Can a claim injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work to cover loss of earnings? I have been off work without sick pay for three months and I have lost my monthly wage as well as the opportunity to earn overtime. What else can I claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

Can a claim injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work to cover loss of earnings? I have been off work without sick pay for three months and I have lost my monthly wage as well as the opportunity to earn overtime. What else can I claim?

Answer:

A claim for injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work deals with compensation for financial losses separately from recompense for the actual injury – which is dealt with under general damages. General damages cover pain and suffering, loss of amenity, loss of opportunity and changes in quality of life due to an injury. These will be calculated by the Injuries Board using the Book of Quantum as a reference, although you will need assistance from a personal injury solicitor if you are to ensure you obtain your full entitlement to general damages. The Injuries Board will not factor in loss of opportunity or quality of life issues into their calculations.

The other aspect of a claim for injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work is termed Special Damages, which covers all financial losses and expenses, both those already incurred and future costs such as for continuing medical treatment. These will included in your assessment by the Injuries Board provided that you detail each and every financial loss individually and must support each expense with appropriate documentation. Expenses and medical treatment costs should be supported by receipts, invoices or credit card/bank statements. There are strict penalties for overstating injuries or for falsifying expenses or costs. If you are in any doubt regarding whether an expense or cost can be legitimately claimed you should seek clarification from a personal injury solicitor.

Loss of earnings can be claimed for the duration of time that you have been absent from work and you are fully entitled to claim for lost overtime. You must also substantiate loss of earnings in a claim for injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work with payslips submitted with the Application Form A to the Injuries Board Ireland. Any loss of earnings should be stipulated on your form as a single figure for your net loss, which should include your basic salary in addition to your average earnings from overtime. Since your payslips must back up your claim, you will only be able to claim for basic pay and overtime which you have consistently earned over the preceding months. If there was an opportunity to earn overtime and you had not previously worked extra hours, you will not be able to claim for that loss of opportunity unless this has previously been agreed and accepted by your employer.

However before you proceed with any claim for injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work you should speak with a personal injury solicitor for advice. It is important that you confirm your eligibility to claim and that your claim is presented correctly with the appropriate supporting documentation. You can expect to have to wait between nine months to a year to recover injury compensation for lifting heavy equipment at work, although a solicitor may be able to negotiate a settlement with your employer’s insurance company far more quickly.