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Accidents at Work

View profile for Amy Jones
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An accident at work claim may be brought by an individual who has suffered an accident in the workplace which was someone else’s fault.

Recent statistics have revealed that the number of accident at work claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit had decreased by almost 50% across the last decade, from 68,348 in 2011/12 to 35,254 in 2021/22. However, this reduction in the number of claims does not correspond with a reduction in the number of accidents in the workplace, with a total of 565,000 workers reporting to the HSE that they sustained a non-fatal injury in the workplace in 2021/22.

It seems that workers are becoming increasingly hesitant to bring an accident at work claim, but why could this be? Below we list some of the more common concerns in bringing an accident at work claim, and reasons a claim could still be pursued.

Will I lose my job if I pursue an accident at work claim?
There are several safeguards in place that give workers some protection when making a claim for an accident at work:

  • Protection is afforded to a worker who is dismissed by their employer for bringing an accident at work claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996, unless the injury was due to the worker’s gross negligence.
  • An employee who has over 2 years’ continuous service with their employer and is subsequently dismissed as a result of pursuing a claim against the employer, may have an additional claim against their former employer for Unfair Dismissal.
  • Where an employee is not dismissed but suffers a detriment because of a potential claim against an employer and the employee subsequently resigns, the employee may have a claim for constructive dismissal.

Will my employer have to pay my compensation if my claim is successful?
It is very unlikely that an employer will have to pay any compensation if an accident at work claims is successful as every employer is required to have employer’s liability insurance.

When an accident at work claim is pursued by an individual, the claim is brought against the employer’s insurers, and it is the employer’s insurers who will be liable to cover the legal costs incurred and any award of compensation.

Can I claim for an accident at work against an employer that I no longer work for?  
Yes – you can make a claim for an accident at work, even though you no longer work for the employer you did when the accident occurred. The important aspect to this is that the claim must be made within 3 years of the date of the accident.

Will I have to face my employer in court if I bring an accident at work claim?
It is a common fear amongst accident at work victims that they may have to face their employers in court.

In reality this is a very rare occurrence. The majority of accident at work claims are settled without the need to go to court.

Sometimes court proceedings are issued, particularly where liability is denied, but negotiations will continue between the parties, and it remains possible for cases to be settled right up until the date of the trial.

How to pursue an accident at work claim
If you have incurred an injury following an accident at work which was the fault of someone else, you may have a claim which should be brought within 3 years from the date of the accident.

Our recognised experts have the necessary expertise to handle your accident at work claim, and have often recovered significantly more for previous clients than initially offered by their employer.

Please contact the team if you have had a workplace accident – they will be happy to answer any question you may have.