I was injured at the building site on which I work when a board blew off from the scaffolding and broke my shoulder when it hit me. The site supervisor says that I will not be entitled to scaffolding injury compensation because I was self-employed and should claim off my own insurance. Is that right?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

I was injured at the building site on which I work when a board blew off from the scaffolding and broke my shoulder when it hit me. The site supervisor says that I will not be entitled to scaffolding injury compensation because I was self-employed and should claim off my own insurance. Is that right?

Answer:

Irrespective of your employment status, you will be able to claim scaffolding injury compensation if you have sustained a personal injury due to the negligence of somebody else working on the site. In this particular case, the scaffolding board which fell from the structure could not have been affixed adequately in relation to possible high winds, and therefore a lack of care is evident from your resulting accident.

However, as your site supervisor has already indicated that he is unlikely to accept responsibility for your injury, it would be in your best interests to speak with a personal injury solicitor as soon as practically possible.

Proceeding with a claim for scaffolding injury compensation through the Injuries Board Ireland may just extend the length of time that it takes to resolve your claim as, once your site supervisor fails to consent to the Injuries Board assessing your scaffolding injury compensation claim, you will then be issued with an authorisation to pursue your compensation claim for a scaffolding injury through the courts.

Although it may be necessary to pursue this course of action if other attempts at obtaining scaffolding injury compensation are unsuccessful, it could take several months for the authorisation from the Injuries Board Ireland to materialise – during which time your solicitor may be able to resolve your scaffolding injury compensation claim through negotiation with the site owner and his or her insurance company.

How much compensation for a scaffolding injury you receive will not be affected by taking this alternate route to scaffolding injury compensation and, with legal representation, you are protected against any potential breaches of employment law which may occur at the building site in relation to making a scaffolding injury compensation claim.