Workman who lost three fingertips in digger accident receives £295,000

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Workman who lost three fingertips in digger accident receives £295,000

17th July 2015

A Hampshire man who had three of his fingertips sliced off by a mechanical digger has received £295,000 in an out of court settlement.

The former groundworker, who is in his 20s and now suffers permanent pain and numbness in his damaged right hand, was helping his colleague install disabled ramps when the incident occurred more than two years ago.

Anne Lankester, a specialist serious injuries lawyer at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said while her client was removing some paving slabs from a path by hand, his colleague was using a digger equipped with a large ‘grading bucket’ to dig a trench.

“The slabs had to be lifted by hand as they needed to be kept in good condition,” she said. “My client was standing just a few feet away from the digger and wearing thick work gloves but as he lifted one of the slabs the digger’s grading bucket slipped off a concrete kerb and severed three of his fingertips.

“When he was taken by ambulance to hospital in agony he had to be heavily sedated with morphine before he was able to withstand the horrific pain of having his right glove removed,” added Anne. “When doctors took the glove off he was horrified to see that the ends of his three middle fingers had been sliced off.”

The man’s right index finger had lost 2.5cm, his middle finger had lost up to his top knuckle and his fourth finger had lost 1.5cm. Following an x-ray, he underwent surgery and although doctors were able to re-attach his middle fingertip they were unfortunately unable to save the other two.

“For the first few days after he was discharged from hospital into the care of his wife and family, my client could barely even look at his hand,” said Anne. “Over the next several months, he had to undergo several extremely painful physiotherapy sessions on his hand and he found it incredibly upsetting and frustrating that he couldn’t help his wife with feeding, bathing and changing their children’s nappies.

“The first 12 months following his accident were extremely difficult for him and his family and it took a long time for his children to understand what had happened to him and why it was so important that they didn’t touch or knock his injured hand,” she added. “The huge upheaval to his family life took him several months getting used to and because he couldn’t pick up or play with his children in the same rough-and-tumble way as he did before, he lost a lot of confidence and became extremely depressed and withdrawn.”

Anne said her client has had a number of operations on his hand and he had been through a tremendous ordeal just learning to use his hand again. “There were times following his physiotherapy and surgery that he was more or less put back to square one,” she said. “This was extremely tough for him as he almost had to relearn how to use his hand after each bout of treatment. Before his accident he used to enjoy boxing, golf and weightlifting and he’s really struggled coming to terms with the fact that he can now no longer do any of these things as well as he used to.

“Sadly, my client will never be able to do the kind of heavy physical work he previously enjoyed and his hand will never regain its former dexterity,” she added. “Although, his grip will always be weaker than it was and the stumps of his injured fingers remain extremely sensitive, particularly in cold weather; on a good day he can now manage most everyday activities. In addition, after more than two years of not being able to work he is finally back in full-time employment in a job he enjoys and he remains extremely positive about his future.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons Solicitors is experienced in handling claims relating to all types of serious injury and 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.