How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?

By Stephen Bishop. Last Updated 16th May 2024. 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:

a man falling off a ladder and landing on his back

Select A Section

  1. How Long Do You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work?
  2. Why Are There Workplace Accident Claim Time Limits?
  3. What Evidence Is Needed To Claim For An Accident At Work?
  4. How Much Can I Claim?
  5. Contact Legal Helpline To Find Out How Long You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work

How Long Do 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. 

Why Are There Workplace Accident Claim Time Limits?

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.

What Evidence Is Needed To Claim For An Accident At Work?

To make a valid accident at work, how long you have to claim is not the only factor you need to consider. You also need to make sure you gather evidence which confirms the injuries you’re claiming for. You’ll also need evidence which shows how your employer caused your injuries by breaching the duty of care that you were owed.

Examples of evidence that could support an accident at work claim include:

  • Medical records that confirm the injuries you’ve suffered and the treatment you’ve received for them.
  • The contact details of any witnesses who can provide a statement about your work accident.
  • Photographs of the work accident scene plus any visible injuries you suffered due to the accident.
  • Video footage of the incident at work that caused your injuries, such as CCTV footage.
  • A copy of the report about your incident from the work accident book.

If you are being supported by a personal injury solicitor, then they can assist with gathering evidence. Contact our advisors for free today to learn more about collecting evidence or to ask other questions you may have, such as “how long do I have to claim for an accident at work?”

A supervisor calling emergency services after seeing an employee injured at work

How Much Can I Claim?

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.

Multiple Serious Injuries And Special DamagesUp to £1,000,000+If you're eligible to claim for multiple serious injuries from an accident at work, then you may receive a payout for all of these plus any related special damages, such as loss of earnings, for example.
Very Severe Brain Damage£344,150 to £493,000Factors 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£267,340 to £344,150Severe disabilities are caused such as limb paralysis, impaired intellect and personality, and reduced life expectancy.
Severe Back Injury (i)£111,150 to £196,450Injuries include damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing serious consequences.
Severe Back Injury (ii)£90,510 to £107,910Injuries leading to impaired mobility, sexual difficulties and associated loss of sensation.
Severe Back Injury (iii)£47,320 to £85,100Despite treatment, disabilities remain, such as impaired agility, continuing severe pain and discomfort, and depression.
Severe Neck Injury (i)In the region of £181,020The injured person will be almost unable to move their neck despite wearing a collar for multiple years.
Severe Neck Injury (ii)£80,240 to £159,770Serious 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)£55,500 to £68,330The level of the award depends on the extent of treatment, the length of time injuries remain and the prognosis.
Very Severe Ankle Injury£61,090 to £85,070Injuries are limited and unusual, including a transmalleolar fracture with extensive soft tissue damage.

Please be advised that the above figures are a guideline. Our advisors can estimate your claim’s worth.

Contact Legal Helpline To Find Out How Long You Have To Claim For An Accident At Work

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:

Or, for more helpful articles from our site:

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