How much compensation can I claim for a work accident?

If you have been injured at work, you may be able to claim financial compensation. The following article explains how compensation is calculated for a work injury claim, and what losses you can claim for.

In the UK, work injury compensation is divided into two parts:

General damages

General damages is the legal term for compensation awarded for ‘Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity’ (PSLA).

PSLA refers to the pain and discomfort your injuries have caused and the broader impact your injuries have had on your life.

General damages are calculated with reference to a set of tables published by the Judicial College called the ‘Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition’ .

These guidelines include example awards for a wide range of injuries, illnesses and health conditions.

Awards are categorised based on the type and severity of the injury. General damages are 'general' in the sense that similar injuries will receive similar compensation amounts, regardless of the circumstances of the accident.

Injuries with long-term or permanent symptoms will generally result in larger compensation pay-outs.

Special damages

You can claim for any financial losses you incur as a direct consequence of your accident.

Special damages is the term for compensation awarded for any financial losses you incur as a direct consequence of your accident.

Financial losses you could claim for after a work accident include:

  • Loss of earnings (including overtime, bonuses and pension contributions)
  • Future loss of earnings (if you are still unable to return to work when you claim)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Professional care costs
  • Care provided by family and friends
  • Prescription costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Housing modification costs (such as ramps or walk-in baths)

When making a claim, you must make reasonable endeavours to 'mitigate expenses and losses', however. When assessing special damages awards, the courts will assess whether or your financial losses and expenses were reasonably incurred.

You should retain any payslips, tickets, invoices and receipts as evidence to support your compensation claim.

How much can I claim for an occupational illness or health condition?

If you have been diagnosed with an occupational illness, you can claim compensation for the pain, loss of amenity, as well as any other negative effects the condition has on your life.

There are several illnesses and health conditions that are commonly associated with work accidents and working conditions. These include:

  • Upper-limb disorders like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Mesothelioma and Asbestosis
  • Silicosis and other lung diseases
  • Noise-induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), acoustic shock and tinnitus

The amount you can claim for an illness or condition caused by your working conditions will depend on:

  • The impact on your daily life
  • The impact on your ability to work
  • Whether symptoms are temporary or permanent
  • Whether symptoms are likely to get worse over time

The Judicial College guidelines do not set out specific awards for many occupational illnesses. However, our work injury calculator will give an estimate for these conditions.

Work injury tables

The Work Accident Advice Centre injury calculator refers to the latest published tables when calculating your compensation.

The following is an excerpt of the tables:

