In most cases, you’ll have 3 years to start a compensation claim against your employer for an accident at work beginning from the date of the accident. However, there are some cases where this isn’t possible. Therefore, this guide to accident at work claim time limits will show you how long you have to begin a claim for different types of accidents, injuries, and illnesses at work.
Our team of specially trained advisors is on hand if you have any queries about claiming. They can review your claim for free, provide legal advice, explain the time limits that apply and review your options. If your claim has a reasonable chance of success, they could ask one of our accident at work solicitors to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
To find out how long you have to claim compensation for an accident at work, please read on. Alternatively, feel free to call our team on 0800 6524 881 for more information.
Table of contents
- What Is The Time Limit For Filing An Accident At Work Claim?
- Time Limits For Different Types Of Accidents And Injuries At Work
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For A Work Injury?
- How Much Compensation For A Work Injury Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support An Accident At Work Claim
- Starting A Claim If You’re Within The Accident At Work Claim Time Limit
In the UK, a statute of limitations is defined by the Limitations Act 1980. In section 11(4) of the act relating to personal injury claims, a 3-year time limit is defined. This means that you have 3 years to claim compensation from either:
- The date on which your accident at work happened; or
- The date of knowledge (if later).
For a fatal work injury, a 3-year time limit also applies which starts from the date of death or the date the person who is claiming became aware of the death.
As we progress, we’ll look at how these time limits apply to different types of accident at work claims.
In any type of work injury claim, there are several steps that need to be completed before the claim is filed. This can include gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses and booking appointments for medical assessments.
Therefore, we would suggest that it’s best to start a work injury claim as soon as possible rather than waiting too long. If you are approaching the time limit for your accident at work claim, please get in touch so we can speak to one of our solicitors and see if they could still help you to begin a claim.
It’s worth reiterating that you can only claim for injuries sustained in a workplace accident if your employer’s negligence was in some way responsible. The list below shows some common scenarios that might lead to a claim and how long you’ll have to claim.
If you’re injured in an accident at work, it may be possible to claim compensation. For example, you could claim for accidents caused by:
- Faulty or damaged machinery.
- A lack of proper safety training.
- Inadequate or missing PPE.
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals.
- Electric shock at work.
In any type of workplace accident where you’re immediately aware of your injuries, the time limit will be 3-years from the date of the accident.
Some workplace injuries don’t occur because of accidents but are caused by repetitive actions over prolonged periods of time. Examples of RSI injuries that could be claimed for include tennis elbow, hand-arm vibration syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and ulnar neuropathy.
As it can take some time for symptoms to become apparent, workplace RSI claims will typically have a 3-year time limit from the date your injuries were diagnosed by your doctor.
Industrial illnesses or diseases are conditions caused by exposure to something dangerous in the workplace. Examples include industrial deafness typically caused by long-term exposure to loud noises or mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos in the workplace.
The effects of these conditions might take years to become apparent and you might not even be working for the employer any longer. However, claims might still be possible so long as you begin within 3-years of the date of diagnosis.
If a loved one has died from an accident at work, you could claim compensation on behalf of their estate for their suffering. You could also be compensated if you were financially dependent on their income.
If a fatal accident claim was started after the accident but your loved one died before the 3-year time limit expired, the 3-years would begin again from the date of their death.
We realise that discussing the loss of a loved one will be hard but please get in touch and we’ll work with you at a suitable pace and we will not put any pressure on you at any point.
If you’re injured at work from being assaulted or subjected to any other form of violent act in the workplace, you could have grounds to claim. You’ll have 3-years to claim from the date you were injured if your employer was somehow responsible for your injuries i.e. if you were assaulted at work in a bar because of a lack of security staff.
However, if the claim is not against your employer, you could still be compensated for your injuries by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Here the time limit will be 2-years from the date you were injured and you must have reported the crime to the police.
If you haven’t run out of time to claim compensation against your employer but aren’t sure whether you’re eligible, before accepting a work injury claim, our personal injury advisors will check with you whether:
- The defendant breached their duty of care toward the claimant as set out by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (or other legislation); and
- An accident at work happened as a result; and
- The claimant was injured during the accident; and
- The claim is being made within the relevant time limit.
To help prove how your employer was responsible for your work accident, you’ll need to provide as much evidence as possible. We’ll look at what you could use to support your case a little later on.
The exact amount of compensation you could claim if injured at work is dependent on how you’ve suffered. If your claim is successful, it could include compensation to cover:
- Your physical pain and suffering.
- Any mental harm (anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder etc).
- Loss of amenity (how your injuries affect your normal activities).
- Travel costs.
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses (physiotherapy, private surgery etc).
- Loss of earnings (and future loss of earnings for longer-term injuries).
- Home adaptations if you’re left disabled by your injuries.
As part of your claim, you’ll need to be assessed by an independent medical expert. Their report will be used by your solicitor to help calculate how much compensation you’ll claim.
To give you some idea of how much compensation could be awarded for injuries sustained at work, please take a look at our compensation calculator:
These figures are not guaranteed. After your solicitor receives your medical report, they’ll be able to provide a more personalised compensation estimate.
If you are injured in an accident at work, you should try to collect as much evidence as possible to prove how the accident occurred, who caused it, and how you were injured. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that your solicitor will be able to convince your employer’s insurers to compensate you.
The type of evidence that could help includes:
- A copy of your accident report form to prove that the accident happened. Legally, all workplace accidents must be recorded.
- Your medical records from the hospital or GP surgery that treated you.
- Details of any witnesses in case your solicitor needs a statement from them.
- Photographs of the accident scene. Where possible, these should include the cause of the accident at work before it’s repaired or removed.
- CCTV footage if a camera captured the accident happened.
- Details of any expenses you’ve incurred because of your work injuries.
Don’t worry if you haven’t collected everything already. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will help to obtain any evidence that you’ve not already secured.
Hopefully, this guide has clarified the accident at work time limit that applies in your case. If you would like to start a claim or discuss how long you have left to do so, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881 today.
An advisor will review your claim for free, explain your options and could partner you with one of our solicitors if you’re claim is suitable. If it’s taken on, your solicitor will act on a No Win No Fee basis for you so you’ll only have to pay legal fees if you’re compensated.
If you have any questions about accident at work claim time limits please use our live chat to speak directly with an advisor.