Compensation for Being Crushed by Forklift Truck

My employer has told me that I should pay the excess on his insurance policy if I want to claim compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck. He said that the accident was mostly my fault and I should have moved out of the way. What should I do?

Question:

My employer has told me that I should pay the excess on his insurance policy if I want to claim compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck. He said that the accident was mostly my fault and I should have moved out of the way. What should I do?

Answer:

It is your legal right to claim compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck against your employer’s insurance policy provided that the accident was not primarily your fault. In Ireland, insurance is expensive, and policies often require a large excess to be covered by the policy holder. It is understandable that your employer is unhappy about having to pay a policy excess; however he is not permitted to pass on this cost to you. If your employer does not believe that he is liable for your injuries, he is within his rights not to accept liability in your claim for compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck.

If it can be proven that the forklift truck accident at work was caused primarily by employer negligence or the carelessness of another employee, then it is your employer who is liable to cover the excess on the insurance policy, with the insurance company paying the balance of forklift truck accident compensation.

If you were mostly at fault for the accident, it will not be possible for you to claim compensation for being crushed by forklift truck. However, it is difficult to envisage a scenario whereby you could be seen to be mostly to blame for being crushed by a forklift truck at work, and your employer or the driver of the forklift truck is likely to be at least partially responsible for the accident.

It is possible that your employer is confused about contributory negligence and how this affects the level of compensation you receive. If it is determined that you were partially to blame for the forklift truck accident, you may still claim compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck but the level of compensation you receive will be reduced to some degree to take your role in the accident into consideration. In cases where there is contributory negligence on the part of the claimant, it is not unusual for the final amount of compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck to be reduced by a quarter or a third.

This does not mean that you will be required to pay your employers excess on the policy. If your case goes to court, the level of forklift truck accident compensation will be decided b y the judge and this figure will be reduced by the appropriate percentage. Your employer will still have to pay the excess on the policy and the insurance company will benefit from any reduction in compensation for your contributory negligence. However, even though your employer believes you were at fault, it does not necessarily mean that your compensation award will be reduced. It would be up to your employer and his insurance company to prove that this is the case.

It is important that you speak about your claim for compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck with a personal injury solicitor. When there is contributory negligence to consider, the Injuries Board will not deal with the claim. It will be necessary to decide the outcome through the Irish courts or through direct negotiation with the insurance company of your employer. A personal injury solicitor will therefore me necessary to pursue compensation for being crushed by a forklift truck in your case.