Before commencing a legal action regarding an industrial accident claim*, it is necessary to apply the principles of negligence and relevant statutory rules to the facts.
Negligence has been described as the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. The result is harm to another person.
Duty of Care
Firstly, when assessing a case, it is necessary to assess if a legal duty of care was owed between the parties. In an industrial accident claim* an employer will owe an employee a duty of care. Employers must take reasonable care to avoid acts/ommissions one could foresee would likely injure the employee.
Standard of Care
Second, it necessary to assess what standard of care the employee should reasonably have been expected to in the workplace. What would a reasonable employer have done in the circumstances ? will be assessed.
The third factor to assess is was it the defendant’s negligence that caused the injury.
It is also necessary to assess if the employer should have reasonably foreseen the consequences that resulted because of the act or omission in the workplace that led to the accident.
Lastly, was there damage done to the person and what was it will be assessed ?. Were they injured due to the negligence and what was the injury.
Industrial Accident Claim* Time Limit
The standard rule for personal injury cases is that the individual has within 2 years for initiating a legal action from the date of the accident.
Industrial Accident Claim* Form
Below is a list of some of the questions you should ask yourself before filling the Form A:
- Are you still suffering from discomfort or pain, or are your injuries healed fully?
- Are your symptoms improving, staying the same, or getting worse?
- Do you have difficulty sleeping?
- Do you believe that your memory has been affected by the accident?
- Has the injury left you with any scarring or disfiguration?
How Does an Industrial Accident* Claim Work?
It is necessary for the injured person to notify the person responsible for your injury, within 1 month of the accident, in writing, of an intention to pursue a legal action.
When your application is sent and has been received by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), you will be issued with an application number.
The Injuries Board will then send this notice of the application to the alleged wrongdoer and he/she has 90 days to consent/reject or do nothing. The Injuries Board will send a copy of the injured person’s application with this notice and or any other accompanying documents.
The Injuries Board will after this period begin their assessment, if the alleged wrongdoer does not reject this outright. In that case court proceedings can begin.
The Injuries Board must make their assessment within 9 months of receiving the alleged wrongdoers consent to assessment. Once the assessment decision is made the alleged wrongdoer is given 21 days to accept the award or there’s deemed acceptance. The injured party is given 28 days, and if no response is received, is deemed to accept the award.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do after an industrial accident at work ?
After you attend to the medical care, report the accident to the employer.
While you are considering your options, it is very helpful if you write out the details of the facts to keep in case you are thinking of taking a case.
Facts and evidence get lost and it is to the detriment of many people who subsequently decide to take cases when it doesn’t need to be an issue.
How long do industrial accident claims* take ?
There is no one singular answer that can be given which works for everybody.
It depends on the individual case for many reasons, but we will give a general guide here.
Accident* at work claims must be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. On average, claims made to PIAB are assessed within 9 months from the date the Board notifies the party who the claim is taken against.
If the case is dealt with and concluded at this point to the satisfaction of the parties, the entire timeframe could be 9 months to one year. If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, the injured party may have the option of proceeding to court to seek a Judgement from the court.
Some factors that may affect how long a case takes include:
- Once an application has been made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, it usually takes between 9 months to 1 year before it is concluded.
- If one of the parties does not agree to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the matter can proceed to court.
- If an assessment sum is not agreed to by one party, the matter can proceed to court.
- How long will the court case process take depends on various factors, such as, is the case straightforward for complex ?.
- Is there one injury or multiple injuries ?.
- What is the attitude of the defendant to the case ?.
- Has liability been admitted or is it contested ?.
- Has the injury stabilised ?.
- Has the treatment concluded ?. Has the injured parties doctors recommended further treatment ?. Detail of the further treatment is then required.
- What number of experts reports are required ?.
- Is it easy or difficult to obtain expert reports ?.
- Is it easy or difficult to obtain medical records ?.
- Have the legal pleadings concluded. In the High Court the defence must be provided to the injured parties solicitor within 8 weeks from the time the summons is served. This is not a long time, and in personal injury* cases one must proceed step by step in conjunction with the guidance of the doctor(s) assisting the injured party. Medical care can take time, recovery can take time, and guidance from the doctor and the patients thoughts on their own rehabilitation are important considerations in terms of assessing controlling the speed of a case.
If you are the cause of your own injury and no negligence arises, then in our opinion, it is imprudent to commence such an action.
If an employee does not report an accident to an employer, and subsequently decides to take a case, this can be problematic for the employee when the question is asked as to why it was not reported.
Is there provision for this in a clause in the Employment Contract ? or is there a custom and practice with the particular employer to do so ?.
Employers should have Accident Report Forms which can be completed and the employer should be notified also with any means possible.
What accidents should be reported to HSE ?
The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Regulations 2016 require reporting of accidents and record keeping in certain circumstances such as:
- Where an employee dies as a result of an accident at their place of work or in the course of carrying out their work in a location other than their normal place of work;
- an employee, as a result of an accident at their place of work or in the course of carrying out their work in a location other than their normal place of work, is prevented from performing their normal work for more than 3 consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident but including any days which would not have been working days;
- an employee dies within one year as a result of an accident at their place of work or in the course of carrying out their work in a location other than their normal place of work;
- any person who is not at work but who as a result of an accident related to a place of work or a work activity dies, within one year of the accident;
- any person who is not at work but who as a result of an accident related to a place of work or a work activity suffers any injury or condition which, due to the nature or severity of the injury or condition, results in the person being taken from the location of the accident to receive treatment in respect of that injury in a hospital or medical facility, or
- there is a dangerous occurrence.
Can a job (employer) fire you for getting injured ?
The Unfair Dismissals Acts govern this area of the law and if you are injured and operating under a disability, an employer who terminates an employment of an injured employee, may contravene the Equality Acts in addition to possibly contravening the unfair dismissals legislation.
What are the accident reporting procedures ?
Different employers may have different reporting procedures as some places of employment evidently operate under a higher risk of accidents occuring than others.
Case Assessment Advice
If you wish you can contact us by telephone or email and we will have an initial meeting with you to explore the facts and furnish a case opinion to you, and advise you about the process of an industrial accident claim.
Disclaimer – Industrial Accident Claim* Article
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
Personal Injuries * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.