Accident at Work – What is the Correct Procedure?

Accident at work - Accidents happen again and again while working or on the way to work. Facts and tips.


Time and again, accidents happen while working or on the way to work. After these so-called occupational accidents, an employee is generally entitled to various benefits. However, to benefit, it is necessary to properly report the work accident. It is also often difficult to classify an accident as work-related, for example in a home office. After the accident, it is also possible that the employee may face dismissal.

Work Accident Procedure

After an accident at work, so-called transit doctors must be consulted. They are specially qualified to treat accident victims. If necessary, they will issue the employee with a sick note.

If the sick leave lasts more than three days, employers are obliged to report the accident to the employers’ liability insurance association. A period of three calendar days applies for this. The day of the accident is not counted. Otherwise, the statutory accident insurance may refuse to pay benefits. In the case of minor injuries, an entry in the first-aid book should be included on the accident at work checklist. This is important in case an unexpected consequential damage occurs later.

Accident at Work during Home Office

When working in a home office, it is particularly difficult to determine whether an occupational accident has occurred. The prerequisite here is that the accident is directly related to the professional field of activity. If, for example, the employee is injured while picking up private mail during a break, this does not constitute an occupational accident.

It is important to consult a doctor even in the case of minor injuries and to describe the circumstances of the accident to the employer. This ensures that consequential damages after an accident at work are covered.

Accident at Work – Who Pays?

If an employee suffers a work-related accident, he initially receives his normal salary from the employer for six weeks. After the continued payment of wages in the event of an occupational accident, the employers’ liability insurance association takes over the benefits. It is the body responsible for statutory accident insurance. The amount of the benefits is usually 80 percent of the gross wage.

The Time after the Injury Benefit

Unlike sickness benefits, the entitlement to injury benefits is generally unlimited. However, this only applies if the employee is expected to return to work in the future. Otherwise, the entitlement is limited to 78 weeks, provided the employee is no longer undergoing inpatient treatment.

If the employee takes part in a cure or retraining, for example, the entitlement to injury benefit ends. This is replaced by the so-called transitional allowance. As a rule, it amounts to 68 percent of the last net salary.

Accident at Work during Short-Time Work

If the occupational accident occurs during reduced working hours, it depends on the individual case whether there is an entitlement to benefits. If the employees are still working, they are entitled to continued payment for the reduced working hours within the first six weeks. In addition, there is injury benefit for the hours lost due to short time working. If the company is at a standstill, only the amount of the short-time allowance is eligible for injury benefit. After the six weeks, only injury benefit is paid in any case.

Accident at Work and Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Obtaining compensation for pain and suffering after an accident at work is usually difficult. This requires the employer to have intentionally caused the accident at work.

Entitlement to the Old Job

In principle, there is no right to the old job after a long period of absence. If it is necessary, the employer is authorized to assign the employee to another job. The reason for this is often operational requirements or limited suitability of the employee after the work accident.

Dismissal after an Accident at Work

Termination is possible after an accident at work in accordance with the general regulations. This applies to the case where an employee is no longer able to fulfill all their duties after the accident. However, termination always requires a weighing of interests. If any absences from work are due to an accident at work, the employee’s interests often outweigh the benefits.


We would like to point out that our website provides non-binding information, which under no circumstances constitutes legal advice. This also, and especially, applies to topics within the sphere of legal HR advise. The content of this contribution cannot and is not intended to replace individual and binding legal advice. For this reason, all information provided is without guarantee of correctness and completeness, but always researched with the utmost care.

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