I want to claim nursery assistant injury compensation for a fractured pelvis after slipping and falling on water from a leaking radiator, but the nursery has no money. How will this affect my compensation claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Your claim for nursery assistant injury compensation will not be affected by the fact that your nursery does not have spare money to pay compensation for your injuries. A claim for nursery assistant injury compensation will not be paid out of nursery’s funds, but will be paid by the nursery´s insurance company.

All nurseries must have a current and up to date insurance policy as part of the licensing requirements. The insurance covers any injuries to children or staff anywhere on the premises, provided that the injury has been sustained due to the negligence of the policy holder or the staff. In your case it would appear that the leaking radiator represented a lack of care by your employer to provide you with a safe environment in which to work, and you should be entitled to claim nursery assistant injury compensation.

Wet floors represent a serious slip hazard and the problem should have been addressed by your employer. Even when financial pressure prevents repairs from being made, steps should be taken to reduce the risk of an accident occurring. Simple measures such as turning off the radiator or even placing a receptacle under the leak to catch the water would have served as a temporary measure to reduce the risk of an accident until such time that the leak could be fixed. Only if the leak had just started, and your employer had not been given sufficient time to react to the problem, would your claim for nursery assistant injury compensation be affected.

Although your employer’s insurance policy will pay nursery assistant injury compensation, this does not mean that a claim for nursery assistant injury compensation will not have financial implications for the nursery. As a result of a nursery assistant injury claim, insurance premiums may rise and the policy holder may be required to pay an excess on the policy. This should not prevent you from making a claim for nursery assistant injury compensation as you have sustained a very serious injury and you should not be made to suffer financially as a result of the negligence of your employer. A fractured pelvis can have long lasting implications for your health and you will no doubt incur considerable expenses as a result of your injury.

If you feel concerned about any excess on the policy which has to be covered by your employer, there is nothing to stop you making a donation to the nursery at a later date out of any award of nursery assistant injury compensation that you receive. An award of nursery assistant injury compensation is not made with any condition on how the funds are spent; however, due to the potential value of compensation for a nursery assistant injury you are likely to receive, your application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland should only be submitted once it has been reviewed by an experienced personal injury solicitor.

The nature of your injury implies that you will be immobile for a considerable period of time and this would qualify you to claim compensation for your lack of amenity – or the deterioration in your quality of life due to not being able to drive or pursue leisure and social activities due to your slip in the nursery. If your loss of amenity is not adequately accounted for in your application for assessment, the Injuries Board will simply assess your claim for nursery assistant injury compensation on your injury alone.