Work Traffic Accidents
Claiming injury compensation for work traffic accidents usually follows the same process as non-work injury claims, unless you were injured while travelling in a car that was driven by a negligent work colleague or your accident was due to the negligence of your employer for not maintaining the car in a good condition.
In these circumstances, a work traffic accidents compensation claim would be made against your employer, who may well deny his or her liability for your injuries and force you to take your claim for work traffic accidents outside of the Injuries Board process for recovering compensation.
To avoid a potential conflict in the workplace, it is in your best interests to speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity. The involvement of a solicitor will ensure that your claim for work traffic accidents is resolved with the minimum amount of disruption and for your maximum entitlement to work traffic accidents compensation.
Posted: September 5th, 2018
A Dublin-based van driver who failed to attend work on his “fed-up days” has been awarded €2,000 for unfair dismissal after the Workplace Relations Commission ruled that there had been an absence of fair procedures in place at the transport company that the was working.
The CEO of the transport company that fired the driver in May 2017 advised the WRC he had not attended work for eight working days and “three fed-up” days over a three-month period.
The man won his unfair dismissal claim at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) which has also directed the company to pay the man €879 in unpaid wages along with the €2,000 award.
In his claim for unfair dismissal, the van driver argued that there was no basis for the company to dismissing him from his position and that he was never put through a disciplinary process. There had been no previous warnings before he was sacked and he admitted that he had missed a few days and called them his “fed-up days”. When he attended for work on May 15th at 7am, he was advised that there was no work for him.
The transport company stated that the van driver agreed with his employer’s perception that he was unhappy and disillusioned with the job and accepted that he could not go on just showing up for work when he felt like it. The company also said that the driver accepted that his job was in danger.
In ruling that the man was unfairly dismissed, WRC Adjudication Officer, Marie Mulcahy stated that, regardless of the actions of the driver or the degree of wrongdoing, the employer “must follow fair procedures”. She (Ms Mulcahy) added that the driver “was deprived of any process conforming to the requirements of natural justice. There was no advance notice that dismissal was being contemplated, no process, no right of representation offered and no appeal procedure provided”.
She said that the driver played a part in his dismissal by withholding information from the employer in relation to his return to work where his employer had to hire an alternative employee and previous occurrences of absences where he did not inform them he would not be at work.
The employer told the WRC they had withheld €879 in unpaid wages as twelve televisions the driver was delivering went missing while he was the driver was transporting them for a client to an An Post delivery centre on April 29 2017.
Posted: June 15th, 2018
Benjamin Heffernan, a former bin man who experienced a severe brain injury after he was thrown from a waste disposal truck to the roadhas settled his work injury compensation action for €3.5m.
Mr Heffernan fell through the side door of the van cracking his skull in the fall and being inflicted with a brain injury, his solicitor Liam Reidy SC advised the High Court. He was working with a van that was owned by Killarney Waste Disposal when he was bringing compost bins to households in the Durrus area of Bantry, Co Cork at the time of the accident occurring when the incident occurred in January 2015.
When he landed on the road after being thrown from the bin lorry, Mr Heffernan lost consciousness and was rushed by ambulance to nearby Dunmanaway. From there he was airlifted to Cork University Hospital where he underwent an emergency craniotomy. After this he was later brought to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin. He remained in the hospital until August 2015.
Mr Heffernan, now aged 50, will no long be able to work though he has regained some mobility according to his legal representatives. In approving the work injury car accident compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he felt it was a good one and he wished Mr Heffernan and his family all the best.
Solicitor Amy Connolly of Cantillons Solicitors, speaking outside the court, said Mr Heffernan had remained in hospital for 33 weeks following the accident having experienced life changing injuries. She said: “This settlement will provide for the ongoing care of Mr Heffernan, but no money can ever truly compensate him for the effect his injuries have had on his day to day life”.
Counsel for the waste disposal company argued that Mr Heffernan had allegedly told the driver to proceed before he got in the back of the van. Additionally it was claimed he (Mr Heffernan) did not ensure the van was decommissioned when he allegedly was aware of a defect in the latch of the van door. Mr Heffernan denied these claims.
Posted: December 10th, 2017
In its first ever report the the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC) has called for injury data held by insurance companies to be released on an ongoing basis.
The PIC submitted the approvals to the government, saying that data regarding the incidence of ‘whiplash’ and other soft tissue injuries should be released to.
Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, Chairperson of the Commission that was established to address the rising expense of motor insurance, remarked that these figures should be made available from insurance companies. They could then form part of the National Claims Information Database which is being developed by the Central Bank of Ireland currently.
Additionally the report also finds that the figures being paid out for whiplash compensation claims should be connected to the severity of the injury inflicted, with a standardised grading scheme set up to make this easier. The report also says there should be more transparency in respect of payouts of whiplash compensation as levels of general damages are not currently accounted for in legislation.
Legal firms have responded negatively to the report. Jody Cantillon, Associate solicitor at Cantillons Solicitors commented on the report saying “Firstly, the basis for the Personal Injuries Commission seems to us to be flawed in that the rise in insurance premiums has nothing at all to do with personal injuries litigation.
Mr Cantillon added “We would have grave concerns about a standardised approach to the diagnosis, treatment and reporting of soft tissue injuries. No one person or injury is the same. The impact that a back injury might have on a new mother is different to the impact such an injury might have on a young man. A standardised approach would not take sufficient consideration of the individuals circumstances.