Category Injury Amount
Paralysis Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia £295,090 to £367,260
Paralysis Paraplegia £199,150 to £258,420
Brain damage Very severe £256,370 to £367,260
Brain damage Severe £199,150 to £256,370
Brain damage Moderate - level 4 £136,460 to £199,150
Brain damage Moderate - level 3 £82,470 to £136,460
Brain damage Moderate - level 2 £39,150 to £82,470
Brain damage Moderate - level 1 £13,930 to £39,150
Brain damage Minor (relatively) £2,010 to £11,610
Epilepsy Epilepsy - Grand Mal £92,730 to £136,460
Epilepsy Epilepsy - Petit Mal £49,850 to £119,430
Epilepsy Epilepsy - other £9,670 to £23,900
General Psychiatric damage Severe £49,850 to £105,210
General Psychiatric damage Serious £17,340 to £49,850
General Psychiatric damage Moderate £5,330 to £17,340
General Psychiatric damage Lesser £1,400 to £5,330
Post-traumatic stress Severe £54,420 to £91,520
Post-traumatic stress Serious £21,050 to £54,420
Post-traumatic stress Moderate £7,440 to £21,050
Post-traumatic stress Minor (relatively) £3,590 to £7,440
Injuries affecting sight Total blindness and deafness Around £367,260
Injuries affecting sight Total blindness Around £244,290
Injuries affecting sight Loss of sight in one eye & reduced vision in the other £87,260 to £163,430
Injuries affecting sight Loss of one eye £49,850 to £59,740
Injuries affecting sight Loss of sight in one eye £44,790 to £49,850
Injuries affecting sight Moderate loss of some vision in one or eye £21,530 to £35,760
Injuries affecting sight Minor but permanent loss of some vision in one or both eyes £8,280 to £19,070
Injuries affecting sight Minor eye injury £3,590 to £7,940
Injuries affecting sight Transient eye injury £2,000 to £3,590
Injuries affecting hearing and speech Total deafness and blindness Around £367,260
Injuries affecting hearing and speech Total deafness and loss of speech £99,680 to £127,870
Injuries affecting hearing and speech Total deafness £82,500 to £99,680
Injuries affecting hearing and speech Loss of hearing in one ear £28,460 to £41,400
Tinnitus Severe tinnitus and NIHL £27,010 to £41,400
Tinnitus Moderate tinnitus and NIHL £13,550 to £27,010
Tinnitus Mild tinnitus and NIHL £11,450 to £13,550
Tinnitus Mild tinnitus or mild NIHL Around £10,650
Tinnitus Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight NIHL £6,690 to £11,450
Tinnitus Slight tinnitus or slight NIHL Up to £6,370
Impairment of taste and smell Total loss of taste & smell Around £35,610
Impairment of taste and smell Total loss of smell & significant loss of taste £29,910 to £35,610
Impairment of taste and smell Loss of smell £22,720 to £29,910
Impairment of taste and smell Loss of taste £17,450 to £22,720
Asbestos-related disease Mesothelioma £63,650 to £114,460
Asbestos-related disease Lung cancer £63,660 to £88,480
Asbestos-related disease Asbestosis and pleural thickening with significant respiratory disability £32,270 to £96,230
Asbestos-related disease Asbestosis and pleural thickening with low respiratory disability £13,730 to £35,000
Asthma Severe £39,150 to £59,760
Asthma Chronic £23,900 to £39,100
Asthma Bronchitis/Wheezing £17,450 to £23,900
Asthma Modest £9,670 to £17,450
Asthma Mild Up to £4,680
Bladder Loss of bladder function & control (with other medical complications) Up to £167,450
Bladder Loss of bladder function & control Up to £127,870
Bladder Impaired bladder function and control £58,160 to £72,660
Bladder Near full recovery with minor long term effects £21,280 to £28,460
Bowels Loss of bladder and bowel function Up to £167,450
Bowels Total loss of bowel function Up to £136,460
Bowels Faecal urgency and passive incontinence Around £72,650
Bowels Impairment of function from abdominal injury £40,540 to £63,390
Bowels Some permanent damage - returning to natural function/control £11,450 to £22,250
