Injuries sustained in a workplace accident can be painful enough but being dismissed as a result of that accident adds a whole new level of suffering. It’s often asked, “Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?” so this guide has been written to explain your options. We’ll look at the legal options that may be available to you if you’ve had an accident at work and what steps could be taken if you’ve been fired or sacked as a result.
If you believe your dismissal after an accident at work was not fair, we may be able to help. Our team of specialists will review how you’ve been treated and provide free legal advice. As well as answering any questions, they may connect you with a specialist employment or personal injury solicitor on our team. Should you have grounds to proceed with an unfair dismissal claim or personal injury claim, you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis.
Please carry on reading to find out your options if you’ve been sacked after an accident at work or give us a call on 0800 6524 881 to speak to one of our specialists.
Table of contents
- When Can You Be Sacked Following An Accident At Work?
- Can I Sue My Employer For An Accident At Work?
- Steps To Take After A Workplace Accident
- Time Limits If You’ve Been Sacked For Having An Accident At Work
- How To Take Legal Action If You’ve Been Fired After An Accident At Work
In many cases, if you have an accident at work and it was your fault, your employer should follow their normal procedures before firing you. This could result in a new probationary period or extra training so that you can avoid making the same mistakes again.
However, if the accident was caused by your misconduct or negligence and it endangered you or your colleagues, your employer could have grounds to dismiss you without notice.
If you’re unsure whether your sacking was fair, please speak to our team today.
The key factors that can determine whether an employer can legally dismiss an employee on long-term sick leave include the nature of the illness or injury, the length of absence, the impact on the business, and how the employer has managed the situation.
For example, if you’ve worked for your employer for more than 2 years before being fired, your employer should:
- Meet with you to review your recovery and discuss when you might be able to return to work.
- Review any medical evidence about your injuries.
- Consider if you might be able to return or if there is an alternative role available.
If your employer considered all of the options above but still fired you, it’s unlikely you’d be able to claim unfair dismissal. However, you may well still have grounds to make a personal injury claim for the suffering caused by your injuries.
Let’s now take a look at when it would be possible to make a personal injury claim for a workplace accident. If you’re to claim compensation from your employer, you would typically need to prove that:
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards you i.e. they were negligent; and
- An accident occurred because of that negligence; and
- You were made ill or suffered an injury because of the accident.
If all three of the above statements were true, you may have grounds to start a claim against your employer.
Many injured employees worry about the consequences of making a personal injury claim against their employer following an accident at work. However, it is unlawful for you to be treated differently as a direct consequence of your claim. Therefore, you cannot be:
- Demoted for making a compensation claim.
- Denied training opportunities.
- Bullied or picked on because you’re suing the company.
As you can see, you cannot be fired for claiming against your employer for a valid reason and you cannot be dismissed if the accident was not your fault. If your claim was the reason for being fired, you may well have grounds to sue for unfair or constructive dismissal.
If you were unfairly dismissed following an accident at work, you may be able to take your case to an employment tribunal. To win an unfair dismissal claim, you would need to prove to the tribunal that there weren’t sufficient grounds to fire you or that the correct procedures were not followed.
To prove constructive dismissal, you would need to show that your employer’s actions made it impossible for you to continue in your role so you had to quit.
Importantly, unfair and constructive dismissal claims have a 3-month time limit from the date you were dismissed. Therefore, you will need to act quickly if you’d like to proceed.
There are steps you could take that will make it harder for your employer to sack you after an accident at work. The same steps will mean you have evidence to support a work injury claim if you decide to make one. They are:
- Ensure the incident is logged in the company’s accident report book. Your copy could be used to prove what happened.
- Visit A&E or a minor injuries unit for treatment. If you decide to claim compensation, your medical records could help to prove the extent of your injuries.
- Speak to anybody who saw your accident and collect their contact details in case witness statements are needed.
- Take photographs of the accident scene as soon as possible to help prove what happened
- Secure copies of CCTV footage from your employer if your accident was recorded.
Any evidence you can secure will increase your chances of winning an unfair dismissal claim or personal injury claim. We believe your chances of being compensated fairly are usually higher if you have a specialist solicitor on your side.
As mentioned earlier, there is a 3-month time limit if you wish to make an unfair or constructive dismissal claim. This will be from the date you were dismissed.
If you wish to claim compensation for your injuries, there is a 3-year time limit. In most cases, this will typically start from the date you were injured.
In both cases, we would suggest that you start the claims process sooner rather than later. Doing so will mean there should be enough time for evidence and medical reports to be collected to support your claim.
We’re here to help if you have any questions about your eligibility to claim. By calling 0800 6524 881, your case may be reviewed by one of our specialist advisors. They’ll answer all of your questions and supply free legal advice on a no-obligation basis.
If your claim is viable and accepted by a solicitor on our team, you won’t need to pay legal fees upfront because they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. You’ll only pay for their work if your claim is successful.
If you’ve been sacked after an accident at work, please feel free to call us or use our live chat service to ask any questions you may have.