Louise was working as a retail assistant at an Irish airport.
It was a busy day at the airport and the cleaning staff had not cleaned the floor of the shop at the times they were required to. Because of this, the floor surface had become quite greasy and slippery. This caused Louise to slip and land heavily on her left side, on the hard floor of the shop.
As the evening wore on, she experienced intense pain throughout her arm, so she sought medical attention at a hospital. She was then referred to a fracture clinic.
She described feeling pain in the back of her hand, her carpal bones, and the upper region of her elbow.
An MRI scan was performed, revealing the presence of marrow oedema caused by fluid accumulation in her lower wrist. She also had a fracture just below the elbow joint in her forearm.
As a result of her diagnosis, she was advised to wear a sling to assist with the healing process and attend regular physiotherapy sessions.
Despite this, her recovery was slow, and she continued to experience pain six months following the accident. She found some everyday tasks challenging, for example, she struggled to lift heavy objects or do regular household chores. She also had pain when changing gears in her car, so she was unable to drive for extended periods of time.
Overall, the injury from the fall had a knock-on effect on many aspects of her day-to-day life.
Since Louise’s injury was a direct result of a hazard in her work, she was able to take a personal injury claim against her employer.
Her employer had a duty of care to provide her with a safe work environment. They failed to conduct regular area inspections or have an effective cleaning system in place. There should have been an adequate number of cleaning staff in place and a well-structured timetable for those staff to regularly clean. There were no warnings regarding the hazardous, slippery zone.
The employer’s failure to implement these safety measures meant they did not ensure the health and safety of their employees.
Court proceedings were instigated, and the case was brought to a successful conclusion.
The case was settled in the High Court on the 3rd of July 2023 for the sum of €40,914.33.
This was a great result for our client, and we are proud of the work put in by Paul and his team to achieve this outcome.
*Note: Client name changed for GDPR reasons.
It is important to immediately take the following steps after the occurrence of an accident at work.
There are strict obligations on employers under the Health & Safety Acts together with other legislation to ensure that employees have a safe system of work and that employees are properly trained in the tasks that they are carrying out and that they are provided with proper equipment in the course of their employment.
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.
A compensation amount is calculated by taking into account the following aspects:
In order to calculate compensation for you, the Injuries Board will refer to the Book of Quantum. The Book of Quantum shows value ranges of compensation amounts that have been awarded to people for injuries to specific parts of their bodies. Each of the average compensation amounts found in the book is taken from real personal injury cases (over 51,000 in total) from the years 2014-2015.
In order for your solicitor to proceed with a personal injury claim for you they will need the following information:
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