Work Injury Claim Guide
Rogers Solicitors is a leading Specialist Civil Litigation firm based in the heart of Dublin at 6-9 Trinity Street, Dublin 2.
It is difficult to compile a comprehensive work injury claim guide, as there are so many different scenarios in which an injury can be sustained at work. There are also many different categories of injury – ranging from an instant traumatic injury, to an injury that is sustained over time because of work practices or the workplace environment. However, one thing that all claims for injuries at work have to have in common is that the injury could have been avoided with greater care.
Your Employer´s Duty of Care
Your employer has a duty of care to ensure your workplace is as safe as is reasonably practical. This includes taking precautions against any foreseeable risk of injury, providing training to ensure the safety of the workforce, and providing personal protective equipment whenever appropriate. What your employer does not have is an “absolute” duty of care to guard against accidents that could not have been foreseen or prevented.
You – as an employee – also have a duty of care. Your duty of care is to follow any instructions or training provided for you and to use personal protective equipment when it is provided for you. If you sustain an injury in a workplace accident, and you have not maintained your duty of care, any claims for injuries at work you subsequently make may be disqualified due to your “contributory negligence”. At best, any settlement of compensation you receive will be reduced to reflect your personal lack of care.
Work Injury Claim Guide: The Claims Process
If you believe you have sustained an injury due to your employer´s lack of care, claims for injuries at work are made to the Injuries Board. Before starting their assessment of your claim, the Injuries Board will write to your employer, seeking their consent to conduct the assessment. If your employer gives their consent, the Injuries Board will continue with their assessment. If you employer declines their consent, the Injuries Board will issue you with an authorisation to pursue your claim in court.
Once the Injuries Board assessment is concluded, you and your employer will both be advised of the assessment value. If both parties agree on the assessment value, the Injuries Board issues and Order to Pay and your employer´s insurance company settles your claim. If the amount is disputed by either party, you will be issued with an Authorisation to pursue your claim in court – although claims for injuries at work that reach this stage are frequently resolved by negotiation.
Work Injury Claim Guide: How Much Compensation?
How much compensation for an injury at work you will be entitled depends on a number of factors. The nature and severity of your injury is usually the primary factor, followed by the financial cost of your injury, the effect it has on your quality of life and any psychological injury you have suffered. Compensation for physical workplace injuries is usually determined by the Book of Quantum – a publication that lists a variety of physical injuries and assigns them a financial value.
Compensation for the financial cost of your injury will be determined by an audit of your wage slips (to prove loss of earnings) plus any receipts for expenses you have incurred as a direct result of your injury. How much compensation for a deterioration in your quality of life you are entitled to may largely depend on the level of social activity you had prior to your injury at work, while any psychological injury you are claiming for will have to be quantified by a psychologist.
Further Information about Claims for Injuries at Work
It was mentioned above it is difficult to compile a comprehensive work injury claim guide because of the many different work injury scenarios. It is even more difficult to provide comprehensive legal advice, because no two claims for injuries at work are the same. Even if you have sustained exactly the same injury as a colleague in a workplace accident, your personal situation will influence how much compensation for an injury at work you are entitled to.
For this reason, if you have suffered an injury at work in circumstances that you were not entirely responsible for, you are advised to speak with a personal injury solicitor at the first practical opportunity. A personal injury solicitor will be able to assess the merits of your claim and provide your with information about claims for injuries at work that are relevant to your own personal circumstances – effectively an individual work injury claim guide.
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