Chest injuries Removal of one lung £91,520 to £136,460
Chest injuries Traumatic lung injury £59,760 to £91,520
Chest injuries Damage to chest or lung £28,460 to £49,850
Chest injuries Chest injury (no damage to lung) £11,450 to £16,330
Chest injuries Toxic fume/smoke inhalation £4,840 to £11,450
Chest injuries Collapsed lung £1,990 to £4,840
Chest injuries Rib fracture/soft tissue injury Up to £3,590
Traumatic injury Severe damage £39,100 to £56,270
Traumatic injury Serious non-penetrating injury £15,260 to £25,240
Non-traumatic injury Non-traumatic - serious £34,940 to £47,730
Non-traumatic injury Non-traumatic - moderate £3,590 to £8,670
Non-traumatic injury Non-traumatic - minor £830 to £3,590
Hernia Serious £13,550 to £21,970
Hernia Moderate £6,370 to £8,280
Hernia Lesser £3,080 to £6,570
Kidney Loss of both kidneys £154,000 to £191,270
Kidney Risk of loss of kidney function Up to £58,160
Kidney Loss of one kidney £27,970 to £40,800
Lung disease Severe lung disease £91,520 to £123,560
Lung disease Lung cancer £63,660 to £88,480
Lung disease Lung disease £49,850 to £63,660
Lung disease Breathing difficulties £28,460 to £49,850
Lung disease Bronchitis and wheezing £18,910 to £28,460
Lung disease Slight breathlessness £9,670 to £18,910
Lung disease Temporary aggravation of bronchitis £2,000 to £4,840
Male reproductive injury Total loss of reproductive organs Over £139,880
Male reproductive injury Orchidectomy £18,250 to £20,530
Impotence Impotence - young man £104,450 to £134,840
Impotence Impotence - middle aged man £39,100 to £80,680
Sterility Sterility - young man Up to £127,910
Sterility Sterility - older man Around £17,050
Sterility Sterility - young man (uncomplicated) £50,980 to £64,860
Sterility Sterility - man who may have wanted more children £21,540 to £28,460
Sterility Sterility - no intention of having children £6,010 to £16,980
Female reproductive injury Infertility - severe psychological impact £104,450 to £154,800
Female reproductive injury Infertility - failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy with medical complications £39,100 to £92,820
Female reproductive injury Infertility - no medical complications £16,330 to £33,400
Female reproductive injury Infertility - where no plan to have children £6,010 to £16,980
Female reproductive injury Failed sterilisation and unwanted pregnancy Around £9,270
Female reproductive injury Delayed diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy £3,080 to £18,570
Spleen Loss of spleen - continuing risk of disorder or infection £18,910 to £23,900
Spleen Loss of spleen - no risk of disorder or infection £3,950 to £7,850
Other neck injuries Very Severe Around £134,850
Other neck injuries Severe £59,760 to £119,030
Other neck injuries Serious £41,350 to £50,900
Other neck injuries Moderate £22,720 to £34,990
Other neck injuries Minor (relatively) £2,230 to £7,170
Whiplash Recovery in 1 to 2 years £1,200 to £3,830
Whiplash Recovery in 3 to 12 months £220 to £1,200
Whiplash Recovery in under 3 months Up to £220
Other back injury Severe £35,250 to £146,350
Other back injury Moderate £11,370 to £35,250
Other back injury Minor (relatively) £2,230 to £11,370
Other shoulder injuries Severe £17,450 to £43,660
Other shoulder injuries Serious £11,610 to £17,450
Other shoulder injuries Moderate £7,170 to £11,610
Other shoulder injuries Soft tissue injury £2,230 to £7,170
Other shoulder injuries Clavicle fracture £4,680 to £11,130
Pelvis and hips Very severe £71,270 to £119,030
Pelvis and hips Severe £56,270 to £71,280
Pelvis and hips Serious £35,610 to £47,730
Pelvis and hips Moderate £11,450 to £35,610
Pelvis and hips Minor (relatively) £3,590 to £11,450
Arm amputation Loss of both arms £218,900 to £272,730
Arm amputation Loss of one arm at shoulder Over £124,690
