What is the process for claiming for a work injury?

Updated: October 15, 2020

If you’ve had an injury or accident at work, you may want to make a claim for compensation. The following article explains the steps involved in making a work injury claim.

Stages of the claim

There are several stages to the claims process. The key steps are:

  • Contacting a solicitor
  • Assessing your claim
  • Gathering medical and other evidence
  • Notifying the defendant
  • Negotiation
  • Winning your claim and receiving your compensation

Your solicitor will take care of the legal side of the claims process and will guide and support you through each step of your claim.

Online research - find out how your solicitor can help with your injury

A useful first step is to check online for information about making a claim.

You can find frequently asked questions and information as to the type of accidents and injuries that solicitors can help with, as well as previous case studies, average payouts and examples.

You may also be able to find out if you have a valid claim and how much your compensation claim might be worth using online tools such as compensation calculators.

Get free and impartial advice from an expert

There are a number of different ways that you can get in touch with an injury specialist about your claim, whether you call, email or fill in an online form.

Personal injury firms are experts in dealing with claims and will offer you free, impartial and confidential advice without any pressure to proceed if you do not wish to.

During your initial contact, you will usually discuss:

  • What happened
  • How you were injured
  • Whether you are likely to have a claim
  • How much compensation you could receive
  • How the claims process works

If you are likely to have a claim and you wish to proceed, you will be passed on to a specialist solicitor for an initial consultation. This may happen during your first call.

Consultation with a solicitor

Your free consultation with a specialist solicitor will go into more detail about your injury and the accident.

The solicitor will ask for details such as who was to blame for the accident, the impact the accident has had on your life, and information about any financial losses or expenses you have incurred as a result.

If they agree that you have a case, they will talk you through the next steps and you may be required to sign some paperwork.

At this stage, you will have formally instructed your solicitor.

Gathering evidence

Your solicitor will arrange for you to attend a medical exam to assess the seriousness of your injuries. They will also access copies of your medical records. In some cases, you may need to attend a further exam with a specialist.

The GP or specialist who carries out your exam will write up a medical report, setting out the nature of your injuries and your likely prognosis for recovery.

This medical report is crucial evidence in support of your claim. Your solicitor will also use the report as the basis of the calculation of your compensation amount.

Your solicitor may also gather other evidence, such as witness statements from co-workers or CCTV footage.

The defendant is notified

Your solicitor will send a ‘letter of claim’ to your employer (the ‘defendant’). The employer will usually pass this letter on to their insurance provider, who will handle the claim.

The defendant will then have a fixed period of time in which to respond to the claim, and to accept or deny responsibility for the injury.

Do not worry if the insurance company denies liability at first - this is very common. If they do deny responsibility for your accident, your solicitor will use the medical report and other evidence to prove that your employer is liable for your injuries.

Negotiations begin

Once your solicitor has gathered any information and medical evidence to support your claim, they will begin negotiations on your behalf.

If the other party makes an offer of compensation, your solicitor will let you know and discuss with you whether they think it’s a fair settlement offer and they will help you to decide whether to accept it or not.

Your solicitor will always be fighting for the best possible compensation for you.

The vast majority of claims are settled out of court, but if on a rare occasion your case does need to go to court, your solicitor will explain the process to you, guide you through everything that will happen, and provide support and reassurance throughout.

Your claim is settled

Once both sides agree on a compensation amount, the claim is considered to be settled. Your compensation award will then be paid to you, either as a lump sum or in instalments.

Depending on the terms of the settlement, if liability is accepted, you may also receive a formal apology from the employer.

Your solicitor's fees are paid

Your solicitor will have discussed their ‘success fee’ with you at the beginning of the claim process before you sign a No Win, No Fee agreement.

If your claim is successful, the success fee will be deducted from your compensation award - so you are never out of pocket. Any other legal expenses are usually covered by the other party.

If your claim was taken out on a No Win, No Fee basis, then you will not need to pay anything to your solicitor if your claim is not successful. This means that you can proceed with your claim without taking any financial risk

Have you been injured at work?

If you have been injured at work in the last 3 years, you may be able to claim financial compensation.

Find out more about making a work accident claim:

  • Do you qualify?
  • How much compensation could you get?
  • How does No Win, No Fee work?
Work accident claim guide