Case Study

Construction Site Accident

Case Type: Accident at Work
Injury: Right Shoulder Injury
Settled by: Paul W Tracey
Settled on: 26th January, 2023
Construction Site Accident

Case summary:


One afternoon Mark was working at a construction site, his job involved being inside the pit to guide the blocks that were suspended by ropes from the digger. Usually, when all the ropes were unattached from the hook Mark would signal to the digger operator that the job was finished. Mark did not signal that he had completed the task. He was kneeling when suddenly the block fell onto him and since the pit was almost full, he did not have enough space to avoid the block.

Mark tried to protect himself by pushing the block away with his hands but in doing so he sustained injuries to his right shoulder and ruptured the tendon of his supraspinatus muscle. Mark cried out in pain, his supervisor came over and Mark described and reported the accident to him. Mark finished the rest of his shift despite immediately feeling a sharp pain in his right shoulder with restricted motion. The next day he could not move his right arm and felt unwell, so he attended his GP and received painkillers with a referral to visit an orthopaedist where he received injections and physiotherapy was advised.

Mark could no longer do ordinary things such as cooking, cleaning, or gardening and had difficulty sleeping because of the pain. He was extremely anxious about his future medical condition and how it was going to influence his physical job as General Operative and his quality of life in general.

Mark remained on sick leave for 11 months with his employer paying his full wages for this period. Mark was advised to avoid heavy lifting, pulling, or dragging using his right shoulder. He asked his employer to give him sufficiently light duties to keep him in fulltime employment, but his general manager refused. It is unlikely that Mark will make a full recovery with his lifestyle restricted with right shoulder pain, right upper arm weakness and restricted range of right shoulder motion.

Case Progression

Court proceedings were instigated, and the case was brought to a successful conclusion.

Case Settlement

The case was settled in the High Court in February 2023 for the sum of €100,000.00. This case was a great success for our client, and we are extremely pleased with the work Paul and his team accomplished to achieve this excellent outcome.

*Note: Client name changed for GDPR reasons

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What to do after an accident at work?

    After an accident at work and before making a work related claim, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. In minor workplace incidents whereby you have a slip, trip or fall, you may feel as though you are fine, but what you don’t realise is that the minor injury you have suffered could develop into a bigger health issue for you. Assessing your health after an accident is a critical first step.

    Once you have had a medical assessment there are a number of steps you will follow:

    1. Report the accident to your superior

    Before making work related claims it is important that you notify your manager at work as to the accident that occurred. You need you to inform them of the injuries you suffered and the cause of the accident. It is advisable for you to seek confirmation from your superior that you have reported the accident, whether it is written or electronic.

    2. Seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor

    Once you have reported the accident, it is important that you seek advice from a personal injury solicitor who has experience with accidents in the workplace. They can then talk you through the next steps as to what is involved when making work related claims.

    In the event that you do decide to take a personal injury claim, you are not obliged to personally tell your employer. Your solicitor can write to your employer and notify them of the claim. Some of our clients have told us that they feel that it would be better for them to inform their employer that a claim was being made and that their solicitor would be in touch. This is a matter for each client. Generally, we would advise that all communications regarding the case take place between the legal representatives.

  2. What information will my solicitor need to make a claim?

    In order for your solicitor to proceed with a personal injury claim for you they will need the following information:

    • Details of the person who caused the accident.
    • Names, addresses and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
    • Where available, photographs of the location of the accident, paying particular attention to the item or area where the accident happened.
    • Name of Gardaí/police and station where the accident was reported – names of any Gardaí who attended the scene of the accident (where applicable).
    • Medical records detailing any injuries/treatment following the accident.
    • Details of any costs incurred following the accident (keep your receipts).
    • Details of any loss of earnings and details of any future loss of earnings if you are to be out of work for a long period of time.
    • Cost of medical treatment – details of future medical treatment needed.
  3. How to calculate the value of my claim?

    The Injuries Board Book of Quantum provides us with general guidelines as to how much compensation may be awarded in a personal injury claim and is used by the Injuries Board when they are assessing a personal injury claim. This book was compiled by examining sample cases from over 51,000 closed personal injury cases from 2013 and 2014 and is based on actual court figures. It shows us what personal injury compensation amounts were awarded in the past and help give an estimate as to how much compensation could be awarded based on a person’s specific injuries.

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