I have been offered compensation for a factory injury due to chemical exposure by my employer’s insurance company. My wife has told me I should take it, but the offer seems very low. What should I do?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
If you have received an offer of compensation for a factory injury due to chemical exposure by your employer’s insurance company, the first step you should take is to seek an independent assessment of the offer from a personal injury solicitor. While the promise of a quick payment of compensation may be attractive, it is important that the decision to accept the offer is carefully considered and that the compensation amounts are assessed to determine if they are fair and adequate.
It is becoming increasingly common for insurance companies to contact accident victims with an offer of compensation, as there are financial benefits to the insurance company by doing so. The tactic is termed third party capture and it is a way by which insurance companies can reduce costs and increase profits. The benefit to the insurance company of making an early offer is that an accident victim may accept a lower amount of compensation for a factory injury due to chemical exposure in exchange for quick payment. Often accident victims may not be aware of how much compensation they are entitled to receive if a claim for a factory injury due to chemical exposure is made through the Injuries Board.
In your case, you would be ill advised to accept an offer without first having it assessed by an independent personal injury solicitor. There may be long term implications to your health due to the chemical exposure and it is important that these are fully assessed my medical experts. Many chemicals may increase the risk of developing serious health problems in later life such as cancer, and it is important that any compensation award takes this into consideration since any payment of chemical exposure injury compensation is for a full and final settlement. No further compensation can be claimed at a later stage, even if new injuries come to light. A personal injury solicitor will ensure that you receive a full and through medical assessment by medical experts to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
If you feel obliged to accept the offer due to financial pressures, you should bear in mind that it may be possible to arrange for a proportion of compensation to be paid early while you are waiting for your claim for a factory injury due to chemical exposure to be fully resolved. It may even be possible to negotiate a higher and more appropriate settlement with the insurance company without too much delay in the payment of chemical exposure injury compensation.
By speaking with independent personal injury solicitor, you will be able to obtain an assessment of the offer and be advised of the likely level of chemical exposure injury compensation you would receive were a claim to be made through the Injuries Board. You will be informed of all of your options, including how you can apply for interim payments of compensation while your case is resolved. At the very least, by taking to a personal injury solicitor you will be able to make an informed decision about whether to accept the offer or whether it will be worth your while to pursue a more appropriate settlement by making a claim through the Injuries Board.