Plumber offered just £2,500 after collision receives £55,000

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Plumber offered just £2,500 after collision receives £55,000

5th October 2015

A plumber who permanently injured his thumb in a road traffic collision has received £55,000 in an out of court settlement - more than 20 times the amount he was first encouraged to accept.

Susan Bennett, a road traffic accident specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said she took over the case after the man became dissatisfied with the solicitors he had initially instructed, who strongly advised him to accept a settlement offer of just £2,500 for his claim.

“My client now suffers with arthritis at the base of his left thumb,” explained Susan, a solicitor with the firm. “The medical expert instructed by his previous solicitors was not a specialist in hand surgery, so when I took over his claim I secured crucial new medical evidence from an appropriate medical expert which confirmed his arthritis was a result of his accident,” said Susan.

On the day of the incident, the plumber had been driving his van when a car suddenly pulled out of a garage directly into his path, leaving him no time to avoid a collision. “When the force of the impact caused the steering wheel to break from its column, his left thumb was caught in the spokes of the wheel as it collapsed, twisting it around and causing pain and swelling,” said Susan.

Fortunately the claimant - who is now in his 50s - suffered no other injuries in the accident, and returned home shaken but in considerable pain. Over the course of the following days his hand became even more swollen, and when the pain and swelling failed to subside he visited his GP who confirmed he had suffered a sprain.

Four months after his accident, the claimant’s thumb remained extremely painful. In addition, he developed a persistent ache in his hand and lost his ability to grip with any degree of strength. After revisiting his GP, an x-ray revealed he had a fractured metacarpal bone and he was referred to a specialist hand surgeon who recommended physiotherapy.

The self-employed man was unable to work for over a month due to his injuries and had to turn down a number of jobs as a result. Having virtually no strength in his left hand, he struggled to hold his tools properly and found that he was simply unable to complete some of the heavier jobs he was used to performing prior to his accident.

“His thumb joint has now narrowed and remains extremely stiff, his ability to pinch and grip have been compromised as a result and his loss of strength and resulting lack of mobility are sadly both permanent,” said Susan. “Unfortunately his symptoms are likely to deteriorate over the next 20 years.

“My client lost his left leg in an accident over 30 years ago and although he’s used a prosthetic limb ever since, he often uses crutches to get around his house,” added Susan. “When he injured his thumb however, he wasn’t able to use his crutches due to the loss of strength and grip in his left hand and had to resort to moving around his house on his bottom to limit his pain. Naturally, this dramatically affected his mobility at home and meant using stairs and getting in and out of his bath proved problematic.”

After taking over the case and issuing court proceedings, Susan settled the claim on behalf of her client for £55,000 in May 2012.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling road accident claims.

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