What is personal injury?
An accident at work can harm your employee. The physical and/or psychological injury caused by the accident is called personal injury. Personal injury that can be measured directly in expenses or losses is called material damage. Damage that cannot be measured in expenses or losses is called immaterial damage.
If you are liable for the accident at work, you must pay compensation for both material and immaterial damages. You are liable, for example, if your employee was injured because equipment was not properly maintained. Or because your employee performed tasks without proper training or supervision.
Compensation for material damages
Your employee may suffer financial losses or additional costs after an accident at work. For example, for treatment their health insurer does not pay for. Or your employee may have to hire household help. Does your employee have to work fewer hours after the accident due to injury? That is also material damage. If you are liable, you must pay compensation for these costs or losses.
What is compensation for pain and suffering?
Compensation for pain and suffering can be awarded for the immaterial damage your employee suffers due to the accident at work. For example, your employee suffers from a lot of pain after the accident. Or their quality of life is reduced. If you are liable for the accident, your employee can claim damages.
Examples of compensation for pain and suffering
Your employee may claim compensation for pain and suffering if they can no longer walk properly because of the accident. Or if they have noticeable facial scars after the accident.
What is emotional damage?
If your employee is seriously and permanently injured, or dies, it also affects your employee's immediate family and close friends. They may suffer emotional distress as a result. In legal terms, this is called emotional damage.
Compensation for emotional damage
Compensation for emotional damage is also a type of compensation for pain and suffering. Not for the person involved in the accident, but for their immediate family. Such as their children, parents, or (registered) partner.
How much compensation is due after an accident at work?
The amount of compensation awarded after an accident at work depends on the type and seriousness of your employee's personal injury, among other things.
Who pays compensation after a personal injury?
Do you have business liability insurance? If so, the insurer will usually pay the compensation after an accident at work. This applies to compensation for financial loss, compensation for pain and suffering, and emotional damage. If your business is not insured, it will be liable to pay any compensation that is due.