I Was Dismissed After An Accident At Work, Could I Make A Claim?

By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 27th October 2022. If you’ve been injured due to a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have the right to launch a personal injury claim. However, you may be wondering, “what happens if I’m dismissed after an accident at work?”.

Being involved in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault can be frustrating and upsetting. Between the potential loss of earnings for the time taken off work, the physical and mental strain that your injuries have caused you and the restrictions on what you’re able to do, recovering from an injury can be a stressful process. But when you’re faced with the prospect of losing your job for exercising your rights, it can feel very unfair. 

dismissed after an accident at work

Some employees may refrain from filing a personal injury claim against their employer as they fear they may be sacked for making a claim.

However, firing someone purely for making a claim would be classed as unfair dismissal. If you’ve suffered these repercussions as a result of claiming for your injuries, our guide could help you understand your rights.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

If you’d like to learn more about dismissal due to an accident at work, our friendly team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer free legal advice. Once they’ve discussed your claim in more detail, they could provide an estimate of how much compensation you could receive for your unfair dismissal. 

To discuss your situation, you can contact our team of advisers by:

  • Telephone: 020 3870 4868. An adviser will be available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice.
  • You can begin your claim online, and an adviser will get back to you.
  • Our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply. 

Find Out More About The Steps To Take If You Were Dismissed After An Accident At Work

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Being Dismissed After An Accident At Work
  2. What Is The Definition Of An Accident At Work? 
  3. What Duty Of Care Do Employers Have?
  4. Common Accidents And Injuries In The Workplace
  5. When Could You Be Dismissed After An Accident At Work?
  6. What Rights Do You Have If You’re Dismissed After An Accident At Work?
  7. Compensation Payouts After An Accident At Work
  8. Work Accident Claims – What Should I Do?
  9. Can Accident At Work Claims Be Handled On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  10. Other Information

Everything You Need To Know About Being Dismissed After An Accident At Work

If you’ve claimed for an accident at work that wasn’t your fault and were dismissed as a result, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against your employer. 

Firstly, the article will explore what an accident at work actually is and the duty of care your employer has to safeguard and protect you. Next, there will be a personal injury claims calculator table with figures conveying how much specific injuries may be valued. 

Following this, we will look at your rights in regards to your employer’s failure to adhere to employment laws. We’ll begin by looking at the reasons that you could be unfairly dismissed and the effect that this could have on you.

We’ll also touch upon the time limits for making an unfair dismissal claim. Please note accidents at work or personal injury claims are different to employment law claims. They are two different parts of the law. 

Finally, we will look at how a No Win No Fee agreement could help you in making a claim of this nature. To summarise, we will look at some external resources which might help you better understand how to sue your employer for an injury or unfair dismissal. 

What Is The Definition Of An Accident At Work? 

Workplace accidents can happen for many different reasons. In some cases, reasonably practicable steps may have been taken and an accident still occurs. In these instances, it may not have been employer negligence and it would be difficult to make a personal injury claim.

However, if your employer breaches their duty of care, resulting in you sustaining an injury you may wish to make an accident at work claim

Suffering injuries from an accident at work may impact your life significantly. However, you could seek personal injury compensation to compensate you for the injuries you’ve sustained. Furthermore, compensation could reimburse you for any expenses you’ve incurred in the recovery process. 

Can I Be Sacked For Having an Accident at Work?

Employment laws in the country give workers protection against unfair dismissals. You cannot be sacked for having an accident at work unless your employer can prove there was a valid reason to do so. This is to say that your employer cannot sack you as a punitive measure for reasons such as:

  • To avoid paying your sick pay
  • As retaliation against you for initiating a personal injury claim against them

If this has happened to you, please contact a solicitor and inform them that you were unfairly sacked after an accident at work. This can also be part of your claim and help you claim back a loss of earnings alongside other damages for your employer’s actions.

