I’ve slipped and fell at work, can I claim compensation?
If you’ve slipped, tripped or fell at work and it wasn’t your fault, you could qualify for compensation. Speak to the our team today about your rights to claiming compensation.
Last updated on July 21st, 2021
The most important things to remember when claiming for slips, trips and falls at work:
- Your employer has a duty of care to keep your workplace safe
- You can claim for an accident if your employer was at fault
- You can claim on a no win, no fee basis
- You generally have three years to make a claim
- Your compensation total depends on the seriousness of the injury, loss of earnings and the impact on your life.
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Can I claim compensation for slips and trips and falls at work?
Generally, you can claim compensation for slips and trips, or if you fell at work. The Health and Safety Executive defines ‘falls from height’ as anything that could cause personal injury if precautions were not taken.
Wet floors are one of the biggest risk factors for slips in the workplace, though inappropriate footwear may also be to blame – particularly if you’re working outside. Employers should provide anti-slip flooring in potentially slippery environments.
If you trip in the workplace, this could be due to untidy work environments, for example if boxes are not tidied away. You may also trip over potholes or uneven footpaths – even claims in workplace car parks can still result in compensation.
You’ll claim more with us.
We have recovered an additional £21.2m more in compensation for clients who switched to us from their previous firm. Contact us now to discover the real value of your claim.
Claiming compensation for a fall from a height
If you fell at work you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Falls from a height need to be from one level to a lower level. They could be classed as:
- Anything from above ground or above floor level
- A fall through an opening, fragile surface or over an edge
- At ground level through an opening in the floor or the ground.
These do not apply to falls on staircases, but rather, where accidents could have been prevented – for example, if your employer did not train you, or failed to provide the correct length ladder.
You may also fall from a height if you’re using equipment such as a crane or cherry picker.
In these cases, working from a height cannot be avoided – but accidents can.
How to claim for an accident at work
Want to know more about claiming for an accident at work. Jargon free, we’ll explain your legal rights, letting you know everything you need to know about claiming.
How much compensation can I claim for an accident at work?
Read our accident at work legal guides to understand your legal rights and how much compensation you may be able to claim.
How to make a claim for a slip, trip or fall at work
If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a slip, trip or fall, you could qualify for compensation. You should call us, and have evidence to prove that your employer was at fault.
Generally, you’ll have three years to make a claim from the date of the accident or the date you were diagnosed – but there are some extra factors to consider here (see ‘back injuries’ below).
We’ll gather all the evidence we need to secure you the maximum possible compensation. This might include; photographs, CCTV footage, proof of faulty equipment, training records, logs in accident books, and even witness statements. You may also have to attend a medical to get a full report from your doctor – don’t worry, we’ll arrange all this for you.
You need to be able to prove three things to help your claim:
- That your employer was to blame, or partially to blame for your accident or injury.
- That you suffered a measurable level of physical or psychological harm.
- That your injuries were caused by workplace negligence, rather than an existing injury.
We can help you to gather evidence to support all three of these, and get the compensation you deserve.
We understand the financial impact of an accident.
In 99% of cases, we recovered more compensation than the insurer’s first offer. We’ll provide financial security with our interim payments wherever possible, meaning you don’t need to rush into an offer that is lower than you’re legally entitled to.
What are my legal rights if I’ve slipped and been injured at work?
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, your employer must do everything in their power to prevent slips, trips and falls. This could include:
- Keeping the workplace clean and tidy (free from wet floors and obstructions)
- Providing appropriate training, particularly if you’re working at height
- Using hazard warning signs for slip risks such as wet floors
- Regularly inspecting and maintaining equipment
- Providing satisfactory personal protective equipment such as anti-slip footwear
- Installing handrails, anti-slip flooring and guardrails where needed
- Securing ladders, tools, equipment and scaffolding
- Making sure other employees follow safety practices (you can still claim if another employee caused your fall – this is known as ‘vicarious liability’).
The Working at Heights Regulations 2005
On top of these basic responsibilities, employers who work at heights must also stick to the Working at Heights Regulations 2005. This applies to anybody working from standing on a chair to high above the ground, such as on scaffolding.
