When Am I Eligible To Make A Self Employed Accident At Work Claim?

By Danielle Fletcher. Last Updated 7th March 2024. If you are self-employed, there are many things for which you have to take responsibility. You may make certain sacrifices in return for the independence that comes from being your own boss. One of these, sometimes, is proper health and safety procedures. So when could you be entitled to make a self-employed accident at work claim?

When working on your own, you have to take responsibility for your own safety and protection. However, when you are self-employed and working on someone else’s premises, it is another story.

If you have had an accident at work while self-employed that wasn’t your fault and you have been injured, then you could be entitled to make a self-employed accident at work claim.

This article is a guide that explains what your rights are in a case like this, and how you could work with our panel of solicitors to seek compensation for a self-employed accident at work.

Get In Touch With Our Team

If you wish to reach our team for free legal advice about making a self-employed accident at work claim, or if you would like to ask one of the solicitors on our panel to take up your case, then you can get in touch with us today.

You can initiate a phone call with our team then you can ring them on 020 3870 4868. Or, if you would like our team to call you first, then you can fill in this page with your contact details and a brief description of your situation.

A contractor on the pavement face down after suffering a self employed accident at work.

Choose A Chapter

  1. When Could I Make A Self-Employed Accident At Work Claim?
  2. What Is A Self-Employed Accident At Work?
  3. Slip, Trip And Fall Workplace Accidents
  4. Self-Employed Workplace Vehicle Accidents
  5. Accident At Work Compensation Calculator
  6. How Long Do I Have To Make A Workplace Accident Claim?
  7. What Evidence Do I Need To Prove A Self-Employed Accident At Work?
  8. Make A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis
  9. Related Guides

When Could I Make A Self-Employed Accident At Work Claim?

If you’re self employed and had an accident at work, you might be eligible for compensation. While you are in a workplace carrying out work-related duties, you are owed a duty of care.

The main piece of legislation designed to protect worker health and safety is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). It sets the duty of care that employers owe to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.

You’re also owed a duty of care when you’re a visitor to a workplace where you’re not employed. For example, you could be a subcontractor attending another workplace to carry out your duties. In these cases, you’re still owed a duty of care by the party in control of the premises.

When this duty is breached, and you are injured at work as a result, you could be eligible to make a claim. For example, if you’re a self-employed subcontractor who had an accident at work, such as slipping on a broken tile, and this caused you to be injured, you could be eligible to claim.

However, you would not be eligible to claim if you suffer an injury that was not caused by someone breaching the duty of care they owe you. For example, if you work from home and trip over a wire, you wouldn’t be able to claim.

Please get in touch with our advisors to discuss the circumstances of your work related injury. They can assess whether you have valid grounds to make a claim for a workplace accident.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Workplace Accident Claim?

There is a time limit, usually, to how long after the accident you can begin a claim. This time limit, in most cases, is three years. This may start from the date of the injuries. Or, it may start from the date you obtained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to the injury or illness.

In certain cases, there could be exceptions. For example, you may have been under the age of eighteen when the accident occurred. In this case, a close relative could be entitled to make a claim on your behalf until you turn eighteen. Once you reach eighteen you would be permitted to make a claim on your own behalf within the three year time period between your 18th and 21st birthdays.

Another case in which you could be entitled to a longer claim time limit would be if you lacked the mental capacity to make a claim. However, the 3-year time limit would begin if you recovered mental capacity.

Call our advisors for further information on time limits.

What Is A Self-Employed Accident At Work?

In this article, when we mention a self-employed accident at work, we mean cases where a person who is self-employed has been working in a place (either as a contracted worker or simply passing through, such as performing a delivery) and has suffered an accident there.

Because an employer has a right to keep their workplace safe for all those working or visiting there, a self-employed worker could have the right to seek compensation even though they are not employed there.

Self-employed workers, contractors and employees

In a workplace, there will be employees with different roles and different types of relationships with the employer. There may be employees of the business who work directly for the employer.

Then there will be contractors, who may well be self-employed but are temporarily working in a role or on a certain project for an employer.

Self-employed workers

Self-employed workers may have a different relationship with an employer (client) than those who work directly as employees. Some of those differences could include:

  • The client may have a differing amount of control over how they work, i.e. their methods, their hours etc.
  • The client and the self-employed worker may share differing obligations with each other than an employee and employer.
  • A self-employed worker’s rights and responsibilities may be set out by the terms of the contract they have with their client. It may differ from the employees’ contracts.

Employment Rights For The Self-Employed

There are a number of differences between being a self-employed worker and an employee. Self-employed workers not being entitled to some of the rights that employees are entitled to. However, there are certain workers’ rights that they may be entitled to when they are in any workplace. These include the right to:

  • Not be discriminated against on the grounds of age, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, being married or in a civil partnership or being pregnant.
  • Have the obligations outlined in the contract signed with the employer upheld.
  • Have the protection of their health and safety.

There are further details of the health and safety rights of self-employed workers in the next section below.

Slip, Trip And Fall Workplace Accidents

The most common cause behind injuries in workplace accidents are slips, trips and falls. These accounted for 29% of employer-reported, non-fatal injuries in the workplace in 2019/20.