If you are looking for more information about your legal rights and protections when making an accident at work claim in the UK, please speak to one of our advisors.

How Common Are Accidents At Work?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 142 workers were killed at work. Furthermore, 51,211 injuries were reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) in 2020/21.

The table below shows a comparison of the number of non-fatal injuries reported under RIDDOR between 2017-2021. As you can see, the number of non-fatal injuries reported has decreased.

However, it’s important to note that the improvement of health and safety measures in the workplace may be a factor in the noticeable decrease.

dismissed after an accident at work

What Duty Of Care Do Employers Have?

Employers have a duty of care to protect and safeguard employees from harm as much as they reasonably can under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1947 (HASAWA).

Employers can take steps to ensure their employees’ safety by: 

  • Minimising hazards in the workplace identified through risk assessments 
  • Give all employees full and appropriate training for their role
  • Provide employees with the correct work equipment 
  • Make sure all machinery is safe and well-maintained 
  • Provide protective clothing if employees need it

If your employer breaches this duty of care and you are injured at work as a result, you could launch a personal injury claim against them. You cannot be dismissed for doing this as long as the claim is honest. 

If you’d like to file a personal injury claim against your employer as you’ve suffered injuries due to their negligence, you can contact our team of advisers, who can offer 24/7 free legal advice. Additionally, they could provide guidance on your rights after being dismissed after an accident at work.

Common Accidents And Injuries In The Workplace

Some accidents that might occur in the workplace leading to an injury could include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls: These accidents might occur for a number of reasons. For instance, a spill on the floor that is not cleared or signposted may cause someone to slip and injure themselves. Similarly, poor housekeeping or unsuitable floor surfaces may increase the risk of a slip, trip and fall resulting in injury.
  • Machinery accidents: If an employer provided inadequate training to employees who work with machinery, an accident could occur. In addition, if there is a piece of machinery that causes you injury because it wasn’t properly maintained with regular risk assessments, you may be able to make a personal injury claim.
  • Falls from a height: If an employer doesn’t perform regular safety checks of equipment such as ladders, a fault may go unchecked. As a result, an employee may use a ladder they think is safe but experience a broken jaw after falling from a height. 

Workplace Injuries

The kinds of injuries that the accidents above might cause could include:

  • Broken bones: A broken eye socket could happen as the result of a slip, trip or fall where the injured person falls over an object left on the stairs. As a result, they may hit their face on the side of the step. 

Alternatively, a person could fracture their arm in an accident involving a piece of machinery. For example, the machinery may have been incorrectly held down to keep it stationary, causing it to crash into an employee.

Broken bones can cause significant pain and may mean that you have to take time off work.

  • Sprains and strains: These kinds of injuries occur when ligaments or muscles are overstretched or twisted, such as in a slip, trip or fall.

Sprains and strains may also come about as the result of a manual handling injury. For example, if you were asked to lift equipment without proper training. These kinds of injuries can be painful and may restrict the range of motion in the affected area. 

You can contact our team of advisors for further information on the kinds of accidents that might lead to a compensation claim. Or, to find out more about how you could be dismissed after an accident at work, please read on.

When Could You Be Dismissed After An Accident At Work?

There is a difference between fair and unfair dismissal. If you’ve been dismissed after an accident at work because your conduct in your role was unacceptable, your dismissal may be considered fair. 

On the other hand, you may have been dismissed following a claim you’ve made for an accident at work that was not your fault. If so, you may have been unfairly dismissed from your role. 

Examples of unfair reasons to dismiss an employee include:

  • Because they’re pregnant or on maternity leave
  • You have asked for your legal rights at work, for example, to be paid fairly
  • Requested a health and safety issue be addressed
  • Joining a trade union

You may be able to launch an employment law claim against your employer if they discriminated against you because of the following protected characteristics:

  • Gender or sex
  • Disability
  • Sexuality
  • Religion or belief
  • Age
  • Race
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Marriage or civil partnership

It’s also important to note that you can only fight against an ‘unfair dismissal’ if you’ve worked for the employer for over two years unless your reason for dismissal is automatically unfair.

