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10 Things You Need to Know About Work Accident Claims in Northern Ireland

10 Things You Need to Know About Work Accident Claims in Northern Ireland

Work accidents often have serious implications, leaving many not knowing what to do or who to turn to. Making a work accident claim in Northern Ireland can be complex, but understanding the fundamental aspects can help you navigate it more effectively. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about work accident claims in Northern Ireland that we hope you find helpful! 

1) What does making a work accident claim in Northern Ireland mean?

Fundamentally, a work accident claim involves seeking out compensation for injuries you sustained in the workplace due to someone else’s negligence or breach of statutory duty. The claim aims to obtain compensation for your injuries, which can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs.

2) What makes me eligible to make a work accident claim? 

To make a work accident claim in Northern Ireland, you generally need to meet a few key criteria. First, you should typically make your claim within 3 years of the accident. Second, you need to show that your injury was due to negligence or breach of statutory duty. This could mean, for example, proving that your employer didn’t provide a safe working environment which caused your accident. 

3) Common work accidents to watch out for

Work accidents can occur in various ways, and understanding these common types can help you identify potential hazards and take preventive measures. Here are some typical examples:

  • Slip and Trip Hazards

Slip and trip accidents are some of the most common workplace incidents in Northern Ireland. They can occur due to wet floors as well as obstacles left in walkways. Employers must ensure that floors are kept dry and walkways are clear.

  • Falls from Height

Falls from height can result in serious injuries or fatalities. These accidents occur when employees fall from ladders and scaffolding and aren’t given adequate safety measures or training. 

  • Insufficient Safety Measures

Workplaces must adhere to strict safety standards to protect employees. Insufficient safety measures, such as a lack of PPE, can sometimes lead to accidents. This is why employers should regularly review and update their safety procedures.

  • Inadequate Training

Proper training is critical for employee safety. Inadequate training can result in employees needing to be made aware of how to operate machinery or respond to emergencies. Employers must offer thorough training programs and up-to-date courses to ensure employees stay informed.

  • Poorly Maintained Equipment

Defective or poorly maintained equipment can result in injuries. Regular maintenance and inspections are essential to ensure everything is in working condition. Employers should have a schedule for routine checks and repair/replace any faulty equipment.

  • Hazardous Substances

Exposure to hazardous substances can lead to chemical burns and respiratory issues. Due to potential long-term health problems, employers must implement strict handling and storage protocols. Additionally, they should provide appropriate PPE and conduct regular training.

  • Manual Handling Accidents

Manual handling accidents occur when someone improperly carries or moves a heavy object. These accidents can cause injuries like sprains and strains. Employers should provide manual handling training to avoid these types of injuries.

  • Work Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving work vehicles may include forklifts, trucks, and company cars. These accidents can result in several serious injuries. Employers must ensure that vehicles are regularly maintained and all drivers are properly trained. 

  • Fire and Explosion Incidents

Fire and explosion incidents can be catastrophic and can cause severe injuries. They can result from faulty electrical equipment and a lack of fire safety measures. Employers should conduct fire risk assessments, install adequate fire detection, and ensure all employees undergo fire safety training.

4) Steps you should take after a work accident 

Being involved in a work accident can be terribly difficult and disorientating. While prioritising your health is key, there are also crucial steps to take to protect yourself legally. Here’s what to do immediately:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your well-being comes first. See a doctor as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of your injuries.
  2. Report the Accident: Inform your employer promptly about the accident, following their established procedures. This typically involves filling out an accident report form. 
  3. Gather Evidence: If possible, take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Documenting as much as possible as it will be important later.

5) Compensation you can claim for

Compensation for work accident claims can cover a range of expenses and losses, including:

  • Pain and suffering: This compensates for the physical and emotional hardship caused by the accident.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, compensation can help recover your lost income.
  • Medical costs: This covers expenses for treatment, medication, and rehabilitation.

6) The work accident claims process in Northern Ireland

The process of making a work accident claim typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation with a solicitor: Contact our solicitors to discuss the details of your case and determine if you have a claim.
  2. Investigation done by solicitor: Your solicitor will gather evidence, including medical records and witness statements.
  3. Medical assessment: An independent medical expert will assess your injuries and provide a report.
  4. Negotiation: Your solicitor will negotiate with your employer or their insurance company to reach a settlement.
  5. Court proceedings: If a settlement cannot be reached, your solicitor may take your case to court to seek compensation.
  6. Receive compensation: Once a settlement is agreed upon or a court judgment is made in your favour, you will receive the compensation

7) The importance of reporting your accident 

Reporting your work accident promptly is crucial for several reasons. It establishes a record in a company’s accident book, supporting your claim, including the time, location, and accident details. This formal documentation can significantly help your case by clearly explaining events. Additionally, reporting triggers an internal investigation by your employer, potentially uncovering negligence or unsafe practices. It ensures compliance with legal requirements and helps you access immediate benefits like worker’s compensation. If you want to learn more, we delved more deeply into this topic in one of our popular blogs

8) The importance of acting quickly

It’s important that you act quickly if you’ve been injured in a work accident. There is a strict 3-year time limit for making a claim, starting from the accident date. Delaying your claim can make it more challenging to gather evidence and reduce your chances of a successful outcome. It’s best that you reach out to a solicitor immediately to ensure your claim is filed within the required timeframe.

9) Are there No Win, No Fee Agreements in Northern Ireland for work accident claims?

“No Win, No Fee” agreements are not allowed in Northern Ireland. While popular in other parts of the UK, these agreements are illegal in Northern Ireland. If you win your case, your costs will typically be covered by the other side. If you have any questions, we are happy to discuss various funding options with you. 

10) Choose a work accident specialist 

Selecting the right solicitor is crucial to the success of your claim. Look for a solicitor who specialises in work accident claims and has a proven track record of success. 

Paschal O’Hare Solicitors, with over 55 years of service in Northern Ireland, offers a wealth of experience and expertise. We are known for being caring, compassionate, and professional. Rest assured, we will fight tirelessly in your corner to secure the best possible outcome for you. 

Get in touch with our expert work accident solicitors in Northern Ireland

Paschal O’Hare Solicitors specialises in work accident claims in Northern Ireland. We understand the complexities and have the expertise to guide you towards a fair outcome. Don’t face this alone – our compassionate team is dedicated to securing the compensation you deserve. Prioritise your well-being. Get expert legal advice today.

If you choose our firm, we will fight for you and the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards getting back on your feet.

 For more details, check out our blog: 10 More Things You Need to Know About Work Accident Claims in Northern Ireland.


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