We are a team of experienced employment law and personal injury claims solicitors with offices based in Dublin. We have combined our experience in both of these practice areas to deliver a personal injuries litigation service to employees specialising in workplace accidents and workplace injuries. Our team will provide you with clear and practical advice in plain English with no legal jargon and deal with all aspects of the process so that you can focus on your recovery.
Types of Workplace Accident / Injury Claims
We understand the impact that a workplace accident or injury can have on an employee, e.g. high cost medical bills and a loss of income due to an inability to work for a period of time. It can also have an impact on the employment relationship. We are here to help you with the following types of personal injury claims: –
- Accidents at Work
- Workplace Injuries
- Assault at work
- Sexual Harassment / Sexual Assault
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Manual handling injuries
- Workplace Stress / Bullying
- Psychological Injuries
- Slips, trips and falls
- Finger Injuries and Hand Injuries
- Back injuries
- Exposure to chemicals / hazardous substances
Some of the above types of personal injury claims can be caused by difficulties in the employment relationship or the culture of long hours and overwork in the organisation. We meet lots of employees, particularly, doctors, solicitors and members of senior management teams and executive boards, who complain of stress and burnout caused by issues such as excessive working hours, lack of support, under resourcing, unrealistic expectations and poor management. When stress is not treated, psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety can manifest. In addition, physical symptoms of insomnia, gastrointestinal issues and muscle spasm are also common. Recovery can be slow which can have a big financial impact on employees and their families. We will provide you with clear advice and support on these matters when you meet with us.
Time Limits for Personal Injury Claims
A person has two years less one day from the date of the accident or the date of knowledge of the injury within which to bring a claim for personal injuries. There will be certain types of injuries which manifest over time, e.g. a repetitive strain injury or a psychological injury. In these circumstances, the two year time limit will commence from the date on which the symptoms of the injury commenced.
The time limit will stop running once a completed application has been lodged with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and is acknowledged as received and complete.
The Personal Injury Claims Process
- Speak to Us
If you have suffered an injury, being physical or psychological, through no fault of your own at work, contact us and speak with one of our solicitors. We will advise you as to whether or not you can claim compensation for your injuries. Simply because a person has suffered an injury does not mean that there is an automatic entitlement to compensation. Before any compensation for injuries is assessed, a person must first prove negligence. We will carry out the appropriate investigations before advising you as to whether or not you have a good case.
- Medical Report
All personal injuries claims will require a medical report. We will obtain the medical report from one of your treating doctors. The report will set out your injuries, the treatment you have received to date and a prognosis. The medical report is the evidence of you having suffered an injury.
- Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB)
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is an independent state body established by legislation to assess personal injuries compensation in Ireland. All claims for personal injuries, with the exception of medical negligence cases, must first go to PIAB before court. If liability is accepted by your employer, the claim will remain with PIAB until the assessment of compensation is complete. We will deal with every aspect of this process for you and keep you informed at each stage.
If a personal injuries claim is not dealt with by PIAB, court proceedings must issue in order to progress and finalise the claim. This can happen if liability is not accepted by your employer, if the level of compensation assessed by PIAB is not acceptable to you or your employer or if the injuries are of a complex and serious nature. Our team of experienced personal injury solicitors will guide you through this litigation process and support you at every stage.
What forms part of a Personal Injury Claim*?
We are often asked questions such as what is included in the value of a personal injury claim, what legal fees will I have to pay, can I include my medical expenses? We thought it would be useful to give some simple answers to these important questions.
- General Damages
General damages is the legal term for compensation for your pain and suffering. The amount of money you are awarded for your compensation will depend on the contents of the medical report from your doctor. The value will be based on the type of injury you have suffered, how long the injury lasted, whether or not you have made a full recovery and the treatment you have received.
- Special Damages
Special damages is the legal term for your out of pocket expenses. These will include doctors’ consultation fees, fees for scans/xrays, pharmacy expenses, physiotherapy expenses, travel expenses, damage to a motor vehicle and any other expenses paid by you. In cases involving very serious injuries, the special damages claim may also include a claim for future out of pocket expenses, e.g. the future cost of medical treatment. It is important that you retain all bills/invoices/receipts and give them to your solicitor so that all expenses can be included in your claim.
- Loss of earnings
If you have lost wages/earnings because of injuries suffered in an accident, this loss can also be included in your personal injuries claim. More serious personal injury claims with serious injuries can include a claim for future lost wages/lost earnings or loss of future employment opportunity. There are various expert reports which are needed to support this aspect of your personal injuries claim and we will advise you, if they are required.
- Legal costs
Legal costs are not included in a claim which has been assessed by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). This means that you will be responsible for the discharge of your legal costs. When a case proceeds to court, a lot of your legal costs will be recovered from the party at fault for your injury, if you are successful with your case. Again, the legal costs associated with investigating the case and dealing with the PIAB stage will not be recoverable from the party at fault for your injuries, even if you are successful with the case. Accordingly, it will be necessary for you to pay for this small part of your legal costs. Before any case is taken, we will discuss with you what the likely fees will be or how they will be calculated. We never charge percentage fees. This is illegal.
If you would like to speak to us about an accident at work or workplace injury, contact us today. While we are based in Dublin, we do offer a nationwide service and do our best to ensure that as much work as possible is carried out by telephone, email and post, Zoom and Microsoft Team.
*In contentious cases, a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a portion or percentage of any award of settlement. Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.