You are entitled to a safe work environment
Some workplaces are more dangerous than others. You are more at risk of injury if you work on a construction site than in an office. Regardless of where you work, you are entitled to a safe environment.
This is a legal right given to you by virtue of The Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and various regulations made under this Order. These regulations require your employer to carry out risk assessments and provide information, training and personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary.
What if I’m injured at work?
Health and safety has come a long way in Northern Ireland and accidents are becoming increasingly rare. They can still happen though.
If injured whilst working and your employer had failed to comply with health and safety regulations then you might be entitled to claim compensation. This remains the case even if you were injured by a negligent colleague.
What is an accident at work claim?
Accidents at work claims are when an injured employee pursues financial compensation for their pain, suffering and loss of amenity through litigation. A plaintiff can also seek compensation for other damages such as loss of earnings, damage to property and even missed opportunities. To pursue an accident at work claim, you would instruct a personal injury solicitor to act on your behalf.
What kind of work accidents can I claim for?
Work accidents can come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common that we come across include:
- Slips and trips caused by wet or greasy surfaces and unattended debris such as work equipment.
- Strained or pulled muscles caused by heavy lifting.
- Falls from a height like scaffolding or up a ladder.
- Being struck by a moving object such as heavy machinery or a vehicle.
- Someone behaving negligently or violently.
This isn’t an exhaustive list and injuries resulting from items on it can vary significantly. The amount of compensation that you are likely to receive depends on the severity of the injuries and other circumstances surrounding the accident and the resulting consequences. A personal injury solicitor can advise you on this.
Are there any time limits on work accident claims in Northern Ireland?
If injured in Northern Ireland, you have three years to claim, starting from the date you became aware of your injuries. If the deadline is missed then the case will almost always become statute barred and you won’t be able to claim. This allows the injured person a reasonable amount of time to seek compensation whilst also ensuring the employer is not under threat of litigation in perpetuity.
You can learn more about the time limits at: How long do I have to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland?
What about industrial diseases?
You can also claim for industrial diseases. An industrial disease is an illness caused by work conditions. The most common that we see include:
You have three years to pursue an industrial disease claim. Unlike most accidents at work, an industrial disease might creep up on you slowly or the symptoms won’t manifest for some time after exposure to what caused it.
Learn more about this type of claim and our service at industrial disease claims.
Can I get fired for pursuing an accident at work claim?
Your employer should not treat you unfavourably if you choose to exercise your rights and pursue injury compensation. By doing so, the employer opens themselves up to even more litigation. If a work accident client of our firm was experiencing a hostile work environment as a result of their personal injury case, we would quickly refer them to our employment law department.
This is a common concern for injured employees and it puts people off claiming sometimes. However, we find that a clear majority of employers in Northern Ireland genuinely care about their employees’ well-being. When all is said and done, injury compensation is about easing the physical and financial burdens placed on the injured person through no fault of their own. Most employers understand this.
Does my employer pay the compensation?
Employers must have employers’ liability insurance. Although the employer would likely have to pay an excess, the insurance provider would pay the bulk of the compensation.
Starting the work accident claims process
You can start the claims process by speaking with a solicitor. We are experts in this field and can advise you on whether we believe you have a viable case worth pursuing. You can learn more about our services at Work Accident Claims and at Industrial Disease Claims.
Arrange a consultation with an accident at work solicitor
We offer free initial consultations for us to establish if we think you have a viable case and for you to decide if McCartan Turkington Breen is the firm for you. So, contact us today to find out – You have nothing to lose.