How to Claim Compensation for an Eye Injury at Work
This article explains why you may – or may not – be entitled to claim compensation for an eye injury at work and what evidence you may need after injuring your eye in an accident at work to support a work injured eye claim for compensation. As all claims for eye accidents at work are unique 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 health should always be your first priority and, if you have not already done so, you should seek professional medical treatment for your injured eye. No amount of work injured eye compensation will ever be a fair substitute for a long term health issue which could have been avoided by timely medical attention and, to support your claim for injuring an eye at work, you will need a doctor to complete the Injuries Board Medical Assessment Form B.
Claims for Eye Accidents at Work and the Duty of Care of Employers
In order to qualify for claiming compensation for an eye injury at work, you must have sustained an eye injury which could have been prevented had your employer – or other person with responsibility for your health and safety – carried out his or her duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment.
An employer´s “duty of care” covers all his or her responsibilities to prevent eye injuries wherever possible, and would include completing risk assessments to identify foreseeable hazards, providing training and supervision, and supplying personal protective equipment where necessary to eliminate the risk of an employee sustaining an injury to their eye at work.
Should an employer breach their duty of care to eliminate the risk of an injury, and you subsequently sustain an eye injury as a result, you should be entitled to make a work injured eye claim for compensation. However, it should be noted that an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute” and, if you injure your eye in an accident at work which could not have been foreseen, claims for eye accidents at work are unlikely to be successful.
How Your Employment Status May Affect a Claim for Eye Injuries at Work
In general, your employment status will not affect your entitlement to claim for eye injuries 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 an eye at work against somebody other than their direct employer – for example the owner of the premises on which the injury was sustained.
Possibly of more concern if you have injured your eye 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 an eye at work against their employer´s liability insurance policy. Most employers will be genuinely regretful that you have sustained an eye 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 injured eye compensation claim.
How Much is a Claim for Injuring an Eye at Work Worth?
How much compensation for an eye injury at work you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age – in some cases your sex – and general state of health prior to the accident in which your eye injury was sustained. Financial values for eye 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 the accident which caused the injury and not for the “inconvenience of incapacity” that might result from an eye injury at work.
Claims for eye accidents at work should include compensation for the impact that your injured eye has on your lack of ability to perform day to day domestic tasks and your incapacity to partake 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 an eye 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 eye injuries at work – to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work injured eye compensation.
The amounts you are claiming for costs, lost income and any other expenses you have incurred due to your injured eye are then added to the compensation values above to finalise how much your work injured eye claim for compensation is worth. You may also be able to recover any legal expenses you have incurred in pursuit of your claim for injuring an eye at work, fares paid to use alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and future medical costs if, for example, alternative therapy is required in order that you make a full recovery from your eye injury.
How the Statute of Limitations Affects a Work Injured Eye Claim for Compensation
The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 set a limitation period of two years for making claims for eye accidents at work from the “Date of Knowledge” on which the eye injury is diagnosed. There are very few scenarios in which a plaintiff would be unaware that they have sustained damage to their eye in an accident at work and therefore the two year limitation period for making a work injured eye 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 eye injuries at work to the Injuries Board for assessment but, if liability for your eye damage is denied, or you are waiting for the results of an HSA investigation to confirm your employer´s liability in a claim for injuring an eye at work, the time can slip quickly by.
If the full extent of the injury to your eye is not known, or due to complications it is taking a long time to recover from your work accident and impossible to calculate how much work injured eye compensation you are entitled to, it is possible to “stop the clock” on your claim for compensation for an eye injury at work. You will need the agreement of your employer´s insurance company to do this – assuming your employer has admitted liability for your damaged eye – and this is something which is best done with the assistance of a personal injury* solicitor.
Do I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation for an Eye Injury at Work?
Solicitors are not needed in order to make claims for eye accidents 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 eye injuries at work, a solicitor has the experience to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work injured eye compensation – whether your claim for injuring an eye 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 injured eye claim for compensation if the eye injury was sustained in an 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 an eye injury at work. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence assembled to give weight to your claim for eye injuries at work while it is still fresh, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your eye injury in a work accident without delay.