Claiming accident compensation for abattoir employees is not often straightforward, as it is accepted that there are inherent risks associated with abattoir work. However, the law demands that foreseeable hazards which could lead to an injury in an abattoir are reduced to an absolute minimum and, if you have sustained an injury which could have been prevented had greater care been taken for your health and safety at work, you may be entitled to claim injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir.
This article provides general advice about claiming compensation for an abattoir injury, but is no substitute for seeking specific injury claims advice from an experienced solicitor which is relevant to your personal circumstances. No two claims for an abattoir accident are the same due to the impact that an injury inflicts on an individual´s quality of life; and therefore you should discuss the circumstances of your accident in an abattoir with a solicitor as soon as practically possible.
Why Prompt Medical Treatment is so Important
Although all abattoirs in Ireland should have first aid facilities and somebody trained in the administration of preliminary treatment, it is important that you attended the casualty department of the local hospital after sustaining an injury in an abattoir. Not only is it for the good of your health that you received professional medical attention as quickly as possible, but your treating physician will have to complete the medical assessment form for the Injuries Board if it is established that your injuries were attributable to the negligence of your employer or a colleague who had a responsibility for your health and safety.
Should you have unjustifiably delayed seeking professional medical attention, and your injuries deteriorated as a result, it may be the case that how much compensation for an abattoir injury you are entitled to is reduced to reflect your own lack of care. No amount of accident compensation for abattoir employees can ever make up for a long-term health issue that could have been avoided with timely medical attention; so, if you have not already received a professional medical examination at a hospital or from your doctor, you should do so right away.
Making Claims for an Abattoir Accident
Claims for an abattoir accident are made the same way as most other personal injury claims for compensation in Ireland. An application for the assessment of injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir is submitted to the Injuries Board with the medical assessment form and receipts for any expenses you have incurred which you want to recover as part of your abattoir workers compensation claim.
There is no need to supply any evidence of negligence you may have compiled, as the Injuries Board does not apportion blame in claims for an abattoir accident. Instead, the Injuries Board will write to your employer, asking for consent to proceed with an assessment of your abattoir workers compensation claim. Provided that your employer agrees, the Injuries Board will work out how much compensation for an abattoir injury you are entitled to, based on the information you have provided them with, and – in some circumstances – a further medical examination.
Once the assessment is complete, the Injuries Board will issue a “Notice of Assessment” advising both you and your employer (or, more frequently, your employer´s insurance company) how much injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir they believe you are entitled to receive. If you both you and your employer/employer´s insurance company agree with the Injuries Board´s assessment, an “Order to Pay” is issued and your employer´s insurance company will send you a cheque in settlement of your abattoir workers compensation claim.
Potential Issues with the Injuries Board Process
There are a number of potential issues with the Injuries Board process that you should be aware of before claiming accident compensation for abattoir employees.
- The Injuries Board application for assessment – whether you complete the online application or hard copy Form A – gives little indication of what can be included in compensation for an abattoir injury. The severity of many abattoir accidents result in significant non-financial changes to a plaintiff´s lifestyle, and there is very little opportunity to communicate these changes (or guidance on how to do it) to the Injuries Board application form – meaning that you could be significantly under-compensated for your injuries.
- When an employer is contacted to give his or her consent for the assessment of your injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir, it is likely that he or she will contact their insurance company for advice. It is possible that the insurance company will approach you directly with an unsolicited offer of compensation for an abattoir injury which may – or may not – be appropriate to the level of injury you have sustained. Any unsolicited offer of accident compensation for abattoir employees should always be referred to a solicitor.
- It may also be the case that your employer refuses to consent to the Injuries Board assessment because you may have contributed to the cause of your accident, and your employer does not want to accept full liability for claims for an abattoir accident – or they may have a substantial excess on their insurance policy which they want to protect. In the scenario in which consent is refused, the Injuries Board will issue you with an “Authorisation” to pursue your claim for accident compensation for abattoir employees through the courts.
- Once the Injuries Board issues their “Notice of Assessment”, if either you or your employer´s insurance company disagree with how much compensation for an accident in an abattoir has been calculated, the Injuries Board will not try to act as an arbitrator and simply issue an “Authorisation” enabling you to resolve your dispute in court. It may be possible that a settlement of your claim for abattoir workers compensation can be reached by negotiation, but it is not recommended that you attempt this without professional legal representation.