Arm amputation Loss of one arm above elbow £99,680 to £119,030
Arm amputation Loss of one arm below elbow £87,420 to £99,680
Other arm injuries Severe £87,420 to £119,030
Other arm injuries Serious £35,610 to £54,420
Other arm injuries Less severe - some recovery £17,450 to £35,610
Other arm injuries Less severe - forearm fracture £6,010 to £17,450
Elbow injury Permanent - disabling £35,610 to £49,850
Elbow injury Permanent - impairement of function £14,230 to £29,100
Elbow injury Recovery within 18 months Up to £3,210
Elbow injury Recovery between 18 to 36 months Up to £5,910
Elbow injury Recovery after 36 months Up to £11,450
Wrist injury Very Severe - Complete loss of function £43,290 to £54,420
Wrist injury Severe - Some useful movement retained £22,270 to £35,610
Wrist injury Serious £11,450 to £22,270
Wrist injury Moderate - complete recovery £5,530 to £9,410
Wrist injury Moderate - Uncomplicated Colles' fracture Around £6,750
Wrist injury Lesser £3,210 to £4,310
Other hand injuries Total or effective loss of both hands £127,870 to £183,170
Other hand injuries Serious damage to both hands £50,750 to £76,880
Other hand injuries Total or effective loss of one hand £87,420 to £99,680
Other hand injuries Serious injuries to one hand £26,360 to £56,280
Other hand injuries Moderate/serious injuries to one or both hands £13,140 to £26,360
Other hand injuries Moderate injuries to one or both hands £5,200 to £12,070
Other hand injuries Minor (relatively) injuries to one or both hands Up to £4,320
Finger amputation Amputation of finger/s £56,280 to £82,500
Finger injury Fractured finger/s Up to £33,400
Finger loss Loss of index finger £11,060 to £17,040
Finger injury Fracture of index finger £8,280 to £11,130
Finger injury Serious injury to ring or middle finger £9,380 to £14,850
Finger loss Loss of terminal phalanx of ring or middle finger £3,590 to £7,150
Finger amputation Amputation - little finger £7,850 to £11,130
Finger loss Loss of part of little finger £3,590 to £5,330
Finger amputation Amputation - ring or index finger Around £19,830
Finger amputation Amputation - terminal phalanx of index or middle finger Around £22,720
Finger injury Relatively minor finger injury Up to £4,320
Thumb injury Loss of thumb £32,290 to £49,850
Thumb injury Very serious £17,820 to £31,830
Thumb injury Serious £11,450 to £15,240
Thumb injury Moderate £8,790 to £11,450
Thumb injury Dislocation £5,760 to £7,070
Thumb injury Minor (relatively) Up to £4,320
VWF Severe £28,760 to £34,940
VWF Serious £15,240 to £28,760
VWF Moderate £7,850 to £15,240
VWF Lesser £2,720 to £7,850
WRULDS Severe £19,920 to £21,030
WRULDS Serious £13,550 to £14,850
WRULDS Moderate £7,850 to £9,770
WRULDS Minor (relatively) £2,000 to £3,210
Leg amputation Loss of both legs £218,900 to £256,370
Leg amputation Below-knee Amputation of Both Legs £183,170 to £245,550
Leg amputation Above-knee amputation of one leg £95,300 to £124,970
Leg amputation Below-knee amputation of one leg £89,070 to £120,900
Other leg injury Severe £87,500 to £123,560
Other leg injury Very Serious £49,850 to £79,900
Other leg injury Serious £35,640 to £49,850
Other leg injury Moderate £25,240 to £35,640
Other leg injury Less serious £8,280 to £25,240
Other leg injury Minor (relatively) Up to £10,760
Knee injury Very severe £63,390 to £87,460
Knee injury Severe £47,380 to £63,390
Knee injury Serious £23,810 to £39,510
Knee injury Moderate £13,490 to £23,810
Knee injury Minor (relatively) Up to £12,490
Ankle injury Very severe £45,510 to £63,360
Ankle injury Severe £28,460 to £45,510
Ankle injury Moderate £12,490 to £24,170
Ankle injury Minor (relatively) Up to £12,490
Achilles tendon injury Severe Around £34,940
Achilles tendon injury Serious £22,720 to £27,350
Achilles tendon injury Moderate £11,450 to £19,150
