Accident at Work Claim

If you have suffered an injury at work, you may be wondering about the appropriate steps to take thereafter.

Your response to an injury at work can be effective when you are familiar with the basics regarding your responsibilities as well as your employer’s obligations stemming from their duty of care obligations and statutory duty obligations to the employee.

What to do after an Accident at Work*

After you have received medical attention you should notify your employer, or supervisor etc. that the accident has occurred and if possible complete the detail asked for in the accident report book.

The following will sound obvious, however, it can happen that an injured person does not notify a defendant of the accident at the outset, and a defendant then may come to the view that either the incident did not occur, or that they were prevented from retaining necessary evidence as notification did not take place in a timely manner.

An example is CCTV footage of the incident not being retained by the party that caused the accident, and they may say that they were unaware that they needed to keep the footage due to the fact the employee did not notify them in sufficient time after the accident of the occurrence of the accident.

One should, if possible, also take photographs of the place of the accident and maintain a record of dates/times with the names and contact details of all witnesses present.  

Employers Responsibilities

An employer has legal common law duties and statutory duties to their employees in respect of their safety, health, and well-being while at the workplace. Section 8 of the 2005 Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act states that an employer must ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees.  

Can I be dismissed after an accident at work*?

An employer’s duty can extend to many areas but very briefly an employer should ensure a safe place and safe system of work exists in the workplace for all employees.

Safe systems etc. must be implemented and not simply specified as required in a risk assessment.

Although cases of dismissal after an accident at work are uncommon, this obviously can happen should an employer be imprudent enough to terminate an employment contract as a consequence of the accident.

You should understand that if you are dismissed for no valid reason or for exercising your right to initiate legal action for an injury sustained, filling a claim for unfair dismissal is the right way to go about the situation.

This then can mean your employer faces a civil legal action for the injuries sustained and a separate unfair dismissals action for an unlawful termination of your employment contract.

Accident at Work – Will I still get paid?

One should firstly review their contract of employment to assess if that provides any contractual provision permitting you to be paid in full while absent from employment for the purpose of an injury or illness.

If your employment contract provides that you are entitled to wages while you are off work due to injury or illness, you should call upon your employer to pay you.

Sick pay entitlement can be a concern for people whose employment contract lacks provision for injury income payment.

An important thing to know that occupational sick payment schemes are not outlined in the Irish law. This is because most employers pay social insurance for working employees to enable the state to provide income to the injured workers, which comes in the form of social welfare payments to sustain them through their injuries.

You should be aware an employer cannot claim that any time off work due to injury has eaten into your entitlement to paid holiday leave as section 19 (2) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides that any day where a person is certified as unfit for work cannot be regarded as a day of annual leave.

Time frame – Personal Injury* Claim

The 2004 Civil Liability and Courts Act provides that the time limit for making claims is two years from the day of the accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

Work accident Claim Form ?

This is termed Form A which is simply the application form to the Injuries Board can be made by completing and submitting Form A with the application fee €45 or €90 and a medical report.  

An injured party must apply to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board by filling out an Injuries Board Assessment Form A.

If any costs have been incurred, remember to attach receipts for any financial losses related to the personal injury* with the application to the Injuries Board. Include a copy of correspondence from the person you deem responsible for the injury, and send the application fee. The Board will write back to acknowledge receiving your documents and to give you your application number.

How do accident claims work ?

An initial step for any injured party who wishes to initiate a personal injury* claim is to make an application to the Board. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is a statutory body that carries out its own private, independent assessment of a persons personal injury* claim. It will not assess claims regarding the provision of any medical or surgical procedure in relation to a person, or the provision of any medical advice or treatment to a person.

A purely paper-based system, it never carries out oral hearings but assesses claims with regard to medical evidence, such as the medical report furnished by the injured party to the Board.

If the person who caused the injury consents to the Injuries Board assessing the application, or if they fail to state in writing whether they consent to the assessment or not, the Injuries Board will proceed to carry out the assessment.

If the person who causes the accident states in writing that they do not consent to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the Injuries Board will issue whats termed an authorisation, which permits the applicant (injured party) to bring legal proceedings.

How do I claim for an accident at work ?

This is answered in the paragraphs above.

What should I do after an 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 accident at work 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.

Can I claim for an accident at work that was my fault ?

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.

What happens if an accident at work is not reported ?

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.


Do I get paid if I am injured at work ?

Is there provision ie a clause that provides for this in the specific Employment Contract ? or is there a custom and practice in the particular workplace to do so ? needs to be reviewed to answer this.

How do you record accidents at work ?.

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 the 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.

Accident at work time limits ?

The 2004 Civil Liability and Courts Act provides that the time limit for making claims is two years from the day of the accident.

Accident at work claim process ?

This is mentioned in the above paragraphs.

Disclaimer

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.

In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.