This article will discuss how long you have to claim for an accident at work while explaining what steps you could take to start the claims process. If you were injured as a result of your employer breaching their duty of care, you might be able to claim.
We will discuss the limitation period to start a personal injury claim alongside the exceptions to this time limit. This guide also highlights how compensation is valued, including examples of relevant workplace injuries.
If you wish to pursue a personal injury claim, you must prove that your employer breaching their duty of care led to an accident that caused injuries.
You may be interested in working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. If you have any questions, our advisors are available to help:
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- How Long Do You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?
- Why Are There Workplace Accident Claim Time Limits?
- What Time Limits Apply To My Claim?
- Am I Eligible To Claim For An Accident At Work?
- How Much Can I Claim?
- Contact Legal Helpline To Find Out How Long You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work
In the workplace, your employer owes you a duty of care. This is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). According to the HASAWA, your employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe in the workplace. If they breach this duty, and you are injured as a result, this is negligence.
Accidents can occur in all kinds of workplaces. You could experience an accident at work in an office, warehouse or industrial kitchen, for example.
You must provide evidence in order to be eligible to claim. We will detail what evidence you could use to strengthen your claim further on in this guide.
The limitation period for a personal injury claim can vary depending on the circumstances. We will explain throughout this guide what these exceptions are and when they could apply.
Read on to learn more about how long you have to claim for an accident at work. Alternatively, contact our advisors for free legal advice.
Time limits apply in all personal injury claims, including claims for accidents at work. This is set out in the Limitation Act 1980, which outlines the time limits for a variety of compensation claims.
Despite these time limits, we recommend starting your compensation claim as soon as you’re able to. This is because there are certain factors of the claims process that might be less easy to do as time goes on. For example, collecting evidence is an important part of the personal injury claims process, but it might become increasingly difficult to do as more time passes from the date of the incident.
We will explain these time limits and their exceptions in the following section. Otherwise, you can contact our team of advisors for more advice on how long you have to claim for an accident at work.
The Limitation Act 1980 states that there is a general 3-year time limit to starting a personal injury claim. This is from either:
- The date the accident occurred
- The date you gained knowledge that your injuries were caused by third-party negligence
Some exceptions apply to this limitation period. For example, if someone who does not have the mental capacity to claim themselves is injured in an accident at work caused by negligence, then the time limit is suspended unless they become able to claim themselves. At this point, they have 3 years in which to start their own claim.
When minors are injured due to an employer’s breach of their duty of care, the time limit is suspended until the date of their 18th birthday.
In claims involving someone without the capacity to claim and child accident claims, a litigation friend can make the claim on behalf of the injured party. A litigation friend can be any party who can act in the best interests of the claimant, such as a parent, guardian or trusted friend. It’s important to note that if a litigation friend claims on behalf of someone, that person cannot then make another claim in the event that they become able to.
Our advisors are available to answer your questions if you need further support. Get in touch for free legal advice.
In order for your claim to be valid, you must be able to prove that your employer breached their duty of care and that this breach lead to your injuries. Collecting evidence surrounding your accident can help strengthen your claim.
Relevant workplace accident evidence can include:
- A copy of the recorded incident in the workplace accident book
- Contact details of witnesses that can support your case
- Photographs of the hazard, accident and injuries you sustained
- CCTV footage of the accident or the circumstances that lead up to it
Medical evidence such as hospital reports and prescriptions that corroborate your injuries can also strengthen your claim. A solicitor from our panel could arrange for you to have a private medical assessment in order to prove the extent of your injuries. Speak to an advisor for more information on how long you have to claim for an accident at work.
When looking to make a personal injury claim, you might want insight into how much your claim could be worth. There are two heads of compensation that can be awarded in personal injury claims:
- General damages: the loss of amenity and suffering you experienced due to the injuries you sustained from the accident. This includes psychological injuries.
- Special damages: the financial losses as a result of your injuries. This includes loss of earnings, medical bills and travel costs.
We’ve included some examples of compensation brackets for general damages below. These figures are from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which are used by legal professionals to assist them in valuing personal injury claims.
|Very Severe Brain Damage||£282,010 - £403,990||Factors that could affect your payout include the extent of physical limitations, sensory impairment and ability to communicate with or without assistive technology.|
|Moderately Severe Brain Injury||£219,070 - £282,010||Severe disabilities are caused such as limb paralysis, impaired intellect and personality, and reduced life expectancy.|
|Severe Back Injury (i)||£91,090 - £160,980||Injuries include damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing serious consequences.|
|Severe Back Injury (ii)||£74,160 - £88,430||Injuries leading to impaired mobility, sexual difficulties and associated loss of sensation.|
|Severe Back Injury (iii)||£38,780 - £69,730||Despite treatment, disabilities remain, such as impaired agility, continuing severe pain and discomfort, and depression.|
|Severe Neck Injury (i)||In the region of £148,330||The injured person will be almost unable to move their neck despite wearing a collar for multiple years.|
|Severe Neck Injury (ii)||£65,740 - £130,930||Serious fractures or damage to discs in the spine are caused, leading to severe disabilities that fall short of the bracket above.|
|Severe Neck Injury (iii)||£45,470 - £55,990||The level of the award depends on the extent of treatment, the length of time injuries remain and the prognosis.|
|Very Severe Ankle Injury||£50,060 - £69,700||Injuries are limited and unusual, including a transmalleolar fracture with extensive soft tissue damage.|
|Severe Ankle Injury||£31,310 - £50,060||The level of the award depends on the presence of osteoarthritis, sleep disturbance and impact on employment.|
Please be advised that the above figures are a guideline. Our advisors can estimate your claim’s worth.
No Win No Fee agreements may be a beneficial option for you when hiring legal representation for your claim. A popular form of No Win No Fee is a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA); this type of arrangement offers you the benefits of legal representation, usually without any upfront fees or ongoing costs to pay to your solicitor.
Additionally, you generally won’t pay any solicitor fees if your claim fails. This is because solicitors only take a legally capped success fee from your compensation if your claim is successful.
Our advisors can put you through to one of the personal injury solicitors from our panel if they believe your claim has a good chance of success.
To start the claims process, reach out to our team.
Learn More About Personal Injury Claim Time Limits
If you’re still unsure about how long you have to claim for an accident at work, we’ve featured some additional resources and more of our guides below:
- To see health and safety statistics for workplaces in Great Britain, visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
- First aid support and information can be found on the NHS website.
- The government advises on what you might receive for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Or, for more helpful articles from our site:
- What You Need To Know About Accident At Work Employee Rights
- How Much Can I Claim Per Stitch In The UK?
- A Guide To Fatal Accident At Work Compensation Claims
Thank you for reading our guide about how long to claim for an accident at work.
Written by JA
Edited by CH/LJ/FS