How to Claim Compensation for a Broken Finger at Work
This article explains some of the reasons why you might – or might not – qualify for compensation for a broken finger at work and the procedures you should follow after breaking your finger in an accident at work to support a work broken finger claim for compensation.
A brief explanation of how to claim for broken fingers at work is also included; however, as no two claims for finger injuries at work are identical, it is always in your best interests to discuss the specific circumstances of your work injury with a solicitor at the earliest practical opportunity.
Your first priority should always be your health and, if you have not already done so, you should seek professional medical treatment for your broken finger. No amount of work broken finger compensation will ever make up for a long term health issue which could have been avoided by timely medical attention and, to support your claim for injuring a finger at work, you will need a doctor to complete the Injuries Board Medical Assessment Form B.
Claims for Finger Injuries at Work and the Duty of Care of Employers
In order to be eligible to claim compensation for a broken finger at work, you must have sustained a finger injury which could have been prevented had your employer – or other person with responsibility for your health and safety – fulfilled his or her duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to work.
An employer´s “duty of care” covers all his or her responsibilities to prevent a finger injury wherever possible, and would include performing risk assessments to identify foreseeable hazards, providing training and supervision, and supplying personal protective equipment where necessary to eliminate the risk of an employee breaking their finger at work.
Should an employer fail in their duty of care to eliminate the risk of an injury, and you subsequently sustain a broken finger injury as a result, you should be entitled to make a work broken finger claim for compensation. It should be noted, however, that an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute” and, if you break your finger in an accident at work which could not have been foreseen, claims for finger injuries at work are unlikely to be successful.
How Your Employment Status May Affect a Claim for Broken Fingers at Work
It is not often that your employment status will affect your entitlement to claim for broken fingers at work, but there may be occasions when agency workers, employees on short-term contracts or self-employed workers may have to make a claim for injuring a finger at work against somebody other than their direct employer – for example the owner of the premises on which the finger injury was sustained.
Possibly of more concern if you have broken your finger in an accident at work is the fact that you do not want to fall out with your employer but, because of financial necessity, you need to make a claim for injuring a finger at work against their employer´s liability insurance policy. Most employers will be genuinely regretful that you have sustained a broken finger injury at work due to their negligence and will admit their liability; but there are some circumstances in which an employer will want to protect their insurance policy excess and dispute your work broken finger compensation claim.
Reporting Injured Finger Work Accidents
It is important that your injured finger work accident is recorded in your employer´s “Accident Report Book”. Although a copy of this report is not sent to the Injuries Board when applying for an assessment of compensation for a broken finger at work, reporting an injured finger work accident may initiate a Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigation which could establish your employer´s liability in your claim for injuring a finger at work.
If liability can be established before making claims for finger injuries at work, it should speed up the Injuries Board process or may enable a solicitor acting on your behalf to negotiate a settlement of work broken finger compensation without the need for witness statements or photographic evidence of your employer´s negligence.
If your broken finger injury is so severe that you are unable to report your injured finger work accident – or your employer fails to give you access to the Accident Report Book – you should speak with a solicitor. Injured finger work accidents can be reported online at the HSA web site, but you will need an approval code to use the service and it may be a lot simpler for a solicitor to generate a report on your behalf and then use it in support of a work broken finger claim for compensation.
Procedures for Claiming Work Broken Finger Compensation
The most frequently used procedure for claiming work broken finger compensation is to submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board. Your application can be completed on a paper form or online, but must be submitted with a medical practitioner´s report detailing your broken finger injury. Receipts for any expenses you have incurred which are directly attributable to your finger accident at work should also be attached to your application.
The Injuries Board´s role is only to assess how much compensation for a broken finger at work you are entitled to, and not establish liability for your finger injury. Therefore, the Injuries Board will write to your employer asking for consent to proceed with an assessment of your work broken finger claim for compensation, and only continue once that consent has been received – effectively when your employer has admitted his liability for your broken finger injury.
Thereafter you may have to undergo an independent medical examination to ascertain the severity of your broken finger and the Injuries Board will then send you and your employer a “Notice of Assessment” which – if both you and your employer agree to – is followed by an “Order to Pay” work broken finger compensation. If either your employer denies his consent for the Injuries Board to assess your claim for injuring a finger at work, or neither party agrees on how much compensation for a broken finger at work you are entitled to, the Injuries Board will issue you with an authorisation to pursue your claim for broken fingers at work through the courts.
How Much is a Claim for Injuring a Finger at Work Worth?
How much compensation for a broken finger at work you will be entitled to receive will depend on the location, nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident in which your finger was broken. Financial values for broken finger injuries can be found in the Book of Quantum, but these values only account for the physical pain and suffering you experience at the time of your broken finger injury and not for the “inconvenience of incapacity” that might result from a finger injury at work.
