Do You Have To Be An Employee To Claim For A Workplace Injury?

By Cat Reeves. Last Updated 5th May 2023. Have you suffered a non-employee injury and are wondering ‘do you have to be an employee to make a claim for a workplace injury?’ If you’re not a full-time employee, it can be confusing and unsettling when you suffer a workplace accident. You shouldn’t have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence, whether you’re an employee or not. 

Do you Have to be an Employee to Claim for a Workplace Injury?

Do you have to be an employee to claim for a workplace injury?

Work-related injuries can affect your day-to-life significantly. Injuries such as broken ankles, hand fractures, broken wrists, and broken arms are amongst the most common. They can result in a severe disruption, which could lead to you wondering if you can claim.

Before reading this guide, you may have some questions such as:

  • What is employers’ liability insurance?
  • What do I do if I’m injured in an accident as a non-employee?
  • Do I have rights as an agency worker if I suffer injuries?

This guide will answer these questions and give information about non-employee accident claims. This will hopefully leave you feeling more comfortable and clear-minded about whether you can make an employee injury claim. So, if you’re wondering ‘Do you have to be an employee to claim for an injury at work?’, just keep reading.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Our excellent advisers are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice regarding making a personal injury claim. They’d be happy to help. If you decide to speak to an adviser, you’re under no obligation to continue with our panel of solicitors’ services. 

However, if you have a solid claim, one of our advisers can connect you with our expert panel of personal injury lawyers to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you. What are you waiting for? We suggest you get in touch by:

  • Calling 020 3870 4868. An adviser can talk with you about your employee injury.
  • Filling in our online form
  • Message us via our live chat for an instant reply.

If someone has acted negligently towards you in the workplace and caused you injury, you could have a right to seek compensation. Compensation can help you get back on your feet and get your life back on track. Don’t hesitate to contact our advisers for a free assessment of how much compensation you could receive if you make a valid claim.

Services And Information

  1. Eligibility When Making A Workplace Injury Claim
  2. Common Workplace Accidents Affecting Non-Employees
  3. What Rights Do Contractors, Temporary And Agency Workers Have?
  4. Do Employers Owe Non-Employees A Duty Of Care?
  5. Non-Employee Injury Compensation Calculator
  6. Time Limits To Make A Non-Employee Injury Claim
  7. I Suffered A Non-Employee Injury, What Should I Do?
  8. Make A Non-Employee Injury Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis
  9. Similar And Related Guides
  10. FAQs About Employee Injury Claims

Eligibility When Making A Workplace Injury Claim

In order to make a valid workplace injury claim, there are three main criteria that your case must meet:

  • Your employer must have owed you a duty of care.
  • They must have breached this duty.
  • This breach must have resulted in you suffering harm.

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers owe their employees a duty of care. Per their duty of care, they must take all reasonably practicable steps to keep them safe while working.

If this duty of care is breached, and you suffer an injury as a result, this is known as negligence. You must be able to establish negligence in order to claim accident at work compensation. However, you do not need to be a full-time employee; Claims can also be made by self-employed contractors, temporary workers, and agency workers.

To find out if you are eligible to make an accident at work claim, contact our team of advisors today.

Workplace Injury Statistics

Although non-employee injury statistics aren’t readily available to the public, we’ve taken statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to convey the number of some non-fatal employee injuries in Great Britain. These are by the site of injury in 2019/20.

Do you have to be an employee to make a claim? statistics graph

As you can see, the chart above shows the number of injuries to head locations, torso locations, upper limb locations, and lower limb locations. The most number of injuries sustained were to upper limb locations, with 24,544 reported workplace injuries. On the other hand, the lowest was to head locations, with 5,656 reported work-related injuries.

Common Workplace Accidents Affecting Non-Employees

In this section, we consider what accidents may lead a non-employee or employee to claim. Some common workplace accidents to employees and non-employees alike include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls. For example, if an employer was aware of a spillage but it was left unattended, it could cause slips, trips, and falls.
  • Falls from a height. You could fall off ladders that are faulty and weren’t risk-assessed by their employer.
  • Manual handling. Manual handling can be dangerous if you’re not trained to lift heavy objects. Employers should complete a safety check to ensure the task they are setting isn’t unreasonably risking someone’s health and safety.
  • Operating machinery. Operating machinery can be extremely dangerous if you aren’t taught how to do it correctly. Employers should always carry out health and safety workplace training to ensure you know how to safely operate machinery.

