There is a common assumption among contractors and the self-employed that if they’re injured at work, there’s little chance of being compensated. However, that’s not always the case. That’s because if you signed an agreement to carry out work for a customer or you were working on their premises, you can expect the same workplace safety protections as an employed worker. During this guide on self-employed accident at work claims, we’ll explain those rights and review your options.
If you’re self-employed and have been injured at work, we’ll happily review your chances of being compensated for free. During a no-obligation consultation, a specially-trained advisor will examine what’s happened and offer free legal advice about how to proceed. If one of our personal injury lawyers agrees to work for you, they will manage your case on a No Win, No Fee basis. As such, you won’t need to pay any legal fees unless you receive a compensation payout.
Read on if you’d like more details about making a self-employed accident at work claim or call our team on 0800 652 1345 to speak with us right away.
What is a self-employed worker?
Many people choose to work for themselves so that they can work the hours that suit their lifestyle or so that they can offer their services to more than one company at a time.
Self-employed workers are also known as:
Essentially, they are people who do not have a formal employment contract with a company.
Common self-employed roles
Being self-employed can offer flexibility that working full-time for an employer does not. For example, you can decide which jobs you take on, the hours you work and when you want to go on holiday. However, there are also downsides to being self-employed such as having to manage your own finances, no guarantees when it comes to working hours and a lack of paid holiday or sick leave.
Effectively, self-employed workers can work in any industry but some of the most common jobs and industries where they are used include:
- Builders, labourers and construction workers.
- Freelance hairdressers.
- Parcel couriers.
- Some fast food delivery drivers.
- Sales reps.
- Personal trainers.
- Supply teachers.
This is just a sample of the jobs that can be performed on a self-employed basis. If you’ve been injured at work whilst self-employed, we may be able to help you claim compensation for any suffering.
Can I claim compensation for a self-employed accident at work?
Self-employed workers, contractors and consultants are used in many different industries. They provide the expertise and flexibility needed by businesses when it’s needed.
If you are self-employed and a company hires you to work on their premises or any other site other than your own office or home, they must ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible. This is a legal duty of care as set out by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
As such, a self-employed injury claim may be possible if:
- You had an accident while working for a company as a self-employed worker or contractor; and
- The accident was caused by the company’s negligence; and
- You were injured because of the accident.
Later on, we’ll provide more information on what you should do if you’re self-employed and have an accident at work including what proof you could collect to support your claim.
Types of injuries self-employed workers could claim compensation for
If your claim meets the criteria described above, you could be entitled to compensation for almost any type of injury including:
- Facial injuries.
- Burns and scalds.
- Spine injuries including slipped discs.
- Ligament, muscle and tendon strains and sprains.
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations.
- Toe injuries.
- Brain damage.
- Crush injuries.
Please call us on 0800 652 1345 to talk to an advisor about your injury.
Examples of self-employed accidents at work
In this section, we’ve added some scenarios that could lead you to claim compensation whilst working as a self-employed individual. They include:
- If you slipped and injured yourself on the company’s premises because a leaking machine was not maintained properly.
- Where you were hit by objects thrown from scaffolding on a building site because of unsafe practices.
- If you were scalded whilst using a faulty vending machine on the company’s premises.
- If you fell when working at height because the company didn’t provide you with a safety harness.
- Where you suffered injuries because the company hadn’t risk-assessed your working conditions.
Essentially, you could be entitled to compensation for any self-employed injury caused by the company’s negligence. If you believe that you have a valid claim, call today for free legal advice on your options.
How much compensation for a self-employed accident at work?
The fact that you were self-employed when you were injured will not matter if you decide to start a claim. Effectively, you can expect the same level of compensation as an employed worker.
As such, if your claim is successful, you could receive damages to cover:
- Any physical injuries and the associated pain and suffering.
- Psychiatric harm caused by your self-employed accident and injuries (PTSD etc).
- Any negative impact on your usual social activities, hobbies and family life.
- Lost earnings.
- Damage to your personal property.
- Physiotherapy and other medical expenses.
- The cost of a carer.
- Future reductions in earnings for longer-term injuries.
- Travel expenses.
- Quality of life improvements to your home or vehicle (to help with long-term disabilities).
If you receive representation from one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll aim to secure as much compensation as possible by reviewing how you have suffered in fine detail.
How does my solicitor know how the accident has affected me?
As part of any self-employed injury claim, the extent of your injuries will need to be determined. As such, your solicitor will arrange for you to see an independent medical specialist. During your medical assessment, you’ll discuss how your injuries have affected you and the specialist will examine you.
After the meeting, your solicitor and the defendant’s legal team will be sent a report. If you are awarded compensation for your injuries, the amount will be based on this report.
Providing proof for a self-employed accident at work claim
If you’re self-employed and you have an accident whilst working, some of the steps listed below could help you to secure proof if you decide to claim compensation:
- Seek medical attention. Visiting your GP or a hospital should ensure that your self-employed injuries are diagnosed and treated correctly. Medical records could be used during your claim to prove the extent of any injuries.
- Report the accident. If you have a copy of an accident report form (a legal requirement for most companies), it will be very difficult for the company to deny that the accident happened.
- Speak to witnesses. If anyone saw your accident occur, make a note of their contact details. You don’t need to ask them for a witness statement but your solicitor may do so at a later date.
- Take photographs. Where possible, try to take pictures of the accident scene before anything is replaced, removed or repaired.
- Secure CCTV recordings. If the accident was recorded by a security camera, ask for a copy of the footage. Data protection laws allow you to do so but act quickly because the recording won’t be stored for long.
- Keep records. After the accident, keep a log of any expenses you incur as a result of your self-employed injuries. Also, write down the dates when your injuries prevented you from working or attending your normal activities.
If you’d like free advice on how to secure proof or you’d like us to review any proof you’ve already secured, please get in touch.
No Win, No Fee claims
If you decide to make a self-employed injury claim, we realise that the cost of hiring a solicitor can be off-putting. For that reason, our panel of solicitors offer a No Win, No Fee service for any claim they work on.
Once you’ve discussed your case, your solicitor will send a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to you if they’re happy to represent you. Once signed, your solicitor’s main goals are to:
- Collect proof to support your self-employed injury claim.
- Request medical records and organise a medical assessment.
- Contact the defendant and liaise with their insurers.
- Handle all queries on your behalf.
- Make sure you are kept up to date throughout the claims process.
- Try to make sure that any settlement compensates you fully.
Essentially, No Win, No Fee means that you don’t need to pay any legal fees in advance and you won’t pay for your solicitor’s work if the claim fails.
If you are compensated, a success fee will be deducted to cover your solicitor’s expenses. This is legally capped and the exact rate you’ll pay will be listed in your CFA.
Self-employed accident at work claim time limits
You may already know that, in the UK, there is a 3-year time limit for personal injury claims. For accidents at work, this will start from:
- The date the accident happened; or
- Your date of knowledge i.e. when your self-employed injuries were diagnosed by a doctor.
It is often much easier to secure supporting proof if you begin the claims process sooner rather than later. Additionally, an early start could mean that the defendant will cover any medical expenses or loss of earnings by paying interim payments before the claim has been settled.
Start a self-employed accident at work claim today
If you would like to claim compensation for a self-employed workplace injury, call us on 0800 652 1345 to start the ball rolling. We’ll review your options with you for free and could connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors.
Should your claim be accepted, your solicitor will work on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means the claim should be less stressful because legal fees will only need to be paid if you are compensated.
Thank you for reading this guide to self-employed accident at work claims, and if you do have any questions at all, please connect with an advisor in live chat.