Further rules that your employer must follow are:
- Making sure the employee knows how to work at height, such as climbing scaffolding correctly
- Maintaining safety items such as ladders, scaffolding, tools and any other equipment.
In some cases, defective machinery or faulty equipment, such as cherry pickers or cranes, may be to blame for a fall. According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 50 people die every year due to falls from a height. I these cases, we may be able to claim against those who supplied the equipment, or your employer for failing to carry out checks.
The law states that any items above arms height must be maintained and repaired, or removed if they are not safe to use. If your employer fails to meet any of these standards and you suffer an injury, you could claim compensation from their Employer’s Liability Insurance.
How long after I slipped at work can I claim for an injury?
Whether it was a slip, trip or fall, you can still claim if you were injured at work and it wasn’t your fault. Generally, you’ll have three years from the date of the incident to make a claim. However, we recommend you get in touch with us as soon as you feel well enough to do so. We use evidence such as witness statements to support your claim, so the sooner you get in touch, the better the evidence will be.
There are some exceptions to the three-year limit:
- You were “mentally incapacitated” – for example, you suffered a brain injury and could not claim
- You were under 18 when the accident happened. You’ll have up until your 21st birthday to claim
- You were working overseas
- You were using faulty equipment, but it was found to be faulty after your incident. You’ll have three years from the date that this was discovered, for example, through a product recall.
Unlimited legal support.
That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim? You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a slip, trip or fall at work?
Your total compensation will depend on how serious your injury is, as well as any loss of earnings, and the general impact it’s had on your life.
What is my claim worth?
While there’s no specific amount for any one injury, you can use the Judicial Board Guidelines for a rough indication of compensation amounts based on bodily injury:
- Shoulder injuries can range from £6,000 to £38,000
- Arm and wrist injuries can range from £2,000 to £100,000
- Neck and back injuries can range from £6,000 to £120,000
- Head injuries can range from £5,000 to £300,000.
The large spectrum of compensation amounts relates to the level of damage. Injuries are classed as ‘general damages’ whereas loss of earnings are called ‘special damages’. Your compensation will be much higher if your injury is extreme, for example, a spinal injury.
How is compensation calculated?
Your circumstances are completely unique to you, so we’ll use a variety of factors to assess your claim. We pride ourselves on taking everything into consideration, including psychological effects and changes to your lifestyle. We’ll consider:
- Your physical and psychological damage
- Loss of earnings from time off work
- Money paid for treatment such as through travel or physiotherapy
- Changes to your lifestyle, for example, no longer being able to take part in hobbies
- Adjustments to your home
- Having to change jobs or give up work.
You may also qualify for early compensation (interim) payments. These come out of your final compensation amount, and will help to tide you over while you’re waiting for your final settlement.
Average compensation amounts for trips, slips and falls at work
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Head||Minor||£1,880.00 to £10,890.00||Covers brain damage with recovery within a few weeks. Higher compensation if symptoms include headaches.|
|Head||Moderate||£13,430.00 to £112,130.00||Symptoms ranging from poor concentration, lower and higher risk of epileptic attacks, minor personality changes, depression, more severe intellectual impairment, or injuries/symptoms leading to a vegetative state.|
|Head||Serious||£186,890.00 £240,590.00||Covers reduced life expectancy, serious physical symptoms, serious changes to personality or intellect, large dependence on others due to paralysis or otherwise.|
|Head||Severe||£240,590.00 to £344,640.00||Covers minimally conscious state (life expectancy less than 15 years), severe disability, brain damage with little/no response, vegetative states needing full-time nursing.|
|Eye||Severe||£56,080.00to £229,260.00||Complete blindness on one/both eyes or severe visual impairment on one/both eyes.|
