Can I Claim Compensation For A Self-Employed Accident At Work? – Who Is At Fault? – How To Claim?

By Mark Anderson. Last Updated 12th March 2021. Welcome to our guide, which covers compensation for a self-employed accident at work. As someone who is self-employed, you may be unsure as to what rights you have when it comes to personal injury claims for accidents at work. You may doubt whether you possess the same statutory rights as those in permanent employment. Who would be liable for an injury or illness that results from an act of negligence? While you may feel like you are not eligible to pursue a claim for compensation, this is not true.

Throughout this guide, we will explain how you may be able to make a claim for compensation if another party is at fault for your injury or illness. We will show how you could be afforded the same rights as those in regular employment, along with information about what circumstances you may find yourself ineligible to claim.

You may be worrying about what process to follow and what steps to take, which is understandable and is why our advisors are on hand to help evaluate the validity of your case in a free, no-obligation consultation. If after reading this guide you still have questions or queries about claiming compensation for a self-employed accident at work, call our friendly advisors on 0161 696 9685. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a team of experts waiting to take your call.

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A Guide To When You Can Claim Compensation For A Self-Employed Accident At Work

There are various circumstances in which a self-employed person could make a claim, though this will largely depend on the circumstances of the claimant’s case.

Compensation for a self-employed accident at work

Self-employed accident at work

As will be further described throughout this guide, your rights as a self-employed worker are protected as with any other permanent member of staff. This guide will discuss how a claim could be made, what to do after an accident at work and how the support of a personal injury lawyer could ease any difficulties associated with the claims process. In addition to this, we will answer some common questions received by our advisory team, such as:

  • “Can I claim compensation for a self-employed accident at work?”
  • “Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?”
  • “What should I do after an accident at work when self-employed?”
  • “Do I need work accident insurance for self-employed positions?”
  • “Could I still claim as a self-employed sub-contractor after an accident at work?”

If you have a question that isn’t answered, then please do not worry. You can call our team of advisors at any point to discuss your concerns at great length.

What Is A Self-Employed Work Accident?

Even though you work for yourself and you are very much responsible for your safety and well-being, there are certain circumstances in which you could pursue a claim for compensation for a self-employed accident at work. In such instances, there must be a third-party responsible for the injury or illness caused due to their mistake(s) or negligence. The same could be said for a subcontractor who experiences an accident at work, too.

For example, as an external contractor (e.g. joiner, plumber, electrician, or plasterer), you could be sourced by a construction company to complete particular projects on-site. Under these conditions, you will typically be required to sign a contract which, among other things, will extend a duty of care over you regardless of whether you are on a permanent, freelance or contractual basis. This means that the contractor in question is therefore responsible for maintaining a safe environment for employees to work in, whether this is through Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), providing additional training for specific areas or introducing safety guidelines.

As previously stated, you may hold the same legal rights as those in regular employment. But this does not mean you are entirely restricted from making a claim when injured at work. We will consider the circumstances under which you could claim self-employed accidents at work, along with specific examples to paint a clearer picture of these conditions.

Self-Employed Workplace Accident Statistics

Between 2019 and 2020, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 111 workers were killed as a result of a workplace accident in a variety of industries, including transport, manufacturing, construction and support services. Of these, 27% related to the deaths of employees aged 60+, despite that age range making up around 10% of the UK’s overall workforce.

Self-Employed Workers Rights

There is often some confusion regarding what rights apply to self-employed workers. It should be noted that even though those who are self-employed may not have the luxury of sharing similar rights as permanent employees (e.g. holiday pay, sick pay, health benefits, etc.), they do share similarities under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. For instance, where permanent employees are entitled to sick days for any absence from work, someone who is self-employed may have to plan for such occasions.

Furthermore, as a self-employed person, employment law will still protect some basic areas of health and safety, including discrimination. Whether you were involved in an accident as a permanent employee, agency worker, or employed on a full-time, part-time or self-employed basis, the company you are working under will be legally obliged to adhere to workplace health and safety standards.

If, however, a contractor is injured at work from a mistake on behalf of another colleague, then who the claim is against will depend on the nature of the accident. You could, therefore, benefit from discussing your circumstances with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. In such cases, they could help distinguish whether there is a third-party at fault. It’s important to note that you cannot be discriminated against or fired for pursuing a claim against a contractor or temporary employer.

For more information about your rights when claiming compensation for a self-employed accident at work, please click here to be redirected to the UK Government website.

What Effect Could An Accident At Work Have On Self-Employed Workers?

In some cases, a self-employed person could be left with long-term repercussions following a self-employed work accident, just like any workplace accident. The consequences of such an event could be detrimental to several areas in a person’s life. For example, a long-term injury could lead to financial loss, an extended absence from work or, in severe cases, termination of work entirely.

