How to Claim Compensation for a Hernia Injury at Work
Explained in this article are some of the reasons why you might – or might not – be eligible for compensation for a hernia injury at work and the procedures you should follow after suffering a hernia at work to support a work hernia claim for compensation.
Also included is a brief explanation of how to claim for hernia at work; however, as no two claims for hernias sustained at work are identical, you would be well advised to discuss the specific circumstances of your work injury with a solicitor at the first opportunity possible.
Your health should always be your top priority and you should seek professional medical treatment for your hernia, if you have not already done so. No amount of work hernia injury compensation will ever make up for a protracted health issue which could have been prevented by timely medical attention and, to support your claim for suffering a hernia at work, you will need a doctor to complete the Injuries Board Medical Assessment Form B.
Claims for Hernias Sustained at Work and the Duty of Care of Employers
In order to qualify to claim compensation for a hernia injury at work, you must have sustained an injury which could have been avoided had your employer – or other person with responsibility for your health and safety – satisfied 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 an employee sustaining a hernia in all possible scenarios, and would include providing training and supervision, performing risk assessments to discover foreseeable hazards and supplying personal protective equipment where necessary to eliminate the risk of an employee suffering a hernia at work.
Should an employer fail in their duty of care to eliminate the risk of an injury, and you subsequently sustain a hernia injury as a result, you should be eligible to make a work hernia claim for compensation. You should be aware, however, that an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute” and, if you suffer a hernia in an accident at work which could not have been foreseen, claims for hernias sustained at work are unlikely to be successful.
How Your Employment Status May Affect a Claim for Hernia at Work
Your employment status will not often affect your entitlement to claim for hernia at work, but there may be instances when agency workers, employees on short-term contracts or self-employed workers may have to make a claim for suffering a hernia at work against somebody other than their direct employer, such as the owner of the premises on which the injury was sustained.
Possibly of more concern if you have sustained a hernia at work is the fact that you do not want to run the risk of conflict with your employer but, because of financial necessity, you need to make a claim for suffering a hernia at work against their employer´s liability insurance policy. Most employers will be genuinely remorseful that you have sustained a hernia injury at work due to their negligence and will admit their liability; but there are certain circumstances in which an employer will want to protect their insurance policy excess and dispute your work hernia injury compensation claim.
Reporting Accidents Sustained at Work
It is important that your hernia is recorded in your employer´s “Accident Report Book”, because despite the fact that a copy of this report is not sent to the Injuries Board when applying for an assessment of compensation for a hernia injury at work, reporting a hernia sustained at work may initiate a Health and Safety Authority (HSA) investigation which could establish your employer´s liability in your claim for suffering a hernia at work.
If liability can be determined before making claims for hernias sustained 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 hernia injury compensation without the need for witness statements or photographic evidence of your employer´s negligence.
If your injury is so severe that you are unable to report your hernia at work – or your employer fails to give you access to the Accident Report Book – you should speak with a solicitor. Hernias sustained at work can be reported online at the HSA web site, but you will need an approval code to use the service. Because of this it may be a lot simpler for a solicitor to produce a report on your behalf and then use it in support of a work hernia claim for compensation.
Procedures for Claiming Work Hernia Injury Compensation
Submitting an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland is the most commonly used procedure for claiming work hernia injury compensation. Your application can be completed on a hard copy or online, but must be submitted along with a medical practitioner´s report detailing your hernia injury. Receipts and invoices for any costs you have incurred which are directly attributable to your hernia sustained at work should also be attached to your application.
The Injuries Board´s role is only to evaluate the amount of compensation for a hernia injury at work you are entitled to, and not to establish liability for your hernia. Therefore, the Injuries Board will write to your employer asking for consent to proceed with an assessment of your work hernia claim for compensation, and can only carry on once that consent has been received – effectively when your employer has admitted his liability for your hernia injury.
Thereafter you may have to undertake an independent medical examination to establish the severity of your hernia 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 hernia injury compensation. If either your employer denies his consent for the Injuries Board to assess your claim for suffering a hernia at work, or neither party agrees on how much compensation for a hernia injury at work you qualify for, the Injuries Board will issue you with an authorisation to pursue your claim for hernia at work through the courts.
How Much is a Claim for Suffering a Hernia at Work Worth?
The amount of compensation for a hernia injury at work you will be entitled to receive will be influenced by the location, nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to when your hernia was sustained. Financial values for hernia 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 hernia and not for the “inconvenience of incapacity” that might result from a hernia injury at work.
Claims for hernias sustained at work should include compensation for the negative affect that your condition has on your ability to perform everyday domestic tasks and your inability 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 suffering a hernia at work through the Injuries Board process, and this is another good reason why you should speak with a solicitor who has experience of making a claim for hernia at work – to ensure you receive your complete entitlement to work hernia injury compensation.
The expenses, lost income and any other costs you have incurred due to your hernia are then added to the compensation values above to finalise how much your work hernia claim for compensation is worth. Additionally, you may be able to recover any legal expenses you have incurred in pursuit of your claim for suffering a hernia at work, fares paid to use alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and any relevant future medical costs.
Do I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation for a Hernia Injury at Work?
Although you do not need a solicitor in order to make claims for hernias sustained at work, you would be better served by doing so. Along with acting as a go-between between yourself and your employer, and dealing with any complications that may arise while making a claim for hernia at work, a solicitor has the understanding to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work hernia injury compensation – whether your claim for suffering a hernia at work is resolved via the Injuries Board, by negotiation with your employer´s insurance company or through the courts.
Most solicitors will offer a free evaluation of your work hernia claim for compensation if you have sustained a hernia for which you were not wholly to blame, and provide you with answers to any questions you may have in regard to your eligibility to claim compensation for a hernia injury at work. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence collected in support of your claim for hernia at work while it is still fresh, it would be in your best interests to speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your hernia sustained at work without delay.