What Do You Do If You Hurt Yourself at Work?

By Marlon Madison. Last Updated 30th November 2022. Hurting yourself at work can lead to a vast array of problems that could negatively affect your quality of life. When you’ve been injured in an accident at work, you may consider, “whose fault is it that I hurt myself at work?”. This guide will address this question and others so that you can evaluate if you have a valid personal injury claim for an accident at work.          

What Do You Do If You Hurt Yourself at Work?

What Do You Do If You Hurt Yourself at Work?

If your accident and subsequent injuries were the fault of your employer, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. Even if you believe your actions contributed to your injury in some way, you could still be eligible for a partial payout. 

The claims process can slightly be overwhelming for those who have no legal experience. We are here to help you understand how it all works. We also aim to translate any legal jargon you may struggle to comprehend. If you have been hurt at work and need a solicitor, then our team of advisors may be able to put you in touch with one from our experienced panel. Read on to find out more.

Get In Touch With Our Team

You can reach our team in a number of ways:

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868.
  • You can use the live chat function at the bottom right corner of this page.
  • Start your claim online using our website.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Workplace Accident Claims
  2. What Are Injury Claims If I Hurt Myself At Work?
  3. Could I Sue An Employer If I Hurt Myself At Work?
  4. Could I Sue An Agency If I Hurt Myself At Work?
  5. Claims If You Hurt Yourself At Work Whilst Self Employed
  6. How Much You Could Be Owed In Compensation For An Accident At Work
  7. What Duty Of Care does An Employer Have To Keep You Safe At Work?
  8. Could I Be Dismissed For Hurting Myself At Work?
  9. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim If I Hurt Myself At Work?
  10. I Hurt Myself At Work, What Should I Do?
  11. I Hurt Myself At Work, Can I Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis
  12. Other Information
  13. FAQs About What To Do After A Workplace Injury

Everything You Need To Know About Workplace Accident Claims

In order to claim for a workplace injury, you need to show that the accident in which you were hurt was caused by someone else’s negligence. If, after your accident, you’re thinking, “I hurt myself at work, but I wasn’t to blame”, then you may be able to start a claim today.

In order to hold a valid claim for injuries suffered in the workplace, these criteria must be proven. 

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • Negligence practices or behaviour breached this duty
  • As a consequence, you suffered an injury or illness.

There are different ways a duty of care can be breached in a workplace. These could include the following:

  • Slips, trips and falls due to no hazard signs 
  • Injuries sustained while lifting and carrying when no manual handling training was given.
  • Contact with a moving object, such as machinery as a colleague was paying no attention. 

These are not the only causes of workplace injuries, but they are amongst the most common. Some kinds of accidents might only be applicable in certain workplaces. For instance, you’re unlikely to sustain a workplace manual handling injury in a role where you aren’t required to do any lifting or carrying. Other kinds of accidents, such as slips, trips and falls, can occur in most workplaces.

What Are Injury Claims If I Hurt Myself At Work?

A slip, trip or fall on the same level (i.e. not a fall from a height) was the cause of 29% of non-fatal injuries suffered in the workplace in 2019/20, according to statistics provided by HSE. This made it the most common cause of injury in workplaces in Great Britain for that year. The next common cause of injury was handling, lifting and carrying, which was the cause of 19% of accidents at work.

Some of the injuries sustained from slips, trips and falls on the same level could potentially include:

  • Bruising
  • Dislocated joints
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Lacerations and cuts

Some of these injuries may just lead to pain and discomfort. However, workplace accidents can also result in serious injury or even death. 

To avoid workplace accidents resulting in injury, it’s the employer’s responsibility to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure health and safety in the workplace. For instance, an employer may reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls by ensuring that walking surfaces are clean, dry and free of debris or damage

This Graph is courtesy of the Health and Safety Executive

hurt myself at work statistics graph

Could I Sue An Employer If I Hurt Myself At Work?

It’s important to know that if you were hurt at work, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. But this is only the case if the accident leading to your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence. However, even if your actions contributed to you getting hurt at work, you could still be eligible for a partial payout.

In order to make a claim, you need to be able to show that your employer neglected the duty of care that they owed you, resulting in injury. If your employer hasn’t taken all reasonable steps to ensure your health and safety while in the workplace, then you could be entitled to compensation. 

For example, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 state that all employees must be provided training for equipment required to safely do their job. If the employer fails to provide this training and an employee sustains an injury as a result of their negligence, there could be a valid claim. 

This guide aims to make you aware of the process of claiming for a workplace accident. If you have any further questions at any stage, we are always here to help.

Could I Sue An Agency If I Hurt Myself At Work?

An agency worker has the same right to a safe working environment as an employee does. They also have the right to initiate a personal injury claim for an accident at work if they are injured due to negligence. Whether or not you are a full-time employee or working through an agency, these rights remain the same.

