How to Claim Compensation for Machinery Accidents in Factory
This article explains some of the reasons why you might – or might not – qualify for compensation for machinery accidents in factory and the procedures you should follow after sustaining an injury from factory machinery in an accident at work to support a factory machinery accident compensation claim.
A brief explanation of how to claim for injury from factory machinery is also included; however, as no two claims for machinery injuries in factory are exactly the same, it is always in your best interests to discuss the specific circumstances of your work injury with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
Your first priority should always be your health and, if you have not already done so, you should seek professional medical attention for the injury you suffered. No amount of factory machine accident compensation will ever make up for a long term health issue which could have been avoided by prompt medical treatment and, to support your claim for injury from factory machine at work, you will need a doctor to complete the Injuries Board Medical Assessment Form B.
Claims for Machinery Injuries in Factory and the Duty of Care of Employers
In order to be eligible to claim compensation for machinery accidents in factory, you must have sustained an injury that required medical attention 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 factory machine injuries wherever possible, and would include performing risk assessments to identify foreseeable hazards, providing training and supervision, and supplying personal protective equipment in relevant situations to eliminate the risk of an employee suffering an injury in a factory.
Should an employer fail in their duty of care to eliminate the risk of an injury, and you subsequently sustain an injury from factory machinery as a result, you should be entitled to make a factory machinery accident compensation claim. It should be noted, however, that an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute” and, if you are injured in an accident at work involving a machine which could not have been foreseen, claims for machinery injuries in factory are unlikely to be successful.
Procedures for Claiming Factory Machine Accident Compensation
The procedure most commonly used for claiming factory machine accident 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 the injury you sustained from the factory machinery. Receipts for any expenses you have incurred which are directly attributable to your workplace accident should also be attached to your application.
The Injuries Board´s role is only to assess the amount of compensation for machinery accidents in factory you are entitled to, and not to establish liability for your injury. Therefore, the Injuries Board will write to your employer asking for consent to proceed with an assessment of your factory machinery accident compensation claim, and only continue once that consent has been received – effectively when your employer has admitted his liability for the injury you suffered in the factory accident.
Thereafter you may have to undergo an independent medical examination to ascertain the severity of your machinery injury 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” factory machine accident compensation. If either your employer denies his consent for the Injuries Board to assess your claim for injury from factory machine at work, or neither party agrees on how much compensation for machinery accidents in factory you are entitled to, the Injuries Board will issue you with an authorisation to pursue your claim for injury from factory machinery through the courts.
Contributory Negligence and Factory Machine Accidents
One of the reasons why consent to assess your claim for injury from factory machinery may be withheld from the Injuries Board is if you are considered to have been partly responsible for the cause of the workplace accident or the extent of your injury. The Injuries Board will only assess claims for machinery injuries in factory in which total liability is admitted and, if you have contributed to your machinery related injury, the Injuries Board will have no option but to issue you with an authorisation to pursue your factory machinery accident compensation claim in court.
Court action may be a last resort when making a claim for injury from factory machine 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 the injury you sustained from the factory machine and that percentage is then deducted from how much compensation for machinery accidents in factory your claim is settled for. Negotiating the value of factory machine accident compensation directly with an insurance company is not recommended without professional legal representation.
One aspect of contributory negligence which is sometimes overlooked is if you contributed to the extent of your factory injury by failing to seek prompt professional medical treatment. Some people who have been injured at work foolishly attempt to work through the pain – exacerbating their injury worse and jeopardising their entitlement to compensation for machinery accidents in factory. If this has happened to you, you should speak with a solicitor about whether you still have a claim for injury from factory machinery which is worth your while to pursue.
Unsolicited Offers of Factory Machinery Injury Compensation from Insurance Companies
You should always speak with a solicitor if you are approached directly by an insurance company with an unsolicited offer of factory machine accident compensation. Insurance companies are often made aware of factory machinery 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 injury from factory machine at work.
The purpose of the insurance company´s approach is to reduce how much compensation for machinery accidents in factory they will have to pay you. By tempting plaintiffs with an offer which would result in a quick settlement, they are successful enough times to keep on trying these approaches. You should refrain from accepting an insurance company´s unsolicited offer of compensation – even if you are concerned about your short-term finances – until you have discussed your claim for injury from factory machinery with a solicitor.
By their approach, the insurance company has effectively admitted your employer´s liability for your factory machinery 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 factory machinery accident compensation claim – arranging for interim payments until the claim is resolved, if necessary.
How the Statute of Limitations affects a Factory Machinery Accident Compensation Claim
The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 set a limitation period of two years for making claims for machinery injuries in factory from the “Date of Knowledge” on which the injury has been diagnosed. There are very few occasions in which a plaintiff would be unaware that they have suffered an injury in an accident involving factory machinery and therefore the two year limitation period for making a factory machinery accident compensation claim would usually start on the day of your accident.
Two years may seem ample time in which to submit a claim for injury from factory machinery to the Injuries Board for assessment but, if liability for your machinery injury is denied, or you are waiting for the results of an HSA investigation to confirm your employer´s liability in a claim for injury from factory machine at work, the time can slip quickly by.
If the full extent of your machinery injury is not known, or due to complications it is taking a long time to recover from your factory work accident and impossible to calculate how much factory machine accident compensation you are entitled to, it is possible to “stop the clock” on your claim for compensation for machinery accidents in factory. You will need the agreement of your employer´s insurance company to do this – assuming your employer has admitted liability for the injury you sustained at work – and this is something which is once again best done with the assistance of a personal injury* solicitor.
Speak With A Solicitor
You do not need a solicitor in order to make claims for machinery injuries in factory, 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 could come up while making a claim for injury from factory machinery, a solicitor has the experience to ensure you receive your full entitlement to factory machine accident compensation – whether your claim for injury from factory machine 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 factory machinery accident compensation claim if you have sustained an injury in a factory accident for which you were not entirely to blame, and provide you with answers to any questions you may have in regard to your entitlement to claim compensation for machinery accidents in factory. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence collated to add weight to your claim for injury from factory machinery while it is still fresh, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your factory machinery injury in a work accident without delay.