I Had an Accident at Work But Didn’t Report It: Can I Claim?

Your employer has a duty to keep you safe while you’re at work. This means they could be held responsible if you suffered an accident in the workplace – even if your injuries weren’t reported straight away.

Why is it so important to report workplace accidents?

While it may still be possible to claim compensation without a workplace accident report, it could make the process more difficult. This is because without documented evidence of your injuries, your employer could deny that the accident happened or that they were responsible.

In these cases, further evidence would need to be gathered which could significantly delay the claims process.

Reporting your accident could also help to reduce the risk to your colleagues. Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), your employer is required to report certain accidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) so that risks can be assessed.

If the HSE finds that your employer is not complying with the law, they’ll take action to ensure serious risks are dealt with. They’ll also make sure the company is held to account if they continue to fail in their responsibilities.

How do I report an accident at work?

When you have an accident at work, your first priority should always be getting medical help. Of course, if you need to go to hospital, there won’t be time to stop and complete an accident report. But your line manager should do this on your behalf if you’re unable to.

When you’re well enough, make sure to check that your accident has been documented accurately in the company’s accident book. The entry should include:

  • Your name and job title
  • When the accident happened
  • Where the accident happened
  • What caused the accident
  • What your injuries were

If you had an accident at work but didn’t report it immediately, you could still make sure your employer knows what happened. One way you can do this is by sending a letter that sets out exactly how you were injured and why they were responsible.

Make sure to send your letter via recorded delivery, so your employer can’t say they didn’t receive it.

I didn’t report my workplace accident – how will I prove my claim?

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. This could include:

  • 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.
  • Medical records
    Your medical records will be some of the most important evidence supporting 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.
  • Photographs and video
    You may have been hurt by a piece of machinery, defective PPE or an 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 make sure to capture it.
  • 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 will be there to support you in gathering this evidence, so don’t worry if you don’t have it all to hand right now.

To find out how our personal injury solicitors could help you, get in touch with our friendly advisors today. You can reach us on the number at the top of the screen or start your claim online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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