How Long After An Accident At Work Can I Make A Claim?

In this guide, we aim to answer the question: ‘How long after an accident at work can I make a claim?’. Becoming injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence can be a difficult and unsettling experience. In some cases, suffering an accident at work could cause life-changing injuries. Therefore, claiming compensation may not be at the forefront of your mind.

How long after an accident at work could I claim?

A guide on how long you have to make an accident at work claim

However, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the physical and psychological injuries you sustained. If you wish to put forward a claim, there are several factors you will need to consider before doing so.

For instance, you must hold a valid claim that demonstrates negligence. Also, you must have evidence to support your claim. Furthermore, you must ensure you make your claim within the given time limit for workplace injury claims.

Generally, under the Limitation Act 1980, there is a personal injury limitation period of three years. However, there may be exceptions in which you could claim for an injury at work after three years. We will explore these exceptions in more detail throughout our guide.

For more information about claiming compensation for an accident at work, please continue reading our guide. Alternatively, if you’d like to speak with an advisor, you can:

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How Long After An Accident At Work Can I Make A Claim?

All employers have a duty of care to prevent their employees from experiencing physical or psychological harm in the workplace. As stated in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 they must take all reasonable steps in order to uphold their duty of care.

If they failed to breach the duty of care they owed you and you sustained physical or psychological harm as a result, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Examples of how an employer could act negligently might include:

  • Providing inadequate training: Employers must provide their employees with adequate training to ensure they are able to do their job safely and efficiently. In some cases, they may fail to do so. For instance, they may have failed to ensure an employee had the correct training before operating a forklift truck. As a result, they may have been unable to control the vehicle causing another employee to sustain a serious forearm fracture.
  • Failing to carry out regular risk assessments: Your employer should ensure they carry out risk assessments on a regular basis to highlight any hazards. Additionally, they should take all reasonable steps to either remove or control the risk of any hazards. However, they might fail to do so causing someone to sustain a serious puncture wound due to faulty equipment.

If you have experienced a similar incident of employer negligence, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim. If your accident happened a while ago, please get in touch with our team. They can further advise how long you have to make an accident at work claim.

When Does The Limitation Period Begin?

Normally, the three-year time limit for an injury at work claim will begin from the date of your accident. The three years may start from the date the accident happened. However, it could also start from the date you became aware that your injuries arose from someone’s negligence which is known as the date of knowledge.

The date of knowledge may apply to claims for industrial or occupational diseases that you have experienced as a result of your employer’s negligence.

However, as mentioned, there are exceptions to this time limit which mean you may be able to pursue a claim after three years. For instance, in cases where:

  • Someone is under the age of 18: In the case of child accident claims, the three years won’t start until the person turns 18. However, before this point, someone could apply to act as a litigation friend on behalf of the child if they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Someone has a reduced mental capacity: If someone lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf, the time limit may be suspended. During this time, someone could apply to act as a litigation friend on their behalf, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. If they recover their mental capacity, the three years will start from the date of their recovery.

For more information on whether any of these exceptions apply, please get in touch with our team on the number above. They can provide further clarification on how long you have to claim for an accident at work.

Is The Time Limit For Fatal Accident At Work Claims Different?

We understand it’s incredibly traumatic to lose a loved one in a fatal accident. In instances such as these, someone may be able to seek compensation on behalf of a loved one.

However, you should be aware of the time limit for making a fatal accident at work claim. As per Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980, the limit is three years either from the:

  • Date of the person’s death
  • Date of knowledge

For more information about how long you have to make a fatal accident at work claim, call our team on the number above.

What Evidence Do I Need To File A Claim?

A valid claim must be able to demonstrate that negligence occurred. Negligence may have occurred if:

  • Someone owed you a duty of care
  • They breached their duty of care
  • You experienced physical or psychological harm as a result

In order to prove whether someone acted negligently, you should obtain relevant evidence to support your claim, such as:

  • Medical reports
  • CCTV footage
  • Records of your accident in an accident workbook
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Pictures of the accident
  • Witness contact details

Additionally, you might find it beneficial to speak to an experienced solicitor from our panel. They could help you collect evidence that’s relevant to your case. Also, they could arrange for you to attend a medical appointment that’s completed independently to produce a current report on your injuries.

For more information about working with a solicitor from our panel, please get in touch on the number above.

Calculating An Accident At Work Settlement

You may receive general damages as part of your compensation payout. General damages provide compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity your injuries have caused.

Moreover, your settlement might comprise special damages. Special damages aim to repay you for any financial costs associated with your injuries. For example, if you were unable to work while recovering from your injuries, you could claim back any loss of earnings provided you have evidence to prove any losses, such as payslips.

Compensation for your injuries may be calculated using medical evidence which can highlight the severity of your injuries and the extent to which they’ve affected your quality of life. Alongside medical evidence, a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may also be used to help value your claim.

The JCG provides guideline compensation brackets for different injuries at varying levels of severity. The table below uses these compensation brackets but you should only use them as a guide. It’s important to be aware that your actual settlement figure will depend on various factors unique to your claim.

Injury Type Severity Damages Comments
Lung Disease (A) £94,470 to £127,530 Typically claimants are younger and will have a serious disability as a result. The injury could progressively become worse and lead to an early death.
Chest Injury (G) Up to £3,710 The chest injury might include rib fractures or injuries to the soft tissues that cause disability and pain lasting for several weeks.
Chest Injury (F) £2,060 to £5,000 Injuries in this bracket may include collapsed lungs from which a recovery that is full and uncomplicated should be made.
Chest Injury (E) £5,000 to £11,820 Injuries caused by the inhalation of toxic fumes or smoke. The injury will not permanently affect lung function but there may still be residual damage.
Leg Injury Moderate £26,050 to £36,790 Complicated or multiple leg bone fractures or severe crush injuries affecting one leg.
Ankle Injury Moderate (C) £12,900 to £24,950 This bracket might include fractured ankle injuries leading to less serious ankle disabilities. There may be the risk of future complications.
Knee Injury Moderate (b) (i) £13,920 to £24,580 Torn cartilage or dislocated knees. May include other injuries leading to weakness or instability.
Knee Injury Moderate (b) (ii) Up to £12,900 Injuries might include lacerations, bruising or twisting. They might cause ongoing aching or discomfort.
Elbow Injury Less Severe (B) £14,690 to £30,050 Elbow injuries impairing function. No major surgery will be required and no significant disability will develop.
Elbow Injury Moderate Or Minor (C) Up to £11,820 This bracket includes most elbow injuries such as fractures that are simple, lacerations and tennis elbow.

Please call us on the number above if you have any questions about making an accident at work claim to seek compensation.

Talk To Us About How Long After An Accident At Work You Can Claim

If you wish to pursue your claim with the help of a solicitor, we have an option that could help. Our panel of solicitors offer No Win No Fee services, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). By using a CFA to fund legal representation, you won’t be required to pay a fee upfront or ongoing costs during the course of your claim.

Additionally, if your claim doesn’t succeed, it won’t be required for you to pay a success fee. If the claim succeeds, the legally capped success fee will be deducted from your compensation as a percentage. However, your solicitor will explain the fee in more detail before your claim proceeds.

Our team of advisors could provide more information on working with a solicitor from our panel. They could also provide further clarification on how long you have to make an accident at work claim. To speak with an advisor, you can:

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We hope our guide has answered the question: ‘How long after an accident at work can I make a claim?’. However, if you have any additional questions, please get in touch with our team on the number above.