Work Injury Claims in Ireland
It is exceptionally difficult to quote accurate statistics relating to work injury claims in Ireland, as data produced by the Health and Safety Authority (HAS) relies on incidents which are reported to them and there is no means of discerning which accidents and injuries are caused by employer negligence and which are just unavoidable accidents. Figures released by the Injuries Board would indicate that more than one thousand work injury claims are made in Ireland each year, but again, an accurate assessment of employer negligence in the workplace is hard to ascertain.
Inasmuch as it is clear that the number of fatal accidents has reduced in recent years, this could be as much due to the decline of traditionally hazardous industries – agriculture, fishing and construction – as it is to improvements in health and safety in the workplace. Similarly increases in the number of people taking four or more days off work through injury and illness could be attributed to a lower standard of maintenance due to tough economic circumstances, or the increased pressures of work resulting in a greater number of stress-related injuries.
Work Injuries and Employer Relationships
One factor is clear from our experience of work injury claims in Ireland, people are often apprehensive about making work injury claims due to the fear of losing their jobs or because they might upset an existing working relationship with their employer. Although the law protects people who are injured at work from being penalised or threatened with dismissal for making work injury claims, it does not always alleviate the fear of an awkward workplace confrontation on their return, or the potential for being jobless when employment is hard to find.
Most employers will be genuinely upset that a employee has been injured due to their lack of care, but even though they will be sorry that you or a loved one have experienced a physical trauma caused by their negligence, they will not welcome a local authority safety inspection thereafter. It is worth remembering that any work injury claims settlement is paid by your employer’s public liability insurance company, so you should not be concerned about your fellow employees suffering financially due to making a work injury claim.
Further Issues with Work Injury Claims
There are a number of obstacles associated with work injury claims that you would not come across in other forms of personal injury cases. One such obstacle is your employment status. Many people who make work injury claims believe that they are employed at the time of their injury, but our investigations reveal that they can be self-employed, an agency worker, a family worker or sub-contracted. Indeed, three in ten people sustaining a fatal or serious workplace injury in 2009 were not classified as employed, and although this does not disqualify you from making a claim for work injury, the liable party against whom you are making the claim might be somebody other than you think.
This brings us on to attributing certain types of negligence when one company is the “parent” of another, a franchise or co-operative. There can also be issues about contributory negligence if your employer claims that you have contributed to your injuries by your own lack of care and further complications if he, or more often his public liability insurance company, dispute the assessment of work injury claims by the Injuries Board. It also likely that the insurance company will approach you directly with an inadequate offer of compensation in return for the early settlement of your work injury claim.
Making Work Injury Claims
Consequently, whenever our clients are making work injury claims, we strive to make the cases as strong as possible in the knowledge that they may ultimately have to be litigated in court. In this respect we gather as much evidence as possible to support your work injury claim, take photographs wherever possible, arrange early engineering inspections, speak with work colleagues to find out if they are aware of injuries such as yours occurring previously and submit the application form to the Injuries Board on your behalf.
Fortunately, an insurance companies approach frequently indicates that they are willing to negotiate, and provided that we can demonstrate indisputable negligence by your employer, we should be able to achieve the maximum entitlement of work injury compensation. Many work injury claims do not get ultimately resolved by the Injuries Board (which is why an accurate assessment of employer negligence in the workplace is hard to ascertain), with work injury solicitors preferring to provide their clients with a quick resolution to their claim in order than they can focus on recovering from their injuries.
Free Legal Advice
One of the key areas of work injury claims is determining how employer negligence has occurred. You may feel that because a work injury was caused by a colleague’s negligence and you are not entitled to compensation. However, if your employer has failed to carry out a risk assessment, provide training for your colleague, supervise their work and monitor their performance, the employer is failing to provide a safe environment in which to work and is in contravention of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.
Preventing work injuries is not solely about providing personal protective equipment. So if you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work which you believe may be attributable to your employer’s negligence, you are invited to discuss your personal situation with a work injury solicitor and receive helpful and impartial advice. There is no obligation on you to proceed with a work injury claim once you have spoken with us and all communication via our free legal advice service is naturally completely confidential.
If you have any legal questions arising from an injury then please call us now on our 24-Hour helpline on 1800-989 900
This is a free-to-call line to book a call with a Coleman Legal solicitor. There are no charges or obligations for using this service and you will NOT be pressured into making a claim or using our services. We always respect your privacy and comply with GDPR regulations.
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