Statistics show the most common non-fatal injuries to employees by most common accident kinds in 2019/20 were:

  • Slips, trips or falls on the same level (29%)
  • Handling, lifting or carrying (19%)
  • Struck by a moving object (11%)
  • Acts of violence (9%)
  • Falls from a height (8%)

The above incidents were reported by employers.

Some common workplace injuries include:

  • Broken legs. Falling from a height can cause broken leg injuries. This can have a huge impact as you may not be able to walk whilst your fracture heals.
  • Ankle fractures. Broke ankle injuries can be sustained due to slips, trips, and falls. This can be debilitating and may result in the use of crutches or the inability to walk at all for a significant period of time.
  • Broken wrist or hand. This can happen when someone falls from a height. They may put their hand out as they fall, resulting in them landing on their hand and wrist.

What Rights Do Contractors, Temporary And Agency Workers Have?

Whether you’re a full-time employee, self-employed, a contractor, temporary worker, agency worker, or part-time employee, you have workplace rights. Non-employees have the right to seek compensation for injuries caused by employer negligence by making an honest personal injury claim. 

What’s more, an employer can’t discriminate against, discipline or dismiss a non-employee or employee for making a claim against them, providing it’s an honest claim. 

As a non-employee, depending on your agreement with the employer, you could have rights to sick pay while you recover from your injuries. You should always check your contract to ensure this. Many people can claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). However, you may only be eligible if you’re classed as an employee with your agency or with the employer directly.

The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 states that employers have to have insurance in case a personal injury claim is made against them. This means that the compensation you’re potentially awarded won’t come directly from your employer or the company.

Do Employers Owe Non-Employees A Duty Of Care?

Employers have a duty of care to protect and safeguard non-employees to the same extent as regular employees. If they break this duty of care, causing injury, they could be liable to have a personal injury claim made against them for negligence.

Employers can adhere to their duty of care by minimising hazards as much as reasonably possible. They can also:

  • Provide adequate health and safety training for the roles you’re requested to carry out. 
  • Complete safety checks on equipment and machinery.
  • Check that you’re physically and mentally capable of completing the tasks you are given.
  • Supply you with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where necessary. 

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states that an employee should also protect their own safety as much as reasonably possible. If you act recklessly, for example, and cause your own injuries entirely, you would not be able to claim.

However, under that same Act, an employer should take reasonably practicable measures to ensure employee and non-employee safety at work. 

Non-Employee Injury Compensation Calculator 

Some guides include a personal injury claims calculator. However, we feel that in this case, it wouldn’t be accurate or helpful. Instead, we’ve made a personal injury claims calculator table containing compensation figures from the Judicial College Guidelines

The compensation table below aims to give you perspective on how compensation for some injuries can be valued. Please be aware that this table is for example purposes only and figures may vary.

Part of Body Level of Injury Compensation Amount Injuries may Include
Chest Injuries The Worst Type of Case (a) £100,670 to £150,110 Complete removal of one lung and serious heart damage with significant pain and suffering.
Chest Injuries A Relatively Simple Injury (d) £12,590 to £17,960 A single penetrating wound causing permanent tissue damage but no severe long-term effect on lung function.
Asthma Severe and Permanent (a) £43,060 to £65,740 Prolonged coughing, sleep disturbances, and restricted employment prospects.
Asthma Chronic Asthma (b) £26,290 to £43,010 Breathing difficulties, need for inhaler, and restricted employment prospects.
Neck Injuries Severe (i) In the region of
Individuals have little to no neck movement, even after wearing a collar for 24 hours a day for years.
Neck Injuries Moderate (i) £13,740 to £24,990 Dislocations or fractures resulting in severe instant symptoms and may need spinal fusion.

The above table conveys general damages, which is compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained and the mental and physical impact they’ve had on you. The awarded bracket depends on factors such as the severity of your injuries and how long your treatment takes. 

Special damages compensate for the financial impact the injuries have had on your life. This could be a loss of earnings due to taking sick leave from work for your injuries, for example.

However, you must provide evidence of your financial loss to receive special earnings. An example of this could be receipts or bank statements to prove you paid out of pocket for your prescription medication. 

Time Limits To Make A Non-Employee Injury Claim

The general personal injury claim time limit is 3 years. This means 3 years from the exact date you suffered your injuries or 3 years from when you realised your injuries were due to your employer’s negligence.

However, there are some exceptions to the personal injury claim time limit.

If you’re under 18, the 3-year accident claims limit only begins on your 18th birthday. Alternatively, if you’d like to claim sooner, an adult friend or family member can become a litigation friend to pursue the claim on your behalf. 

