Accident at Work Guide

Making a claim against your employer is a difficult decision to make when you’ve had an accident at work. Leaving the legal definitions aside, if you have an accident in the workplace, your employer should have insurance in place that covers you. Your employer is therefore not personally liable to pay damages to you. Instead, it falls to their insurance company to deal with your claim.

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Workplace accident compensation claims

Over the years, the Personal Injury lawyers at Nash & Co Solicitors have represented hundreds of clients. We have experience in securing compensation for clients who have sustained a wide range of workplace injuries – both minor and life changing. Whether you have sustained muscle or ligament injuries, amputation injuries or have been involved in a catastrophic construction site accident, resulting in life changing injuries, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

The majority of the clients we see have never made a claim before. As such, they aren’t sure where to start or what’s involved in making a personal injury claim. To help our clients understand the process, we’ve put this accident at work claims guide together. We’ll also cover what you need to do, and how our accident claims lawyers can help you, every step of the way.

If you still have questions after reading our guide, please pick up the phone and give us a call on 01752 827085. You can also email us or ask us to call you back.

Accident at Work - Injury By Forklift - Nash & Co Solicitors


Key points

  • If you’ve had an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
  • If we think that you have a claim, then we’ll be able to work for you on a No-Win-No-Fee basis.
  • Your claim will be run and managed by one of our highly qualified and experienced Accident Claims lawyers.
  • The amount of compensation that you might be entitled to is based on how severe your injuries are. Whether or not you will need care in the future will also be taken into account.
  • If you paid for medical treatment and have incurred additional expenses following your accident, you may be able to claim for them too.
  • You will need to prove that your employer breached their duty of care to you and that this breach was directly responsible for causing the accident.
  • The general rule is that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim. There are exceptions though, please read on to learn more.
  • The amount of time it will take to claim the compensation is dependent on the severity of your injuries.

Why choose Nash & Co Solicitors?

  • We have fully qualified Personal Injury lawyers, with a wealth of experience.
  • We’re independent of any insurance companies and will always act in your best interests.
  • We’ll ensure we do all we can to achieve the best possible settlement and pay out for you.
  • We do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it.
  • There will always be someone available to discuss your accident claim.
  • We pride ourselves on our exceptional client service standards and deliver a fantastic level of care.
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What information is needed following an accident at work?

At the initial meeting (which can be in person or by telephone) we will ask you a lot of questions about the incident. This involves discussing in as much detail as possible, how the accident happened.

Details of any witnesses to your accident will be helpful. If you have them, we’ll need you to bring these details with you.

We’ll also need to know:

  • The name of your employer
  • Where and when the accident happened
  • Who it was reported to
  • Whether there was any investigation following your accident
  • Was there an accident book completed?
  • Whether you have been contacted by any external source, such as the Health and Safety Executive.

We’ll also ask you about the injuries you sustained and what hospitals or treatment centres you’ve attended.  Please keep a note of any information that you think may be relevant.

How long do I have to make a claim after an accident?

If you’ve had an accident at work, you have three years from the date of the accident (unless the person is a child) to make a claim. This is to either settle your injury claim with the Defendant or to at least commence court proceedings.  If you do neither, then you’re no longer able to pursue a claim.

If the accident claim is for a child, they have three years from their 18th birthday to start a claim.  A child can start a claim at any age if they have a “litigation friend”. This is usually a parent or close family member who can deal with everything on their behalf.

There is no time limit for someone unable to claim on their own behalf due to diminished mental capability. However, should they regain normal mental capacity the three-year limitation period will commence from that date.

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How soon after my accident should I start a claim?

Although you have three years within which to bring a claim for an accident at work, we would never recommend that you leave it that long. There’s a lot of investigative work that needs to be undertaken before a claim is ready to be settled or court proceedings issued. The longer a claim is left the less likely a claim is to succeed. Important documents that can be beneficial to your claim can be misplaced, lost or destroyed. Witnesses can move or their memories fade, so we always recommend starting the claims process sooner rather than later.

What do I have to prove in a claim against my employer?

