Accident at Work Claim Solicitors
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.
In 2019, 9,335 non-fatal injuries were reported to the Authority (HSA.ie).
Negligence in the workplace can, unfortunately, lead to both minor and life-altering injuries. For injuries at work, to understand your rights fully, it is essential to seek independent advice from an experienced solicitor.
What is an Accident at Work Claim?
An accident at work claim arises where an employee suffered a personal injury (be it a physical or psychological injury) in a work accident, and the accident was as a result of an employer’s negligence, or breach of duty. 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 an employee is 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.
Employers must take reasonable action to protect the health and safety of those they employ. An employer is legally obliged to protect employees while working, including when you are working off site. Employers are obliged to ensure that the working environment is safe. They must also ensure that staff are competent and provided with adequate safety training. Where equipment is required, the employer must ensure it is suitable and in good working order.
Many workplace accidents could be prevented if employers took greater care of their employees, and ensured that their health and safety obligations to protect their employees are met.
If an employer is negligent and/or breaches these health and safety obligations, and an employee suffers an injury as a result, then the employer may be eligible to being a compensation claim for the personal injury suffered.
Though some workplaces are more perilous than others, unfortunately, no workplace is immune to accidents. An accident at work could happen in any workplace, be they factories, hospitals, laboratories, public spaces, farms, stores, shops, or offices. If you were injured in an accident while working, but the accident did not occur in your normal place of work, you may also have a claim. This can include driving a work vehicle or visiting a work related site, such as a construction site.
In some circumstances, the accident may appear to be unavoidable, and not the fault of your employer, however, it is important to discuss the work accident claim with an experienced Personal Injury Solicitor, who can help you to establish the particulars of the case and work out whether the employer has been negligent in their duty.
An accident at work claim seeks compensation for the employee’s pain and suffering endured as a result of the accident, as well as lost pay, medical treatment costs, medical devices and equipment, physical therapy, medications, travel costs, accommodation costs and transportation expenses.
Who Can Make an Injury at Work Claim?
Anyone injured because of an accident in the workplace, that was not their fault, can make a personal injury claim. Persons who become ill (rather than receive a physical injury) due to negligence in the workplace can also claim. For example, if an employer failed to provide the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and an employee went on to contract a virus such as Covid 19 as a result, then there would be potential for an injury at work claim.
Your employment status in the company, e.g. Temp, contractor or part-time employee, is irrelevant to your eligibility to claim.
What Are The Time Limits For Making A Workplace Injury Claim?
The Statute of Limitations provides that the time limit for bringing a personal injury claim is two years but on occasions, the time limits may be shorter or longer. For example, in some cases, claims can be brought later than the two year time period. For instance, if an employee is exposed to a chemical that causes illness but the connection is not made until much later.
With a workplace accident, it is advisable that you make your claim, or at least start the process, as soon as possible. By beginning the process as soon after the accident as possible, you are giving yourself the best chance of success.
Sometimes, establishing the “start date” of the time limit is not easy. For example, if an injury has arisen after an employee was required to do a task over a number of years (a Repetitive Strain Injury), it can be difficult to establish the start date. A Personal Injuries Solicitor will be able to help advise on the start date.
What Are The Types Of Accident at Work Claims?
There are many types of accidents at work claims, some of which we have listed below (please note this list is not exhaustive). To check the validity of your claim, you should contact Cantillons Solicitors today.
- Injuries sustained in factories.
- Injuries arising out of exposure to chemicals and diseases (including Covid-19).
- Industrial diseases, such as asbestosis, dermatitis and cancer.
- Needle stick injuries.
- Injuries sustained in slip and trip accidents.
- Injuries sustained from falling from a height.
- Injuries sustained from scaffolding accidents.
- Injuries sustained on farms.
- Welding accidents.
- Collisions or vehicle accidents (including forklifts, cherry pickers, site-specific vehicles and cranes).
- Injuries sustained from lifting heavy objects.
- Manual Handling Injuries.
- Injuries sustained in offices.
- Injuries sustained from inadequate/defective equipment.
- Injuries in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Vibration induced white finger.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Tuberculosis (TB).
- Repetitive strain injury.
- Injuries sustained from wet floor accidents.
- Broken limbs, digits, bones.
- Animal bites.
- Soft tissue damage.
- Psychological injuries.
What Are The Most Common Accidents at Work Claims?
In Ireland, the most common – non fatal – workplace accidents claims are for manual handling injuries, falls from height and slips and falls in the workplace.
Manual handling claims are made by employees in many sectors including the health sector, agriculture sector and corporate sector. When employees are required to partake in work which requires moving heavy objects, training and equipment is required. Without ensuring that these are in place, employees run the risk of suffering a workplace injury.
Slips and falls are easily avoided, but frequently appear in accident at work claims. Slips and falls can occur because of uneven walkways, wet floors and exposed cables.
The majority of claims come from industries that require physical labour, including farms, construction sites and manufacturing plants.
Also, common accidents at work claims year on year, include substandard equipment. This includes faulty personal protective equipment and dangerous or unmaintained machinery.
How To Claim For An Accident At Work In Ireland?
It is the responsibility of the injured party (the employee) to prove that the injury was the employer’s fault. This will require collecting as much evidence as possible, as not all employers will accept that they were at fault.
To make an accident at work claim you must follow a set procedure before submitting your claim to the PIAB. The first step is to formally communicate your claim intentions to your employer. This letter (a Letter Of Claim) must detail the reasons you believe the claim is valid. You must also complete a specific form that is sent to the Injuries Board. Your solicitor will advise you of the correct form(s) and the fee for submitting the form.
Within the required forms, here are particular details that will have to be researched. If any details (such as the correct business name – not always the trading name) are incorrect, this can lead to delays or indeed the claim being unsuccessful if the wrong party is named. If you are unsure about any aspect, ask an experienced Personal Injuries Solicitor for assistance.
What Should I Do If I Have An Accident At Work?
In the unfortunate event that you are injured in a workplace accident, there are a few important steps that you must follow.
- 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 workplace 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, speaking to Personal Injuries Solicitor, before completing any written accident report form.
- Speak to a Personal Injury Solicitor
Injuries caused in workplace accidents are classed as a form of personal injury under Irish law. Therefore, a Personal Injury Solicitor with expertise in workplace accidents is best placed to advise you about your situation. Your Solicitor will give you an indication of whether a compensation claim is likely to be successful. They will also explain the claim process to you.
The role of a Personal Injury Solicitor is to advise and assist you in succeeding in your accident at work claim. All communications with your employer pertaining to your claim will be handled by your Personal Injury Solicitor.
Will Bringing An Accident At Work Claim Affect Your Job?
The most common reason for someone not pursuing a workplace compensation claim is fear for their job safety.
Work compensation claims 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.
Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is a government body to whom work compensation claims are submitted in the first instance. It is the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) to independently assess all types of Personal Injury Claims.
Cantillon Solicitors assist employees in processing PIAB Applications.
Contact Cantillons Solicitors, Workplace Accident Claims Experts
At Cantillons Solicitors, we have an unmatched record of expertise in the complex area of Personal Injury Law. If you have experienced an accident at work and are looking for a Solicitor, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below, call us on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at email@example.com for more information. Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.
* Please note that 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 term 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 with our claim case fees.