From whom can I claim compensation for an injury in a loading dock? A crate fell on top of me from a crane, but my employer says that the crane’s operator is responsible.
Compensation for an injury in a loading dock will come from your employer as long as you are not responsible for your own accident. While your employer may insist that your colleague caused your accident and is thus liable, your employer is responsible for their workers (and to ensure they are adequately trained), health and safety measures in the workplace and that the equipment is of suitable working order. For this reason, it is your employer who will be held liable for your accident — as long as you did not play any part in your own injuries.
There is a clear danger present when a crate or pallet is to be unloaded due to their heavy weight and the heavy machinery required doing so. When such weights are being unloaded, it is necessary to safely secure the load in question as well as provide close supervision to those who are performing the task. The area surrounding and below the crate should be clear from personnel, and if this is not possible any person in the vicinity should have sufficient protective gear in order to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring. Should your employer fail to comply with these measures and this then leads to your injury, you may be entitled to claim injury compensation — even if your colleague was responsible for the accident.
Your compensation for an injury in a loading dock can be affected if there is a possibility that you have somehow contributed to the severity of your injuries. This can happen if — for instance — you were provided with protective gear but you neglected to use it, or failed to wear it appropriately. You may also be partially liable for your injury if you failed to seek immediate medical attention, and your injuries deteriorated as a result. This will not disqualify you from making a compensation claim — however the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled can be reduced in order to reflect your own carelessness and the contribution you made towards your injuries.
As your employer does not seem willing to accept liability for your claim to compensation for an injury in a loading dock, you are advised to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as your injuries allow you to do so. A lawyer can help determine which party is liable for your injury as well as the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.