How Can I Prove Employer Liability For An Accident At Work Claim?

By Danielle Fletcher. Last updated 12th March 2024. Welcome to our guide looking at employer liability. While you’re working, your employer has a responsibility to ensure your health, safety and wellbeing as much as is reasonably practical. This duty comes from legislation which we’ll explore throughout our guide. 

Accidents at work or workplace accidents can happen for all different kinds of reasons. In this particular guide, we are concentrating on accidents that have happened because of employer negligence.

For your employer to be liable for your suffering your case must meet certain criteria. Not all accidents that happen at work will mean employees are eligible to make a personal injury claim. In this guide, we will look at the duty of care, including how it could be breached through unsafe practices.

Also, we will look at the types of damages that are awarded in personal injury cases and how compensation is calculated. To conclude we examine how solicitors can be funded with No Win No Fee Agreements.

However, if you do have any questions after finishing this guide, or if you would like to start a claim today, you can get in touch with our team for free legal advice. There are several ways you can get in touch with us.

A book with 'employment law' written on the spine. A gavel lies on top of the book.

Select A Section

  1. What Is Employer Liability In A Compensation Claim?
  2. What Is An Employer’s Duty Of Care?
  3. Can I Make A Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer?
  4. Accident At Work Compensation Calculator
  5. How Can I Prove Employer Liability In An Accident At Work Claim?
  6. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Injury At Work?
  7. Can Claims For Employer Liability Be Handled On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  8. Related Guides On Employer Liability And Accidents At Work

What Is Employer Liability In A Compensation Claim?

Employer liability means your employer is responsible for your health and well being while you are at work. They can be held liable for injuries caused because they breached their duty of care.

The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 establishes that all employers must have liability insurance by law. The act allows employees to make a claim without worrying about the financial impact their claim may have on the company.

Employer liability Insurance means that compensation awarded in successful claims made against a workplace is paid by the insurance. Therefore, it won’t come from your employer directly or the profit margins of the business.

What Is An Employer’s Duty Of Care?

Under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a responsibility to keep you as safe as practically possible while you are at work. As there are many risks that vary depending on the different workplaces, the specific responsibilities involved in uphold this duty might differ.

However, generally, your employer could carry out regular risk assessments to ensure that risks to safety in the workplace are properly managed. These assessments will enable them to identify hazards in the workplace that can then be removed or reduced. 

Other examples of how they could uphold this duty include:

  • Provide adequate training to ensure employees can carry out their work-related tasks safely.
  • Provide any necessary personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of injury posed by a hazard that cannot be completely removed.
  • Ensure work equipment and facilities are safe for use.

Examples Of Accidents At Work That An Employer Could Be Liable For

Examples of hazards that could pose a risk to employees could include:

  • Unsafe floors: An employer who has identified the floors as a risk for causing injuries may need to take steps to ensure they have prevented or reduced the chance of slips, trips and falls from occurring. For example, they may need to provide employees with slip-resistant footwear.
  • Faulty equipment or machinery: An employer may have carried out a risk assessment and found that a piece of equipment was faulty. In these cases, they should do everything they reasonably can to ensure the equipment is safe for use. For example, they may need to make relevant repairs on the equipment before allowing employees to use it.
  • Dangerous substances or materials: Your employer may have implemented other measures to control the risk of working with hazardous substances. However, if there is still a risk after these controls have been implemented, and the hazard can’t be reduced or removed any other way, your employer should provide you with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

If you’re unsure whether your employer breached their duty of care, call our advisors. They can provide free advice on whether you could make a personal injury claim. Additionally, they could address any questions you have on employer liability.

If they think your case has a chance of success they may ask if you would like to be connected to our panel of personal injury solicitors. 

Different types of accidents including a slip, trip or fall.

Can I Make A Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer?

In order to hold a valid accident at work claim, your case must meet the following criteria:

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • The duty was breached
  • Your injury or illness was caused by your employer’s failure to uphold the duty of care they owed you.

In some cases, there are workplace accidents that could lead to injuries through no fault of anyone. Instead, your employer may have done everything they reasonably could to address risks and hazards brought to their attention. For cases such as these, you may not be eligible to claim. You must prove employer liability to have valid grounds to proceed with your case.

However, when injuries are preventable had the right health and safety policies been followed employers can be liable for any suffering caused.

