Personal Injury

I had an Accident at Work but Didn’t Report it: Can I Claim?

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, September 22, 2021

After an accident at work, one of the first things you should do is report it to your manager or HR department, so your employer is made aware.

There are many reasons for this. It’s important for your employer to know where they went wrong so they can stop it happening to anyone else, for example.

Another important reason is that your employer may also have to report what happened. By law, your employer is required to report certain accidents at work. According to the Health and Safety Executive, these include:

  • Accidents causing death
  • Accidents causing serious injuries – these include most broken bones, amputation of a limb, serious burns, sight loss or losing consciousness
  • Dangerous occurrences – which are incidents that had the potential to hurt people but didn’t
  • Diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases – including carpal tunnel syndrome, hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational asthma and any occupational cancer

These incidents need to be reported so that the risks that caused them can be investigated.

So if you do have an accident at work, it’s always a good idea to report it as soon as possible. But if you don’t, you may wonder whether you can still make a claim for compensation.

The importance of evidence

If you had an accident at work but didn’t report it, you could still make a claim for compensation. It might be more complicated, as it gives your employer the chance to deny that it happened or that they were responsible, but it is still possible.

Evidence is hugely important to a successful accident at work claim. Accident book records can be valuable pieces of evidence. Without a report of your accident, you may find it difficult to show that you suffered an accident at work.

But other evidence can be helpful in proving you were injured because of your employer’s negligence.

If you were hurt seriously enough for an ambulance to be called, there will be a record of this. It will state when and where you were injured – and if this is during working hours and at your workplace, this evidence can be just as strong as an accident book record.

But if your injury wasn’t severe enough to require an ambulance, what other evidence could you rely on?

  • CCTV

Although not every workplace has CCTV in operation, many do. If you were injured within the field of vision of a CCTV camera, you could be able to use that footage to prove your claim.

You are legally allowed to request CCTV footage of yourself, and the system owner has one month to provide it for free. But the government has warned that most CCTV is deleted after 30 days, so don’t leave it too late to request it.

  • Medical records

Your medical records will be some of the most important evidence in your claim. If you were injured because of something that could have only happened at work, the medical professional you saw may have recognised this and made a note in your record.

The fact you needed medical treatment after your injury could also show how serious your injury was.

  • Photographs and video

You may have been hurt by a piece of machinery, PPE or issue in the environment, such as a broken or poorly lit staircase. If there is something concrete that you can take a photo or video footage of, then you should do that.

Photographs and video footage can show that there was a hazard in the workplace that hadn’t been appropriately dealt with.

  • Witness statements

There’s a good chance that a colleague – or even a member of the public – witnessed your accident. If they can provide a statement about what they saw, this could help to prove your case.

Your solicitor can let you know how detailed their statement should be.

Telling your employer after the fact

If you had an accident at work but didn’t report it straight away, you could still make sure your employer knows what happened. You could send them a letter that sets out exactly how you were injured and why they were responsible.

It’s best to do this via recorded delivery. That way, your employer can’t say they didn’t receive the letter.

Although this may not be the strongest evidence possible if your claim ends up in court, it can ensure that your employer knows what went wrong. It could go some way towards them stopping it happening to anyone else at work.

What to do

If you choose to make a compensation claim for your accident, your solicitor will be able to let you know the best steps to take.

First4Lawyers works with top personal injury lawyers, who will work to get you the compensation you deserve. This makes finding the right solicitor simple.

Our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis, so there’s no financial risk involved in making a claim.

It’s important to remember that you have three years from the date of the accident to start your claim. There are few exceptions to this rule, so it’s always advisable to begin your claim as soon as you can.

Just give us a call or start your claim online to be matched to one of our legal experts.

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