Claims for finger injuries at work should include compensation for the impact that your broken finger has on your ability to perform everyday domestic tasks and your incapacity to participate in leisure pursuits or engage in an active social life. There is very little opportunity to account for this “loss of amenity” when making a claim for injuring a finger at work through the Injuries Board process, and this is a further reason why you should speak with solicitor with experience of making a claim for broken fingers at work – to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work broken finger compensation.
The amounts you are claiming for expenses, lost income and any other costs you have incurred due to your broken finger are then added to the compensation values above to finalise how much your work broken finger claim for compensation is worth. You may also be able to recover any legal costs you have incurred in pursuit of your claim for injuring a finger at work, fares paid to use alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and future medical costs if, for example, physiotherapy is required in order that you make a full recovery from your broken finger injury.
Contributory Negligence and Broken Finger Work Accidents
One of the reasons why consent to assess your claim for broken fingers at work may be withheld from the Injuries Board is if you are considered to have been partly responsible for the cause of the broken finger accident at work or the extent of your injury. The Injuries Board will only assess claims for finger injuries at work in which total liability is admitted and, if you have contributed to your finger injury, the Injuries Board will have no option but to issue you with an authorisation to pursue your work broken finger claim for compensation in court.
Court action may be a last resort when making a claim for injuring a finger at work, as it may also be possible to negotiate a settlement with your employer´s liability insurers where you accept a percentage responsibility for your broken finger injury and that percentage is then deducted from how much compensation for a broken finger at work your claim is settled for. Negotiating the value of work broken finger compensation directly with an insurance company is not a good idea without legal representation.
One element of contributory negligence which is sometimes overlooked is if you contributed to the extent of your finger injury by failing to seek immediate professional medical attention. Some people who break a finger at work foolishly attempt to work through the pain – making their injury worse and jeopardising their entitlement to compensation for a broken finger at work. If this has happened to you, you should speak with a solicitor about whether you still have a claim for broken fingers at work which is worth your while to pursue.
Unsolicited Offers of Compensation from Insurance Companies
You should always speak with a solicitor if you receive a direct approach from an insurance company with an unsolicited offer of work broken finger compensation. Insurance companies are often made aware of broken finger work accidents when a report is made in the employer´s “Accident Report Book”, and may make an approach even before you have considered making a claim for injuring a finger at work.
The purpose of the insurance company´s approach is to reduce how much compensation for a broken finger at work they will have to pay you and, by tempting plaintiffs with an offer which would result in a quick settlement, they are successful enough times to keep on trying these approaches. Even if you are concerned about your short-term finances, you should refrain from accepting an insurance company´s unsolicited offer of compensation until you have discussed your claim for broken fingers at work with a solicitor.
By their approach, the insurance company has effectively admitted your employer´s liability for your broken finger injury, and your solicitor will be able to engage in direct negotiations with the insurance company to obtain a full and satisfactory settlement of your work broken finger claim for compensation – organising interim payments until the claim is resolved if necessary.
How the Statute of Limitations affects a Work Broken Finger Claim for Compensation
The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 set a limitation period of two years for making claims for finger injuries at work from the “Date of Knowledge” on which the broken finger is diagnosed. There are very few scenarios in which a plaintiff would be unaware that they have broken their finger in an accident at work and therefore the two year limitation period for making a work broken finger claim for compensation would usually start on the day of your accident.
Two years may seem ample time in which to submit a claim for broken fingers at work to the Injuries Board for assessment but, if liability for your finger injury is denied, or you are waiting for the results of an HSA investigation to confirm your employer´s liability in a claim for injuring a finger at work, the time can slip quickly by.
If the full extent of your finger injury is not known, or due to complications it is taking a long time to recover from your broken finger work accident and impossible to calculate how much work broken finger compensation you are entitled to, it is possible to “stop the clock” on your claim for compensation for a broken finger at work. You will need the agreement of your employer´s insurance company to do this – assuming your employer has admitted liability for your finger injury – and this is something which is once again best done with the assistance of a personal injury* solicitor.
Do I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation for a Broken Finger at Work?
You do not need a solicitor in order to make claims for finger injuries at work, but it is often in your best interests to do so. In addition to acting as a go-between between yourself and your employer, and dealing with any complications that arise while making a claim for broken fingers at work, a solicitor has the experience to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work broken finger compensation – whether your claim for injuring a finger at work is resolved via the Injuries Board, by negotiation with your employer´s insurers or through court action.
Most solicitors will offer a free assessment of your work broken finger claim for compensation if you have sustained a finger injury in work accident for which you were not entirely to blame, and provide you with answers to any questions you may have in regard to your eligibility to claim compensation for a broken finger at work. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence collected in support of your claim for broken fingers at work while it is still fresh, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your finger injury in a work accident without delay.