In a personal injury claim, these factors will be taken into consideration. This is where the importance of your medical assessment will come into play. Under this assessment, various aspects of your injury will be evaluated and a  prognosis provided on your future condition. Instead of relying on an online personal injury claims calculator for a generalised estimation, please discuss your circumstances with an advisor from our panel, who could provide you with a more centralised total of your potential damages.

Self-Employed Workplace Road Traffic Accidents

A work-related accident is not just limited to workplace environments. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident as a self-employed person, you could also make a claim for compensation for a self-employed accident at work. In these scenarios, the claim will be made against either the company, individual or another road user.

A specialist personal injury solicitor from our panel could help you pursue a claim for an accident of this type. For more information about road traffic accident accidents, click here to read our detailed guide.

Self-Employed Slip, Trip or Fall Accidents At Work

A slip, trip or fall accident could occur in a series of settings, many of which may be induced by neglected hazards. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlights slips and trips to be the most common cause of workplace injuries. On average, this type of accident accounts for around 40% of all reported major injuries.

There are several ways these incidents could occur, such as working at height without the correct equipment or training or if the environment itself has not been correctly maintained. In addition to this, the HSE further advises how these incidents could be prevented through basic safety strategies. These may include:

  • Regular housekeeping
  • Risk assessments
  • Sufficient lighting
  • Managing health and safety risks and issues
  • Removing contaminants  from floors
  • Issue of correct footwear (PPE)
  • Reporting accidents for future prevention advice
  • Reporting any defective/damaged floors, mats, etc., so that they may be replaced.

These are only a handful of ways in which such accidents could be prevented. You can discuss these factors in further detail with an advisor from our expert panel.

Circumstances When Self-Employed Workers Could Claim For Accidents

As previously mentioned, there are particular circumstances in which you could make a claim for compensation for a self-employed accident at work when it comes to acts of third-party negligence. For your personal injury claim to be valid, certain factors must be taken into consideration. These include:

  • The company, business, contractor or employer is responsible for the working environment. 
  • You, the self-employed person, spent a large proportion of your time working in that environment. 
  • You have been contracted to work for the company responsible for the unsafe working environment, and the hazards of that environment led to the incident occurring in the first place.

Compensation Calculator For An Accident At Work When Self-Employed

In the table below are various injury types associated with a self-employed accident at work. The amounts applied to these injuries are based on the Judicial CollegeGuidelines, a legal publication that details compensation awards made by the courts for various injuries. While these may be beneficial for a basic understanding of how much you could be entitled to, you could receive a more specific estimate by discussing your case with an advisor.

InjurySeverityAmountInformation
Leg InjuryThe Most Serious Injuries Short Of Amputation£90,320 to £127,530Although these may not involve amputation, an injury of this severity is considered to be of similar significance to a case of amputation. For example, this may include extensive degloving of the leg, gross shortening of the leg or fractures that do not unite and extensive bone grafting must be undertaken.
Leg InjuryVery Serious£51,460 to £85,600An injury of this level will require crutches or mobility aids for the remainder of the individual’s life due to permanent problems with mobility. In addition to this, the injury will include multiple fractures which take years to heal, require treatment of extensive levels and which give rise to serious deformity, limitation of movement and development of arthritis.
Leg InjurySerious£36,790 to £51,460A compound injury to the joint or ligament which results in serious instability, prolonged treatment and also non-weight-bearing which persists over a long period mobility. There will be a certainty that arthritis will ensue from this and extensive scarring will also be likely.
Knee InjurySevere£65,440 to £90,290A serious injury to the knee will cause disruption to the person’s joint and this will give rise to the development of osteoarthritis, gross ligamentous damage and other such symptoms which will lead to the inevitability of arthroplasty or arthrodesis.
Knee InjuryModerate£13,920 to £24,580Some examples of moderate knee injuries which will be considered for such a bracket include dislocation, torn cartilage or meniscus. As a result, the individual will experience minor instability, wasting, weakness and other such mild symptoms for future disability.
Ankle InjuryVery Severe£46,980 to £65,420There is a limited number of examples which fall into this bracket, many of which are unusual. These include transmalleolar fractures to the ankle which result in extensive soft-tissue damage and deformity of the ankle itself. In addition to this, there will be a high risk to future injury which will require amputation.
Ankle InjurySevere£29,380 to £46,980This type of injury will require an extensive period of treatment. This will incorporate the use of plaster, pins and/or plates which will lead to significant residual disability. For example, this could be through ankle stability or severe limited ability to walk. How much is awarded will depend on various features associated with arthrodesis, the presence of risk to osteoarthritis, regular sleep disturbance and other such symptoms.
Ankle InjuryModerate£12,900 to £24,950These injuries will likely give rise to less serious disabilities, such as difficulty to walk on uneven ground, walk for a long period of time or generally stand. These repercussions will usually derive from fractures or ligamentous tears.
Ankle InjuryModest InjuriesUp to £12,900Although this bracket is less serious than those previously mentioned, the amount awarded will depend on whether a complete recovery is made and, in such cases where a recovery is not completed, what the likelihood may be for the ankle to give way.
Achilles Tendon InjuryMost SeriousIn the region of £36,060The most serious of Achilles tendon severance will give rise to a range of symptoms, such as restricted movement in the ankle, cramp and swelling. It will be necessary for the individual to cease active sports as a result.

