Is it possible to claim compensation for Lyme disease at work? I work in an abattoir and I am sure I was bitten by ticks at work.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is possible to claim compensation for Lyme disease at work; however in order to do so you must be able to establish that you developed Lyme disease from coming into contact with ticks at work and that your employer failed in a duty of care to protect you from tick bites. A claim for compensation for Lyme disease at work will only be possible if you have contracted the disease due to the negligence of your employer.

Lyme disease may take days or even weeks before symptoms start to be displayed, so it can be difficult to establish that you contracted the disease from tick bites you suffered in the workplace if you had not told your employer about the bites when you received them. It is conceivable that you may not have contracted the disease at work, and came into contact with the ticks elsewhere.

Ticks spread bacteria which cause Lyme disease; however the ticks could have come from a pet at home or even from walking in grass or from activities such as gardening. If other people at work have also contracted the disease, this would certainly make it easier to establish and prove that your employer has been negligent and failed to implement adequate control measures to protect the staff from tick bites in the abattoir.

A successful claim for compensation for Lyme disease at work is likely to depend on whether you can establish that your employer has been negligent by failing to provide you with the appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent tick bites at work, such as overalls and safety gloves. If your employer did not warn you of the risks of contracting Lyme disease at work from coming into contact with animals that may carry parasites, this could also be classed as negligence of your employer and would make a claim for Lyme disease compensation justifiable.

Due to the difficulty of proving negligence of an employer when claiming compensation for Lyme disease at work, it is strongly recommended that you use a personal injury solicitor to pursue a claim on your behalf. A solicitor should be able to improve the likelihood of you recovering Lyme disease compensation against the employee liability insurance policy of your employer.