|Face||Minor||£1,460.00 to £7,460.00||Light or no scarring on the face, but no fractures, loss/damage of one/two front teeth, simple fractures of the jaw or nose, but with a possibility of complete recovery.|
|Face||Serious||£15,320.00 to £26,010.00||More serious fractures such as a broken jaw or nose, breaking/damage/loss of several teeth.|
|Face||Severe||£26,010.00 to £38,850.00||Severe injuries resulting in facial disfigurement, several jaw fractures, chronic tooth pain, and scarring. May lead to eating restrictions or higher risk of joint arthritis. Covers negative effects on mental health.|
|Ear/ hearing||Minor||Up to £5,980.00||Possible Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), slight/occasional tinnitus.|
|Ear/ hearing||Moderate||£12,700.00 to £25,350.00||Partial hearing loss or mild to severe tinnitus.|
|Ear/ hearing||Serious||£25,350.00 to £38,850.00||Complete deafness in one ear. Severity varies based on additional symptoms (e.g. dizziness, tinnitus, etc.).|
|Ear/ hearing||Severe||£77,430.00 to £120,040.00||Complete deafness in both ears. Higher compensation for child injuries also resulting in a loss of speech.|
Compensation amounts for back, neck, shoulders and upper body injuries
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Neck||Minor||Up to £6,680.00||Soft tissue injuries or whiplash with recovery within 3 – 24 months. Compensation factors include severity of pain and amount of negative effects on everyday life.|
|Neck||Moderate||£7,410.00 to £47,760.00||Covers injuries that accelerated a pre-existing condition, disc lesions, cervical spondylosis, serious limitation of movement, permanent and/or recurring pain, all caused by fractures or dislocations.|
|Neck||Severe||£56,100.00 to £139,210.00||Serious fractures, severe soft tissue damage, chronic pain conditions, disc damage, partial paraplegia, or significant, permanent disability.|
|Back||Minor||£2,090.00 to £10,670.00||Includes lighter strains, sprains, disc prolapses, and soft tissue injuries. Recovery between 3 months and 5 years.|
|Back||Moderate||£11,730.00 to £26,050.00||Includes: spinal fusion, compressed or fractured lumbar spine (possibly resulting in higher risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain), prolapsed discs and other injuries that may require surgery and a continued acceleration/worsening of a pre-existing back condition.|
|Back||Severe||£36,390.00 to £151,070.00||Typically requires surgery. Injuries include: damaged spinal cord and partial paralysis, psychological issues, loss of bladder and/or bowel function, disc lesions, impaired movement, arthritis, etc.|
|Shoulder||Minor||Up to £6,730.00||Soft tissue injury resulting in pain. Full recovery between 3 – 24 months.|
|Shoulder||Serious||£10,890.00 to £16,380.00||Fractured humerus, clavicle or rotator cuff needing surgery.|
|Shoulder||Severe||£16,380.00 to £40,970.00||Significant disability caused by severe damage to the neck or brachial plexus.|
|Pelvis & hips||Minor||£3,370.00 to £10,750.00||Complete recovery after minor soft tissue injuries. Little or no disability within 2 years.|
|Pelvis & hips||Moderate||£10,750.00 to £33,430.00||No serious disability, but covers injuries requiring hip operations, replacement of hips (or the need for either in the future).|
|Pelvis & hips||Severe||£33,430.00 to £111,690.00||Severe hip/pelvis fractures resulting in bowel damage or spinal fusion, childbirth complications, hip replacement, and/or leading to higher likelihood of future surgery.|
|Scarring (not facial)||Minor||£2,020.00 to £7,380.00||One noticeable scare or several superficial, unsightly scars on the legs, arms, or hands.|
|Scarring (not facial||Moderate||Up to £7,380.00||Full recovery within 2 years, up to a partial recovery with symptoms that are not largely debilitating.|
|Scarring (not facial||Severe||£6,680.00 to £19,390.00||Several noticeable laceration scars or a single disfiguring scar.|
Compensation amounts for arm, hand, and finger injuries
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Arm||Mild||£5,630.00 to £16,380.00||Fractured forearm.|
|Arm||Moderate||£16,380.00 to £33,430.00||Serious arm injury leading to long-lasting symptoms.|
|Arm||Serious||£33,430.00 to £111,690.00||Serious injury resulting in an inability to use the arm(s) to some extent. Does not result in amputation.|
|Arm||Severe||£82,040.00 to £255,930.00||Results may include the amputation of one/both arms. Compensation amount will depends on amputated area, whether phantom pain is experienced, and on other effects on the quality of life.|
|Elbow||Moderate||Up to £10,750.00||Includes: tennis elbow, deep cuts, simple fractures, no permanent damage.|
