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Old 16.05.2019, 22:05
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Work Injury / Suing Employer

My wife was cleaning a white-board at work, and there was a sharp, bent metal edge slightly protruding, and when her hand went across it, it sliced her like a razor and she required 8 stitches. What is the normal procedure in this type of case regarding compensation? Of course the work/accident insurance should cover medical bills, and her work gave her 2 days off with pay (as per doctors note).



However, as I see it, this injury was caused by negligence of her work provider by having broken/dangerous objects in the office. On one hand , she doesn't want to stir up any "bad blood" with her employer by suing them, but on the other hand, it is a significant injury, and could have been easily avoided if the office equipment was in proper order, so it seems there should be some more compensation entitled besides a day or two off (?)


Does anyone know what is the standard procedure here for such an instance, or had something similar happen to them?
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Old 16.05.2019, 22:23
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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What is the normal procedure in this type of case regarding compensation?
What do you mean by compensation. She got paid time off, her medical expenses where covered and she is now back in the same position as she was before the accident. Noting to compensate.
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Old 16.05.2019, 23:16
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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Does anyone know what is the standard procedure here for such an instance,
Enjoy the free days and move on.
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Old 17.05.2019, 08:04
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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What do you mean by compensation. She got paid time off, her medical expenses where covered and she is now back in the same position as she was before the accident. Noting to compensate.
Negligence. If someone else's negligence results in an injury to you, you should be compensated for that. Happens all the time. If you get run over by a drunk driver, it's not just "enjoy your new wheelchair", is it? Having broken/dangerous equipment in the workplace is the same thing.

I found some useful info in another thread, but thanks for your attempt at a reply anyway

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As the owner of a small industrial unit I am obliged to have public liability insurance and according to the poilicy if someone gets hurt in my workplace they are covered not only for medical and assoiated costs but also for real and punitive damages if I was negligent.

A brick falling from a building is negligence. The police would only be involved if this was considered criminal negligence. The courts generally rule on compensation based on loss of function, ability to work and medical expenses but they may also rule on compensation for inconvenience and stress.

It would only cost you a 100 CHF or so to find out if you have a chance of compensation - this site allows you to search for lawyers offering public liability services. I haven't come across a no win no fee service.

http://www.anwaltvergleich.ch

This one, only as an example and not a recommendation, has a specialism in tort work.

http://www.dbohren.ch/index.php?id=23&L=1

From the details provided I would have thought the op would have a good chance of something.
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Old 17.05.2019, 09:00
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

Another point that you did not mention. Did she have a tetanus shot at the doctor's? They recommend it be done every 10 years as an adult and in the case of a situation like this it is a good idea to get a new shot.
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Old 17.05.2019, 09:18
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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However, as I see it, this injury was caused by negligence of her work provider by having broken/dangerous objects in the office. On one hand , she doesn't want to stir up any "bad blood" with her employer by suing them, but on the other hand, it is a significant injury
If your wife does not want to take it further, it is more her choice than yours - she has to work there on a daily basis.

I can imagine the end of year review after suing them... awkward.

What are you hoping for? CHF1000? In the UK, the partial loss of a little finger is worth £3000 - 4450 if that helps
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Old 17.05.2019, 09:49
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

May or may not help you but after an accident I had, I received a modest pay out in addition to the medical bills and claim on damaged property because the reimbursement for the damaged property was only minimal (which is normal in Switzerland - they don't replace stuff "as new") plus I had to fork out some extra expenses for home help, etc.

For this, I needed a lawyer and the police had to be involved, plus it wasn't some massive US style multi-million jackpot.

I'm not sure this will apply to your wife but it's just to say that "compo" as you would see in the US or UK isn't really a thing here unless you absolutely can prove a case for it.

For a scratch to the hand, unless she is significantly scarred and her movement is restricted for the rest of her life, I would just accept what has been paid for up to now.
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Old 17.05.2019, 10:01
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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Another point that you did not mention. Did she have a tetanus shot at the doctor's? They recommend it be done every 10 years as an adult and in the case of a situation like this it is a good idea to get a new shot.
Yes, the doctor did that.

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If your wife does not want to take it further, it is more her choice than yours - she has to work there on a daily basis.

I can imagine the end of year review after suing them... awkward.

What are you hoping for? CHF1000? In the UK, the partial loss of a little finger is worth £3000 - 4450 if that helps
Yes, of course. Which is why I was wondering if there is a "standard procedure" in these types of cases, or how things normally work. As an example, a long time ago in the US, a friend of mine stepped on a nail at my house while it was under renovation, and he had some serious infections/injuries as a result. He sued my homeowners insurance and that paid him out something like $50k for medical bills and suffering. I didn't pay anything out of pocket myself, he bought me some beers and we remain friends to this day, no awkwardness or bad feelings at all
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Old 17.05.2019, 10:25
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

Your accident insurer will assess whether any additional payments to make up for pain , discomfort or inconvenience. Nothing to do with negligence or blame though.
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Old 17.05.2019, 10:35
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

we are in switzerland not the USA were you sue for millions get on with the job
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Old 17.05.2019, 10:46
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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Negligence. If someone else's negligence results in an injury to you, you should be compensated for that. Happens all the time. If you get run over by a drunk driver, it's not just "enjoy your new wheelchair", is it? Having broken/dangerous equipment in the workplace is the same thing.
You’re living in a country where common sense prevails. Here compensation extends only to the point where you are restored to the state you were in before the accident and that has happened with your wife, so there is nothing to compensate. There are no big payouts here for the kind of BS you hear about in countries with a common law system.