No Win, No Fee Self-Employed Work Accident Claims

One of the many benefits associated with engaging with the services of our panel of solicitors is the fact that we work on a No Win No Fee basis. Also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a No Win, No Fee Agreement is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation for a self-employed accident at work awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry; the success fee is legally capped! Before you proceed with your claim, a solicitor from our panel will explain this to you in more detail. If you have any queries about CFAs, then please call us on 0161 696 9685.

Steps To Take If Injured As A Self-Employed Worker

After an accident, your mind may be swamped with emotions and stressed thoughts. When you are able, it’s important to follow some simple steps to gather supporting evidence. These pieces of evidence will be used to strengthen your claim and may put you in better stead for a successful compensation claim. These steps include:

  • Photograph The Scene: Following a self-employed work accident, you should take as many photographs of the accident itself as possible, including the cause.
  • Gather Witness Contact Details: If anyone was in the vicinity and witnessed the incident, try and collect their contact details. It is important to note, however, that you should not gather a statement from the witnesses, as this is the responsibility of your personal injury lawyer.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you suffer a minor injury, you should seek medical attention to ensure a medical record of your suffering.
  • Report The Accident: The incident should be reported to the relevant operating body to be logged in the work accident report book.
  • Photograph Your Injuries: Alongside seeking treatment for your injuries, you should photograph them too.

This list is not exhaustive, and there may be extra steps that you could take after a self-employed accident at work to assist your solicitor in building your case. Also,  your claim will need to be conducted within the relevant personal injury claims time limit. This time limit is 3 years from the date of the accident or the diagnosis of a psychological injury, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, some extenuating factors may waive this restriction, though they are restrictive. Our advice is always to seek legal advice as soon as possible. It allows your solicitor all the time they need to obtain and scrutinise evidence and to put your case to the defendant and negotiate a settlement. Please speak with an advisor from our team to find out more.

How Legal Helpline Could Help Victims Of Accidents At Work

Our panel of legal experts has thirty years of experience in representing third-party negligence victims for claiming compensation for a self-employed accident at work. With this wealth of experience and knowledge in personal injury claims, our panel could help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. They’ll guide you through the legal process, debunking legal jargon along the way, and should you ever have a query or would like an update on your case, you can be sure they’ll be on hand to take your call. 

To discuss your circumstances or start the ball rolling, get in touch using the details below!

Talk To Legal Helpline Today

Our team of friendly and helpful advisors are waiting to take your call. Want to talk to us about claiming compensation for a self-employed accident at work? You can reach us by phone on 0161 696 9685 or click here to begin your online enquiry. We look forward to representing you!

Helpful Resources

In addition to the information provided above, please find some additional resources you may find useful to your unique circumstances.

Gov UK
Health and safety tips from the Government website for major road schemes.

Citizens Advice For Accidents At Work
If you were injured from an accident at work, you might find this guide useful.

Scaffolding Accident Claims
How to claim for an injury suffered from a scaffolding accident.

Make A Claim For A Foot Injury
If you were made to suffer a foot injury, you could receive compensation for your damages.

Compensation Claims For Elbow Injuries
Find out how you could receive compensation for an elbow injury.

Compensation For A Self-Employed Accident At Work FAQs

Could I make a personal injury claim myself?

You could certainly do this if you wanted to. But it’s highly recommended to speak to a personal injury lawyer before trying to handle a claim. That’s because their support and experience could make a huge difference in you receiving an appropriate settlement figure.

Must I accept the first offer of compensation?

No. As a matter of fact, it’s a rarity for people who suffer serious injuries at work to accept the very first offer. The opening offer is just that; an opening with room for negotiation on both sides. So, be mindful of this when you first receive a settlement offer.

Should I hire a lawyer for work injury?

This is something that you may wish to consider. You don’t specifically have to hire a lawyer who primarily handles injuries at work. But it helps to have legal representation who understands workplace injuries and, more importantly, how to win compensation claims in such scenarios.

Could I get a lump sum from workers compensation?

This is unlikely because it doesn’t cover any pain and suffering stemming from injuries suffered at work. But you may be able to claim for permanent impairment as a result of the injury. And this is a lump sum that does compensate you for the impact on your life from the injury.

Guide by HS

Edited by REG

Thank you for reading our guide about compensation for a self-employed accident at work.