In the event that you suffer personal injuries as a result of a work-related road traffic accident that is not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your personal injuries.
A lot of jobs will require employees to do a large amount of driving as part of the daily duties whether as a driver of a truck or articulated vehicle, a company car or any other vehicle. It is quite likely that an employee would be involved in a work related road accident sustaining personal injuries as a result.
Many workplaces require an employee to have a company car for the purposes of sales, hospital staff, truck drivers, van drivers, delivery drivers, carers and so forth.
WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
The accident might be the fault of your employer or it could be the fault of another road user. In any event Sinnott Solicitors can prepare your claim and will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for any pain and suffering or loss of earnings caused by any work related road accident.
CLAIMING AGAINST YOUR EMPLOYER
Many driving jobs can lead to road traffic accidents and sometimes those accidents are the fault of the employer if they have failed to discharge their duty of care and conduct adequate vehicle maintenance, vehicle loading procedures, vehicle risk assessment, journey planning and driver training depending on the type of vehicle.
At Sinnott Solicitors we appreciate that it can be difficult to take a claim against a past or a current employer. We can provide you with guidance and advice and support in respect of any such claim in order that you can make an informed decision with regard to a potential claim.
Such claims to not damage the reputation of your employer and should not damage your relationship with your employer because if you are injured in an accident which is not your fault then your employer will understand that you are entitled to claim for the personal injuries you sustained.
Frequent causes of work related road traffic accidents would include the following:
- Sleeping as a result of being over worked
- Use of mobile phones while driving
- Observational error
- Close following of the vehicle in front
If you are driving a vehicle in connection with your employment and if your accident is caused by the negligence of a different road user, you will be entitled to take a claim for compensation for your injuries against that road user.
Sinnott Solicitors will explain the process thoroughly to you from beginning to end and we will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available in the event that you sustain injuries as a result of a work related road traffic accident.
For a detailed explanation of the procedure for taking a claim please see below.
What is the procedure for taking a claim for work related road traffic accidents?
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Sinnott Solicitors specialise in workplace and work related accidents. Sinnott Solicitors provide free legal advice on what steps should be taken next. With all workplace accidents the next step is to speak to a personal injuries Solicitor to explain details of the accident.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Your Solicitor will then start to prepare your file for lodging with the Injuries Board. This will entail taking up a copy of your file from your employer under the Data Protection Acts and gathering all of the relevant medical information in relation to your injuries. Your Solicitor will write to your GP or your treating Consultant in relation to your injuries and your Solicitor will ask your doctor to provide them with a detailed description of your injury and the prognosis as to when your injury is likely to improve. Your Solicitor will also request your GP or your Consultant to outline any further treatment which will be necessary to treat you for your work related injuries. In many cases the trauma of a work related injury may necessitate the treatment of a Counsellor, Psychiatrist or Psychologist depending on the severity of the workplace accident. If you have attended a practitioner for the purpose of treating your psychological injuries, then your Solicitor will also request a report in relation those injuries. Once your Solicitor has all of the appropriate information it will lodge your claim to the Injuries Board on your behalf.
7. The Injuries Board will then notify your employer and their insurers of the injuries board claim and the Injuries Board will allow your employer a period of 90 days to consent to having your claim assessed by the Injuries Board.
8. The Injuries Board will not assess the compensation relevant to your claim if your employer or the employers insurers do not consent to having your claim assessed by the Injuries Board.
9. Once the Injuries Board are in receipt of your claim, they must assess your claim within a period of nine months. If the Injuries Board do not assess your claim within a period of nine months they may write to you and the other party requesting an extension of time to deal with your claim.
10. Your Solicitor should also include a claim for special damages which should include treatment fees, medical consultants, medication, loss of earnings if applicable, physiotherapy, travel and some other relevant expenses which are generally called special damages and cover out of pocket expenditure in relation to your injuries.
11. The Injuries Board will either assess your claim for compensation based on your workplace accident or it will send your Solicitor an Authorisation to take Court proceedings instead of dealing with your case.
12. Generally speaking the Injuries Board does not assess claims for psychological and psychiatric damages or claims where the prognosis of your injury is likely to carry on beyond the two year statute of limitation period. In the event that a certificate to issue court proceedings against your employer is authorised by the Injuries Board or if the Injuries Board makes an assessment of your case which in your Solicitors opinion is not enough to compensate you for your injuries arising from your workplace accident, then your Solicitor and your Barrister will draft and issue Court proceedings in your case.
What should I do if another vehicle and another driver are involved in the work related road accident?
- 1. Ask the driver for his insurance details
- 2. Take a note of the registration number of the driver’s car and the driver’s name
- 3. Seek medical attention from your Doctor as soon as possible. Your Doctor will then have the details of your accident and a note of your injuries which will be helpful to your personal injuries claim.
- 4. Report the accident to your nearest Garda Station as soon as possible. Normally if two cars collide or when a person is injured in an accident the Gardai are called to take statements from the parties involved. His is normal and the Garda attending the accident will take detailed notes and statements and he will take a description of the accident and the location. This is important because your Solicitor will then request a report from the Garda known as a “Garda Abstract Report” which is a helpful piece of information for your injuries claim.
- 5. You will need to get in touch with your Solicitors as soon as possible.
- 6. Your Solicitor will then write to your employer and the Defendant and any other Defendant that your Solicitor considers appropriate for you to take a personal injury claim. Your Solicitor will then write to your treating Doctor requesting the medical report which should outline your injuries, the medication required and the prognosis as to when it is expected your injuries will return to normal.
- 7. You should keep all of the receipts for your medication and any receipts in connection with the accident.
- 8. Your Solicitor will then make your application to the Injuries Board on your behalf.
Carl’s Story: Work-related road traffic accident claim case study
Carl is employed as a public health nurse and during the course of his duties Carl was rear-ended by another vehicle which left him with very serious whiplash and a permanent shoulder injury.
Sinnott Solicitors took the case on Carl’s behalf and also took a case for post-traumatic stress disorder as Carl had also suffered mental injury and post-traumatic stress as a result of the accident.
We achieved damages in the sum of €85,000 for Carl and a further sum for his loss of earnings as his sick leave eventually expired after a six month period. We also recovered 90% of the cost of Carl’s case.