I have been offered €20,000 as compensation for a crush injury in a factory by my employer’s insurance company for breaking both legs in a forklift truck accident. Is this level of compensation reasonable?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
The first step you can take to determine whether how much compensation for a crush injury in a factory you have been offered is reasonable is to check the Book of Quantum. You can find a copy of this reference on the Injuries Board website, and can check your injuries against the factory crush injury compensation amounts listed to see if they fall within the appropriate range. The Book of Quantum is used by Injuries Board claims assessors to help with the calculation of compensation assessments, and the level of compensation for a crush injury in a factory it would award if you made a factory crush injury claim would be based on these figures.
The Book of Quantum lists injuries by type and severity, and while it is not possible to determine exactly how much compensation you are entitled to receive without more detailed information on the nature of your crush injuries, we can say that the amount of factory crush injury compensation you have been offered appears to be low. It is not unusual for insurance companies to contact factory accident victims when they have been injured at work in a factory which was not their fault. It is a tactic used to try to reduce the amount of compensation which an insurance company is liable to pay and is termed third party capture. If an accident victim can be convinced to accept a low offer of compensation rather than make a claim for a crush injury in factory through the Injuries Board, the insurance company can make substantial savings.
Since many factors affect the amount of compensation which is awarded to an accident victim, the best way to find out if the compensation for a crush injury in a factory you have been offered is appropriate is to speak with a personal injury solicitor about the offer. An experienced independent solicitor will be able to determine how much compensation you are likely to receive if you claim for a crush injury in a factory through the Injuries Board.
A solicitor may recommend that you to undergo a medical examination by a doctor with experience in dealing with crush injuries to help establish the extent of the damage caused to your legs, and whether you can be expected to make a full recovery. Any treatment costs will also need to be considered, such as physiotherapy to restore muscle function. Since the insurance company will not have taken these costs into account, the offer of compensation for a crush injury in factory is unlikely to be for your full entitlement and will almost certainly not include any expenses which you have already had to pay as a result of your injuries.