I have received an offer of 100,000 Euros as machinery injury compensation from my employer’s insurance company. I lost my right arm in a machinery accident at work. Should I accept this offer? Is it fair?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

I have received an offer of 100,000 Euros as machinery injury compensation from my employer’s insurance company. I lost my right arm in a machinery accident at work. Should I accept this offer? Is it fair?

Answer:

The offer of machinery injury compensation from your employer’s insurance company may appear to be substantial; however considering the severity of your injury and the loss of amenity that the amputation of your right arm will cause you, the offer seems to be particularly low.

It is not unusual for insurance companies to contact work machinery accident victims in cases where an accident has been caused by employer negligence. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to settle such claims promptly, and to offer machinery injury compensation at a reduced level in exchange for a prompt settlement. Many accident victims are pressured into accepting these offers of machinery injury compensation due to concerns over short-term finances; however it is rarely in an accident victim’s best interests to do so. No offer of machinery injury compensation should be accepted without first speaking with a personal injury solicitor.

You need to consider the offer carefully; however you should bear in mind that according to the Book of Quantum, the maximum level of machinery injury compensation for the loss of an arm above the elbow is 145,000 Euros. Amputation compensation for a below elbow arm amputation due to a machinery accident is up to 142,000 Euros. The minimum level of machinery injury compensation for amputation is 108,000 Euros.

However, the Book of Quantum does not take loss of amenity into consideration which is considerable; and even more so if you are right handed. These figures will also not factor in any psychological issues that may affect you after such a horrific accident and injury. You should also bear in mind that the level of compensation for a machinery accident involving amputation of an arm as stated in the Book of Quantum is for the pain and suffering only. You are also entitled to claim special damages in a machinery injury compensation claim.

Special damages can include any expenses arising from your injury. This can be for the cost of modification of your home necessitated by your amputation, transportation costs, medical costs, future injury-related expenses and the cost of a prosthetic arm. You can also claim loss of earnings as a result of the amputation. Special damages can increase the level of machinery injury compensation you are entitled to by a substantial degree. We therefore recommend speaking with a personal injury solicitor promptly about your options for making a claim to recover your full entitlement to machinery injury compensation.

When initial offers of machinery injury compensation are rejected and a personal injury solicitor is used to pursue a claim for compensation, it is often possible to negotiate a much more appropriate settlement with the insurance company and a quick payment may still be possible. In some cases, interim payments of compensation can be arranged to cover expenses until a final settlement can be reached.