Claiming Compensation for a Shoulder Injury at Work
This article is a brief explanation of the process for claiming compensation for a shoulder injury at work. However, as no two claims for shoulder 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.
As with any injury, your first priority should always be that of your health and, if you have not already done so, you should seek professional medical treatment for your shoulder injury. Many shoulder injuries at work are acquired over a long period of time rather than attributable to an isolated incident and therefore it is often a niggling injury which – when left unattended – develops into something more serious.
However, no amount of work shoulder injury compensation will ever make up for a permanent health issue which could have been avoided by timely medical attention and, to support your claim for injuring a shoulder at work, you will need a doctor to complete the Injuries Board Medical Assessment Form B.
Claims for Shoulder Injuries at Work and the Duty of Care of Employers
In order to be eligible to claim compensation for a shoulder injury at work, you must have sustained a professionally diagnosed shoulder 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 shoulder injury from occurring 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 injuring their shoulder at work.
Should an employer fail in their duty of care to eliminate the risk of an injury, and you subsequently sustain a shoulder injury as a result, you should be qualified to make a work shoulder injury claim for compensation. It should be noted, however, that an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute” and, if you injure your shoulder in a scenario at work which could not have been foreseen, claims for shoulder injuries at work are unlikely to be successful.
Procedures for Claiming Work Shoulder Injury Compensation
The most often-used procedure for claiming work shoulder injury compensation is to submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board. Your application Form A can be completed on the hard copy paper form or online, but must be sent with the aforementioned Medical Assessment Form B detailing your shoulder injury. Receipts for any costs you have incurred or statements supporting a loss of income which is directly attributable to your shoulder injury at work should also be attached to your application.
The Injuries Board´s role is only to assess how much compensation for a shoulder injury at work you are entitled to receive and not establish responsibility for your injured shoulder. Therefore, the Injuries Board will write to your employer asking for his or her consent to proceed with an assessment of your work shoulder injury claim for compensation, and will only continue once that consent has been received – effectively when your employer has admitted his or her liability for your shoulder injury.
Thereafter you may have to undergo an independent medical examination to determine the severity of your shoulder injury and the Injuries Board will then send you and your employer a “Notice of Assessment” which – if both parties agree to – is followed by an “Order to Pay” work shoulder injury compensation.
If either your employer withholds his or her consent from the Injuries Board to assess your claim for injuring a shoulder at work, or neither party agrees on how much compensation for a shoulder injury at work you are entitled to, the Injuries Board will issue an authorisation to pursue claims for shoulder injuries at work through the court process. Should this scenario occur, your solicitor will explain the processes and costs for claiming work shoulder injury compensation through the courts.
How Much is a Claim for Injuring a Shoulder at Work Worth?
How much compensation for a shoulder injury at work you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and extent of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to the scenario due to which your shoulder was injured. Financial values for shoulder 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 shoulder injury and not for the “inconvenience of incapacity” that might result from a shoulder injury attributable to your employer´s lack of care.
Claims for shoulder injuries at work should include compensation for the impact that your shoulder injury has on your lack of 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 completing the application for assessment to the Injuries Board, and this is a further reason why you should speak with solicitor with experience of making a claim for shoulder injuries at work – to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work shoulder injury compensation.
Your expenses, lost income and any other costs you may have incurred due to your shoulder injury are then added to the compensation values above to finalise how much your work shoulder injury claim for compensation is worth. You may also be able to recover any legal costs you have experienced in pursuit of your claim for injuring a shoulder 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 shoulder injury.
Do I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation for a Shoulder injury at Work?
Unless claims for shoulder injuries at work need court action in order to be resolved, you do not necessarily need a solicitor in order to make claims for shoulder injuries at work; but it is often in your best interests to at least speak with one. In addition to acting as a go-between between yourself and your employer, and managing any complications that may arise while making claims for shoulder injuries at work, a solicitor has the experience to ensure you receive your full entitlement to work shoulder injury compensation – whether your claim for injuring a shoulder at work is resolved via the Injuries Board, by negotiation with your employer´s liability insurers or through court action.
Most solicitors will offer a free assessment of your work shoulder injury claim for compensation if you have sustained a shoulder injury in a work accident for which you were not entirely to blame or developed a repetitive strain injury to the shoulder which could have been avoided. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence collected in support of claims for shoulder injuries at work while it is still recent, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your shoulder injury at work without delay.