These can be caused by:

  • Wet floors as a result of spillages or improper cleaning
  • Tripping hazards caused by equipment left lying around or failure to keep the workplace tidy
  • Faults in the flooring such as ripped carpets or uneven paving.

If an employer has failed to keep their workplace well maintained and a self-employed worker carrying out a job there has suffered an accident in a slip, trip or fall as a result, they could be entitled to make a claim for workplace injury compensation. You can learn more about slip, trip and fall injury compensation claims on this page here.

Self-Employed Workplace Vehicle Accidents

There are several different circumstances in which a vehicle accident could cause an injury to a self-employed worker. In many workplaces, there are vehicles that are used, such as forklifts for moving goods or carts. These have to be operated safely and by qualified drivers or else there is the risk of an accident. If you get injured in a workplace you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation if someone else’s negligence caused an accident involving a vehicle.

You could also be entitled to make a claim if you suffer an injury from being provided with a faulty vehicle. If an employer hasn’t made a reasonable effort to ensure a vehicle is safe for use, they could be putting you at risk of injury.

Accident At Work Compensation Calculator

If you make a successful claim for an injury you suffered while self-employed in an accident at work, your compensation may consist of two parts. These are known as general and special damages.

Under general damages, you will be compensated for the physical pain and mental damage caused by the injuries you suffered in the workplace accident. When assigning value to this part of your personal injury claim, those responsible for doing so may refer to the guideline compensation amounts published by the Judicial College (JCG).

To help illustrate how compensation could be awarded, we’ve provided the table below. In the top row, we look at a figure that shows you how compensation for general and special damages could be calculated when considering multiple serious injuries. The rest of the table looks at a few figures from the JCG 16th edition.

InjurySeverityNotesGuideline Compensation
Multiple Serious Injuries and Special DamagesVery SevereSettlements could include a payout for more than one serious injury and expenses, such as lost wages.Up to £1,000,000
Brain InjuryVery SevereThe injured person needs full time nursing because of severe physical and cognitive disabilities. £282,010 to £403,990
Leg Injuries - AmputationsLoss of Both LegsClaimants lost both legs above the knee, or one high-level above the knee amputation with the other leg lost below the knee. £240,790 to £282,010
Foot InjuriesAmputation of Both FeetThe claimant has lost both useful ankle joints.£169,400 to £201,490
Back InjuriesSevere (i)These are severe injuries that cause severe pain along with disability. £91,090 to £160,980
Injuries to the Pelvis and HipsSevere (i)The claimant has sustained extensive fractures to their pelvis causing substantial residual disabilities.£78,400 to £130,930
Hand InjuriesSerious Damage to Both HandsThese injuries result in a significant loss of function and permanent cosmetic disability.£55,820 to £84,570
Arm InjuriesPermanent and Substantial DisablementThe claimant sustained serious fractures in their forearm (or both forearms) causing significant residual disability that will be permanent. £39,170 to £59,860
Toe InjuriesSevereThe injured person required amputations or partial amputations of one or two toes (not the big toe).£13,740 to £21,070
CheekbonesSeriousThe claimant has lasting consequences, such as cheek or lip paraesthesia or disfigurement despite surgery. £10,200 to £15,780

Special Damages For An Accident At Work Claim

Additionally, you might be eligible to recover special damages. This part of a claim reimburses you for any costs connected to your injuries. Examples include compensation for your:

  • Loss of earnings.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Home help, such as childcare.
  • Nursing care.
  • Adaptations to your home.

In order to recover your special damages, you should submit evidence as part of the personal injury claims process. For example, save and submit your payslips and receipts.

Contact an advisor for a free calculation of your potential compensation on the details above.

What Evidence Do I Need To Prove A Self-Employed Accident At Work?

As discussed, there are general responsibilities that employers will owe to all employees regardless of their employment status, such as providing a practically safe working environment. Whether you are considered a full-time employee or self-employed, an accident at work leading to an injury due to negligence could be grounds for a claim. If you have suffered an injury at work in such a way, you could collect supporting evidence to prove your claim in the form of:

  • Pictures or recordings such as CCTV
  • The contact details of witnesses to the hazard
  • Medical records
  • Correspondence between you and the faulting party

The evidence you need will be specific to your injury and your line of work. Please reach out to a member of our team for specific advice for your claim or for more information about accident at work claims.

Make A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis

By working with our panel of solicitors you could make a No WIn No Fee claim, meaning you won’t have to pay solicitor fees upfront. You also won’t have to pay their fees if the claim isn’t successful.

In a No WIn No Fee claim, the solicitor’s payment is conditional on whether or not you win a compensation payout. That’s because the lawyers’ fees come from that payout. Exactly how much the lawyer takes depends on what you negotiate with them, but their portion cannot exceed the small, legally capped amount.

For more information on how these types of claims work, call our team.

A No Win No Fee solicitor discusses a claim for a self employed accident at work.

Related Guides

Thank you for reading our guide to making a self-employed accident at work claim.