Many employees are involved in workplace accidents which cause them to suffer injuries. They types of workplace accidents that we come across are mainly due to a hazard that exists within the workplace, unsafe work practices and a general lack of the duty of care on the part of the employer.
Sinnott Solicitors through their Dublin and Cork offices have acted for many employees nationwide including Chefs, Kitchen Porters, Construction Workers, Store Assistants, Clerical Workers, Factory Workers and professionals working within industrial sectors in order to achieve for them compensation for their injuries. Generally speaking, an employee who wishes to take a case against their employer for injuries relating to a work accident must prove that the accident was the fault of the employer and that the employer should have exercised a greater degree of care in relation to the employee. Compensation for work accidents generally would include a claim for loss of earnings if the employee is absent from work as a result of the work accident. Sometimes, an employee may be entitled to claim for psychological injuries as a result of a work accident. Compensation for psychological injuries as a result of work accidents would include, for example, compensation for any post traumatic stress disorder. We have acted for many employees that have been involved in workplace accidents over the years and if you have sustained injuries as a result of a workplace accident for which you require compensation, Sinnott Solicitors can assist you with taking your claim.
Preparation for a workplace personal injury claim
In order to prepare for any personal injuries claim it will be necessary for the claimant or claimant’s Solicitor to gather as much evidence as possible.
Your Solicitor should immediately write to the defendant requesting a copy of the CCTV footage if available and that information should be furnished to your Solicitor under Section 4 of the Data Protection acts 1988-2003.
Your Solicitor should also obtain a very detailed description of the accident, a list of witnesses together with their addresses and telephone numbers, any documentation in relation to your accident for example an accident in the workplace or an accident report in relation to your accident, photographs of the area in which the accident took place and photographs of the injuries sustained.
In addition to the above preparation it might also be necessary for your Solicitor to write to the Defendant demanding that they preserve various equipment and materials relating to the accident.
Your Solicitor might require the Defendant to produce certain cleaning schedules of the workplace or accident scene in order to assist your case.
What is the procedure for taking a work accident claim?
Record the accident
The first step with any workplace accident is to record the accident in the employer’s accident book as soon as possible after the accident. You should identify the witnesses to the accident and make sure that their names are recorded also. Many employers will have a procedure in place for workplace accidents requiring the employee to fill out a workplace accident report. In that report you should record the details of the accident, the names of the witnesses and photographs of the scene of the accident should be taken.
Get Medical Attention
The next step is to visit your doctor who will carry out an assessment of your injuries. This should be done as soon as possible. In more serious workplace accidents it may be necessary to call an ambulance and to go to the local accident and emergency department at your nearest hospital. The hospital will always take details of your visit and the extent of your injuries from the workplace accident. This will be useful for your Solicitor when you take a claim because your Solicitor will have details of the hospital attendance, the doctor who treated you and some information regarding your injuries. If you attend your GP, your Solicitor will write to your GP requesting a medical report in relation to your injuries.
Reports to the Health & Safety Authority
It might be necessary for the Health & Safety Authority to be informed of the accident and that depends on how serious the accident is. Your Solicitor will advise you as to whether the Health & Safety Authority should be informed of the workplace accident. Generally if a person is absent from work for a period of three consecutive days following a work place accident, then the employer must inform the Health and Safety Authority of the accident pursuant the Health and Safety at Work ACT 2005.
Your Solicitor will gather all of the necessary information in relation to your accident. Your Solicitor will request your employee file from your employer under the Data Protection Acts and that file will or certainly should contain the accident report and details of your accident. Your Solicitor will also write a letter of claim to your employer which will allow your employer to accept liability for the accident and it will give your employer an opportunity to put their proposals forward to compensate you in relation to your injuries. The letter will also advise your employer to contact their insurance company immediately to notify them of the accident if they haven’t already done so.
Getting a specialist expert or Engineer’s Report
Your Solicitor will decide whether an Engineer should be employed immediately in order to examine the scene or inspect the scene of the incident or accident. That Engineer’s Report could provide crucial in dealing with your Injuries Board claim or later Court proceedings. The Engineer will be a specialised accident scene engineer experienced in the area of examining accident and work place injury accident scenes. For example a lot of equipment in the workplace would have safety specifications and operation specifications and your Engineer might decide that the piece of equipment or machinery was not operating to the specific specifications required.