|Elbow||Serious||£13,360.00 to £27,320.00||Results in restricted movement but does not require surgery or cause disability.|
|Elbow||Severe||£33,430.00 to £46,780.00||Injury causes severe disability or requires surgery.|
|Wrist||Moderate||Up to £8,740.00||Uncomplicated Colles fracture or minor undisplaced fractures with recovery between 1 – 2 years. May include use of plasters.|
|Wrist||Serious||£10,750.00 to £20,900.00||Soft tissue damage or broken wrist causing some permanent disability.|
|Wrist||Severe||£20,900.00to £51,070.00.||Significant permanent disability or complete loss of wrist function.|
|Hand||Minor||Up to £4,050.00||Covers lacerations and crush injuries, and soft tissue injuries (recovery within 6 months).|
|Hand||Moderate||£4,780.00 to £11,330.00||Covers penetrating wounds and crush injuries resulting in permanent but non-intrusive symptoms, or soft tissue damage and deeper cuts resulting in impairment of the hand (may require surgery).|
|Hand||Severe||£24,740.00 to £171,920.00||Covers amputation and rejoining of several fingers, resulting in a clawed, impaired, or unsightly hand, amputation of one/both hands (alternatively, amputation of several fingers rendering the hand almost useless).|
|Finger||Minor||Up to £4,055.00||Includes: full-healed fractured finger bones (healed within 1 year) with/without minor scarring.|
|Finger||Moderate||£3,370.00 to £5,000.00||Includes: complete (or almost complete) recovery after broken finger, amputation or loss of a part of the little finger.|
|Finger||Severe||£10,380.00 to £31,350.00||Includes: complete amputation of one/more fingers, fractures of the index finger. Compensation depends on level of disability and suffering.|
|Thumb||Minor||Up to £4,055.00||Short-term, severe pain gone within 3 months.|
|Thumb||Moderate||£3,370.00 to £10,750.00||Covers fractures with recovery within 6 months, damage to nerves or tendons resulting in partial loss of sensation, and cosmetic thumb deformities.|
|Thumb||Severe||£10,750.00 to £46,780.00||Partial/complete amputation of the thumb, surgical wire insertions, nerve damage, fractures, inability to grip.|
Compensation amounts for leg and foot injuries
|Part of body||Severity of injury||Amount of compensation||Types of injuries|
|Leg||Minor||£7,780.00 to £12,010.00||Minor injuries with recovery within a few months (e.g. soft-tissue injuries, bruising, cuts, and contusions). Slightly more severe injuries such as simple fractures of the femur, tibia, or fibula.|
|Leg||Moderate||£15,320.00 to £46,780.00||Minor fractures with partial recovery, serious soft tissue injury, injuries to one leg (e.g. broken bones, crushing injuries), ligament injuries, compound fractures leading to near certainty of arthritis or instability.|
|Leg||Severe||£46,780.00 to £240,590.00||Severe injuries resulting in extensive degloving, bone grafting, permanently reduced mobility, or amputation of one/both legs (above/below the knee).|
|Knee||Minor||Up to £11,730.00||Includes soft tissue injuries (recovery within a few months), a twisted knee, lacerations, or bruising resulting in discomfort or pain.|
|Knee||Moderate||£22,340.00 to £37,070.00||Includes: seriously damaged kneecaps, ligaments, or muscles, dislocation, a torn meniscus, acceleration injuries (over several years), resulting in ongoing discomfort or pain.|
|Knee||Severe||£44,470.00 to £82,080.00||Covers constant pain, severe disability, or muscle wastage. Higher compensation if need for surgery or injury effects quality of life.|
|Ankle||Minor||Up to £11,730.00||Smaller fractures, but bone has not been displaced. May include sprains, injured ligaments (likely leads to scarring). Smaller injuries can allow for full recovery within a year, without any scarring.|
|Ankle||Moderate||£11,730.00 to £42,710.00||Includes ligament tears, fractures, leading to smaller disabilities while standing/moving. Increased risk of osteoarthritis. Operation/cast needed. May lead to inability to work or call for special footwear.|
|Ankle||Severe||£42,710.00 to £59,480.00||Severe injury resulting in deformities, disabilities, or even amputation of the body part down the line.|
|Achilles||Minor||£6,200.00 to £10,750.00||Minor instability due to tendon damage around the ankle. Some more severe cases might involve scarring.|
|Achilles||Moderate||£10,750.00 to £17,970.00||More serious injury and partially ruptured tendon. More severe cases tend to involve disability and/or permanent scarring.|
|Achilles||Severe||£21,320.00to £32,780.00||Restricted movement of the ankle due to severed muscle tissue. Small likelihood of further improvement of limp and residual scarring.|