In the case you mention it is a very different situation because clearly the person can never be restored to their former status. Oh and it is THEIR accident insurance, 2nd pillar pension plus state benefits that must cover the situation.

At the end of the day it is your money, so go talk to a lawyer.
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Old 17.05.2019, 10:54
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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As an example, a long time ago in the US, a friend of mine stepped on a nail at my house while it was under renovation, and he had some serious infections/injuries as a result.
In the US you have common law, while in Switzerland, like most of Europe, we have civil law and in that makes all the difference in your case.
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Old 17.05.2019, 11:41
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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You’re living in a country where common sense prevails.
Well, while I think that the USA has crazily high amounts for these things, I also think the UK has surprisingly low amounts, and Switzerland is more similar to the UK than the USA. Taking the finger example from the UK, do you think part of your finger is worth CHF 3000 (possibly before some more fees are taken off)? I value my little finger a lot more than that!

CHF3K for partial loss of a finger, compared to USD 50K for stepping on a nail and getting an infection that completely recovered?

I say this without expert knowledge of exactly which such claims would be in Switzerland it must be said. I only know it for the UK.

But payouts being much lower on this side of the pond in general.

If the OP or wife has rechtschutzversicherung to cover legal disputes, or even wihtout it, he could make enquiries. If they do, let us know what you find. But don't expect anything even remotely compared to the US.
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Old 17.05.2019, 12:22
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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Yes, the doctor did that.


As an example, a long time ago in the US, a friend of mine stepped on a nail at my house while it was under renovation, and he had some serious infections/injuries as a result. He sued my homeowners insurance and that paid him out something like $50k for medical bills and suffering.



And that is one of the reasons America is so screwed up today, nobody wants to take any personal responsability and it's always somebody elses fault.


Why didn't your friend wear proper work boots to visit a building site, why didn't he look out where we was walking ?


The fact the insurance company paid out was they realised $50k was way for cheaper than contesting the case.


Damage limitation exercise.
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Old 17.05.2019, 15:30
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

Just a link dump:

https://www.bj.admin.ch/dam/data/bj/...uung-ohg-d.pdf
https://www.beobachter.ch/geld/versi...als-genugtuung
https://www.koordination.ch/online-h...ntschaedigung/
https://www.nzz.ch/finanzen/wenn-sch...ngt-1.18283547
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Old 17.05.2019, 17:33
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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and Switzerland is more similar to the UK than the USA.
The UK, like the USA has common law. So nope, not when it comes to the actual Law.
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Old 17.05.2019, 17:51
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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The UK, like the USA has common law. So nope, not when it comes to the actual Law.
That has nothing to do with what I was talking about and you are smart enough to know it. You could just as well have answered: "Nope, America has 300m people and Switzerland has 7m."

I am well aware of the plurality of legal systems around the world and that Switzerland has a civil law system.

As you know I was merely talking about respective payout amounts, which are likely to be more comparable between the Uk and Switzerland, than the US.

But repeating what I already said, I only have a clear idea about actual UK amounts, although I am sure it would be easy enough to find out some Swiss specific information for a native speaker.
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Old 17.05.2019, 19:08
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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That has nothing to do with what I was talking about and you are smart enough to know it. You could just as well have answered: "Nope, America has 300m people and Switzerland has 7m."

I am well aware of the plurality of legal systems around the world and that Switzerland has a civil law system.

As you know I was merely talking about respective payout amounts, which are likely to be more comparable between the Uk and Switzerland, than the US.

But repeating what I already said, I only have a clear idea about actual UK amounts, although I am sure it would be easy enough to find out some Swiss specific information for a native speaker.

Switzerland has 8.6 mio people (but about 24% foreigners)
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Old 17.05.2019, 22:38
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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You’re living in a country where common sense prevails.
Common sense, in Switzerland???
Jeeez, come on.

Hundreds of counter examples could be brought, just from EF, to prove that you could not be more wrong...

One of my favorite ones is this one: https://www.englishforum.ch/2910390-post12.html
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Old 17.05.2019, 22:48
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Re: Work Injury / Suing Employer

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Common sense, in Switzerland???
Jeeez, come on.

Hundreds of counter examples could be brought, just from EF, to prove that you could not be more wrong...

One of my favorite ones is this one: https://www.englishforum.ch/2910390-post12.html
If that is the best you can come up with I'd say this is a pretty sane country.

Besides that we all know that he referred to the fact that we don't have those ridiculous cases here where people sue for millions if they themselves drop a cup of coffee in between their legs and find out it is actually possible to get burned by hot water.
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