Building Sites accident Claims and Compensation
Many construction workers and employees of construction companies are involved in workplace accidents causing them to suffer personal injuries. We come across many building site accidents and we deal with compensation claims for those involved. In order to claim compensation for a building site accident, it is necessary to prove that the accident was caused by a failure of the duty of care of the employer. Building sites are generally very hazardous environments and there are many regulations and laws which must be upheld by employers. The Health & Safety Authority is heavily involved in the regulation of safety in respect of building sites and will generally inspect the site of an accident reported to the Health & Safety Authority. If you have been involved in a building site accident and require compensation for your injuries, Sinnott Solicitors can assist you with any compensation claim. Compensation for building site accidents can also include compensation for loss of earnings if the Claimant is not in a position to work for a period of time as a result of the accident. Compensation can also include compensation for psychological injuries in connection with the building site accident in certain circumstances. If you have been involved in a building site accident, we strongly recommend that the accident is reported immediately and that an incident report is filed with your appropriate superiors.
Workplace Slips trips and falls claims and Compensation
Many Claimants seeking compensation for slips, trips and falls cases can arise in a variety of ways. Many slips, trips and falls occur due to spillage, uneven surfaces or any hazard which is present which causes a Claimant an injury. Generally speaking, if a hazard is allowed to develop or continue and if it is quite clear that the presence of the hazard may be the cause of an accident, the Defendant will be deemed to have breached its duty of care to a Claimant in those circumstances. The vast majority of injury claims that come before the Courts are in relation to slips, trips and falls in a variety of circumstances. In order to make a claim for compensation for injuries sustained by slips, trips and falls, it is necessary to prove that the liability rests with the Defendant by allowing the hazard to either develop or continue in circumstances where the Defendant ought to have known that the hazard would cause an accident. If you have been injured in a slip, trip or fall accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Slips, trips and falls can occur in a variety of circumstances and places such as supermarkets, at work, schools, public places, footpaths amongst others. If you wish to take a case in relation to a slip, trip or fall, Sinnott Solicitors can assist you in taking a claim for compensation. A clam for compensation for personal injuries in respect of a slip, trip or fall accident may also include a claim for loss of earnings if the Claimant was out of work as a result of the accident. In certain circumstances, a Claimant may be entitled to take a claim for psychological injuries associated with the slip, trip or fall accident. Such psychological injuries could include a claim for post traumatic stress disorder in certain circumstances.
Recent successful work accident claims before the Courts
An Employee awarded over €189K in work accident compensation arising from injuries suffered in the course of employment in the case of Twomey v. Jeral Ltd  IEHC 676 (High Court (General), Meenan J, 29 October 2020. The High Court, in assessing damages in a personal injuries action where the plaintiff suffered severe lacerations to her right calf in the course of her employment found that the plaintiff’s pain was genuine and caused by the accident. During the course of her employment the Plaintiff was involved in a work accident where a steel girder fell on the back of her right leg causing the laceration. The scar was approximately 25 cm in length.
The Court found and that she also established a basis for damages for future loss of earnings but that the future loss of earnings should be subject to a reduction which is referred to as a “Reddy v. Bates” deduction of 40% on the basis that the retail sector was adversely affected; and accordingly, the court awards the plaintiff €80,000 in general damages, €69,037.20 for future loss of earnings as her future remuneration for future employment would be lower than what she currently received and €40,372.30 in special damages, giving a total award of €189,409.50.
An Employee was awarded €75,000 in work accident compensation arising from slip and fall outside workplace in the case of Farrell v. Minister for Agriculture  IEHC 660 (High Court (General), Barrett J, 15 December 2020). The High Court, in personal injuries proceedings awarded general damages in the sum of €75,000 to the plaintiff employee against her employer and a facilities management company engaged on the employer’s behalf as defendants, arising from the plaintiff’s slip and fall on leaves in a car park outside her employer’s premises.
The court found firstly that the unchallenged evidence was that the car park was completely unlit at the material time and secondly that the employer was negligent in failing to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that the plaintiff’s means of access to and egress from her place of work was safe and without risk to her health.
If you have any queries regarding workplace accident compensation as a result of your injuries, Sinnott Solicitors would be happy to advise you. We take work accident cases nationwide. Our offices are located in Cork and Dublin and we may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 003531 4062862