If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault and you want to make a personal injury claim, but you are no longer working, you will be pleased to know that your employment status has no bearing on your ability to make a claim.
You have the same rights as everyone else, so you are welcome to make a claim for compensation and to seek advice for personal injury claims.
One thing to keep in mind however, if you are unemployed, is that your compensation figure may be lower than if you were working. The reason for this is compensation is made up of two parts – ‘general damages’ and ‘special damages’. Special damages compensate you for financial hardships as a result of your accident. So while you would have been able to make a claim for loss of earnings and overtime if you were working, your special damages will not include this. However, they will still include any debts you have incurred as a direct result of your accident. But mostly, your compensation will be made up of general damages.
If you are on benefits, and your benefits were stopped because you were unable to go to a meeting with the Jobcentre (your benefits are automatically stopped under these circumstances, so don’t take this personally), then you can claim for this. You can also claim for public transport costs or any medical expenses you have paid from your own pocket.
If your accident was actually within the workplace, and you have since left, then you can still make a claim against your employer if your accident happened within the last three years and so long as the accident was not your fault.
If your employer no longer exists, then you can still make a claim with their insurance company. All employers are required by law to have employer’s liability insurance and this will cover them beyond the life of the business up to a point. This is there to protect employers against the cost of compensation claims. If your accident was more than three years ago, then you will in all likelihood not be able to make a claim. However, that three year period can be extended in the case of industrial diseases.
So if you are not working, rest assured you can still make a claim for compensation. It is recommended that you seek advice for personal injury claims before deciding however. A claims advisor or your solicitor will be able to advise you on the best move forward and also ascertain your eligibility for making a claim. When you make contact, make sure to have the date of your accident to hand and a clear idea of how the accident happened.