Do You Have To Be An Employee To Make A Work Accident Claim Against The Employer?

By Mark Anderson. Last Updated 17th March 2021. In this guide, we answer the question, “do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?” Many agency workers, contractors or temporary staff dismiss their right to claim compensation for an injury at work because they believe they are not entitled to do so. In fact, there are many situations where a business could be liable to compensate you if their negligence caused an accident to happen in which you were injured, whether you’re employed directly or not.

Do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim

Do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim

Legal Helpline assists people who want to make a personal injury claim against a responsible party. We provide free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of any claim. If your claim is deemed valid, we will introduce you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. If they agree to take your claim on, it will be on a No Win No Fee basis.

To discuss your claim straight away, please give us a call on 0161 696 9685 today.  Alternatively, to find out about claiming for a contractor or agency worker accident at work, please continue reading.

Jump To A Section

A Guide To Non-Employee Workplace Injury Claims

The traditional method of employment where an employee would be hired by a company directly and stay with them for the whole of their career is no longer the norm. Many companies today rely on contractors, agency staff and temporary staff to meet the demands of their business.

While some of the perks of being employed directly do not apply to temporary workers, an employer’s duty of care towards the health and safety of all their staff remains the same. This guide looks at what happens when an agency worker is injured at work when a temporary worker is injured at work, or a contractor is injured at work. The main aim is to answer the question, “Do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?”

We look at topics such as employer duty of care, temporary workers rights and what you should do if you suffer an injury at work. Also, we look at compensation amounts that could be paid and time limits that may apply to making your claim.

It’s worth pointing out that temporary workers cannot be sacked or disciplined for making a compensation claim if they are injured in an accident at work. So long as your claim is honest, you have the right to seek compensation if an employer’s negligence led to the accident in which you suffered an injury.

When you’ve finished reading this guide, if you have any further questions, please get in touch. Also, contact us if you’ve decided that you want to begin a claim. We’ll give you free legal advice about your claim and assess your case on a no-obligation basis.

What Is A Non-Employee Workplace Injury Claim?

The type of claim covered in this guide is where somebody who doesn’t have a permanent contract of employment with the company is injured while working for them. This could include temporary workers, seasonal workers, agency staff or contractors.

If you ask a solicitor to make such a claim on your behalf, you’ll need to prove to the following:

  • You were involved in an accident at work
  • The incident was caused by the negligence of the employer
  • And that you sustained injuries, or became ill, as a result of the accident

There are several ways an employer could be negligent, which is covered in the next section. To be clear, though, if the accident was your fault or was not foreseeable, you probably won’t be able to file an accident at work claim. To be eligible, your injuries must have happened in an accident that was caused by employer negligence.

What Duty Of Care Do Companies Have To Non-Employees?

Consider duty of care when asking, “do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?” You might think that a business has a different duty of care towards its own staff than to contractors, agency staff or temporary workers. Regarding health and safety, businesses owe the same duty of care towards all employees and other staff, regardless of their contract type.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that employers have a duty to secure “the health, safety and welfare of persons at work”. This means that regular risk assessments should be performed and any hazards removed where possible. Steps that business should take include:

  • Ensuring staff are fully trained in tasks they are asked to perform
  • Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) where required to reduce the risk of injury
  • Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensuring equipment and machinery is maintained accordingly
  • Ensuring any faulty equipment is repaired/replaced in a timely manner
  • Providing a health and safety policy, ensuring staff are fully aware of it and then reviewing it regularly

There are lot more steps that employers should take to reduce risks, such as ensuring flooring is even in factories and warehouses, installing handrails in areas that are unavoidably slippery, and even ensuring enough salt is used in car parks during icy conditions.

If any of the above steps are not set in place, and you suffer an injury, you could claim compensation for your injuries. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2019/20, 693,000 suffered an injury at work, but only 65,000 were reported. This suggests that a smaller percentage than that could result in a claim. Ensure that if you find yourself in this situation, you report the injury, and you then consider legal action. Please get in touch with an adviser to assess your claim.

Could I Still Claim Compensation If I Am Not An Employee?

Hopefully, you’re now beginning to understand that it is entirely possible for you to claim compensation from a business you are working for, even if you are not a permanent employee or if the business has been liquidated. To be eligible, you’ll need to demonstrate that an accident happened because the employer was negligent and that the accident caused you to be injured or ill.

To prove what’s happened, you’ll need to provide evidence for a personal injury solicitor to base a claim on. As such, we look at the sort of evidence required later in this guide. One key part of any claim is medical records. Therefore, if you are injured in an accident at work, you must visit your GP or A&E to have your injuries assessed and treated.

Medical records are used to show what injuries you suffered, the treatment you received, any medication prescribed and what advice you were given. Without this type of evidence, an employer might argue that although the accident took place, you didn’t suffer the injuries you’re claiming for. If you’d like us to review what evidence you have to support your claim, call the number at the top of the screen.

What Rights Do You Have As An Agency, Temporary Or Contract Worker?

