Many self-employed workers assume that if they’re injured at work then it’s just one of those things. However, if you’re completing a job for another company whilst on their premises and you’re injured because of their negligence, you could be entitled to start a personal injury claim against them. In this guide about self-employed injury claims, we’ll look at some of the scenarios that could mean you’re eligible to claim compensation if you’re self-employed and injured at work.
As well as reading this guide, you can contact us for free legal advice about self-employed injury claims. A specially trained advisor will review your case with you and look at your options. They’ll also answer your questions on a no-obligation basis. If your claim has a realistic chance of success, one of our personal injury solicitors could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you only pay legal fees if you receive a compensation payout.
Please carry on reading to learn more about self-employed injury claims or call us on 0800 6524 881 to discuss your options.
Table of contents
- Can Self-Employed Individuals Claim For An Accident At Work?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Self-Employed Injury Claim?
- What Types Of Negligence Lead To Self-Employed Accidents At Work?
- Common Self-Employed Injury Claims
- How Much Compensation For A Self-Employed Injury At Work Could I Claim?
- How Do Self-Employed Workers Claim For Loss Of Earnings?
- Evidence To Support A Self-Employed Injury Claim
- Self-Employed Injury Claim Time Limits
- Starting The Self-Employed Injury Claims Process
If you’re self-employed and working at your own premises i.e. a home office, studio or workshop, you will usually be responsible for your own safety. Therefore, if you have an accident in this situation, you may not have any grounds to make a personal injury claim.
However, many self-employed staff often need to work at their client’s premises or sites. For example, if you’re a self-employed painter and decorator, you might secure a contract to decorate homes on a new housing estate.
In these cases, self-employed workers will be owed a duty of care by the site operator. This can be established by laws like the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. That means that they must take steps to try to keep the site as safe as possible and to try and reduce the risk of injuries to all workers, contractors, self-employed staff and anybody else on site.
That duty of care means that the employers should protect all staff by:
- Conducting regular risk assessments to try and identify safety issues.
- Keep the working environment as safe as possible.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if needed.
- Train all staff on how to do their jobs safely.
Essentially, self-employed staff should expect the same level of protection as other members of staff when working on a customer’s premises.
Generally, to be eligible to make a self-employed injury claim for an accident at work you’ll need to prove that:
- You were owed a legal duty of care by the defendant; and
- An accident happened at work because the defendant was negligent; and
- You sustained injuries as a result of the accident.
If you make a claim against a company you were working for, they’ll probably forward everything to their insurance company. As you can imagine, they won’t pay compensation unless it’s clear why their client caused your accident and injuries. Therefore, we’ll provide advice on supporting evidence for self-employed injury claims a little later.
Some examples of negligence at work that could mean you’re eligible to claim compensation include:
- Injuries from faulty, broken or poorly maintained machinery.
- Spillages, leaks or flooding that has not been cordoned off by warning signs or cleared up.
- A lack of protective equipment such as safety goggles or hard hats.
- Inadequate training before you were allowed to start working.
- A lack of proper rest breaks leading to tiredness.
- Working in unsafe or poorly maintained premises.
- Inadequate lighting or ventilation.
- Being wrongly exposed to harmful substances or chemicals.
Please contact us for free advice if you believe your self-employed accident at work was due to somebody else’s negligence.
Effectively, a self-employed worker who’s injured because of a client’s negligence could claim for any type of injury. Some examples include:
Whatever type of self-employed injury you’ve suffered, please get in touch if you’d like to check if you’re eligible to claim compensation.
It’s important to reiterate that when making a self-employed injury claim, you have the same rights as other employees if you’re injured on company premises. That means that if your claim is successful, you could receive compensation to cover:
- Your physical discomfort, pain and suffering.
- Any psychological injuries (distress, depression, anxiety etc).
- Loss of earnings and future loss of earnings.
- Medical expenses (the cost of physiotherapy for example).
- Care costs.
- Travel costs.
- Damaged property costs.
- Home or vehicle adaptations to help if you have been left disabled by the accident.
If you are unsure about what you can include in your claim, please speak with your solicitor. They’ll review your case in detail to make sure any compensation covers all aspects of your suffering.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide an accurate estimate of the compensation payout you could receive until an independent assessment of your injuries has been conducted. Nonetheless, our compensation calculator can offer a general approximation of potential compensation amounts for various common types of injuries:
It’s important to note that these figures are provided only for guidance. If your self-employed injury claim is successful, any settlement awarded may be a higher or lower amount.
If a full-time worker claims for loss of earnings, the compensation is usually based on the last 3 months’ payslips. However, being self-employed can mean your earnings vary from month to month which can make a loss of earnings calculation more difficult.
The types of evidence that a self-employed worker could use to substantiate their claim include copies of their company’s accounts, bank statements and details of any jobs that they’ve turned down because of their injuries.
If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll work with you to try and ensure any compensation you receive covers all of your losses completely.
Even if you’re self-employed, you should take the same actions as other employees if you’re unfortunate enough to be injured at work. As well as giving the company you’re working for the opportunity to prevent future accidents at work, the following steps could help to secure evidence to support your claim:
- Report the accident. If your accident has happened on the premises of the company you’re working for, you should inform them about it as soon as you can. You should be given a copy of an accident report form which could help to prove when and where the accident occurred.
- Take photographs. Where possible, you should try to capture the accident scene on your phone before anything is moved, repaired or replaced.
- Go to the hospital. You should visit A&E or a minor injuries unit to have your injuries assessed by a medical professional. If you go on to make a self-employed injury claim, your medical records can be used to prove how seriously you were injured.
- Collect witness information. If anybody else saw how you were injured, ask them for their contact details. If the defendant in your claim denies that the accident occurred or that you were injured, witness statements may be used to counter their arguments.
- Request CCTV footage. As a self-employed worker, you are still entitled to ask the company for a copy of any relevant footage from their security cameras. Act quickly here, though, as data is usually wiped after a month or so.
- Keep financial records. It is important that you retain any receipts relating to out-of-pocket expenses caused by your self-employed injuries. Also, bank statements and other financial records can be helpful too.
We could help you start a claim for a self-employed accident at work even if you haven’t got all of the evidence listed. Therefore, call us today for a free review of your options.
In the UK, the Limitation Act 1980 dictates that personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit. For self-employed injury claims, that time limit will begin from the date you were injured or from when your injuries were diagnosed.
Although you do have 3 years to begin a claim, it’s usually easier to secure supporting evidence and medical reports the sooner you begin. We suggest you get in touch as soon as you can so that you don’t miss out on any compensation you’re entitled to.
Finally, if your injuries are causing financial issues (care costs, medical expenses, lost income etc), your solicitor could request that interim payments are awarded before the claim is finalised.
If you’re self-employed and have been injured in an accident at work, call our advice centre on 0800 6524 881 to see if you might be eligible to claim compensation. We’ll review your case with you, answer any questions you might have and provide free legal advice about your options.
Remember, if your claim is suitable and accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, you’ll be represented on a No Win No Fee basis. In our experience, not having to pay legal fees unless you’re compensated usually makes the claims process a lot less stressful.
Please call or connect to our live chat service if you’d like to know more about self-employed injury claims.