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.