Achilles tendon injury Minor (relatively) £6,610 to £11,450
Foot amputation Amputation of both feet £154,000 to £183,170
Foot amputation Amputation of one foot £76,330 to £99,680
Other foot injuries Very Severe £76,330 to £99,680
Other foot injuries Severe £38,150 to £63,660
Other foot injuries Serious £22,720 to £35,640
Other foot injuries Moderate £12,490 to £22,720
Other foot injuries Modest Up to £12,490
Toe injury Amputation of all toes £33,200 to £50,980
Toe injury Amputation of the big toe Around £28,460
Toe injury Severe toe injuries £12,490 to £19,150
Toe injury Serious toe injuries £8,730 to £12,490
Toe injury Moderate toe injuries Up to £8,730
CRPS Severe £47,730 to £76,370
CRPS Moderate £25,480 to £47,730
Other pain disorders Severe £38,300 to £57,260
Other pain disorders Moderate £19,150 to £34,990
Skeletal injury Skeletal injuries £21,650 to £33,400
Skeletal injury Multiple fractures £13,550 to £21,770
Nose fracture Serious/multiple fractures £9,670 to £21,030
Nose fracture Displaced fracture recovery after surgery £3,590 to £4,640
Nose fracture Displaced fracture £2,290 to £2,860
Nose fracture Undisplaced fracture £1,550 to £2,290
Cheekbone fracture Serious fractures £9,270 to £14,350
Cheekbone fracture Simple fractures with surgery £3,950 to £5,870
Cheekbone fracture Simple fractures without surgery £2,110 to £2,720
Jaw fracture Very serious £27,720 to £41,400
Jaw fracture Serious £16,330 to £27,720
Jaw fracture Minor/moderate £5,870 to £7,940
Teeth loss or damage Chronic tooth pain Up to £34,660
Teeth loss or damage Several front teeth £7,940 to £10,370
Teeth loss or damage Two front teeth £3,950 to £6,940
Teeth loss or damage One front tooth £2,000 to £3,590
Teeth loss or damage Back teeth £990 to £1,550
Facial scars Severe £27,070 to £88,480
Facial scars Serious £16,330 to £44,020
Facial scars Significant £8,280 to £27,350
Facial scars Moderate £3,590 to £12,490
Facial scars Minor (relatively) £1,550 to £3,210
Other parts of the body Serious (excluding facial) £7,120 to £20,660
Other parts of the body Moderate (excluding facial) Around £7,850
Other parts of the body Minor (excluding facial) £2,150 to £7,120
Other parts of the body Severe (excluding facial) Over £95,300
Facial scarring Severe £27,070 to £88,480
Facial scarring Serious £16,330 to £44,020
Facial scarring Significant £8,280 to £27,350
Facial scarring Moderate £3,590 to £12,490
Facial scarring Minor (relatively) £1,550 to £3,210
Hair damage Serious £6,670 to £10,020
Hair damage Moderate £6,670 to £10,020
Hair damage Lesser £3,590 to £6,670
Dermatitis Dermatitis lasting years or indefinitely £12,490 to £17,450
Dermatitis Longer-term dermatitis £7,850 to £10,370
Dermatitis Short-term dermatitis £1,550 to £3,590
HAVS Severe £28,760 to £34,940
HAVS Serious £15,240 to £28,760
HAVS Moderate £7,850 to £15,240
HAVS Minor (relatively) £2,720 to £7,850
Leg fractures More serious fractures £16,330 to £25,240
Leg fractures Simple femur fracture £8,280 to £12,800
Leg fractures Simple tibia or fibula fracture Up to £10,760
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) Severe £19,920 to £21,030
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) Serious £13,550 to £14,850
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) Moderate £7,850 to £9,770
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) Minor (relatively) £2,000 to £3,210
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) Severe £19,920 to £21,030
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) Serious £13,550 to £14,850
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) Moderate £7,850 to £9,770
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) Minor (relatively) £2,000 to £3,210
Cold injury Less serious Around £15,000
Cold injury More serious Around £32,500

