If you have suffered an injury or illness in past employment and you are thinking about making a claim, the most important thing to consider is that there are strict time limits in place to which you can bring forward a personal injury claim in the United Kingdom.
Time limits for making a claim
The time limit that applies to most accident claims is three years, and that three years starts from the date your accident happened or the date your injuries became clear. This is known as your Date of Limitation or your Date of Knowledge.
To make a claim against a past employer, your Date of Limitation must be no more than three years ago. If it is, then unfortunately you may not be able to make a claim because it will have been statute barred. If however you were a minor at the time of your accident, which if you were injured at work usually means you were 16 or 17 at the time, then you have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to make a claim.
Liability criteria for making a claim
If your accident did happen within the last three years, then the second eligibility criteria you need to be aware of is your level of liability.
To make a claim against a past employer, it has to be proven that you were not wholly responsible for the accident in which you were injured. Usually, this can be achieved by taking a detailed statement from yourself and then reviewing your past employer’s health and safety records. Your past employer may also have archived CCTV footage or other evidence that could support your claims. Your lawyer will collect this evidence for you.
While you cannot be wholly responsible for your accident, however, you can make a claim against a past employer if you were partly responsible. If this is the case, then your compensation pay-out will likely be less than it would be if your level of liability was nil.
Can I make a claim against a past employer if they no longer exist?
In most cases, yes. Your employer should have had a valid employer’s liability insurance policy in place at the time of your accident. These policies usually cover a business or organisation for several years after they close down. In which case, you can make a claim in the same way you would if your past employer still existed.
Get expert legal advice for your claim today
Call our free and no obligation accident helpline today on 0800 157 1438 to discuss your case with a claim expert and get answers to your claims-related questions.