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How long after an injury at work can I claim?

Generally speaking, adults have 3 years from the date of injury (or the
date of knowledge of injury/medical condition) to issue legal proceedings on a personal injury claim, including those that happen at work.

Whilst we recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as you can after an injury at work happens, we do appreciate that individual circumstances can complicate or delay matters.

Under the Limitation Act 1980, minors (people under 18 years of age at the time of the accident) have until the third anniversary of their 18th birthday (ie until the day before their 21st birthday) to issue legal proceedings. People who do not have the mental capacity to conduct a claim are not bound by a time limit.

Typical circumstances where a ‘date of knowledge’ of injury will apply rather than an accident date include:

  • injuries and medical conditions relating to working practices rather than a specific incident (eg strain injuries relating to repetitive tasks or manual handling)
  • accidents where the injuries are not immediately apparent (eg noise-induced hearing loss or chemical exposure)
  • long-term exposure to hazardous substances or conditions (eg asbestos-related mesothelioma, vibration white finger).

Reporting work accidents

Your employer should complete an accident report whenever an accident at work happens, regardless of how serious it is. If you’re not sure whether an accident report has been completed, you should make sure you send details of exactly what happened to your manager. The document should be retained for health & safety record keeping purposes and in case of a later claim from an employee.

If you suffer an injury at work, you should see a doctor even if you don’t think that your injury is serious. The doctor can record medical details of your accident, which can be useful later if you are looking to claim compensation.

Related articles:

Can my employer take action against me for making a personal injury claim?>>

What happens when you make a claim after a work accident?>>

Compensation for work injuries

Our compensation calculator is a handy tool to get an idea of the range of sums typically awarded in successful personal injury claims.

The best way to assess your potential claim is to speak to a solicitor. We can discuss your personal circumstances and how we can support you through the process. Our solicitors have years of experience in successfully negotiating fair settlements for injured workers. We’ll also help with any rehabilitation and care needs you might have.

Speak to our expert team on freephone 0808 256 5184 or complete our simple online form and one of the team will be in touch.

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If you’ve had an accident at work, you should get in touch with our specialist team as soon as possible.  We’ll take the details we need and explain the next steps. We always recommend you take the following steps, but don’t worry if there’s something here you haven’t done:

  • Complete an accident report and inform your Health and Safety representative at work
  • If you are still in pain, shock, or distress when the report is completed, do not sign it.
  • Keep details of anyone who witnessed the accident.
  • If possible, as soon as you can, ask your Health and Safety representative to take photos of the scene and make them available to you.
  • Write down your recollection of exactly what happened in the accident, including the location and approximate time.

Work Claims Bureau prides itself on progressing your claim promptly whenever it is possible to do so. No two claims are the same. How long your claim lasts is dependent on a number of factors, including:

  • The prognosis for your injuries
  • The conduct of all parties involved
  • Whether your employer admits they were at fault or if we need to fight your case on your behalf

Bearing this in mind, work accident claims typically take between 6 months and 24 months to conclude.  However, this is not ‘written in stone’, and they can last a shorter or longer time than this.

Your employer faces further culpability if they take disciplinary action against you or terminate your employment simply because you make an honest claim for personal injury. There is legislation in place to protect you. You are doing the right thing in reporting your accident and formally submitting a claim, both for yourself and for your employer in helping prevent similar accidents happening in the future.

Talk to one of our claim experts now to find out how much compensation you could be entitled to

All the claims we handle are on a No Win, No Fee basis. Find out out how much your claim is worth today