How Long After An Accident At Work Can You Claim?

How Long After An Accident At Work Can You Claim

If you believe you have been injured at work and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to make a work accident compensation claim. But how long after an accident at work can you claim?

As a general rule, the time limit is three years after the incident – or when you became aware that you were suffering from a condition in which your job was a contributing factor.

Reach out to our specialist accident claim solicitors today FREE on 0800 0747 644 or complete a Free Online Enquiry and let us explain your rights and options.

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However, there are several exceptions to this and some important information you should know about making a claim and how long you have to do so:

What Are My Rights After An Accident At Work?

After you have suffered an accident at work that you believe is not your fault (or not wholly your fault), it is your right under UK law to make a claim for compensation.

This is because your employer has a duty of care to you. This makes it their legal responsibility to provide a workplace that is as safe as it can be. This is true even if you work in an industry that is more dangerous than others – your employer still must make every effort to keep you safe.

If you think your employer does bear some responsibility for your accident (remembering this can include not providing proper training or not conducting proper risk assessments), you should see about getting some legal representation.

Many specialist personal injury lawyers – including niche firms like Grieves Solicitors – work on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means you don’t need to have any money upfront to start making that claim.

How Long After An Accident At Work Can You Claim?

If you believe you do have grounds for a work accident claim, you generally have three years to do so. The relevant law is set out in what is called the Limitation Act 1980.

This three-year timeframe is measured from either:

  1. The date of the incident in which you were injured.
  2. The date you found out that the action or inaction of your employer contributed to an injury.

Can You Still Claim For An Accident After Three Years?

The above measuring system means it is sometimes possible to start making a claim more than three years after the date you suffered an injury.

This is usually in cases where your injury or illness has developed gradually over time and you only became aware of the cause after you received a later medical diagnosis.

It may also be possible to claim for an accident at work after the three-year limitation has passed in some other special circumstances.

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Accident At Work – How Long To Claim (The Exceptions)

1) Claim Time For Fatal Injury Exceptions

If a loved one has died because of a fatal accident at work and you are making a claim because of it, you are still generally tied to the three-year window.

In this case, this is usually measured from the date of your loved one’s death. But, again, it can also be measured from the date it became clear to you that their death was a result of action, inaction, or negligence on the part of their employer (after an inquest determines this, for example).

A fatal accident claim is most often made by the estate of the person who has died, but this is not always the case. There may be grounds for a claim under the following pieces of legislation:

  1. The Law Reform (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 1934 – allows a set list of relatives of the deceased to make a claim for the pain and suffering they experienced as a result of their loved one’s death. This generally has a six-month time limit from the date of their death.
  2. The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 – allows a set list of the deceased’s dependents to make a claim for the impact a loved one’s death has had on them if the estate is not making a claim. This generally has the standard three-year time window.

2) Claim Time Limit Exceptions For Minors

According to the Limitation Act, minors (people under 18 years of age) cannot make a claim for themselves.

However, someone can do so on their behalf. This person is referred to as their “litigation friend”, usually their parent or a solicitor.

The three-year accident claim time limit for a minor who has suffered a workplace accident begins when they turn eighteen. It is quite possible for their “litigation friend” to start proceedings earlier than this though.

3) Claim Time Limit Exceptions For Those Who Lack Mental Capacity

Claim time limits are not in place at all for those who have suffered an accident at work but lack mental capacity.

Again, a “litigation friend” can act in their interests and make a workplace accident compensation claim on their behalf. In this case, they can do so without worrying about time limitations.

This will equally be the case if the person already lacked mental capacity or if their capacity was reduced as a consequence of their accident.

In some cases, people suffer diminished mental capacity following an accident but regain it later. If this happens, their timeframe for making a claim begins then and lasts the usual three years.

Explore The Possibility Of Making A Claim With No Commitment

In all cases, speaking with an expert about claim time limits is the best way to proceed. At Grieves Solicitors, for example, we provide supportive, straightforward advice – for free and without commitment.

Reach out to us today to tell us your story. Contact us on 0800 0747 644 or make a Free Online Enquiry to start talking about how long after an accident at work you can claim.

Here at Grieves Solicitors, Personal Injury Specialists, we offer a no win, no fee solution to funding your claim (a conditional fee agreement) which means that you do not have to worry about legal costs and expenses.  You can read about our no win, no fee agreement here.

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