How does the work injury calculator work?

Our easy to use compensation calculator uses the following steps to work out how much compensation you could receive for your injury:

Step1 - Calculate general damages

The work injury calculator helps you identify the correct injury category and injury severity, as set out in the Judicial College guidelines) to calculate your general damages.

The calculator also considers the impact of multiple injuries on your total compensation award.

Step2 - Calculate special damages

The calculator also provides valuable insights into what financial losses you will be able to claim for.

Any expenses and losses you have incurred are then included in the special damages calculation.

Step3 - Check claim eligibility

Finally, the calculator asks you a few questions about the circumstances of your accident and checks whether you are eligible to claim compensation.

Calculator results

Once you have answered all of the questions on the calculator, you will be provided with a detailed estimate of how much compensation you could receive.

The calculator will also confirm whether you meet the basic criteria to start a no win, no fee claim.

Is the work injury calculator accurate?

The way the Judicial College guidelines are applied in practice makes it difficult to factor in all of the considerations needed to calculate an exact compensation figure.

The compensation scales in the guidelines can be wide. When making a claim, your solicitor will refer to a medical report to help determine where on the scale your injuries are.

The majority of claims are settled out of court in a negotiation between your solicitor and the defendant’s insurance company. You may, for example, decide to accept a lower early offer to secure a quick pay-out from the insurer.

However, our calculator has been designed to take into account as many of the knowable factors as possible, to produce an estimate that is more accurate than simply referring to the guideline tables.

No win, no fee compensation

Most work injury compensation claims will be made on a no win, no fee basis.

If you have been injured at work, no win, no fee means you can start a compensation claim without the risk of having to pay any legal fees if your claim is not successful.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive a success fee. The success fee will be deducted from the total compensation award. Under a no win, no fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.

Find out more: about how No Win, No Fee works.

FAQ’s

Is the compensation amount reduced if I was partly to blame?

It depends. In other circumstances, such as a road accident, your compensation could be reduced if you were partly responsible for an accident.

For a work accident, however, the principle of 'vicarious liability' applies, making your employer liable for foreseeable actions or errors of its employees. If you make a mistake and are injured at work, your employer may still be held liable for your injuries.

Who would have to pay my compensation?

In almost all cases, your employer will not pay compensation from their own pocket.

By law, companies must have employers' liability insurance in place. Compensation is paid by the insurer.

Will I have to pay tax on my compensation?

Personal injury compensation is exempt from taxation in the UK. No tax is payable even if the amount is paid in instalments.

However, you may earn a small amount of interest between the date that your claim is settled and the date you receive your compensation. Technically, this interest may be taxable.

Will my work accident compensation affect my benefits?

Maybe. When you receive your compensation award, certain means-tested benefits could be affected. Whether any benefits you receive will be affected will also depend on how much compensation you are awarded.

Some benefits, including incapacity benefit and Working Tax Credit are not affected.

Can I get a more accurate estimate?

The calculator is designed to give you a good idea of a potential compensation award or settlement by asking you a few simple questions. The more information we have, however, the more we can tell you about how your claim might pan out. The best place to start is to contact us on 0800 218 2227 and speak to one of our legally trained advisors.

A FREE consultation gives you a clear understanding of your claim prospects and options.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

Yes. If you were over 18 when you were injured, you must start a claim within 3 years of the date of diagnosis. If you were under 18, you have until your 21st birthday. There are exceptions, however.

For more information call us now for a FREE consultation.

Will my employment status affect the compensation award?

Compensation calculations do not take your employment status into account. Whether you are employed, self-employed, on a zero-hours contract or a volunteer, your injury compensation award will be the same.

There are, however, differences in the claims process, depending on your employment status.

How much can I claim for multiple injuries after a work accident?

It is more difficult to predict how much compensation you might receive if you have suffered multiple injuries.

Calculating special damages for a multiple injury claim is still just a matter of adding up any costs or losses resulting from your accident.

Calculating general damages for multiple injuries is more complex, however, as you cannot simply add two guideline injury awards together.

In most cases, you would receive less compensation for multiple injuries than you would get if you added several single awards together.

Pain might be spread across multiple injuries and no greater than the pain from a single injury. With loss of amenity, whether you have broken two fingers or three doesn’t materially change what you can do.

In some cases, however, you could receive more compensation for certain multiple injuries than you would by adding the single amounts together. For example, having broken both legs will mean you are much less mobile than if you had broken only one leg.

Which principle applies will depend on the medical evidence. This complexity means that solicitors, courts and insurers will consider the appropriate level of compensation for a multiple injury claim on a case by case basis.

Our compensation calculator uses a basic algorithm to give you a rough idea of how much compensation you could receive for a multiple injuries compensation claim.