|Foot||Minor||Up to £11,730.00||Includes: minor fractures, lacerations or contusions (with complete recovery within 2 years), ruptured ligaments or other puncture wounds that result in chronic pain or a permanent limp.|
|Foot||Moderate||£11,730.00 to £59,730.00||Includes: metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity and ongoing symptoms, fractured heels (both), restricted mobility, degloving and heel fusion.|
|Foot||Severe||£71,640.00 to £171,920.00||Injury needing amputation of one/both feet or traumatic amputation of the forefoot (to prevent need for complete amputation).|
|Toe||Minor||Up to £8,190.00||One or more broken toes with a varying recovery period. Compensation depends on presence of long-term symptoms and speed of recovery.|
|Toe||Moderate||£8,190.00 to £11,730.00||Multiple fractures, crush injuries to two/more toes, permanent disability. May have involved unsuccessful past operations.|
|Toe||Severe||£11,730.00 to £47,830.00||Severe crush injuries leading to less/surgical amputation of one or two toes (not including the big toe), amputation of all toes or the big toe.|
Choosing the right solicitor for falls at work claims
At Express Solicitors, we have more than 20 years’ experience settling accident claims in the workplace. Whether you’ve slipped over, tripped on a piece of equipment, or fallen from a height, we are here to listen to your story sensitively.
Our experience has led to tens of millions in compensation claims, and we can work with you on a no win, no fee basis. We specialise in taking on the claims that nobody else will, so whether you’ve been let down or are just starting out, contact our lawyers today.
How to make a claim for a fall at work
Whatever your personal circumstances, we’re here to help you. To get the best compensation, it’s useful to get in touch with us as soon as you feel well enough to do so. Your claim can be settled in as little as three simple steps.
- Start with a consultation – just call us or fill out a contact form to request a call back. This will involve a chat to go over what happened, and any evidence you may have to support your claim. You should gather this in advance.
- With your evidence in hand, our solicitors can start to make your claim. The compensation will usually come from your Employer’s Liability Insurance.
- After the claim is settled successfully, you’ll receive your compensation. We may also be able to offer you early compensation payments.
What information do I need to make a claim?
To make a successful claim for a slip, trip or fall at work, we need to be able to prove that you were injured, and that your employer was to blame. This will involve evidence, which you should start to gather from the moment of the accident.
I slipped and fell at work – what should I do?
Firstly, you should seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel unwell. Any medical reports you have may be used as evidence. If you have noticeable injuries, as well as visible proof of a hazard, you should try to take photographs of the scene.
Next, you should log your incident in your employer’s accident book. If there isn’t an accident book at your place of work, you can send an email outlining what happened, and the injury you suffered.
Evidence of injury – general damages
To make claims for personal injury, you will need to produce as much evidence as possible. Ask for copies of all medical records, as well as the accident book, and any training records if they’re relevant to your claim. Your employer may also suggest you go for a medical, or we may ask you to do so. In both cases, you should keep any additional notes.
If there were witnesses, ask them to produce a statement to send to us over email.
Evidence of injury – special damages
Special damages refer to any money you lost as a result of your injury. Keep all receipts related to your treatment – for example, physical therapy or travel receipts to your appointments. You should also log any loss of earnings, or missed outings to the job centre. You may even have receipts for adjustments to your home, such as handrails.
Statistics on slips and falls in the workplace
If you want to make a claim for a slip, trip or fall in the workplace, you are not alone. According to the Healthy and Safety Executive:
- 29% of all workplace accidents in 2019 were caused by slips, trips and falls
- 8% of workplace accidents in 2019 were caused by falls from a height
The commonest cases of slips, trips and falls in the workplace are:
- Spillages without warning signs or wet surfaces
- Icy surfaces in car parks and access points
- Damaged or uneven flooring
- Poor lighting leading to reduced visibility
- Obstacles caused by untidy work areas.