Furthermore, your rights may also differ depending on what type of worker you are and your employment status

What Are The 5 Fair Reasons For Dismissal?

  • Misconduct: Usually, employers will give employees warnings for misconduct, but if it continues, they can dismiss them. If it’s gross misconduct, the employer can dismiss the employee immediately.
  • Performance: If there are performance issues, the employer must take the relevant steps to try to improve the employees’ performance. However, if the issue persists, the employer has the right to dismiss the employee.
  • Redundancy: This occurs if fewer staff are needed or if a job role is no longer required.
  • Statutory illegality: This dismissal occurs when it’s no longer legal for someone to work for you. For example, their driving license runs out, and their job requires them to drive, or they can no longer work in the UK.
  • Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR): This category includes dismissals that don’t fall under the other fair reasons for dismissals. For example, if someone is on a fixed-term or temporary contract that ends.

If you have been dismissed after an accident at work for another reason, please get in touch with our team to discuss whether you were unfairly dismissed from your role.

What Rights Do You Have If You’re Dismissed After An Accident At Work?

If your workplace accident causes an injury due to your employer’s negligence, they can’t dismiss you for pursuing compensation.

However, if your employer dismisses you because you’ve made a claim, you could make a claim against them for unfair dismissal. 

Additionally, examples of some employment rights for workers might include employees being entitled to:

  • Protection from discrimination
  • Rest breaks
  • Minimum wage
  • Protection from unlawful deductions from wage slips
  • Not be forced to work more than 48 hours a week on average. They should also have the right to opt out of this if they wish. 

After 12 weeks, agency workers have the same rights as workers who work for an employer full-time. 

If you require more information about what rights you have at work and an answer to the question ‘can I be dismissed?’, our team of advisers can help. They are available 24/7 to offer free legal advice.

Compensation Payouts After An Accident At Work

If you are interested in claiming compensation for an accident at work, it is important to note that you must have been injured in said accident and it must have been caused by negligence.

You may also wonder how much you could receive should your claim be successful. Generally, there are two heads of claim that you could be eligible for: general damages and special damages. General damages aim to compensate you for the way your injuries impacted your quality of life, whereas special damages cover the financial losses associated with them.

Payouts are calculated based on the circumstances of each individual accident at work claim, but you can still get an idea of what you could receive in general damages through the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), as illustrated below. However, these figures are only guidelines, and are not guaranteed amounts.

Injury Type Compensation Bracket Notes
Kidney Injuries (a) £169,400 to £210,400 Damage to or loss of both kidneys.
Bladder Injuries (b) Up to £140,660 Loss of natural function and control.
Back Injuries (a) (ii) £74,160 to £88,430 Nerve root damage with loss of sensation and impaired mobility.
Chest Injuries (c) £31,310 to £54,830 Some disability due to damage to the chest/lungs.
Neck Injuries (b) (i) £24,990 to £38,490 Chronic conditions and serious soft tissue injuries to the neck and back combined.
Shoulder Injuries (c) £7,890 to £12,770 Frozen shoulder with limited movement for up to two years.
Minor Brain Injury (e) £2,210 to £12,770 Minimal if any brain damage.
Other Arm Injuries (d) £6,610 to £19,200 Fractures of the forearm.
Digestive System Injuries (a) (iii) £6,610 to £12,590 Stab wounds or seatbelt pressure cases.
Hernia (c) £3,390 to £7,230 Uncomplicated indirect inguinal hernia.

Contact our advisors today to get a free estimation of how much your injury caused by an accident at work claim could be worth.

What May Be Included In My Accident At Work Claim?

General damages compensate for the actual injury and the physical and psychological effect it’s had on your life. The awarded compensation bracket is dependent on the severity of the injury and how long you’re likely to be affected. 

