Introduction to Office Accident Compensation
An office may not seem like a relatively dangerous place to work; however there are many hazards in an office which can lead to accidents occurring, and claims for office accident compensation when injuries have been sustained by office workers due to the negligence of an employer. Visitors to an office, delivery drivers and office cleaners also are eligible to claim office accident compensation when the employer, office owner or lease holder of the premises has failed in their “duty of care” and an injury has been sustained as a result.
Office accident compensation claims can be made against an employer for injuries sustained as a result of trips, slips or falls when the employer has been negligent and has failed to maintain a safe working environment to a satisfactory level. Injuries caused by electrical faults and short circuits from aging or obsolete equipment, or from preventable manual handling accidents, are common examples of why office accident compensation claims are made due to employer negligence.
An Employer´s Duty of Care towards Office Workers
An employer is required by law to provide a clean and safe environment for his workers. This includes regular cleaning, keeping walkways clear from trip hazards, the maintenance of electrical equipment and training staff to identify and report any hazards which present a risk of injury. For example – cabling must be kept tidy, worn carpet on stairs needs to be repaired or replaced and manual handling within the office should be kept to the minimum.
When facing financial pressures in today´s economic climate, maintenance standards can often slip, cleaning frequency reduced and health and safety equipment may not be replaced. Regardless of operating costs and financial pressures, working conditions must be maintained to the required standard and employees should not have to face health and safety risks. If an accident occurs which is directly attributable to an employer´s breach in his duty of care, the injured victim is entitled to make a claim for office accident compensation.
Making a Claim for Office Accident Compensation
Making a claim for office accident compensation against a current employer can be a worrying and potentially stressful experience. Many people are dissuaded from making a claim for fear of losing their job, being treated badly by an employer or work colleagues, or that it will affect future promotion opportunities. However most employers are genuinely distressed that they are responsible for one of their employees sustaining an injury and office accident compensation settlements are usually paid for by the employer´s liability insurance company.
A claim for office accident compensation should be submitted to the Injuries Board Ireland for assessment after it has been reviewed by an experienced Irish solicitor. Many office accident claims are straightforward, but should your office accident result in a lack of ability to complete everyday tasks or prevent you from enjoying regular leisure and social pursuits, there is little opportunity to explain this “loss of amenity” on the application form to the Injuries Board. To submit your application for assessment without making it clear that you wish to claim for the deterioration in your quality of life could result in you being undercompensated for your office injury.
Office Accident Compensation Claims and Third Party Capture
A second reason for consulting an experienced Irish solicitor is “third party capture”. This is the act of an insurance company making a direct approach to you shortly after your office accident with an offer of office accident compensation. At a time when you are still in pain from your office accident, you may not be able to understand the full consequences of accepting an offer of office accident compensation without first having a professional assessment of your claim.
Should you inadvertently accept an office accident compensation settlement from an insurance company which proves to be inadequate for your medical bills, support your family or replace the income you have lost by being unable to work, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more. As an approach by an insurance company is effectively an admission of their client´s liability for your injuries, if you are experiencing short-term financial issues, a solicitor will be able to apply for interim payments of office accident compensation until such time as your office accident compensation claim is completely resolved to your – and your solicitor´s – satisfaction.
As insurance companies can engage in attempted third party capture within days of you sustaining an injury in an office accident for which you were not to blame, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Irish solicitor at the first possible opportunity.