Dublin city-based Law Firm observes new pressures being put on Polish workers by opportunistic insurance companies
In recent years the growth in the Irish Economy has resulted in many Polish people working and living in this country. But, while our strong economy has created good work opportunities for most of these workers, not all their experiences here have been positive.
So much so, that, P.W. Tracey, Solicitors, a Dublin City-based Law Firm with a large number of Polish clients, are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of cases coming across their desks which directly relate to the safety and welfare of their Polish clients.
P.W. Tracey, Solicitors, now employs a full-time Polish speaking Legal Assistant to assist enquiries, and increasingly they are seeing examples of Polish workers in Ireland being:
- forced to work excessive hours
- victims of work accidents arising from serious breaches of safety practices
- denied information about their legal rights
- put under unfair pressure to settle their personal injury cases for inappropriate compensation.
It’s important to remember that under Irish Law every worker has the right to a safe place of work and a safe system of work. So if employers take advantage of workers by failing to respect their legal rights and it results in injury, the workers have a right to seek compensation for their injuries, loss of earnings and medical and other costs.
Most employers in Ireland have an Employer’s Liability insurance policy in place to provide financial protection for themselves in the event of a claim for injuries or accidents at work by any of their employees. After an accident occurs the insurance company takes an active role in handling the case for the employer.
Lately, however, P. W. Tracey, Solicitors have come across a number of cases where injured Polish workers are being approached directly by their employer’s insurance company for the prime purpose of achieving a “quick settlement” of their injuries cases. The entire emphasis of the discussions is on reaching a fast settlement.
In some of these cases the Polish workers involved speak little or no English and they are being asked to sign legal disclaimer forms in return for a quick settlement involving inappropriately small compensation for their injuries.
In many such cases no independent medical advice has been obtained, no legal advice has been offered or obtained, and documentation is signed without a proper explanation of the injured person’s rights.
A spokesperson for P. W. Tracey, Solicitors, says "our office is currently contesting the validity of a number of such disclaimers where we believe the injured person has been treated unfairly by an opportunistic insurance company."
The advice that this Dublin City-based firm of solicitors gives to anyone who is involved in an accident, or who is approached by an insurance company following an accident, is to seek out proper legal advice immediately. Otherwise, you may be "taken advantage of" and may not receive compensation appropriate to your needs: either now or in the future.
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