By law, your employer has a duty of care over all of its employees. If you have an accident at work, you must prove that your employer breached that duty of care and that this breach was directly responsible for causing the accident.

What compensation am I likely to receive?

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on a variety of factors. These factors include the severity of your injury and the duration of your symptoms. Until final medical evidence is obtained in your case, we’re unable to tell you what the value of your claim is. After looking over all the evidence, we may be able to give you a rough idea at your initial meeting. This will, however, only be an indicative guide.


How is compensation calculated?

Compensation awards in personal injury claims are made up of General Damages and Special Damages. General Damages are compensation for pain, suffering and ‘loss of amenity’. Special Damages are compensation for financial losses.

General Damages

This is compensation for your injuries. The court will assess the value of your injuries by using the Judicial College Board Guidelines. These are a set of ‘guidelines’ that are used to decide on compensation levels. The amount of compensation depends on the severity of the injury, together with contributing factors such as the recovery period.

For an idea of how much this is likely to amount to, please contact our Accident Claims team. We’re always on hand to help you.

Special Damages

These are the financial losses which you may have incurred as a direct result of your accident. Usually, the biggest loss is ‘loss of earnings’ as a result of not being able to work. It can also include loss of over time, loss of bonuses and loss of shift allowance. If your accident has affected your future ability to work, then claims can be made for future loss of earnings. Your pension may also have been affected.

See the graphic below for other examples of Special Damages that you might be able to claim for.

It’s important that you keep a detailed note of all your costs together with receipts. If you are not sure whether you can recover a cost, just call us and we’ll help!

special damages

Will it take a long time to settle my claim?

As every accident at work claim is different, it’s difficult to say how long it will take to settle your claim. If liability for the accident is contested and the injury is complicated, then the claim will take longer to conclude. If liability is admitted early in the claim, your injuries settle down quickly and the defendant’s insurers make a reasonable offer to settle the claim, then things can be concluded quite quickly.

Relatively straightforward claims can settle within 12 to 18 months, whereas more complicated workplace injury claims can be ongoing for several years.

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Does it matter who I choose to represent me?

It’s important to ensure your lawyer has your best interests at heart. They should understand your claim and most importantly, know the law and what you should be claiming. 

You should have a good relationship with your solicitor and feel they are working with you to achieve one thing – the best possible result for you.

Our Personal Injury lawyers are known for their understanding and compassion.  They appreciate that you have probably never been in this position before.  They’ll talk to you in plain English, without using legal jargon or technical language. You’ll be kept fully informed every step of the way and we’ll make sure that you’ll always have someone in the team who you can talk to. We don’t want you feeling like you have to chase us for updates. Providing you with exceptional client service is one of our top priorities.

Our Accident Claims solicitors will go that extra mile to make sure they achieve the right result for you. And if you’re still not sure about choosing Nash & Co Solicitors in Plymouth, look at what our previous clients have said about us in our Google reviews.

What will it cost to make a claim?

It won’t cost you a penny to pick up the phone and give us a call to talk through the circumstances of your accident.  We offer a free initial discussion to discuss your potential claim and provide our initial advice.

If we think that you do have a claim worth pursuing and you are keen to proceed, we will act for you under a no win no fee agreement (formally called a Conditional Fee Agreement).  Making a no win no fee claim typically involves us taking out an insurance policy on your behalf.

The insurance policy protects you if your claim is unsuccessful.  It also allows you to make a claim for compensation without having to pay a penny upfront.

You will only ever pay anything if your no win no fee claim is a success and even then, your opponent will pay most of your costs.  Any remaining costs are then deducted from your compensation payment.  We will talk you through all of this in advance and in more detail so that you are fully informed from the outset.

Remember, if we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us a penny!

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What’s next?

If you have questions about claiming compensation for an accident at work or would like to arrange a free consultation, get in touch with us. You can call our solicitors in Plymouth on 01752 827085 and speak to an experienced member of the Accident Claims team about your situation. We’ll be delighted to help you gain the compensation you’re entitled to. You can also email Mike Shiers or one of the Accident Claims team at [email protected]

Alternatively, to arrange a call back from our expert solicitors, you can complete our contact form.

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