I need to claim loading dock injury compensation for being crushed by a pallet which fell from a delivery lorry. However, my employer claims it was the delivery company’s fault and the delivery company blame my employer. What should I do?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
Most loading dock injury compensation claims are made for an injury sustained on a loading dock due to the negligence of an employer or another third party; however your claim is more complicated since two third parties were involved in the accident and both deny liability. It is therefore unlikely that your loading dock injury compensation claim will be able to be resolved easily without the assistance of a personal injury solicitor.
Under the circumstances, the best course of action is to speak with a personal injury solicitor about making a claim for loading dock injury compensation. Although in Ireland you are entitled to claim loading dock injury compensation directly through the Injuries Board without legal representation by a solicitor; in your case it is unlikely that the Injuries Board will be able to resolve your claim.
When liability for an accident is denied by all third parties involved in a loading dock accident, the Injuries Board will be unable to proceed with a claims assessment. In order to determine who is at fault and is liable for your injuries, it is likely that the case will need to be decided by negotiation or through the Irish court system. If liability is not accepted, the Injuries Board will grant you authorisation to pursue your loading dock injury compensation claim through the Irish court system.
It is conceivable that both your employer and the delivery company are liable for your injuries to some extent; in which case they a judge may order each pay a percentage of the damages should your claim prove to be successful.
When more than one third party contribute to the cause of an accident, each will be liable to pay a proportion of the compensation to the victim depending on their level of contributory negligence. A judge will decide the degree to which both third parties are liable for loading dock injury compensation in your case.
It is possible however that an agreement can be reached between your chosen personal injury solicitor and the insurance companies of your employer and the delivery company. Although both respondents may deny liability, the insurance companies of both may be willing to come to an agreement about loading dock injury compensation. Your solicitor will explore this option and will attempt to settle the claim with both insurance companies rather than litigate through the courts. This will help to speed up the claims process and reduce legal costs to both third parties.