Similarly, for those who lack the mental capacity to claim, the 3-year personal injury claim time limit begins once your recovery commences. On the other hand, before this, someone you trust could act as a litigation friend to sue on your behalf sooner.

If you’d like to discuss the personal injury claims time limit in more depth, our team of advisers can help you. You can contact us whenever you’re ready.

I Suffered A Non-Employee Injury, What Should I Do?

If you suffer a non-employee injury, the first thing you should do is seek medical help. This is in the best interests of your health as it ensures you’re receiving the correct treatment to aid your recovery.

Medical Evidence

Your medical records can also help prove the accident wasn’t your fault. However, don’t worry if you didn’t get medical professional help at the time. As part of the claims process, you’d attend a medical assessment. 

An independent medical professional would check your injuries and create a report. The purpose of this report is to:

  1. Assess the severity of your injuries.
  2. Assess whether the injuries were caused or worsened by the accident, if at all.

If there isn’t a link between your injuries and the accident, you may find it difficult to claim. However, if there is a link, your solicitor can use the report to value your injuries and support your claim.

Other Evidence

You should also gather as much further evidence as you can, such as CCTV footage of the accident. More examples of evidence are:

You should also provide evidence of the financial loss your injuries caused you to suffer. For example, bus tickets can prove you paid out of pocket to travel to and from medical appointments.

Finally, you could seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer to answer the question ‘Do you have to be an employee to make a claim?’

Our panel of lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable about personal injury claimsThey know how to negotiate compensation amounts and deal with various facets of the process correctly.

If you contact our advisers, they can have a talk with you about your situation. If you have a valid claim, they can connect you with our expert panel of personal injury lawyers.

Make A Non-Employee Injury Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis 

Our panel of personal injury solicitors would be happy to discuss working with you on a No Win No Fee basis. No Win No Fee agreements are popular among claimants as they have many benefits. It’s a contract between your solicitor and yourself stating that you’re under no obligation to pay your solicitor’s fees if your case loses.

If your claim fails, you don’t have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred. If your claim wins, your lawyer will deduct a small, legally capped percentage of the compensation. This will be discussed with you beforehand.

If you’d like to learn more about No Win No Fee agreements, you can contact our experienced team of advisers. They can assess how much compensation you could receive from your personal injury claim. If you have a valid case, they can connect you with our panel of personal injury lawyers to see if you can begin your claim.

Our advisers are available round the clock to help you answer the question ‘Do you have to be an employee to claim for a workplace injury?’ We suggest you get in touch with our team of advisers by:

  • Giving them a call on 020 3870 4868. They will happily have a chat with you about your workplace injuries.
  • Explaining your situation through our online claims form. 
  • Sending a message to an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an immediate reply. 

Similar And Related Guides

Fractured And Broken Jaw Injury Compensation: If you’ve suffered a broken jaw injury due to someone else’s negligence, our guide explores how you could make a personal injury claim.

How Long Do You Have To Claim For Industrial Hearing Loss?: Have you suffered industrial hearing loss that wasn’t your fault? Our article explains how you could gain compensation for your injuries.

Barbed And Razor Wire Injury Claims: Our article discusses how you can make a personal injury claim for a barbed and razor wire injury that wasn’t your fault.

How do I know if I’ve broken a bone?: Do you suspect you may have suffered a broken bone injury? This NHS article includes the signs and treatment for a bone fracture.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE): The HSE gives advice surrounding health and safety at work and what duty of care employers have.

Broken Ankle: This NHS guide tells you about the signs, treatment, and recovery information for a fractured ankle. 

FAQs About Employee Injury Claims

What can I do to help my claim?

One way to help your claim progress is to gather as much evidence as you can. Sufficient evidence can help prove that you weren’t at fault for your injuries. An example of this evidence could be witness contact details so you can get statements at a later date. 

How long could my claim take?

Each personal injury claim length is different: some can take months whereas others can take years. To find out how long your claim could take, you can contact our friendly team of advisers for free legal advice. 

Will I need to go to my solicitor’s office?

Our panel of solicitors can work for you from anywhere in the country. This means that you could communicate via email, phone calls or online meetings if you prefer not to go to their offices. 

Will my claim go to court?

It’s rare that personal injury claims go to court. However, it may go to court if the other side doesn’t admit liability or a settlement can’t be reached.

Thank you for reading our guide exploring ‘Do you have to be an employee to make a workplace injury claim?’

Writer HL 

Checked by HT