Can I make an injury compensation claim for bruised ribs after a fall from a broken bench at work?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
You may be entitled to make an injury compensation claim for bruised ribs after a workplace accident, provided that your injuries were sustained because of a breach in the duty of care that your employer owes his or her employees. Your employer may be found to have been negligent, and therefore responsible for your accident, if he or she failed to ensure that the bench was in working order and fit for use.
Your employer has a legal obligation to protect his or her employees from unnecessary harm, that the workplace is free from dangers and that you are not placed at risk of sustaining an injury from using office equipment. Employers are therefore expected to perform regular risk assessments and any potential health hazards should be identified and rectified immediately. Office chairs and benches should be checked regularly and repaired or replaced when faults are discovered.
It should be noted that while employers are obligated to guarantee that their employee’s health and safety is never at risk, members of staff also hold some responsibility towards their own personal safety and that of their work colleagues. If a potential hazard is discovered by a staff member, it must be reported to an employer in order for the issue to be addressed.
Your employer will be considered to have failed in his or her “duty of care” if your employer ignored complaints from staff about a fault with the bench or if he or she acknowledged the concern but did not provide a replacement; in such a scenario it should be possible to make an injury compensation claim for bruised ribs. However, you would likely be unable to claim for bruised ribs injury compensation if you were aware of the fault with the bench but did not bring it to your employer’s attention.
Therefore, it must be established that you were using the bench responsibly and were not to blame for the accident due to your own actions as it would be impossible to make a completely successful compensation claim for bruised ribs if you caused the accident through your own negligence.
There is a possibility that you may be approached with an early offer of bruised rib injury compensation by your employer’s insurance company. Although this means that your employer has effectively admitted their liability for your injury, you should be aware that such offers may not accurately represent your injury and the impact it has had on your quality of life. Unsolicited offers of compensation for a claim for bruised ribs injury are likely to be made before your claim has been thoroughly investigated by your own solicitor and will probably not incorporate all the elements that should be included. You would be well advised, therefore, to refer any such offer to a solicitor as soon as you receive one who can recommended whether or not it is fair and acceptable.
If it can be established that your employer was responsible for the accident, you should be able to pursue an injury compensation claim for bruised ribs. You are strongly recommended to speak with a personal injury solicitor for legal advice about initiating your claim. Your solicitor can answer any pertinent questions you may have about bruised ribs injury compensation and can assess your case to confirm your eligibility to claim.