Injuries at work compensation claims (*) can often create an uncomfortable situation as the employee normally would like to remain working for the employer and does not want their working relationship to become strained. In this type of claim, therefore, a solicitor would proceed with the claim in a way that reduces the threat of potential conflict. It must be noted, however, that before a claim for injuries at work can be made, it must be determined that the injury suffered was avoidable and due to an employer’s lack of care.
What Constitutes an Avoidable Work Accident
The first step to take when initiating injuries at work compensation claims is to clarify that the injury sustained was, in fact, the result of an avoidable workplace accident. The potential plaintiff must have suffered some type of injury – either physical or emotional – during the course of his or her employment in order to be eligible to make a claim against their employer.
A near miss – unless it can be proven to have resulted in a severe emotional trauma – is not an adequate reason to claim for a work-related injury, even in cases where the employer has behaved negligently Civil law states that a potential plaintiff can only claim for injuries at work compensation for an injury, loss or damage that he or she has sustained.
Because of this, it is imperative that professional medical treatment is sought immediately at the Accident and Emergency Department of the nearest hospital or at an emergency appointment with your GP. It can be difficult to proceed with a claim against an employer without an entry in your medical history, recording the circumstances and nature of your injury and completed by a doctor.
If an injured employee delays seeking professional medical treatment, the employer´s insurance company could argue that he or she has contributed to the severity of the injury by their own carelessness. This may not disqualify the employee from making a claim against their employer, but the value of any settlement could be substantially reduced.
Liability for a Work Injury Claim
Injuries at work do not always stem from the direct action – or inaction – of an employer. Other causes could be the neglect to provide and keep a working environment that is safe for employees through lack of action, training, or any other type of negligence – and when it is clear that the employer did not take the necessary precautions needed for the protection of employees for potential injury. In these cases, the employer would be considered the liable party.
In almost all circumstances, employers owe their employees a duty of care and, in order for a claim for injuries at work to be successful, the injury has to be a result of the negligence or breach of duty of someone who had a duty of care to the injured party. Cases where employees may be injured through their fault alone exist, but in the majority of workplace injury compensation claims, it is possible to determine that liability is held to the employer for not providing their employees with a safe place, or system of work or proper training.
Claim for Injuries at Work and Contributory Negligence
In some situations surrounding a work injury claim, there is doubt as to who shall take responsibility for the accident and a court may subsequently decide, or the parties involved may concur, that the employer and the employer were both partially to blame for the injury sustained and in such situation, the principle of contributory negligence will come into play.
This would mean that the in injured party may possibly have played a part in his or her own injury by behaving negligently when in the vicinity of known and clear threats to safety, or if he or she neglected to be treated by a professional medical practitioner within an appropriate time period which added to the deterioration of the injury.
If you have reservations as to whether or not you may be eligible for workplace injury compensation, or whether you may have contributed to the nature of your accident or the severity of your injury, it is recommended that you seek professional legal advice at the earliest opportunity possible.
Making a Claim for Injuries at Work
It is possible to independently pursue a work injury claim through the Injuries Board Ireland. However, without professional guidance at a time when you may still be recovering from your injury, it may be the case you omit details about the consequences of your injury that affect the value of the assessment.
If this happens, and the assessment made by the Injuries Board is less than you need to cover medical expenses and support your family, it is not necessary to accept the assessment. However, it will mean that you will need to engage a solicitor to negotiate with your employer´s insurance company or pursue your claim through the courts.
Settlements of injuries at work compensation claims should account for your physical and psychological injuries (where proven by your medical records) and the consequences of the injury to your quality of life. You should also have your financial position returned to the position it would have been in if the workplace accident had never occurred.
Advice on Pursuing a Claim for Injuries at Work
Due to the various factors involved, settlements of injuries at work compensation claims are rarely the same – even when identical injuries have been sustained. Your employment status, any contributory negligence and direct approaches by insurance companies are factors that can also influence the outcomes of a claim for injuries at work.
Consequently it is advisable to obtain professional legal advice on workplace injury compensation claims as soon as practically possible after you have been treated for your injury by a medical practitioner. Most solicitors will assess the circumstances of your accident and advise you on the viability of your injuries at work compensation claim.
Injuries at Work Compensation Claims: Summary
- Injuries at work compensation claims can sometimes cause unease as you do not want to possibly strain the working relationship with your employer.
- The threat of disagreeable conflict may be reduced if you engage a solicitor you assist your claim for injuries at work.
- A solicitor will assist you with your application for assessment to the Injuries Board to ensure the consequences of your injury are accounted for.
- The solicitor will also try to resolve your workplace injury compensation claim where appropriate by direct negotiation with your employer’s insurance company.
- A work injury claim does not have to stem from a specific occasion – workplace injuries can develop over time and, if you have been diagnosed with an injury attributable to work, you would be well advised to consult a solicitor at the first opportunity possible.