What is the process for claiming compensation after construction falls?
Eoin P. Campbell
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief

Question:

What is the process for claiming compensation after construction falls?

Answer:

Two criteria have to be fulfilled before you are able to claim compensation for construction falls – that you sustained an injury of some kind and that your employer or other party was negligent in some way and responsible for the accident.

After construction falls, your first priority should be that of your health, and you may not be physically capable of determining how an accident occurred at the time. Depending on the severity of an injury, you would be taken to hospital either by ambulance or by a colleague, and notes made in your medical records of your injuries and how they occurred.

The person responsible for the construction site has to maintain an Accident Report Book, and they should also note that an accident took place and the reasons behind it. Thereafter, your medical records and the report made in the Accident Report Book are used to support your claim for construction falls compensation when you apply to the Injuries Board Ireland.

The Injuries Board Ireland will advise the liable person that you are making a construction falls claim against them, and arrange for an independent medical examination to take place to confirm the severity of your injury and the length of time it is anticipated that it will take you to recover. Provided the negligent party admits their liability, the Injuries Board Ireland will make an assessment of the amount of compensation you should receive and notify both you and the liable party in writing.

If the liable party either disputes his responsibility or the amount assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, you will be issued with an authorisation to pursue your construction falls claim through the courts. You also have the opportunity to dispute the amount of the Injuries Board assessment if you believe it is inadequate.

Because of the potential for severe injuries and consequent large compensation payments after construction falls, you may also be approached by the negligent party´s insurance company with an offer of early settlement. These offers are often made before the Injuries Board Ireland has completed its assessment of your construction falls claim, and can frequently be in the insurance company´s favour rather than your own.

For this reason, it is in your best interests to discuss the value of a construction falls compensation claim with a solicitor as soon as you have received medical attention for your injuries. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the best way to comprehensively complete your application form to the Injuries Board Ireland, represent you in litigation should it be required, and advise you whether you should accept an offer from an insurance company or negotiate a better settlement on your behalf.

Copyright © 2009-2015 Eoin Campbell