So, how do worker rights come into play when asking, “do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?” Under UK law, from the date you begin working for an employer, you have several employment rights. All employees and other staff must be treated equally when talking about ‘workers rights’. The fact you might be a temporary worker, agency staff or contractor, is irrelevant. Some employment rights you’ll be entitled to from day one include:

  • Being paid the national minimum wage
  • Receiving the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • You’re entitled to the statutory minimum of rest breaks during your shift
  • You’ll be protected against unlawful deduction from your wages
  • You have the right to not work over 48 hours (average) per week. There’s a right to opt out of this if you want to
  • There’s a right not to be treated differently if you’re part-time
  • You have a right to be protected against unlawful discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation
  • Protection against being disciplined or bullied for whistleblowing
  • The right to seek compensation if you are injured at work through no fault of your own

Agency workers also have some more rights after 12 weeks of employment within a company. These include:

  • Receiving equal pay as somebody who’s employed directly doing the same role
  • Automatic enrolment into the workplace pension scheme

Furthermore, any temporary worker has the right to use facilities available to permanent employees. This includes staff canteens, car parks and creche facilities where available.

What Steps Could Temporary Or Agency Workers Take If Injured At Work?

When making non-employee workplace accident claims, the evidence needed would include the following:

  • What happened
  • Who could be to blame
  • What injuries you sustained

Therefore, if you are involved in an accident at work, here’s what we advise you to do:

  • As mentioned earlier, seek medical treatment for your injuries. At a later date, medical reports can be requested to prove what injuries were sustained
  • Report the accident to a supervisor. Businesses have to keep records of an accident, and you could use that record to prove the date, time and location of the accident
  • Take photographs of the accident scene. You should do this as soon as possible and try to capture the main cause of the accident. Leaving this till later may mean the root cause has been removed or repaired
  • Photograph any visible injuries. These photos could be used in conjunction with your medical records
  • Ask witnesses for their contact details. Anybody who saw what happened could provide a witness statement to help prove what happened
  • Finally, if CCTV was covering the area, ask for a copy which employers must provide in a timely manner

Once you have as much of the evidence as possible, you could call a member of our team to discuss your options.

Time Limits To Claim For A Non-Employee Workplace Accident Claim

If you’re a temporary employee injured on a job and decide you want to make a claim, you’ll need to do so within the personal injury claims time limit. This is a 3-year time period which begins:

  • On the date the accident took place
  • Or the date a doctor diagnosed you as suffering from a condition related to the workplace accident you were injured in
  • If you were injured when you were under the age of 18, you have up till your 21st birthday to file an accident at work claim against the employer

To check if you’ve still got time to make a claim, please speak with an adviser today. The earlier you begin your claim, the better, as this will allow your solicitor to gather all of the evidence required to substantiate your claim. Being aware of this is important when asking, “do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?”

Non-Employee Workplace Injury Compensation Calculator

If you’re now considering making a non-employee workplace injury claim, you’re probably interested in how much compensation you could be entitled to. As every claim is unique, we’re unable to provide personal estimates in this guide. However, we can provide personal injury compensation amounts in the table below. It provides example of amounts paid for the pain and suffering caused by certain injuries. This form of compensation is known as general damages.

Injury TypeSeverityRangeDetails
HeadMinor£2,070 to £11,980This bracket covers head injuries where any brain damage is minimal. Recovery time, severity, continuing symptoms and the presence of headaches are factors used to determine compensation levels.
NeckModerate£23,460 to £36,120Injuries like dislocations and fractures which lead to immediate severe symptoms and might lead to spinal fusion.
Neck MinorUp to £2,300A soft tissue injury of the neck which is fully healed within 3 months.
BackModerate£26,050 to £36,390Includes crush/compression fractures of the lumbar vertabrae which increases the risk of osteoarthritis and also causes discomfort and constant pain.
ShoulderFracture£4,830 to £11,490A fracture of the clavicle bone (collarbone)
ArmFracture£6,190 to £18,020Covers formarm fractures than can be categorised as simple fractures.
HandSerious£27,220 to £58,100Injuries which reduced hand function to around 50% capacity.
LegLess serious£16,860 to £26,050Fractures of the leg where an incomplete recovery is made. For example, the claimant might be left with a limp and metal plates in their leg.
LegFracture£8,550 to £13,210Simple femur fractures.
AnkleModestUp to £12,900Sprains, ligament injuries and minor or undisplaced fractures of the ankle fall into this bracket of compensation.

You’ll notice that every compensation amount is linked to the severity of the injury. Therefore, the evidence must be supplied to prove the extent of your injuries. Otherwise, you might not receive the right level of compensation. That’s why our panel of solicitors insist on claimants being assessed by an independent doctor.

The assessment is usually carried out locally to avoid too much travelling. The doctor will ask you to explain what happened and how your injuries have affected you. Then, after your examination, the doctor will write a report for your solicitor. It will contain information on your initial injury, the immediate impact and any long-term effects. In conjunction with other evidence, your solicitor will use the report to try and ensure you receive a fair amount of compensation.

