A person who is an employee and suffers an injury at their workplace is entitled to claim compensation only where they can prove negligence, or some fault on the part of their Employer. In addition, the Employee would also have to prove that they suffered an injury due to this negligence.
Employers have duties towards their Employees which include a duty to provide a safe place of work, to provide a safe system of work and to provide safe equipment. In a lot of cases an Employer’s negligence can be established by a failure for the Employer to comply with one or more of these duties.
Some people who are injured at work may believe that they have an automatic right to compensation, but this is not the case and it could be argued that many cases involving Employer’s Liability are contested through the Courts.
At the same time, some injured Employees may not seek legal advice because they may believe that they have no entitlement to compensation if they feel that the accident was caused by their own actions. For example, the Employee may have failed to use the proper manual handling techniques when lifting a heavy load, and subsequently the Employee may suffer a back injury. It is important that the employee ask for legal advice in such situations because even if it transpires that the injured Employee bears some responsibility for their accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their compensation claim will fail.
An experienced Solicitor can provide legal advice regarding the strengths or weaknesses of such a case following an initial consultation.
A person has two years from the date of injury to lodge an application with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board which is a government body set up to assess personal injury claims.
Sometimes when calculating this two year period in respect of workplace injuries, the situation can be a little complicated. It will be easy to calculate this two year period when the Employee’s injury is acute in nature and directly arises as a result of a particular accident. However in some cases Employees can complain of injuries which have exacerbated over a period of time due to an unsafe system of work – for example an Employee may begin to experience ongoing shoulder pain which can deteriorate over a period of time as a result of perhaps performing a repetitive type of task without proper rest breaks. It could transpire that this shoulder pain can ultimately end up being diagnosed as a specific injury. In such circumstances the two year period for initiating a Personal Injuries claim is deemed to run from the date when the injury was deemed to have become “significant”. In such cases it would be essential that legal advice is sought as early as possible.
Overall if an Employee has been injured as a result of a workplace accident, it is advisable to seek a consultation with a Solicitor at an early stage when the claim can then be investigated and advices given in relation to the merits of pursuing a claim.
For further information please contact:
Siobhan MacNiallais Solicitor
Gerrard L. McGowan Solicitors
The material is for information purposes only and is correct at the time of writing (June 2019). Professional advice should be sought in all cases.
In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.