Sometimes there may be confusion over who you may direct your claim against. If you are at a place of business working for an employer and due to their negligence you are caused an injury then your claim would be against them. 

To illustrate this point, if a teaching agency dispatches a teacher to a primary school and the teacher slips and falls on a loose floor tile, this would be a result of negligence on the part of the school rather than the agency. This teacher would have the same rights to make a compensation claim as a full-time, permanent member of staff.

Claims If You Hurt Yourself At Work Whilst Self Employed

A self-employed person working at a business could still have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. If they are working at a business premises and they are injured due to the negligence of the business owner then they may have a valid claim. Whilst they do have a responsibility to ensure their own safety, they can still experience an accident through no fault of their own.

If your line of work requires you to be present at other places of business, then this employer has a duty of care towards you. A breach of this duty that results in injury could lead to you making a personal injury compensation claim. 

Get in touch with us today, and we can answer your questions about making an accident at work claim when you’re self-employed.

How Much You Could Be Owed In Compensation For An Accident At Work

A compensation award may include two heads. You can receive compensation for your pain and suffering, which is known as general damages. You could also potentially claim compensation for any financial losses or costs that were caused by your injury after you hurt yourself. This is known as special damages.

The figures in the table below are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use this source to help value general damages. However, the amounts shown are not guaranteed as various factors can affect a payout.

Type of injury Amount Injury notes/description
Very severe brain damage £282,010 to £403,990 The injured person will have little to no language function or meaningful environmental response.
Minor brain or head injury £2,210 to £12,770 No, or very little, brain damage present. Lower bracket refers to recovery in a few weeks.
Most serious leg injuries short of amputation £96,250 to £135,920 Injuries in this bracket could include extensive degloving of the leg, where there is gross shortening of the leg, or where fractures have not united and extensive bone grafting has been undertaken.
Very serious leg injuries £54,830 to £87,890 Injuries, for instance, that lead to permanent problems with mobility and the need for crutches or mobility aids for the remainder of the injured person’s life.
Severe arm injuries £96,160 to £130,930 Injuries in this bracket will leave the injured person little better off than if the arm had been amputated.
Very severe ankle Injuries £50,060 to £69,700 Ankle injuries that are very severe and unusual and result in lasting damage, pain or discomfort.
Moderate ankle injuries £13,740 to £26,590 Can include fractures or ligamentous tears etc. which result in less serious disabilities, such as unsteadiness walking on uneven ground.
Chest injuries £31,310 to £54,830 injuries affecting a person’s lung or chest permanently
Less severe wrist injuries £12,590 to £24,500 For injuries that result in some permanent degree of disability such as persisting stiffness.
Forearm fractures £6,610 to £19,200 Simple fractures to the forearm.

Examples of what you could claim for under special damages may include:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Mobility aids
  • Travel expenses
  • Care costs

If you would like to receive a compensation valuation for your injuries or to see if you could speak with an accident at work lawyer to help you claim, please reach out to one of our advisers.

What Duty Of Care does An Employer Have To Keep You Safe At Work?

Your employer has a legal obligation to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety and health in the workplace. This duty of care is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), but specific duties can also be found in other pieces of legislation. 

For instance, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, risk assessments and the appointment of competent people for roles within the business are just two of the responsibilities that the employer holds for maintaining a safe working environment.

To provide a safe working environment an employer could: 

  • Make sure that you and your colleagues are given the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for your role 
  • Ensure that all machinery you need to do your role is safe and well-maintained 
  • Maintain good housekeeping 

The answer to the question, “I hurt my shoulder at work; who’s to blame?”. If your employer has been incorrectly carrying out (or completely neglecting) the safety and risk assessments at your place of work, then they could be held liable for your accident.

 Could I Be Dismissed For Hurting Myself At Work?

Every employee has the right to make a claim for personal injury following an accident at work.  And if you’ve been dismissed because you’ve taken action (or proposed to take action) against a health and safety issue, then you may be entitled to claim for unfair dismissal. This is the case provided that the personal injury claim against your employer is honest. 

You’re also protected from something known as “constructive dismissal” following a claim you’ve made after an accident at work. Constructive dismissal is where your employer does not dismiss you outright but instead tries to create an unsuitable work environment in an attempt to get you to leave. Constructive dismissal can include giving you fewer hours or hours that are unsuitable to your personal circumstances. It may also involve a sudden demotion or cut in pay that isn’t related to your performance. 

If you’ve been the victim of unfair or constructive dismissal following a claim you made for an accident at work, then you may be able to claim through a tribunal. Get in touch with our team today to find out more.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim If I Hurt Myself At Work?