Accident At Work Compensation Calculator

There are two heads that will make up a typical amount for your compensation claim. These are known as general damages and special damages. 

General damages account for your physical and psychological injuries. They also account for the impact that any injuries have had on your quality of life. For example, medical evidence may be used to address the severity of your injuries and the pain that you’ve experienced.

Furthermore, you may be invited to attend an additional medical exam to produce a current report on the full extent of your injuries.

Alongside medical evidence, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is often used to help value your injury. The JCG contains a detailed list of injuries alongside guideline compensation brackets. The amounts vary depending on the severity of the injury and the timescale of the recovery.

Special damages are intended to reimburse you for past and future financial losses caused by your injuries. Therefore, the costs of things such as prescriptions, loss of earnings, and travel expenses can be included in the special damages head of your claim.

Below, we have included a table listing possible amounts for general damages. These figures are to be used as a guide only as compensation is calculated on a case by case basis. The figures are taken from the JCG. 

InjuryDetailsGuideline Award Bracket
Multiple Very Severe Injuries with Financial LossesCompensation for multiple injuries of a very severe nature with financial losses, such as loss of earnings, care costs, and medical bills.Up to £1,000,000+
Injuries Affecting Sight(b) Complete loss of sight in both eyesIn the region of £268,720
Brain Damage(e) Minor brain or head injury: The award given will depend on different factors such as severity, time taken to recover and whether any symptoms persist.£2,070 to £11,980
Chest Injuries(e) Where someone has experienced residual lung damage after inhaling toxic fumes or smoke.£5,000 to £11,820
Shoulder Injuries(e) Clavicle fracture£4,830 to £11,490
Wrist(d) A complete or largely complete recovery from a fracture or soft tissue injury occurs after 1 year. £6,080 to £10,350
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(d) Less severe: The person will have mostly made a full recovery and any symptoms that do persist will be minor.£3,710 to £7,680
Neck Injuries(c) Minor: (iii) The person will have made a full recovery within three months.Up to £2,300

For more information on how your claim involving employer liability may be valued, call our team.

How Can I Prove Employer Liability In An Accident At Work Claim?

As we discussed earlier, your employer owes you a duty of care while you are at work and carrying out work-related duties. Negligence by your employer occurs when you suffer injuries due to a breach in this duty. It is this you must prove if you would like to make a personal injury claim. Proving negligence in the UK can be done with evidence.

Examples of evidence that could be useful in a claim for a workplace accident include:

  • Videos of the accident, such as from CCTV.
  • Contact information from any witnesses. They can give a statement later in the claiming process.
  • A copy of your medical records. This can give information on the nature of the injury and what treatment you needed.
  • A copy of the incident report from the accident book. This should include your name, the date and time and details of the incident.

Call our advisors for free advice about proving employer liability. They can discuss what evidence you could submit in support of your claim.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Injury At Work?

There is a personal injury claim time limit of three years as set out in the Limitation Act 1980. This can start from the date of the accident. However, there are some exceptions that can be made in some circumstances. For example:

  • If the claimant is under the age of 18, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to start legal proceedings. Alternatively, a suitable adult, such as a solicitor or parent, could be appointed to act as a litigation friend and start the claim on their behalf before this date.
  • If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim themselves, a litigation friend can do so for them on their behalf as the time limit is paused indefinitely. If they recover their capacity and no claim has already been started for them, they will have three years from the recovery date to seek compensation themselves.

To find out how long you have to claim for employer liability following an accident at work, call an advisor on the number above.

Can Claims For Employer Liability Be Handled On A No Win No Fee Basis?

A No Win No Fee arrangement is a contract between you and your solicitor that sets out the conditions they need to meet in order to be paid. If your case does not succeed, then you won’t pay solicitor fees. You also don’t need to make an upfront payment in order for them to start working on your claim. 

At the conclusion of a successful claim, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation. However, the fee is legally capped and something your solicitor will discuss with you before the claim begins.

To find out more about No Win No Fee agreements, or to start your claim involving employer liability today, get in touch with us by: 

A solicitor discussing a claim for employer liability.

Related Guides On Employer Liability And Accidents At Work

For more of our helpful guides:

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Thank you for reading our guide on proving employer liability. If you have any other questions, please contact an advisor on the number above.

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