Elena, aged 52 years, works as a cleaner. She has been cleaning offices in Limerick for 5½ years.

In March 2019, Elena was upstairs cleaning a canteen and toilet. She needed to bring the rubbish downstairs. The lift was not working properly. It kept shuddering. Elena did not trust the lift and was under pressure to finish her work on time. She took the rubbish and walked down the steep staircase. She had 2 black rubbish bags in one hand and another large rubbsh bag in the other hand. She stumbled and put her hands out, dropping the rubbish. Her left knee hit the floor at the bottom of the stairs and her kneecap was pushed to one side. She continued working but her knee was very sore.

She went to Limerick University Hospital . She was diagnosed with a spontaneous patella dislocation. Her knee was put into a brace for 8 weeks and she had several MRI scans. This showed that her knee could easily be dislocated in the futrure.

She was out of work for approximately 10 months. Her loss of earnings were €14,783.10. Elena was nervous about making a claim against her employers. She was reluctant to go to a solicitor in a foreign country and get involved in an official matter.

Elena talked with her daughter Zivile who insisted that she seek advice from an experienced solicitor. She was suprised when she was told that she could make an application to the Injuries Board. This would involve obtaining a medical report and lodging it in the Injuries Board.

The Injuries Board sent Elena to their own doctor for a second opinion on the injuries to her left knee. Elena was happy that the Injuries Board process was completely t paper based and that she did not have to appear in front of any offical person to explain what happened.

After 9 months, The injuries Board made an assessment of €35,000 for the injury to her left knwee and €14,562 for her loss of earnings. She had to repay €4,152 to the Department of Social Welfare, which means that her net claim was €44,410.

Elena was advised that she was likely to obtain more money if she took to matter further and started Court Proceedings. However Elena was happy with the assessment of the Injuries Board. She accepted their assessment, as did her employer’s insurance company, and was paid €44,410.

The above story is true. However, the names of the people involved and the locations have been changed to protect their privacy.

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