What do I need to do to prove negligence?
Eoin P. Campbell
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief

Question: I hurt myself at work by slipping on the wet floor. I literally cracked my skull open, with blood everywhere and a fractured skull bone. What do I need to do to prove negligence?

It’s important that you realise that just being injured is not enough to make a compensation claim and that you need to prove negligence. Essentially, you need to prove that your employer did not take reasonable care to ensure your safety.

Answer: As you might have guessed, this is not always straightforward.

In the case of slips and falls in the workplace, the HSA has published guidelines that represent the very minimum effort that employers should follow.

The specific circumstances of the accident will determine if your employer is liable and if there was contributory negligence.
Is the floor that you slipped on often wet? Is there a procedure to dry the floors when they get wet? Did you employer provide specific slip-resistant footware for surfaces that are regularly wet? Is there CCTV coverage available of the incident?

One other factor that your solicitor will consider is the your employer may not be responsible for the common areas of the building where you work. This is in fact very common in rented offices where there are multiple companies. In this case, the landland may be liable for any injuries sustained in the common areas.

Since this is a workplace accident and you will presumable with to continue working, you need to find a solicitor that can handle this matter in a professional manner without damaging the working relationships.

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