Occupational accidents and diseases

Dit is een afdruk van een pagina op Kijk voor de meest actuele informatie op ( Deze pagina is geprint op 01-01-1970.

Skip Navigation LinksEnglish > Dutch legal proceedings > Occupational accidents and diseases

Have you been injured while working (occupational accident)? Or have you become ill as a result of your work (occupational disease)? If you consider that your employer is responsible for this, you can request compensation. Are you unable to agree on this with your employer or their insurer? In that case, you can initiate civil court proceedings.

Occupational accidents and diseases

What is an occupational accident?

An occupational accident (also referred to as a work-related accident) is an accident that occurs during work and causes injury, or even death, to the worker. For example, an occupational accident could involve a worker falling over on a slippery floor or trapping their hand in a machine. Such accidents can leave workers with injuries that are so severe that they are no longer able to work.

What is an occupational disease?

An occupational disease is a disease that arises as a result of a person’s work or working conditions. The disease may result from working with hazardous substances such as asbestos or solvents. Persistent severe physical or mental stress can also cause health problems.



First, hold your employer liable

As an employee, you can hold your employer responsible (liable) for the damages you have incurred. To do so, you must be able to demonstrate (prove) that:

  • for an occupational accident: the injuries were incurred during your work;
  • for an occupational disease: the disease was caused by your work or working conditions.

You can hold your employer liable by sending them a registered letter (see example letter in Dutch: Your damages may consist of several different cost items. Find out more about this on the personal injury page - in Dutch.

Employer not liable

Your employer is not liable for the damages if they can prove that:

  • sufficient safety measures were in place to prevent the accident or disease;
  • you, as an employee, are responsible for the damages you have suffered because you knowingly took a risk (intentional or deliberate recklessness).

Going to court

Is your employer or their insurer denying liability? Or are you unable to agree on the extent of the damages caused by the occupational accident or disease? Or on the amount of compensation? If you cannot reach a solution together, you can settle the matter through court proceedings - in Dutch.

Are you the next of kin or a surviving dependent? Or are you, as an employer, going to be held liable for the damages? Then you, too, can initiate court proceedings to settle the matter.


Out-of-court mediation

In out-of-court mediation, the opposing parties can resolve their dispute together. They do so with the help of an independent mediator. Mediation can take place in any jurisdiction and at any time during the court proceedings. The judge may suggest mediation, or you may request it yourself. This may help you to resolve the dispute without having to initiate (or continue) court proceedings. The parties share the costs of the mediation.



Legal advice

Would you like personal advice on your situation? Do you need assistance with drafting documents or during the hearing? A lawyer is required only in civil court proceedings. In district court proceedings, you can hire a lawyer or other legal advisor, but this is not mandatory.


Contact the Rechtspraak Service Centre

Social media

Ask your question on:

volg ons op X (Twitter) X (Twitter)


Be careful when you share private information on social media.


We are open from Monday to Thursday from 08:00 until 20:00, and on Friday from 08:00 until 17:30.