Many claimants contact us with questions like,  “I slipped at work and hurt my back; how long do I have to make a claim?”. The answer to this is that you have three years from the date of your accident to make a personal injury claim. 

In some cases, the three-year time limit runs from the “date of knowledge”. This is the date that you knew, or should have known that your injuries were the result of negligence. For instance, someone who is exposed to asbestos in work without the proper PPE to protect them might be diagnosed with cancer 5 years after they worked in the job where they were exposed. In these cases, the 3-year time limit would run from their diagnosis and not when they were initially exposed.

Claiming for Children under 18

For claimants under 18, the rules are slightly different. While they are underage,  there is no time limit to making a claim. But the claim must be pursued by a “litigation friend”. This is an adult of legal age who can act on the underage claimant’s behalf, such as a parent, friend, guardian or legal professional. 

Once the injured person turns 18, they can make a claim for themselves, provided that one hasn’t already been made. They have three years to do this, so they can claim up until their 21st birthday. 

The rules are similar for adults who lack the mental capacity to pursue their claim themselves. The three-year time window is frozen unless the individual’s mental capacity is restored, at which point it restarts. Otherwise, a litigation friend can step in to act on their behalf.

“Do I get paid quickly for a workplace injury?” is quite a common question. The amount of time a claim can take to be settled can vary greatly. Some simple cases can be settled in a matter of weeks, but others can take months or even years to come to an end.

I Hurt Myself At Work, What Should I Do?

If you’re wondering, “What to do if I hurt myself at work?” then this section will be of use to you. Your first priority should be seeking medical attention. This includes both first aid at the scene of the accident, but also a potential trip to A&E in more serious cases. The benefits to this are twofold; not only will you receive the medical treatment required for your injuries, but it will provide a medical record that will support your claim. 

Gathering evidence of the circumstances of the accident is also important. This can come in the form of photographs, CCTV footage and witness statements. You should also report it in the workplace accident book; a colleague can do this for you if you’re unable to at the time. 

Once you feel you have sufficient evidence in place, you should seek legal advice to see if you could be eligible to claim. Get in touch with our advisors, and they may be able to connect you with an expert solicitor from our panel.

I Hurt Myself At Work, Can I Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis

There’s no requirement for you to have a solicitor work on your behalf in a personal injury claim. But you will find that expert legal representation can help make the process run much more smoothly. However, the drawback of this can be the upfront legal costs associated with hiring a solicitor. 

There is a solution. Why not choose a solicitor that offers No Win No Fee terms.  This is sometimes known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. It’s a contract that sets out the conditions that need to be met for your solicitor to be paid. 

This means that you won’t need to pay anything to your solicitor unless your claim is successful. If you win your case, the payment comes in the form of a legally capped fee. This is a percentage taken from your final settlement amount.

Should you be unsuccessful in winning your case, then any of your solicitor costs, will not need to be paid by you. You also won’t be asked to pay anything while your claim is ongoing, no matter how long it takes for it to be settled. 

Why not call our advisors and see if your solicitor could be financed using a No Win No Fee agreement.

 We can also answer any questions raised in this article and offer free legal advice.

Here are the three methods of reaching us:

  • Calling us on 020 3870 4868.
  • Use the live chat function at the bottom right corner of this page.
  • Start your claim online on our website.

Other Information

Here are some additional resources for you to read through.

Slip and trip accidents at work

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

More on unfair dismissal

Additional information from us regarding claims for accidents at work

What your rights are following a UK workplace accident

Accident claims regarding slips, trips and falls

Other Guides You May Find Helpful

FAQs About What To Do After A Workplace Injury

What to do if you can’t work due to an injury?

You need to keep a record of the amount of time at work that you have missed due to your injury. Should you file a successful claim, your compensation payout could include lost earnings due to your accident as part of special damages.  

In the shorter term, your employer could offer a sick pay scheme. If not, see if you are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What are the stages of a personal injury claim?

The stages of a personal injury claim can be slightly different. Usually seeking medical attention is a priority. Then you could choose to gather evidence. Report the accident if it happened in the workplace or a public place. Then deciding if you want to use a solicitor or not may come next. After that, it will be about making contact with those you hold at fault. And negotiating may start. Then a decision about liability will come.

How long does a personal injury claim take to settle?

This is a difficult question to answer accurately as every case is different. Some cases may take as little as a few weeks. Other more complicated or severe cases may even take years to settle.

A UK injury specialist lawyer may be able to give you a more accurate timescale once they know more about the circumstances surrounding your accident.

How long does it take to receive an offer of compensation?

This depends on if the defendant accepts responsibility for the accident. Occasionally, you may be offered a settlement amount relatively early on in the process. We always advise consulting a UK lawyer before you decide whether to accept it or not.

Writer IB

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