On the other hand, special damages compensate you for the financial impact the injury has had on you. For example, travelling to and from medical appointments or any loss of earnings you’ve experienced.

You must provide evidence in order to receive special damages. Evidence can include things like bills, receipts and invoices for any costs you’ve incurred.

If you have been unfairly dismissed after an accident at work, you would make a separate claim to your personal injury claim for the accident. If your claim for unfair dismissal is successful, you may be awarded a separate compensation settlement.

An unfair dismissal claim calculator in the UK may be unreliable in giving you an accurate estimation of your settlement. Please call our team for more information.

Work Accident Claims – What Should I Do?

If you have had an accident at work, depending on the severity of your injuries, it may be in your best interest to seek medical attention. For example, if you suffered a broken bone at work, you may need emergency care. Additionally, medical evidence, such as hospital records, can act as evidence to support your claim.

When you hurt yourself at work, you should make a note of the incident in your workplace accident book. If you can’t do this yourself, a colleague may do so instead. The record can also provide evidence of an accident occurring.

Without any proof of an accident occurring, or you being injured, an accident at work claim is unlikely to be successful. Therefore, other types of evidence you could consider gathering include:

  • The contact details of any witnesses
  • Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
  • CCTV footage if possible

There are other forms of evidence that could potentially help you. An injury at work lawyer from our panel could help you figure out what would work best for your specific case.

Get in touch for free legal advice on work accident claims.

What Steps Could I Take To Make An Unfair Dismissal Claim?

If you were dismissed after an accident at work and wish to make an employment claim, you may wish to gather evidence to show that your employer dismissed you unfairly.

In most situations, if you were dismissed from your workplace after 2 years of service, you have the right to request a written explanation as to why.

You can request this written explanation from your employer to see if the reason for your dismissal is legitimate or can be classed as “unfair dismissal”. 

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim If Dismissed After An Accident At Work?

When you make a claim for unfair dismissal, this will usually go through an employment tribunal. The time limit for making a claim is three months less one day from the date that you were dismissed. 

However, there may be exceptions, please contact our team to find out if you’re eligible to claim. 

Can Accident At Work Claims Be Handled On A No Win No Fee Basis? 

If you are making a claim for being dismissed after an accident at work, you may opt to fund a solicitor through a No Win No Fee agreement. It’s a contract between you and your solicitor stating that you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor’s fees if your case fails.

If your case succeeds, your personal injury solicitor will take a percentage from your awarded compensation. The fee is payment for the work they have completed on your claim. Your lawyer will discuss this percentage, which is legally capped, with you beforehand.

Contact our team of advisers today by:

  • Calling 020 3870 4868. An adviser will be available 24/7 to offer free legal advice.
  • Beginning your claims process online. An adviser will respond at whatever time is best for you.
  • Chatting with an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an immediate response.

Other Information

Fatal Accident Claims guide: If you’re looking to claim on behalf of a loved one who suffered a fatality at work, our guide could help.

Agency Worker Injury Claims: Visit our guide for more information on your rights following an accident at work as an agency worker.

What Are My Rights After An Accident At Work In The UK?: If you’ve suffered a workplace accident that wasn’t your fault, our guide explores your rights and how you can make a personal injury claim.

How Do I Get More Money From An Injury Claim?: Our article includes advice and information about how to receive the maximum amount of compensation you can from your injury claim.

How do I know if I’ve Broken a Bone?: Do you suspect you’ve suffered a broken bone injury? This NHS guide explains the signs and treatment of a bone fracture.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): If you’d like to know more about how much you could be owed in SSP when taking time off work, this page from the government website could help.

HSE- Working from a Height: You may be injured at work through no fault of your own while working at a height. This information from the Health and Safety Executive provides guidance on reducing the risk of this kind of accident.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming following being dismissed after an accident at work.

Writer HL

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