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Carpenter offered £5,000 after accident at work secures £20,000 damages
A carpenter who severed the tip of his right thumb whilst using a wood planing machine in an accident at work has received £20,000 in an out of court settlement.
“My client, who is left-handed, was using the machine to smoothe a length of wood,” said Agnieszka, a legal executive at the firm. “Whilst using his right hand to guide the wooden board towards the machine’s four rotary blades, the board unexpectedly jumped and caused his right thumb and index finger to come into direct contact with the spinning blades.”
The claimant, who is in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to hospital where his injured hand was dressed and x-rayed. He was then transferred to a specialist plastic surgery centre where he underwent reconstructive surgery to have the tip of his right thumb amputated and his index fingertip debrided.
“Following his discharge, my client was in considerable discomfort and had to keep his hand in a sling,” said Agnieszka. “For the next nine weeks, during which time he was unable to work, he had very limited sensation in his injured thumb and finger and he had to rely on his partner to help him with his personal care and changing his dressings as well as with getting dressed and preparing his meals each day.
Two months after his accident, the claimant returned to work but although he was able to resume a lot of his routine tasks, the raw areas around his thumb and index finger made any activity involving either pinching or gripping extremely painful.
“Currently, my client still has problems with his grip strength and with activities such as tying his laces,” said Agnieszka. “In addition, his fingers often remain sensitive to the touch and they can become very painful in cold weather. Although his thumb and to a lesser extent, his index finger will be permanently disfigured, the pain, discomfort and sensory impairment he continues to suffer with will thankfully resolve over the next two years.
“Accidents such as the one my client suffered are sadly not uncommon and underline exactly why employers are legally required to take out insurance policies to ensure their workers are protected in the event they are injured,” added Agnieszka. “Although, my client’s employers were quick to admit liability in full, the derisory initial settlement they offered him shows just how important it is for anyone injured at work to not simply accept the first offer thrown their way but instead allow for an expert to properly assess their claim so that any necessary medical evidence can be properly investigated.”
After liability was admitted, Agnieszka settled the claim on behalf of her client in August 2012.
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