I Had A Serious Accident At Work – How Do I Claim Compensation?
By Daniel Pike. Last Updated 15th February 2023. Have you suffered a serious accident at work due to employer negligence? Were health and safety procedures not followed in your place of work? Did you sustain life-changing harm as a consequence?
Accidents and injuries of this kind can turn your life upside-down. This guide seeks to offer you constructive advice and support about how you could claim damages for what you have suffered.
Our advisors could connect you with a solicitor from our panel in this area of law. If they are able to take up your case, you could begin a claim in minutes at no initial cost. Start right now by:
- Calling our team on 020 3870 4868
- Contacting us via the ‘contact us form’
- Or using ‘live support’ for immediate advice
Select A Section
- What Are Serious Injuries And Accidents At Work?
- Employers’ Duty Of Care To Prevent Serious Accidents
- Reporting A Serious Accident At Work
- What Serious Injuries Could You Claim For?
- Serious Accident At Work Claims Calculator
- Talk To Our Team About No Win No Fee Claims
Certain incidents can be seen as a serious accident at work and ‘reportable incidents‘. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) outlines the instances where accidents and injuries at work must be reported by employers.
This law places an enhanced duty on employers or those in control of work premises to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases, or specified dangerous occurrences, known as ‘near misses’. It identifies reportable serious accidents and injuries as including:
- Death at work
- Bone fractures (except to fingers or toes)
- Amputation injuries
- An injury likely to lead to permanent sight loss or diminished vision
- Crush injuries to the head or torso indicative of internal organ damage
- Serious burns or scalds that cover more than 10% of the body and causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
- Loss of consciousness from asphyxia or head injury
- An incident that requires the worker to be admitted to the hospital for more than 24 hours and leads to heat-induced illness or hypothermia
RIDDOR sits alongside the piece of legislation called the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It protects employees as far as reasonably practicable in regards to health and safety matters. The law identifies certain specific tasks that UK employers must comply with within reasonable and practicable limits. Some of these can include:
- Providing a workplace that is safe and without unnecessary risk.
- Make arrangements for the risk-free and safe use, storage, transportation, and handling of materials and substances (a further detailing of chemical and hazardous substances law can be found under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002).
- To provide appropriate health and safety information, instruction, training, and personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary.
- Furthermore, maintain good conditions at the place of work or any area under their control that can allow safe passage in or out for employees.
In addition, The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 enforce further requirements. Importantly, under Section 7 of the Act, employees have a duty to protect themselves and their colleagues as much as reasonably possible.
Also, it’s essential to understand that not every accident is automatically the employer’s fault. When seeking damages, there must be an actual injury to warrant a claim. An accident alone is not sufficient grounds.
The Criteria For Claiming Compensation After A Serious Accident At Work
In order to claim for a serious injury at work, there are certain criteria that need to be met. You must be able to prove that your injuries were caused, at least in part, by the negligence of your employer or another employee, in order to make an injury at work claim.
Find out more about what a duty of care is and workplace accident claims in general, read on. You can also reach out to our advisors at any time of the day or night.
Any type of workplace injury should be recorded in the accident book that workplaces of 10 employees or more must keep. The employer should report a notifiable accident at work. Other RIDDOR requirements can include:
- The accident must be reported if the employee or self-employed person looks likely to be away from work for more than seven consecutive days due to their injuries.
- This period includes weekends and rest days.
- Reports should be made within 15 days of the accident.
A serious accident at work may differ depending on the exact nature of the profession. Some employees handle toxic chemicals, others work at high temperatures or heights. Therefore, serious injury claims are possible for many incidents including:
- A fall from a height
- Collision with a moving object
- Fractures and soft tissue damage from faulty machinery or vehicles
- Violence in the workplace
- Slip, falls, and trips causing head injuries
- Smoke or fume inhalation
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
With this in mind, some occupational diseases warrant a RIDDOR report and can form the basis of a compensation claim if you can prove you suffered them because of employer negligence. Issues such as:
- White finger or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
- Asbestosis and Mesothelioma
- Occupational asthma or lung disease
- Occupational cancer
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Any illness linked to occupational exposure to biological agents
There may be others. Speak with our advisors if you have an illness or injury that you know is directly connected to poor health and safety procedures at work.
How Many People Are Injured In Workplace Accidents?
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 1.7 million people reported suffering from a work-related injury or illness and 51,211 were severe enough to require RIDDOR reporting. The graph below shows the percentage causes of non-fatal injuries as recorded by HSE:
Source : https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/index.htm
Are you wondering how to prove your personal injury claim? A starting point for the calculation of damages after a serious accident at work is a medical assessment. This takes place with an independent medical professional.
A personal injury lawyer can arrange the assessment in your area for you. The assessment can give a full picture of the severity and extent of your injuries.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that offers guideline compensation amounts for injuries. Solicitors may use this publication when valuing injuries.
Compensation for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity in personal injury claims is called ‘general damages’.
The compensation table below gives examples of figures taken from the JCG.
|injury||how serious?||JC Guideline award bracket|
|brain||very severe (a)||£282,010 to £403,990|
|neck||severe (a) (i)||In the region of £148,330|
|shoulder||severe (a)||£19,200 to £48,030|
|chest||serious (b)||£65,740 to £100,670|
|pelvis and hips||severe (a) (i)||£78,400 to £130,930|
|leg||below-the-knee amputation of both legs (a) (ii)||£201,490 to £270,100|
|facial disfigurement||very severe scarring (a)||£29,780 to £97,330|
|sight||total loss of one eye (d)||£54,830 to £65,710|
|back||severe (a) (i)||£91,090 to £160,980|
As well as this, you might be eligible to include special damages as part of your injury claim. Special damages are compensation for financial losses you suffered due to your injury. Special damages require solid proof in the form of documentation like bills or receipts, but it can be possible to reclaim:
- Loss of earnings
- Travel costs (petrol or parking, for example)
- Family, friends, or paid professional carers looking after you
- Impact on your pension or attendance bonus at work
You can speak to our advisors to discuss what other expenses you might qualify for under special damages as well understanding more about who pays you this compensation.
With all this in mind, you may feel more confident about starting a serious accident at work claim. You can do this independently or with the help of a personal injury solicitor. If you choose to seek legal representation, a solicitor working under a No Win No Fee agreement could help.
Also called ‘Conditional Fee Agreements‘, these are contracts which you make with a solicitor where you agree to pay a ‘success fee’ if your case wins. This fee is capped by law.
It is not necessary to pay No Win No Fee solicitors any fees upfront or while cases progress. Furthermore, if for some reason the claim is unsuccessful, you won’t owe your solicitor a fee at all.
It’s important to note that there is generally a three-year time limit on starting a personal injury claim and although there can be exceptions to this compensation time limit for minors or claimants of diminished capacity, it’s vital to start as soon as you feel ready. So why not get in touch and see if we could connect you with a member of our panel of solicitors to help today:
- Call our team on 020 3870 4868
- Contact us via the ‘contact us form’
- Or use our ‘live support’ option
Below are additional resources to support your serious accident at work claim:
FAQs on why a medical report is important
Information about possible consequences of suing an employer
Lastly, more about asbestosis
If you have any questions about claiming for a serious accident at work, get in touch today.
Checked by HT