If you suffered an injury, illness or developed a work-related disease, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against your employer providing the accident or incident occurred in the last 3 years and it happened through no fault of your own but rather through the negligence of your employer. As such, you would need to prove your employer failed to keep you safe from harm whilst you were at work by providing as much evidence as you can to a court for your claim to be successful.
However, there is a strict 3 year personal injury time limit associated with work-related claims and although it sounds like long enough, the time it takes to gather the proof and information required can result in you running out of time. If you leave it too late to file a personal injury claim against an employer, there is little you can do when it comes to claiming compensation for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses incurred through no fault of your own.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer?
As previously mentioned, you have 3 years from the date you were injured in the workplace or when you became aware of an illness or disease, to file a personal injury claim against a negligent employer. The earlier you file a claim, the more chance you have of obtaining the necessary witness statements and other information needed to prove your case in court. The sooner witnesses are contacted, the better their recollection of how your work-related accident occurred and of the injuries you sustained as a direct result.
Another reason to file your accident at work claim earlier rather than later, is that proving liability for a work-related injury, illness or disease, may prove challenging. In short, you may find that establishing your employer’s responsibility may be more difficult than first expected.
Time Limit for Adult Personal Injury Claims
If you are an adult and you were involved in an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work whether for a shorter period of time, a long period of time or that prevented you from ever working again, you have 3 years from the date of the incident or the day you became aware of an injury, illness or disease to file personal injury claim against an employer providing you can prove they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace.
You would not be able to file a claim after this time because by law, you would be prevented from doing so. With this said, there are a few exceptions to the 3 year time limit although it is quite challenging to meet the criteria for this to happen. However, if you developed an illness, disease or suffered a work-related injury that resulted in a disability, the 3 year time limit for a personal injury claim would start from the time you were first aware of a medical condition following a diagnosis that was carried out by a medical professional.
Time Limit for Personal Injury Claims Filed by Workers Under the Age of 18
If you were under the age of 18 when you were involved in an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work, under the law the 3 year time limit would only start from the day you turn 18 years of age. This is the age that you would be considered an “adult”. However, a personal injury claim must be filed before you reach your 21st birthday and if you fail to do so, legally you would not be able to file a claim from compensation against a negligent employer.
As with adult personal injury claims, it is far better to begin claim as soon as possible to avoid falling foul of the statute of limitation associated with this type work-related claim.
What Happens if I Die Before My Personal Injury Claim is Settled?
Should you have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of an accident at work and you passed away before a personal injury claim is settled, your next of kin or executor has 3 years from the time of your death to begin proceedings against a negligent employer.
What Compensation Could I Be Awarded for an Accident at Work Injury?
The level of compensation you may be entitled to receive if you were involved in an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work whether for a short or long period of time, would depend on the complexity and severity of your injuries and whether you would be able to ever work again. Another factor that would determine the amount of compensation you may be awarded is how much your injury negatively impact other members of your family.
What Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?
There are specific things that can be included in your personal injury claim against a negligent employer which are detailed below:
- Pain and suffering both physical and psychological which you suffer as a direct result of being involved in an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work for a short or long period of time and whether you would be able to ever work again
- Physical injuries or impairment which you have to endure as a direct result of your injuries
- Loss of amenity and how your injuries negatively impact your daily life which could mean you have to depend on others to carry out normal chores and tasks
- Loss of companionship which covers damages for the loss of companionship to other members of a family due to the death of a loved one through an accident at work
- If your injuries are such that you cannot continue doing the work you normally do, you could be awarded damages for your loss
- Should your injuries prevent you from finding another career, you could be awarded damages to cover any mental anguish and physical pain you have to endure as a result
- Any short-term and long-term medical expenses you incur as a direct result of having suffered an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work. This covers all the medical costs and other out of pocket expenses you incur for prescriptions, medication, hospital and other medical facility visits as well as diagnostic tests required to identify your injuries and how your recovery is progressing
- Travel expenses incurred as a direct result of your injuries which covers the cost of travelling to and from a medical facility and other places you need to go for treatments whether you go by car, taxi, train or bus
- Loss of earnings which also includes any perks or bonuses you may have missed out on as a direct result of being away from your job because of your injuries
- Loss of future earnings which covers the fact you may not be able to carry out your job again or find alternative employments
- Damages may be awarded should any of your personal effects be destroyed or damaged in the work-related accident that left you injured
It is worth noting that with special damages, calculating the amount you may be awarded in a successful personal injury claim is much easier than with “general damages”. The reason being that the calculation is based on all the “actual” out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of your injuries.
Should I File a Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer?
You may that filing a work-related personal injury claim against your employer would put you at risk of being treated unfairly by both your boss and your work colleagues. You may even be worried about losing your job because you do so. However, you have every right to seek the compensation you right deserve having suffered an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work whether for a short or longer period of time.
Employers have a legal duty to keep you safe from injury and harm in the workplace. The must abide by all the Health and Safety Executive regulations that are in place and if they fail to do so, they would be help liable for the fact you were injured in an accident at work. You may even be entitled to seek compensation if you were partly responsible for the accident occurring. The best way to find out if this is so, is to contact a solicitor who specialises in work-related personal injury claims and employment law.
Making Sure You Do Not Run Out of Time
As previously mentioned, if you wait too long to file a personal injury claim against a negligent employer, you may not be able to seek the compensation you rightly deserve having suffered an accident at work injury through no fault of your own. Even if there are a few months left on your personal injury claim time limit, you may find that the time it takes to gather all the evidence, medical reports, witness statements and other vital information needed means you would run out of time.
Working with an Accident At Work Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis
As with all personal injury claims, an accident at work claim tends to be a complex legal process that has a strict 3 year time limit that must be adhered to. If you fall foul of the time limit, legally you would not be able to claim compensation even if you have enough proof and evidence that the accident occurred due to your employer’s failure to keep you safe from harm in the workplace which they are legally required to do.
Although 3 years seems long enough, the time it takes to gather all the information needed for an accident at work claim to be successful, can be a complicated and long drawn out affair. As such, the earlier you seek legal advice and legal representation, the less risk there is of running out of time to file a personal injury claim against a negligent employer.
The sooner you contact a solicitor the better chance you have of claiming the compensation you rightly deserve for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred. A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims, would assess the strength of your case before offering to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. This takes all the stress and financial pressure of finding the money to pay for legal representation off the table allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.
You would only have to pay the percentage that was agreed to when you signed the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with your solicitor and this would only be due on a successful claim. The amount would be deducted directly from the amount you are awarded in a successful work-related personal injury claim. Should you lose your case, you would have nothing to pay the solicitor who represented you.