Special Damages Claimable For Workplace Accidents

The previous section’s table showed compensation paid for general damages. That is the compensation used to cover pain and suffering caused by your injuries. However, that’s just one part of your claim. You can also ask for special damages when claiming.

Special damages are used to cover any financial costs you’ve incurred as a result of your accident. Some examples include:

  • Medical Costs. Obviously, you’ll most likely receive free treatment for your injuries on the NHS. However, the cost of over the counter medicines and prescriptions can soon build up. Therefore, you could include these in your claim
  • Travelling Costs. When you visit your GP or a hospital for medical treatment, you may incur parking costs and fuel costs. These could also be claimed back
  • Care Costs. Should you require assistance while recovering from your injuries, you could claim back the cost of a professional carer. Also, if a loved one looks after you, then you could claim for their time
  • Damaged Property. If an item of your personal property is damaged during your accident, then you could ask for the cost of replacing or repairing it as part of your claim
  • Lost Income. Finally, if you lose any income because of your injuries, then you could claim those losses back. Furthermore, if your injuries impact your long-term ability to work, then future lost earnings might be claimable too

When claiming special damages, you’ll need to provide evidence of your spending. Therefore, keep any receipts, wage slips or bank statements. Also, it might be worth writing a record of your spending too. This could make it easier to justify your costs when your solicitor asks you to.

Why Make A Claim With Them Team At Legal Helpline?

Hopefully, you now know the answer to the question, “Do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?”. If so, we really hope you’d like to work with us at Legal Helpline. Here are some reasons we believe you should choose us to help with your claim:

  • We have a claims line that’s available 24/7, so you can claim when it’s convenient for you
  • Our advisers offer free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of your claim
  • Some of the solicitors on our panel have nearly 3 decades of experience making workplace accident claims
  • Any claims our panel of solicitors take on are on a No Win No Fee basis
  • Finally, you’ll be kept up to date throughout your claim, and our panel of solicitors will do all they can to try and ensure you receive the right level of compensation

If there’s anything else you need to know about how Legal Helpline can assist you, please speak with an adviser today.

No Win No Fee Non-Employee Workplace Accident Claims

If you’re a temporary worker injured at work and you’re considering claiming compensation, you might be worried about how much it will cost to do so. To help reduce your financial risk, our panel of solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for any claim they take on.

First of all, they’ll assess your claim to check it has a chance of being won. Then, if they agree to take it on, they’ll give you a Conditional Fee Agreement to sign (CFA). This legal contract is important because it explains no solicitor’s fees to pay unless you receive compensation.

When a claim is won, the CFA will explain how success fees work. These are used to cover solicitors’ work and time. The success fee is a percentage of your compensation that has been pre-agreed and set out in your No Win No Fee agreement.

The solicitors on our panel offer No Win No Fee service to reduce the stress of claiming and to enable more people to do so. If you’d like us to check whether you could be entitled to a no win no fee service, please get in touch today.

Start A Non-Employee Accident Claim

Thanks for reading our guide about workplace injury claims for non-employees. We hope you’ve found the information helpful. Also, we hope you’re now ready to begin a personal injury claim with Legal Helpline. If that’s the case, please get in touch using one of the following methods:

  • Call to speak with a specialist adviser on 0161 696 9685
  • Use our live chat facility to connect with an adviser online
  • Or, finally, we can give you a call back if you complete our online enquiry form

To begin with, we’ll discuss your claim in detail with you. We’ll look at what happened and what injuries you suffered. Then we’ll look at who was to blame and what evidence you have. Finally, if your claim is strong enough, we could introduce you to one of our panel of personal injury solicitors. If they agree that your claim could be won and take it on, it’ll be on a No Win No Fee basis.

Resources And References

We hope this guide has answered the question, “Do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?”. If you still need any more questions answered, please call an advisor. For now, though, we’ve linked to some more useful guides and external documents which you may find useful.

The Health And Safety At Work Act 1974 – The legislation protects all employees and provides several rights regarding injury at work claims.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – Information on the government’s SSP scheme which can be claimed by some when off work ill.

Rights Of An Agency Worker – Guidance from the government on the rights of an agency worker.

Do You Have To Be An Employee To Make An Accident At Work Claim FAQs

What qualifies as an injury suffered at work?

Any injury whereby the work environment causes or in some way influences your being hurt counts as a work-related injury. This includes you potentially developing an illness because of exposure to an element within work. It could also include any aggravation of a pre-existing condition due to work.

Could I make a claim against my employer?

This is a big step to take, but it’s one that may be necessary. And it’s one right that you have every right to make. An employer cannot stop you from suing them if
there has been a breach in their duty of care towards you.

What could disqualify you from workers compensation?

This could happen if the injury comes about due to the worker being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other scenarios are intentional injuries and also the victim actually being the aggressor in the accident.

Why do employers fight workers compensation claims?

An employer could feel very strongly about the victim exaggerating about or causing the injury themselves. But an employer usually only does this if they have strong evidence to support their case. Note, though, that since some conditions are hard to prove, the employer may find it worthwhile to battle such claims.

Article by BH

Editor HW

Thank you for reading our guide, which asks, “do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?”