If you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against your employer.

A work-related ‘personal injury’ includes any injury or disease, or physical or mental condition, that’s caused or made worse by your work.

If a personal injury claim is successful, compensation (also called ‘damages’) can be awarded for the injury itself and for any financial losses suffered because of the injury.

If you’re considering a personal injury claim, your first step should be to get advice from a solicitor or your union rep.

You should not delay in getting that advice. The law normally allows three years from the date of your illness or injury to bring a legal claim. But in practice, you’re likely to need early advice in order to put together medical evidence, and so that your legal advisers can try to reach an early settlement of your claim if possible.

If your personal injury is the result of discrimination or harassment, you may have a claim in the employment tribunal. Here, deadlines are far shorter – just three months.  

A union will be able to provide you with legal and practical support if you need to make a personal injury claim. If you’re not already a member of a union, you can find the best one for you using our Union Finder tool. 

Are you a rep? You can find more practical advice on a range of workplace issues in our support for reps section

Common
questions
What should I do if I think I have a good claim?
You'll need specialist legal advice to make your claim, whether or not it is settled out of court, or goes to court.
What do I have to prove?
You have to prove that you suffered an injury and that it was, more likely than not, caused by a failure on your employer's part.
Which courts do I go to?
Most personal injury claims are decided in the civil courts – either the County Court if it is worth up to £50,000, or in the High Court if it is substantially above £50,000.
Are there other ways of settling my claim I should consider?
You might choose to reach a private settlement agreement with your employer, or go through mediation.