An Employee Claiming a Compensation for an Accident during Work

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I drive a wheeled-excavator, and one day the company I work for sent me to the digging site in one of its buses. Due to the recklessness of the driver, we had an accident. As a result, I sustained back injury, and stopped working. The problem is that the bus wasn`t licensed and the company hadn`t registered me under the social security. Do I have the right to claim a compensation for the harm inflicted upon me because of the accident? Who should pay the compensation: the bus driver or the company? Do I have the right to claim my salary for the period I stopped working?

All perfect praise be to Allah The Lord of the Worlds and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

According to Islamic Jurisprudence, it is permissible to receive compensation due to harm. Jurists have clarified the reasons that obligate receiving a financial compensation, but there is no room, here, for further elaboration. In fact, there are many an evidence in this regard. For example, Allah, The Almighty, said, "and pay compensation to the deceased’s family…"{An-Nisa`, 92}. In this verse, Allah, The Exalted, has ordained paying a compensation in case of accidental killing.

In principle, compensation for harm is the liability of the doer and could be that of the person causing the action, because what obligates paying the compensation is the action itself. Al-Kasani(May Allah have mercy on him) said, "Undoubtedly, destruction is what obligates paying a compensation, because when something is destroyed it can`t give the usual benefit it used to, and this is transgression and harm." {Badai` Al-Sanaei`, 7/164}.

As understood from the above question, the bus driver and the company are liable for the compensation because both were negligent: the busdriver didn`t comply with the traffic laws and the company didn`t pay for the insurance or license of the bus. Also, the company didn`t register the injured employee under the social security, although it is a right of his.

Since both parties are negligent, then the questioner has the right to claim a compensation from both. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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