How to Claim Injury Compensation for Fall at Work
This article explains some of the reasons why you might – or might not – be eligible for injury compensation for fall at work and the procedures you should follow after falling at work to support an injury from falling at work compensation claim.
A brief explanation of how to claim for fall injury in the workplace is also included; however, as no two claims for fall accidents at work are identical, it is always in your best interests to discuss the specific circumstances of your work accident with a solicitor at the earliest practical opportunity.
Your first priority should always be your health and, if you have not already done so, you should seek professional medical care for your fall injury. No amount of workplace fall injury compensation will ever make up for a long term health issue which could have been avoided by timely medical attention and, to support your claim for being injured in a work fall, you will need a doctor to complete the Injuries Board Medical Assessment Form B.
Claims for Fall Accidents at Work and the Duty of Care of Employers
In order to be eligible to claim injury compensation for fall at work, you must have sustained an injury which could have been prevented had your employer – or other person with responsibility for your health and safety – adhered to his or her duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment.
An employer´s “duty of care” covers all his or her responsibilities to prevent injuries from slips, trips or falls wherever possible, and would include performing risk assessments to identify foreseeable hazards, providing training and supervision, and supplying personal protective equipment where necessary to eliminate the risk of an employee sustaining an injury from a fall at work.
Should an employer fail in their duty of care to eliminate the risk of an injury, and you subsequently sustain a fall injury as a result, you should be entitled to make an injury from falling at work compensation claim. It should be noted, however, that an employer´s duty of care is not “absolute” and, if you are injured in a fall accident at work which could not have been foreseen, claims for fall accidents at work are unlikely to be successful.
How Your Employment Status May Affect a Claim for Fall Injury in the Workplace
It is not often that your employment status will affect your entitlement to claim for fall injury in the workplace, but there may be occasions when agency workers, employees on short-term contracts or self-employed workers may have to make a claim for being injured in a work fall against somebody other than their direct employer – the owner of the premises on which the fall injury was sustained, for example.
Possibly of more concern if you have fallen at work and have suffered an injury is the fact that you do not want to fall out with your employer but, because of financial necessity, you need to make a claim for being injured in a work fall against their employer´s liability insurance policy. Most employers will be genuinely remorseful that you have suffered an injury from a fall at work due to their negligence and will admit their liability; but there are some circumstances in which an employer will want to protect their insurance policy excess and dispute your workplace fall injury compensation claim.
How Much is a Claim for Being Injured in a Work Fall Worth?
How much injury compensation for fall at work you will be entitled to receive will depend on the location, nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age, sex and general state of health prior to the accident in which your fall injury was suffered. Financial values for a variety of injuries can be found in the Book of Quantum, but these values only account for the physical pain and suffering you experience at the time of your fall injury and not for the “inconvenience of incapacity” that might result from a falling at work.
Claims for fall accidents at work should include compensation for the impact that your injury has on your ability to complete day to day domestic tasks and your incapacity to partake in leisure pursuits or enjoy an active social life. There is very little opportunity to account for this “loss of amenity” when making a claim for being injured in a work fall through the Injuries Board process, and this is a further reason why you should speak with solicitor with experience of making a claim for fall injury in the workplace – to ensure you receive your full entitlement to workplace fall injury compensation.
The amounts you are claiming for medical expenses, lost income and any other costs you have incurred due to your injury are then added to the compensation value allocated by the Book of Quantum to finalise how much your injury from falling at work compensation claim is worth. You may also be able to recover any legal costs you have incurred in pursuit of your claim for being injured in a work fall, fares paid to use alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and future medical costs if, for example, physiotherapy is required in order that you make a full recovery from your fall at work injury.
Contributory Negligence and Fall at Work Accidents
Consent to assess your claim for fall injury in the workplace may be withheld from the Injuries Board is if you are considered to have been partly responsible for the cause of work fall accident at work or the extent of your injury. The Injuries Board will only assess claims for fall accidents at work in which total liability is admitted and, if you have contributed to your injury, the Injuries Board will have no option but to issue you with an authorisation to pursue your injury from falling at work compensation claim in court.
However, court action may be a last resort when making a claim for being injured in a work fall, as it may also be possible to negotiate a settlement with your employer´s liability insurers where you accept a percentage responsibility for your fall injury and that percentage is then deducted from how much injury compensation for fall at work your claim is settled for. Please bear in mind that negotiating the value of workplace fall injury compensation directly with an insurance company is not a good idea without the aid of a legal representative.
One element of contributory negligence which is sometimes overlooked is if you contributed to the extent of your fall injury by failing to seek timely professional medical attention. Some people who are injured by falling at work foolishly attempt to work through the pain – making their injury worse and jeopardising their entitlement to injury compensation for fall at work. If this is your situation, you should speak with a solicitor about whether you still have a claim for fall injury in the workplace which is worth your while to pursue.
How the Statute of Limitations affects an Injury from Falling at Work Compensation Claim
The Courts and Civil Liability Act 2004 set a limitation period of two years for making claims for fall accidents at work from the “Date of Knowledge” on which the fall injury is diagnosed. There are very few occasions in which a plaintiff would be unaware that they have hurt themselves in a fall accident at work and therefore the two year limitation period for making an injury from falling at work compensation claim would usually start on the day of your accident.
Although two years may seem ample time in which to submit a claim for fall injury in the workplace to the Injuries Board for assessment, if liability for your fall injury is denied, or you are waiting for the results of an HSA investigation to confirm your employer´s liability in a claim for being injured in a work fall, the time can slip quickly by.
If the full extent of your injury is not known, or due to complications it is taking a long time to recuperate from your fall at work accident and impossible to calculate the amount of workplace fall injury compensation you are entitled to, it is possible to “stop the clock” on your claim for injury compensation for fall at work. You will need the agreement of your employer´s insurance company to do this – assuming your employer has admitted liability for your injury – and this is something which is once again best done with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor.
Always Talk With a Solicitor
You do not need a solicitor in order to make claims for fall accidents at work; however, it is often in your best interests to do so. In addition to acting as a go-between between yourself and your employer, and handling any complications that arise while making a claim for fall injury in the workplace, a solicitor has the experience to ensure you receive your full entitlement to workplace fall injury compensation – whether your claim for being injured in a work fall is resolved via the Injuries Board, by negotiation with your employer´s insurers or through court action.
Most solicitors will offer an assessment of your injury from falling at work compensation claim without charge if you have sustained an injury in work accident for which you were not entirely to blame, and provide you with answers to any questions you may have in regard to your eligibility to claim injury compensation for fall at work. As it is often in your best interest to have evidence assembled in support of your claim for fall injury in the workplace while it is still fresh, you would be well advised to speak with a solicitor about the circumstances of your injury in a work fall accident without delay.