How Long Do You Have To Make A Work Accident Claim?

If you have been injured in an accident at work, you might not be sure whether to make a claim for compensation. You may feel that it is not appropriate to sue your employer, or be concerned that if you do you might lose your job or you might not think that your injury is sufficiently severe to make a claim for compensation. All of these are good reasons for considering whether to make a claim or not, but whilst you are thinking them through, the time limit within which you have to act is ticking away.

This time limit is one of two main reasons why you should take legal advice as soon as possible after a work accident. The other main reason relates to the evidence that will be needed to support your claim; the longer you leave it after a work accident, the harder it will be for your legal team to secure all of the evidence that they need to be able to make a successful claim for you. Let’s look at the first and most important point, the time limit within which you must make a claim for work accident compensation.

Time Limit

The legal time limit for making a claim for compensation is three years from the date of the accident, with some exceptions.

The Children Exception

Anyone under the age of 18 at the time of the accident has three years from the date of their 18th birthday to make a claim.

Not Of Capacity

If you are not able to manage your affairs, for example due to a head injury, you would have three years from the date that your mental capacity returned to make a claim.

What Does The Time Limit Mean

Whichever time limit applies to you, do not be fooled into thinking that the three year time limit only relates to you contacting a solicitor. The time limit means that before it expires legal proceedings must have been successfully issued in a court. If you turn up to a solicitor the day before the three year time limit expires it will be almost impossible for them to help you with a claim. They will normally want at least three months before this time limit, but preferably at least six months.

The reasons that you need to make early contact with a legal adviser include:

  • They will need to investigate the details of the accident and obtain evidence to support your claim that your employer was at fault for the accident
  • They will need to obtain your medical records and obtain a report from a General Practitioner or Orthopaedic Surgeon to confirm the injuries sustained, and that they were caused by the accident
  • They will need to obtain documentation to support your claim for losses and expenses, and attach these details to your claim
  • They will need to send all of these details to the court and to your employer and their insurance company


The other reason why you should not wait a long time to make a claim for compensation is that it will become harder to obtain the evidence needed to support your claim the longer you leave it. Your employer may dispose of damaged equipment, or witnesses that are vital to prove that the accident was not your fault may move on.


If you have an accident at work you normally have three years from the date of that accident within which to issue court proceedings against your employer, with the exceptions mentioned. However, this might mean that evidence becomes stale, or is simply not available. If you are involved in an accident at work you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that your option to make a claim remains open to you.

Don’t miss out on your chance to claim compensation

Too many people miss out on the chance to claim the compensation they deserve because they made their claim too. Call our work accident solicitors today and give yourself the best possible chance of winning damages for your work accident claim.

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