Can I make a compensation claim for minor accident at work, or is it only possible to claim for more serious injuries?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
You may be entitled to make a compensation claim for minor accident at work, provided that an accident occurred during the course of your employments, that an injury was subsequently sustained, and that it can be proven that the injury could have been prevented had it not been for the negligence of an employer.
One issue that may lead to problems in attempting to recover minor injury at work compensation is that the standard procedures were not fully completed after the accident. While it is obvious that immediate medical attention would be sought for an injury like a broken bone, a compensation claim for a minor work accident cannot be successfully pursued without proof of the injury having been documented in your medical records.
Another important procedure to have completed would have been to have your accident recorded in your employer’s Accident Report Book. The purpose of this book is to allow the employer to identify and rectify any health and safety issues in the workplace; but your report would also benefit your compensation claim for minor accident at work by establishing that your accident did indeed happen in the workplace.
Although your physical injury may be deemed minor, you should be made aware that minor injury at work compensation does not only cover damages for the pain and suffering the victim experienced at the time of the accident, but the element of emotional trauma may also be included in your claim if, for example, the accident in which your injury was sustained was particularly violent and lead to you suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Additionally, it is possible to recover minor injury at work compensation for your “loss of amenity” which refers to the negative affect your injury has had on your quality of life. For instance, you may be recompensed if you have difficulty performing day to day tasks or you cannot fully engage with your children, or look after elderly parents. You may also be reimbursed for any financial expenses you have incurred as a direct result of your injury, such as loss of income or alternative transport fares if your injury has prevented you from driving.
Because of the many variables that come with a compensation claim for a minor work accident, you would be well advised in engaging a solicitor who can assess your claim in the initial consultation that most solicitors offer without charge and confirm whether or not your case is viable. Once your solicitor has advised you about the strength of your claim, he or she can offer a preliminary estimation of how much compensation you are likely to receive.