Accident at Work

For free legal advice call our Trade Union Solicitors and we will help you

Call us on 0808 239 3227

We’ll offer clear and straightforward legal advice, with no jargon. Our approach has helped Trade Unions representing many people injured at work to help their members claim high levels of compensation.

Just leave the hard work to us, while you support your members’ recovery and rehabilitation.

When you get in touch, you’ll need to provide us with details such as where and when the accident took place, who your member/s was/were were working for at the time of the accident, and details of their injuries.

When we have these details, we’ll also offer you free legal advice on what to do next. Be sure to ask if we can deal with any claim on behalf of your member/s on a No Win, No Fee basis.

If we can deal with the claim, we’ll gather evidence to support the case you help your member put forward, and we’ll even provide independent financial advice about damages that could be recovered. 

Call us on 0808 239 3227 or request a callback

*BALPA members should contact BALPA directly on 0208 476 4000.

** ISU members should contact our helpline directly on 0808 129 3316.

*** CWU and GMB members should call Unionline on 0300 333 0303.

More information on Accidents at Work

Employers owe all their employees a duty of care. Even if they’re self-employed rather than an employee, the “employer” may still owe them a duty based on the level of control they exercise over the person involved.

An employer may not be able to escape liability merely because they delegated their duty to a third party, for example, an outside contractor.

Examples of accidents at work include:

  • Slip and trip accidents
  • Falls from height
  • Manual handling accidents (lifting/carrying)
  • Accidents involving defective and/or dangerous machinery
  • Construction accidents
  • Industrial diseases

An employer is under a duty to take reasonable care of your health and safety. 

This includes providing:

  • Adequate training
  • Competent staff
  • An adequate work equipment
  • A safe system of work
  • A safe work environment

So if you think that one of your members has suffered injury because their employer hasn’t provided any of the above, you may be able to back them in bringing a claim.

When you help a union member make a claim for compensation, they’re making a claim for damages.

So any award will consist of general damages and special damages.

General damages relate to the injured worker’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Examples include:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Lacerations
  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Psychological upset (stress, depression, anxiety)

Special damages relate to their financial losses.  Examples include:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Cost of care
  • Travel costs
  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Damaged clothing and belongings

Employers are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance, so if you support a member to pursue a personal injury claim against them, chances are the insurance will cover the cost of an award of damages.

Accident at Work claims process and timeline

All cases are different so it’s not possible to give a definite timescale at the outset of a case.

Timescales vary depending on, amongst other things, whether liability is admitted, the complexity of the injury your member has suffered, and their financial losses. 

The value of their injuries will be assessed by referring to a medico-legal report, which we’ll obtain along with reference to the Judicial College Guidelines - the official guidelines as to the assessment of general damages - and reported cases which have been assessed by the Courts. 

Until medical evidence is obtained, it isn’t possible to accurately and fairly value any claim.

If your member’s case goes to Court, we’ll support them throughout.

Our Personal Injury Solicitors have the expertise to make the difference between winning or losing a claim, and maximising the amount of compensation awarded.

Funding an Accident at Work case

Claims can often be funded through a No Win, No Fee agreement - ask us for details.


We’re a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme and are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We’re also accredited by Investors In People.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if one of my members has had an accident at work?

You must:

  • Make sure that they fill in an accident at work report accurately and promptly
  • Take photographs if you can. Photographs can be hugely important in successfully pursuing a personal injury claim. Remember most mobile phones have cameras
  • Obtain names and contact details of witnesses to the accident at work
  • The injured person’s union rep should be told of the accident as soon as possible – the union may then be able to help by giving information on whether similar accidents have occurred in the past
What does the injured person need to prove?

To have a valid case, they will need to be able to show that somebody else was at fault for the injuries or illness they suffered.

While in some cases the fault will be obvious, in others this may be less so.

When a member has been injured in your workplace, there may be uncertainty as to where the fault lies.

By talking to a Solicitor, you’ll be able to find out if you can help your member claim even if they may have been partially responsible.

When can a union bring a claim against an employer?

Normally the cut-off date for bringing a claim is three years from the date of the accident, but there are exceptions such as when the member was working abroad.

So our advice is to contact us as soon as possible.  Generally, the earlier a claim is brought the better.

What if the employer blames my member for the accident?

Sometimes an employer will seek to put some of the blame for the accident on their employee. 

However, depending upon the allegations made by them, you may still be able to bring a claim. 

We’ll discuss any allegations made by your employer and advise whether you should accept a degree of contributory negligence.

If your employer alleges contributory negligence, then it’s for them to prove that you were partly to blame for the accident. 

Contributory negligence will lead to a reduction in your damages dependent upon the level of fault attributed to you.

Is rehabilitation and/or treatment for my member available?

If the member’s injury is such that rehabilitation would help them, then we can ask the defendant’s insurers/representatives to agree to fund a course of treatment. 

This may take the form of physiotherapy or counselling. If surgery is required and is supported by medical evidence, then we can seek payment for this from the defendant.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback

*BALPA members should contact BALPA directly on 0208 476 4000.

** ISU members should contact our helpline directly on 0808 129 3316.

*** CWU and GMB members should call Unionline on 0300 333 0303.

Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.