How Long Do I Have to Claim After an Accident at Work?

You might be wondering how long you have to claim after an accident at work. In this guide, we aim to answer your question. Learn about the accident at work procedure and how to file for compensation. 

In addition, we will cover the time limit that you typically have to begin your workplace injury claim. We also discuss what evidence you could submit to strengthen your claim. 

Legislation is in place to reduce risks in the workplace. We discuss this along with what injuries could occur if your employer breaches their duty of care. Also, explore statistics of workplace injuries collected by the Health and Safety Executive

Learn how long to claim after an accident at work and what exceptions to the time limit apply. We take a look at the two heads that could form part of your compensation claim and what each one compensates for. Examples of injuries alongside their compensation brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines are provided. In addition, we provide a few examples of what you could claim under the special damages head. 

You might find the claims process easier with a personal injury lawyer. We discuss No Win No Fee arrangements and why one might be beneficial for you. 

Contact our advisors today:

  • Begin your claim online
  • Phone the number at the top of the page
  • Use the live chat feature at the right side of the screen
how long to claim after an accident at work

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

Choose A Section

  1. How Long To Claim After An Accident At Work
  2. Valuing Accident At Work Compensation
  3. What Are Workplace Injuries?
  4. How Can Workplace Injuries Happen?
  5. A Definition Of No Win No Fee Agreements
  6. More Information – How Long To Claim After An Accident At Work

How Long To Claim After An Accident At Work

All employers owe their employees a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). If they fail to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce workplace risks, injuries could occur. If you suffered an injury that occurred due to employer negligence, you might be eligible to claim compensation. 

Time Limits

If you are wondering how long you have to claim after an accident at work, you are in the right place. You typically have three years to begin a compensation claim under the Limitation Act 1980. The time limit starts when you first suffered an injury or gained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to your injuries. 

There are some exceptions to the time limit, however. For example, if a litigation friend files on your behalf. Firstly, if you are under the age of 18 at the time of the injury, you will have three years after you turn 18 to begin your claim. However, a litigation friend can claim for you before your 18th birthday. 

If you lack the mental capacity to claim, you would have three years to begin your claim from the date of your recovery. However, a litigation friend could claim on your behalf before then. The time limit is frozen whilst you lack the mental capacity to claim. 

Contact our advisors to see if you can begin your injury at work claim today. 

How Likely Are Work Accidents?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) collects statistics of workplace injuries. These include the 51,211 total non-fatal injuries reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) in 2020/21. 

These injuries include: 

 Valuing Work Accident Compensation

Compensation claims, should you decide to file one, could come with two heads: general damages and special damages.

General Damages

To compensate for your physical and mental injuries, you claim under general damages. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document solicitors use to help assign value to your injuries. Potential compensation brackets are listed alongside the injury. You might be invited to an independent medical assessment to fully assess your injuries. 

InjuryPotential CompensationNotes
Moderate brain damage (i)£150,110 to £219,070Moderate to modest intellectual deficit and some risk of epilepsy.
Moderate psychiatric damage (moderate)£5,860 to £19,070Difficulties with personal relationships and coping with life but improvements with a good prognosis.
Minor eye injuries£3,950 to £8,730Injuries that cause initial pain and temporary vision interference.
Mesothelioma (a)£63,650 to £114,460Impairments to function and quality of life with severe pain due to asbestos exposure.
Traumatic injury to digestive system (iii)£6,610 to
Industrial lacerations.
Moderate neck injuries (i)£24,990 to
Severe immediate symptoms from injuries such as fractures and dislocations.
Minor back injuries (i)£7,890 to £12,510Non-surgical recovery within 2-5 years.
Less severe arm injuries£19,200 to £39,170Substantial recovery or expected recovery from significant disabilities.
Severe knee injuries (ii)£52,120 to £69,730Constant pain and limited movement from a leg fracture extending into knee joint.
Nose or nasal complex fractures (ii)£3,950 to £5,100
Complete recovery after surgery.

Special Damages

The head of your claim that could potentially compensate you for injury-related costs is called special damages. In order to claim under this head, however, you will need to supply evidence, such as receipts. 

Examples of special damages:

  • Medical expenses not covered by the NHS. Therapy, cosmetic surgery and device rental/purchase could be included.
  • Lost wages. Recovery of lost earnings if you earned less for any length of time due to the injury. 
  • Travel expenses. If you need to take a taxi to medical appointments due to a broken leg, for example, you could recover the costs. 

Speak to our advisors to learn more about special damages you could claim and what evidence is needed for a personal injury claim

What Are Workplace Injuries?

If you’re wondering how long to claim after an accident at work, you first need to find out if your injuries were caused by provable employer negligence. This means they must have failed in their duty of care. Under the HASAWA, your employer should take reasonable steps to reduce hazards to their employees. Workplace injuries could occur otherwise. 

Examples of how employers can prevent injuries include:

  • Free training. Injuries, such as from manual handling, could occur if you are not trained in the appropriate area of health and safety. 
  • Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). If PPE is required to carry out work duties safely, it should be provided for free. Safety goggles might be required, for example, for jobs that involve projectile wood chips. Failing to provide the goggles could result in an eye injury. 
  • Equipment checks. Outside inspectors may be required to come in and check electrical safety, for example. Another example of equipment checks could be training employees on how to spot-check any equipment prior to use, such as checking the ropes on a safety harness. 

Contact our advisors if you have experienced a workplace injury due to employer negligence. 

 How Can Workplace Injuries Happen?

To claim compensation, you must be able to prove employer negligence caused your injury. Taking certain steps following an injury could help strengthen your claim. 

After an injury you could:

  • Seek medical attention. Medical records from a visit to the hospital or doctor could be submitted as evidence. 
  • Note witness contact details. You could make a note of witness contact details, if there are any. They could be contacted for a statement at a later date. 
  • Request CCTV. You are within your rights to request CCTV footage of the accident that resulted in your injury. 
  • Fill in the accident log book. You could fill this in with your name, the date and time, as well as any relevant details. 
  • Seek legal advice. An accident at work solicitor could make the claims process seem easier should you wish to claim compensation. As you’re thinking about how long to claim after an accident at work, a solicitor could help file the claim before the time limit

Contact our advisors to discuss what evidence could help strengthen your claim. 

A Definition Of No Win No Fee Agreements

Hiring legal representation could help by making the claim process seem easier. However, this could be expensive. A No Win No Fee arrangement offers a way to have a solicitor but without the financial risks of traditional legal representation. You could also hear this referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)

There isn’t an upfront solicitor’s fee with No Win No Fee. Instead, a success fee (capped by law) is taken from the award of successful claims. 

If the claim fails, you don’t have to pay the solicitor’s success fee at all.

Get Advice On How Long To Claim After An Accident At Work

Our advisors are waiting to talk to you about your potential claim. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you’ve been injured as a result of employer negligence. Legal advice is available for free, which could help strengthen your claim. They could work out how long to claim after an accident at work. If you’ve got an eligible claim, you could be connected with our panel of personal injury solicitors. 

See if you can begin your claim today:

  • Start your claim online
  • Call us on the number at the top of the page
  • Use the live chat feature

More Information – How Long To Claim After An Accident At Work

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If you need more information on how long you have to claim after an accident at work, why not reach out to us?

Publisher Ruth Vaughn

Writer Danielle Ball