Factory Injury Compensation
Introduction to Factory Injury Compensation
Claims for factory injury compensation remain one of the most prevalent categories of workplace injury compensation claims despite considerable improvements in health and safety and a declining factory workforce in the UK. It was estimated that compensation claims for factory injuries in 2010 accounted for 16 percent of all work-related injury compensation claims, even though just 9 per cent of the working population are employed in factories.
Practically any type of injury can occur in a factory environment – from physical injuries due to a machinery accident, to manual handling injuries to slip and fall injuries to those sustained due to contact with hot surfaces or the inhalation of toxic fumes. Irrespective of the nature of your injury, where it has been caused by the negligence of an employer to maintain a safe environment for you to work in, you are entitled to make a claim for factory injury compensation.
Making Health a Priority above Factory Injury Compensation
Although it may appear common sense to immediately seek medical attention for a factory injury, it is not always made a priority. Some injury victims rely on the First Aid provided by the factory or try to “shake off” an injury in preference to “making a fuss” and going to hospital. However, the failure to undergo a professional medical examination can handicap your factory injury compensation claim as well as have consequences for your future health.
Whenever you attend a hospital´s accident and emergency department or your GP´s surgery, a record of your injury, how it was sustained and what treatment was administered will be made in your medical notes. If there is an interval between the date on which you sustained a factory injury and when it was treated, it could be claimed that you exacerbated your injury by your own lack of care and this can affect how much compensation for factory injury you receive.
No amount of factory injury compensation will ever make up for a lifelong health issue which could have been avoided with timely medical attention, so always make health a priority above a claim for factory injury compensation.
Establishing Negligence in Factory Injury Compensation Claims
In addition to having sustained an injury, it has to be proven that your injury was attributable to an employer´s lack of care. This lack of care can manifest in many different ways and includes not assessing the risk of injury before assigning a task to an employee, failing to provide adequate training on how a task should be performed or safe and serviced machinery to complete the assignment with. Personal protective equipment should be provided whenever necessary and the performance of the employee should be monitored to assess how the task can be made safer in the future.
It does not have to be an employer who is directly liable for your injuries in order for you to qualify for factory injury compensation. If a manager or work colleague has been responsible for an accident or injury, which is then attributable to the employer due to a lack of training or supervision, you are still entitled to make a claim for factory injury compensation. Provided that you have sustained an injury at work for which you were not entirely at fault, you should be entitled to claim factory injury compensation.
In some factory injury claims for work-related illnesses, it may not even be your current employer who has been negligent and a claim for factory injury compensation may have to be made against a previous employer who is actually the party liable for your factory injuries.
Supporting a Claim for Factory Injury Compensation
Depending on the circumstances of your factory accident or illness, and the extent of your injury, you may be able to support your claim for factory injury compensation by taking photographs of the scenario where your factory injury occurred, collecting names of work colleagues who witnessed how your factory injury was sustained or writing a report of your injury in your employer´s “Accident Report Book”. If you are unable to perform any of these procedures due to your injury, a work colleague or solicitor may be able to do them on your behalf – never jeopardise your health by trying to get evidence to support a factory injury compensation claim.
Eventually a report must always be made in your employer´s “Accident Report Book” and, if the nature of your injury falls into a certain category or results in an absence from work of more than seven days, your employer is legally obliged to report it to the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE may conduct their own investigation into your factory injury and the results of this investigation can provide significant support for your factory injury compensation claim.
If you have any doubt over what procedures should be completed in order to support compensation claims for factory injuries, you are advised to speak with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.
How Much Compensation for Factory Injuries
How much compensation for factories injuries you may be entitled to receive does not only depend on the nature and severity of your injury, but also your age, sex and general state of health prior to when the factory injury was sustained. A solicitor compiling a factory injury compensation claim will look at the consequences that an injury has made to your quality of life and any quantifiable psychological injury that may result due to the trauma of a serious accident or an emotional deterioration during your recovery.
Factors such as the financial costs of your injury will also be taken into account as well as the possibility that you could have contributed to your injury by your own lack of care – not only in how the injury was sustained but, as mentioned above, if you failed to seek professional medical attention immediately after you believed you were suffering from a factory injury. You should receive sufficient factory injury compensation to ensure that you are in no worse a financial situation than if the injury had never been sustained.
With so many possible variables, no two compensation claims for factory injuries are identical – even when the injuries sustained are the same – and you should always undergo a full assessment of your claim for factory injury compensation to ensure that you are not inadvertently undercompensated.
Factory Injury Compensation and Insurance Companies
One of the most frequent reasons for an employee inadvertently being undercompensated in a factory injury claim for compensation is because they have accepted an offer of factory injury compensation after a direct approach has been made to them by their employer´s Employer Liability insurance company. Insurance companies only have their own financial interests at heart and will often contact an injured employee soon after an injury has been sustained with an inadequate offer of factory injury compensation in return for a quick settlement.
Inasmuch as a short-term injection of cash may be welcome when you are confined to your bed and worried about your future finances, if a settlement of factory injury compensation proves to be insufficient for your medical needs and to support your family you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more. If short-term finances are a concern, you should speak with a solicitor about applying for interim payments of factory injury compensation until such time as a final – appropriate – settlement is agreed upon.
Although an approach by an insurance company should be treated with suspicion, it is not a totally bad thing. The fact that your employer has acknowledged liability for your factory injury will speed up the claims process and ensure you receive a fair and adequate settlement in the shortest possible time.
Factory Injury Compensation Summary
It is understandable that in the current economic climate some employees may be apprehensive about making a factory injury compensation claim for fear of jeopardising their employment prospects. However, it is illegal for any employer or their representative to penalise you for making a justifiable factory injury compensation claim when you have been injured due to your employer´s negligence.
However, to eliminate the potential of an awkward confrontation on your return to the workplace, and to ensure that you receive your maximum entitlement to factory injury compensation, you should always use the services of an experienced personal injury solicitor when making a claim for factory injury compensation.
Most solicitors will offer a free assessment of factory injury compensation claims and, if your factory injury claim for compensation is sufficiently strong, will offer legal representation on a “No Win, No Fee” basis. This will mean that you do not have to pay any solicitor´s fees while your claim is ongoing and, as your legal costs will be paid by your employer´s insurers when your factory injury claim is resolved, you will receive 100 per cent of your factory injury.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.