Accident at Work*

Inadequate Lighting Accident Claims*

Inadequately lit areas can make it difficult to see hazards and steps. It is common that certain areas are badly lit due to a light bulb that has not been replaced, poorly placed fittings and lack of lighting in the area.

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Poorly Lit Areas and Incorrect Lighting

Accidents* are more likely to happen in a poorly lit area as it may be difficult to see what is in front of you. These accidents can happen anywhere and can lead to long-term injuries for those involved. Slip and fall accidents* are the most common type associated with accidents caused by badly lit areas. Incorrect lighting can make it more difficult to see potential hazards which may lead to accidents*. It is most common that these accidents happen either at work or in a public place*. These accidents * are commonly caused by negligence where the owner of the property has failed to provide a safe environment.

Who is Liable?

If you have decided that you wish to pursue an inadequate lighting accident claim* you will need to determine who was liable for your accident and injuries sustained*. If there has been any contributory negligence on your part, you may not be eligible to make a claim.

Accident at Work*

If the accident occurred at work*, liability will most likely be placed on your employer. It is their responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees and a breach of this duty of care could find them liable. If there is a faulty bulb or lack of lighting in a certain area they should fix the problem as soon as possible to reduce the risk of accidents*. It is important that an employer carries out frequent risk assessments so that they can eliminate any potential hazards.

If the employer is renting the premises, the landlord may be found liable as they should ensure that their buildings are safe for any occupants. Any problems in the building should be reported to the landlord so that they can ensure that there are no problems.

Accident in a Public Place*

If you sustained injuries in public place*, such as a supermarket, due to inadequate lighting the owner of the building or property is likely to be found responsible. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 an occupier of a premises owes a duty of care to any visitors to ensure that their health and safety is a priority. For example, if you sustained injuries* in a block of apartments then the owner of the building will be responsible. If it is the case, where maintenance of a public building is outsourced, the owner may still be found liable for failing to maintain and monitor the building.

Other areas that are supposed to be maintained for safe public use such as a car park or on the street, must also ensure that adequate lighting is in place to prevent accidents. For many public areas like parks, streets etc it may be the county council that may be liable. It is their duty to ensure that the area in which they are located is safe and all issues are maintained and fixed as soon as possible.

Common Injuries

Common injuries resulting from an inadequate lighting accident include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury is caused due to external forces such as physical assault, a traffic collision or banging your head after a fall. TBI is defined into three categories; Severe, Moderate and Mild. A concussion is a type of brain injury* which is caused by a blow to the head or a hit to the body which causes the brain to twist and move around the head.

Back Injuries

This includes broken back and slipped discs. Slips and falls caused by inadequate lighting can lead to long-term back injuries. Slipped discs occur in the lower back and symptoms include sudden and severe pain that can worsen by everyday activities.

Breaks and Fractures

It is very common that people will sustain broken bones and fractures following an accident caused by poor lighting. These generally heal over time and will not leave you with long-term problems.

Spinal Injury

These are most commonly associated with a blow or hit to the spine which causes disruption to the spinal cords function. There are a number of different types of spinal injury. Slips and fall are commonly associated with this injury.

Causes

Causes of inadequate lighting claims have included:

  • Poorly Lit Area
  • Failing to Replace Blown Bulbs
  • Incorrect Level of Lighting
  • Lack of Backup Lighting
  • Flickering Lights
  • Electrical Failures
  • Over-illumination Making an Area Too Bright
  • Incorrectly Placed Lights
  • Uneven Lighting

How to Prevent Accidents

In order to reduce the risk of accidents, there are a number of issues which should be looked at and things that can be done to prevent accidents caused by inadequate lighting.

Backup Lighting

If there has been an electrical failure which has led to poor lighting in an area in a public place or working environment, there should be backup lighting in place. A backup power source is essential to ensure the safety of people in an area. Occupiers and employers have a duty of care to ensure that this is not an issue in the building or property. Backup lighting can greatly reduce the risk of accidents in an area.

Regular Risk Assessments

There should be regular risk assessments carried out in all work environments on a regular basis. They should identify hazards so that they can be eliminated in order to reduce the risk of injury. Risk assessments also help to determine if the procedures and regulations that are in place are working.


What to do after an accident at work*?

Following an accident at work*, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work* are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used in reference to any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents that could happen in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim*. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    •  How the accident happened
    •  Details of any witnesses
    •  If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused the accident
  5. Speak to a workplace accident solicitor*

    If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the workplace accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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