Options for Claiming Abattoir Workers Compensation
With so many potential pitfalls when claiming accident compensation for abattoir employees through the Injuries Board, it makes sense to engage the services of a solicitor to help prepare and submit your application for assessment. By using a solicitor, you also make available other options for claiming abattoir workers compensation.
Less than 35 percent of assessments made by the Injuries Board are accepted by plaintiffs – usually because a negotiated settlement is agreed before the assessment is completed, but also because many plaintiffs submit their applications for assessment before all the consequences of their injury are known – and therefore not communicated to the Injuries Board to include in the assessment.
Negotiated settlements are the most frequent method of settling claims for injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir, and can incorporate issues such as contributory negligence if you have been partly responsible for the cause of your injury, without having to wait for the Injuries Board to reject your application for assessment if your employer declines to give their full consent – meaning you would then start your claim again from scratch.
It is also of benefit to claims for an abattoir accident that have to be resolved in court if a solicitor is involved from the beginning of your claim. The solicitor will be more familiar with your case, will have been involved in the collection of evidence of negligence in support of your claim for compensation for an abattoir injury and will also have a greater understanding of what your injury means to you personally.
How Accident Compensation for Abattoir Employees is Calculated
With this better understanding, your solicitor will be able to accurately calculate how much injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir you are entitled to. In order to do this, he or she would first consult the “Book of Quantum” to obtain a financial value for the injury you have sustained in an abattoir accident. That figure would then be adjusted to account for your age, any related pre-existing condition which may have been aggravated by your accident and – in certain cases – your sex.
As mentioned above (in “Potential Issues”), you may have had to make significant non-financial changes to your lifestyle and no longer be able to complete day-to-day activities without assistance, enjoy attending social events that would form part of your regular pre-accident routine and participate in hobbies and leisure pursuits you were previously able to enjoy. This factor will also be taken into account when a solicitor compiles claims for an abattoir accident and it is suggested that you maintain a diary to record your “loss of amenity”.
If you have suffered any diagnosed psychological injury due to the negligence of your employer, this as well should be considered in a claim for abattoir worker compensation. The psychological injury need not be as a result of the emotional trauma you suffered at the time of your accident in the abattoir; it can develop much later and be attributable to depression and anxiety as you are forced to remain immobile during your recovery and unable to enjoy your previous lifestyle.
Any costs you have incurred – or may incur in the future – should also be accounted for when you make a claim for compensation for an abattoir injury. These costs should include any loss of income you have experienced or may experience in the future; and, in claims for an abattoir accident involving younger workers who have sustained a debilitating long-term injury, the loss of income factor could add up to a significant amount – an important reason why you should never accept an insurance company´s offer of injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir without it first being reviewed by a solicitor.
Time Limits for Claiming Compensation for an Abattoir Injury
A time limit of two years exists for claiming abattoir workers compensation from the date on which you were diagnosed with an injury due to an accident in an abattoir. In the majority of cases, this date will be the same as the day on which you had your accident, but there are some conditions which develop over a period of time, and the date on which you were first exposed to a hazard may be well in the past.
Claims for accident compensation for abattoir employees do not have to be resolved within the two year “Statute of Limitations”, but you should never delay in seeking professional legal advice after being diagnosed with an injury due to an accident in an abattoir which could have been prevented if your employer had fulfilled their legal obligations and their “duty of care”.
Further Information about Injury Compensation for an Accident in an Abattoir
Because no two claims for an abattoir accident are the same, you should always seek individual legal advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. Most solicitors offer a free advice service which you can take advantage of to discuss the circumstances of your accident in an abattoir, establish whether you have a claim for compensation for an abattoir injury which is worth your while to pursue and, if so, the procedures that should be followed in order to maximise how much abattoir workers compensation you receive.
Should short-term finances be a problem for you, please advise your solicitor at the time you first speak with them. Once your employer has admitted his liability for your injuries, it may be possible to apply for interim payments of accident compensation for abattoir employees. This would remove any temptation to accept an unsolicited offer of injury compensation for an accident in an abattoir made to you by an insurance company and ensure you ultimately receive a fair and adequate settlement of your claim.