HGV driver partially blinded in accident at work secures damages

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HGV driver partially blinded in accident at work secures damages

28th May 2012

An HGV driver whose career was ended when he suffered a devastating eye injury in an accident at work has received £200,000 in an out of court settlement.

David Roberts, a workplace accident expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the man, who is in his 40s, had been left with permanently impaired vision following the incident which had left him unable to continue in his chosen profession.

“My client was a driver for a company which delivered concrete,” said David, an associate with the firm. “The trucks his employer used were specially modified so that wheelbarrows could be fitted to the sides and secured with bungee cords.

“On the day of the incident, he was using an unmodified replacement vehicle, on loan from another company, as one of the usual trucks was being repaired,” he said. “As the replacement truck wasn’t normally used to carry wheelbarrows, my client had to improvise and it was while he was attempting to secure a wheelbarrow by tying it to the side of the truck, that a bungee cord snapped back and hit him in the face, injuring his eye.”

The father-of-two was taken to hospital in considerable pain and unable to see, having sustained severe blunt trauma to his right eye which ruptured his retina and the muscle controlling his pupil, as well as several lacerations to his eyelids which had to be stitched.

When he returned to hospital to have the stitches removed, he was told his limited vision at the time was unlikely to ever improve and he would never be able to drive commercial vehicles again.

“Before his injury, my client had managed a team of people including two fellow drivers,” said David. “When he returned to work after time off spent recovering, he found that his role had greatly diminished. Unable to continue driving, he was assigned maintenance work such as welding but - due to his limited vision - he struggled with the role and soon resigned from the firm.

“My client had been an HGV driver for many years and had clear prospects for promotion ahead of him,” said David. “After having to leave his job he was only able to find temporary construction work as a hod-carrier, but as soon as the economic downturn hit his area the work quickly dried up and he was left unemployed. It was also very dangerous for him to work in this type of environment, particularly at height, due to his vision difficulties.

“As he has no experience in any other field other than commercial driving, my client’s employment options are limited to low paid manual work which has obviously affected his earnings and sense of job satisfaction,” added David. “He now struggles with day-to-day tasks involving dexterity and any tasks which require judging distance or depth. He can no longer fully partake in playing ball games with his children like he used to and he even struggles to read a newspaper.

“My client has lost the central vision in his right eye, the damage is permanent and his injury has dramatically altered his life. He has been told that there is nothing that can be done to improve his vision and he may have various problems with his eyes in the future including glaucoma.” 

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of accidents in the workplace.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire