Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, but many people do not realise that if you have an accident at work, you may be entitled to bring a personal injury claim for compensation.
Sometimes, an accident at work is just bad luck. However, many workplace accidents could be prevented if employers took greater care of their employees, and ensured that their obligations to protect their employees are met. If an employer is negligent and/or breaches these obligations, and an employee suffers an injury as a result, then the employer should pay compensation to the injured party.
Here at Cantillons Solicitors, we work with many clients who have been injured in workplace accidents, and our experience enables us to get the very best results for our clients, every time. We have represented clients who have been injured in a variety of workplace accidents, such as:
- Injuries sustained in factories.
- Injuries arising out of exposure to chemicals and diseases (including Covid-19).
- Injuries in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Needle stick injuries.
- Injuries sustained in slip and trip accidents.
- Injuries sustained from falling from a height.
- Industrial diseases, such as asbestosis, dermatitis, cancer, electrical injury.
- Traumatic inflammation.
- Vibration induced white finger.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Below are some things to be considered if you are considering bringing a compensation claim in relation to injuries you sustained as a result of negligence on the part of your employer.
What is classified as an accident at work?
An accident at work includes any accident sustained in a workplace, including factories, construction sites, laboratories, public spaces, stores, shops, offices, or while you are working, for example visiting sites or in a company vehicle. This term is used to cover all slip, trip or fall accidents, sustained during working hours or on work premises.
Falls from height are among the most common accidents at work, as well as injuries caused by manual handling and lifting heavy loads, and accidents involving substandard machinery or personal protection equipment are also common.
Am I eligible for compensation from a workplace accident?
Employers must take reasonable action to protect the health and safety of those they employ. Your employer is legally obliged to protect you and your colleagues while you are working, including when you are working off site. Likewise, as an employee, you are expected to take all reasonable care to follow the advice and training given and to keep yourself safe at work.
There are many laws aimed at protecting employee’s health and safety at work. For example, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 outlines broad general duties and requirements that ensure high standards of safety for workers in Ireland. Section 8 of this Act lays out the duty of every employer to maintain the safety, health and welfare of employees at all times. Employers are required to ensure that:
- Your place of work is safe.
- Your co-workers are competent and adequately trained to carry out tasks safely.
- You are given adequate equipment and machinery to use, and this is maintained in a satisfactory manner.
- You are properly trained for the tasks you are required to carry out.
- You are provided with a safe system of work, including adequate and protected breaks.
If you have suffered a personal injury (be it a physical or psychological injury) in a workplace accident, and the accident was as a result of your employer’s negligence, or breach of duty, you may be eligible to being a compensation claim for the personal injury you suffered. In some cases, a third party may be involved, such as a sub-contractor of the employer. It is also possible to make a claim if you are partially to blame for the incident, and this will be referred to as “contributory negligence” and this does not preclude an employee from bringing a claim, however, it will reduce the value of the claim.
In some circumstances, the accident may appear to be unavoidable, and not the fault of your employer, however, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor, who can help you to establish the particulars of your case and work out whether your employer has been negligent in their duty to protect you at work.
You claim will seek compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the accident, as well as lost pay, medical treatment costs, medical devices and equipment you need, physical therapy, medications, travel costs, accommodation costs and transportation expenses.
Will bringing a claim affect your job?
Some people do not pursue compensation claims against their employers because they are worried about how this could affect their employment.
A compensation claim should not affect your employment, and you should not be discriminated by your employer for bringing such a claim for compensation. By law, you are entitled to claim compensation if your employer is at fault, and your employer should never try to persuade you not to pursue this. Your employer should have accident insurance to cover your claim, and you have a right to make a claim of this nature where your personal safety has not been protected.
What should I do if I have an accident at work?
If you suffer a workplace injury, there are a few important steps that you must follow. You should:
- Seek medical advice
Your first priority when a workplace accident happens (or any accident) should be your own health and wellbeing, and that of anyone else involved in the accident. You should immediately seek medical assistance. Later, a medical report can be obtained from your treating doctor. A medical report which documents the personal injury you sustained as a result of your accident at work will be vital in your personal injury compensation claim.
- Report the accident
Reporting the accident to your employer is essential, and you should do this as soon as possible. You should also report the cause of the accident and any injuries you sustained. It is a good idea to ask your employer for a copy of the report, and any investigation into the accident. If there is controversy, or likely to be a controversy about the circumstances of the accident, it might be prudent to take step 3, before completing any written accident report form.
- Speak to a Personal Injury Solicitor
A Personal Injury Solicitor with expertise in workplace accidents will be able to advise you about your situation and give an indication of whether a compensation claim is likely to be successful. Your Personal Injury Solicitor can explain the process to you, and work with you to achieve a positive outcome for your workplace injury claim. Your Personal Injury Solicitor should handle all of the communications with your workplace, and your wishes will be respected at all times.
What is the time limit for making a compensation claim for an accident at work?
There are strict time limits within which personal injury claims must be taken. Generally speaking the time limit is two years but on occasions, the time limits may be shorter or longer. Further, you are required to notify the wrongdoer (your employer) of your intention to claim within one month of the accident occurring, unless there is good reason not to do so.
Sometimes, establishing the “start time” of the time limit is not easy.
If you have suffered a personal injury at work, you should contact a member of our team as soon as possible.
Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)
We will assist you in processing an Application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. We will guide you in relation to the valuation of your claim, and we will have regard to the Book of Quantum. For more information on PIAB, please see our blog on PIAB.
Contact Cantillons Solicitors for your Accident at Work Compensation Claim
Here at Cantillons Solicitors, we can help with you with your accident at work compensation claim (including back injury claim). We believe that every case is unique, and we take the time to get to know our clients, so that we can ensure the very best outcomes in every case.
We have many years of experience in getting the best compensation possible for work accident claims.
Cantillons Solicitors are Personal Injury Solicitors in Cork. We do however represent clients from all over Ireland.
Please contact our friendly team on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as no win no fee Solicitors. This terms can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.