It can be difficult to quote accurate statistics relating to work injury claims in Ireland, as data produced by the Health and Safety Authority (HAS) relies on incidents which are reported to them and there's no means of discerning which accidents and injuries are caused by employer negligence and which are just unavoidable accidents.
Figures released by the Injuries Board would indicate that more than one thousand work injury claims are made in Ireland each year, but again, an accurate assessment of employer negligence in the workplace is hard to ascertain.
CAN YOU SACKED FOR MAKING A WORK INJURY CLAIM?
The simple answer to this question is no, you cannot get sacked for making a claim Legally you cannot be dismissed after an accident at work simply because you have made, or are thinking about making a personal injury at work claim. If your employer attempts to do so then you are likely to be able to make a successful claim for unfair dismissal. Similarly if the relationship between yourself and your employer starts to breakdown, and they begin to make your working life unbearable, simply because you have made a claim against them you may feel that you have no option but to hand in your resignation. In this case you would have a strong case for pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal.
HOW EMPLOYMENT STATUS CAN AFFECT A CLAIM
There are a number of obstacles associated with work injury claims that you would not come across in other forms of personal injury cases. One such obstacle is your employment status. Many people who make work injury claims believe that they are employed at the time of their injury, but our investigations reveal that they can be self-employed, an agency worker, a family worker or sub-contracted. Statistics show that three in ten people sustaining a fatal or serious workplace injury in are not classified as employed, and although this does not disqualify you from making a claim for work injury, it's just the liable party against whom you are making the claim might be somebody other than you think.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN YOU GET FOR INJURIES AT WORK?
Firstly, it's important to highlight, you aren't only entitled to compensation for any physical pain you've experienced due to an accident at work or attributable to a condition which has developed over a period of time, but also any psychological trauma you have suffered due to the nature of your injury and the consequence it has on your quality of life.
You are also eligible for additional compensation if your injuries at work prevent you from performing day-to-day tasks, enjoying an active social life or participating in leisure pursuits and hobbies. Your “loss of amenity” can be a significant factor in an award of compensation for injuries at work if you have young children or elderly parents who need caring for or if you suffer from depression due to the trauma of your experiences.
You are also entitled to recover any quantifiable financial costs of an injury work – not just your loss of income, but also the expenses of obtaining medical treatment, using alternative forms of transport if you are unable to drive and even re-structuring your home if your accident at work has left you confined to wheelchair. You should speak with a solicitor to establish what expenses can be recovered and keep receipts for anything you spend while recovering from your injury at work.
It is important to note that each claim for injuries at work is unique. If you've suffered injuries at work and feel that you are entitled to make have a claim, we would strongly advise you to send through an online enquiry to Claims Ireland as soon as possible.
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