He finished by saying: “We are surprised at the Commission’s ‘recommendation’ that the sums awarded in whiplash claims should be linked to the severity of the condition. This is already the case, so there is nothing new there.
Posted: November 20th, 2017
A Garda has been awarded €31,000 damages as a result of injuries he suffered when his patrol car was rammed in a car accident that occurred seven years ago.
Following a high-speed chase involving a Mercedes car, Garda, and former Limerick hurler, Nigel Carey (46), of Croom, Co Limerick, was injured when the Garda patrol car he was sitting in was rear ended in October 2010.
Barrister Kevin D’Arcy, representing Garda Carey, claimed his client had been quite a renowned hurler at the time of the crash occurring in 2010. The Garda attended his family doctor to have his neck, shoulder and lower back injuries seen to and was told that he should seek physiotherapy treatment
The Garda patrol car, according to Garda Carey, “sent flying” due to the impact of the crash and was so badly damaged it had to be written off following the accident.
In the accident his neck, right shoulder and lower back were badly damaged. He also said that his shoulder was still restricted in movement slightly.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton remarked that “the best medical report supporting Garda Carey’s claim for compensation” was given by the chief medical officer from An Garda Síochána who had medically examined Mr Carey for the defendant – the Minister for Public Expenditure.
The judge praised Garda Carey’s dedication and work ethic during the Garda Traffic Car Accident Compensation hearing as Mr Carey had only been absent from work for three days in the aftermath of the incident. He also said that it was to Garda Carey’s credit that he had not made an issue of the nature of his back injury which quickly cleared up following the incident.
Mr Carey had made no attempt to build up more and more medical reports to make more of his injuries than was there in his workplace traffic compensation claim.
Posted: December 2nd, 2016
A man has been awarded compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident after being described as a “very unfortunate accident prone individual”.
While the plaintiff was waiting at a junction by the Thomond Bridge in March last year, he was hit from behind with “significant impact” by a car that “came out of nowhere”. The work van he had been driving was a write-off and, while he was reporting the accident to his employer, the car driver responsible for causing the accident drove off – mounting the kerb and hitting the wall of the bridge as he left.
The injured van driver – a thirty-eight year old father of two from Rhebogue in County Limerick – suffered an aggravation of existing injuries to his neck, shoulder and lower back. He attended his GP the following day and allegedly suffered for the next six months. He claims to have sustained “psychological issues” as a result of the accident and is still receiving injections to manage the pain.
The car driver responsible for causing the accident was traced and the plaintiff claimed compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident. The car driver´s insurance company had its doubts about the legitimacy of the claim, and denied its consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment. The plaintiff was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim in court.
The hearing took place at Limerick Circuit Court, where counsel for Liberty Insurance – the negligent driver´s insurance company – told Judge James O´Donohue that the plaintiff had made a substantial number of personal injury claims in the past. Five of the previous personal injury claims related to road traffic accident that had aggravated existing injuries on each occasion.
Judge O´Donohue also heard that the plaintiff was on disability benefit for his existing injuries and was only able to work a limited number of hours each week. Noting that he had been “well compensated in the past”, Judge O´Donohue awarded the plaintiff €10,000 compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident and described him as a “very unfortunate injury prone individual”.
Posted: April 16th, 2013
A man who injured his eye when a tree branch shattered a window on the Dublin Buss in which he was travelling, has been awarded €8,000 in compensation for a personal injury claim for a bus accident.
35-year-old Rafal Kowalski of Castleknock, Dublin sustained his injury in July 2011 when a window was shattered on the top deck of the Nº 37 bus showering him in glass and debris. He did not seek medical attention immediately, but upon later examination it was found that he had dry eye syndrome which Dublin Bus did not contest.
Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Court awarded Mr Kowalski Rafal €8,000 compensation in settlement of his personal injury claim for a bus accident.
Posted: November 26th, 2010
The European Road Safety Charter has been signed by 12 Irish organisations in Dublin. Statistics from the European Union show that in 2008 there were 3 million road traffic accidents, 39,000 road deaths, and 1.6 million injuries.
The new charter focuses on measures that will improve vehicle safety, road infrastructure safety, and driver behaviour and is seeking to reduce the number of road traffic accidents in Europe. Road traffic injuries are estimated to cost 2 % of European GDP currently. The 12 signatories of the European Road Safety Charter are
Cavan Area Rural Transport, Community Transport Association of Ireland, Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council, ECO Unesco, Headway Ireland, Irish Medical Organisation, Irish Road Haulage Association, Metroplex Ireland, Shell, The Irish Insurance Federation, Vantastic, and World Rally Team Ireland.
Posted: June 3rd, 2010
New guidelines for work traffic accidents have been released by the Health and Safety Authority and Road Safety Authority that educate businesses and the wider community about managing work related road safety effectively.
In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act of 2005 employers are obligated to protect the health and safety of workers who drive for work.
Statistics show that 76 people die in work traffic accidents annually and a third of all road traffic accidents involve a work vehicle. According to the HSA, 42% of Irish businesses have no driving for work policy as part of their health and safety management system, therefore there is a question mark over the liability of employers when employees are involved in work traffic accidents.