim against them.

What reasons can you sue your employer?

There are different ways you could claim compensation from your employer, provided you have sufficient evidence to back your claim. You could start legal action if negligence by your employer directly caused you to suffer an injury or illness.

You could also claim against your employer if they dismiss you from your job in an unfair manner. The same applies if your employer uses unreasonable behaviour to pressure you into leaving your job.

How much money can you get if you sue your employer?

The compensation payouts given following a compensation claim against your employer can vary. If you’re making a workplace injury claim, then the compensation received will depend on your injuries and the severity of the injuries. Other financial losses caused by your injuries will likely be factored in too.

Can you sue your employer for unfair treatment?

If your employer breaches any of your legal rights designed to protect you as an employee, then you could pursue legal action against them. You could start a legal case against your employer if you can prove they are guilty of negligent behaviour against you. This could come in the form of unfair/constructive dismissal, discrimination, harassment or contributing to a workplace injury through negligence.

Can I sue my employer if they failed to give me safety training?

If your employer didn’t train you adequately, and this caused you to have an accident and suffer injuries, you could be eligible to make a claim. An example of this is if your employer failed to train you to safely use machinery relating to your job.

Can you sue your employer while still working for them and maintain a good relationship?

If you are injured due to your employer’s negligence, you could worry about making a claim. However, the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 means that your employer won’t have to pay out of pocket if you make a claim.

Can I sue my employer for an assault at work?

If your employer failed to protect you from reasonably foreseeable harm at work, and you were assaulted as a result, you could be eligible to claim against them for your injuries. You can call our team for a free case assessment.

If you are unable to sue your employer because they did not breach the duty of care that they owed you, you may still have a claim. In these instances, you could claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

How long does it take to sue your employer for negligence?

Many claims settle out of court. If your employer admits they are liable for your injuries, and offers compensation right away, your claim could be settled quite quickly. Other cases may take some time to reach a settlement.

We hope this guide has helped to answer questions including “can you sue your employer while still working for them?” If you still have any queries surrounding issues such as “Can I sue my employer for negligence?” we’d be happy to talk to you. You can speak to our advisers here at UK Law using the contact information included within this guide.