Employee receives substantial compensation after hand crushed in warehouse accident
When someone has an accident at work which leaves them unable to do their job, there is much more than just medical costs to consider. The loss of future income also needs to be taken into account. Personal Injury partner Navdip Gill explains how he went above and beyond for a client who had suffered a life-changing injury when his hand was crushed during an accident at work.
Injured in an accident at work
In January 2017, G was at work at a freight services company. A colleague was operating a forklift and was attempting to move a metal container, which weighed between three and five tonnes, off a static dock. Unfortunately, the forks on the vehicle were not positioned properly and the container became unbalanced and started tipping forwards. Fearing that the container would fall on top of them, G jumped off the dock putting out the left hand for support, but the container fell on the hand and crushed it.
G suffered a serious fracture and dislocation to the left wrist which needed surgery at a local hospital during which wires and screws were inserted into the wrist. Follow up hand therapy was required, and it was necessary to wear a removable splint for four months.
But the pain and tenderness in G’s wrist carried on for much longer. G suffered from stiffness, numbness and pins and needles in the left wrist, particularly at night and whenever the hand was not in use. G could no longer lift anything weighing more than three or four kilograms, when previously it would have been usual to lift containers weighing 30 to 40 kilograms at work.
G could not do everyday things such as showering, cooking and cleaning. Previous pastimes of going to the gym, playing cricket and volleyball also became impossible because of the unbearable wrist pain. As a result, G moved back to Spain to be nearer family and to get help with basic tasks.
How we helped to secure compensation
At this stage, G sought legal advice from Navdip Gill of Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors. Navdip found a medical expert (Orthopaedic surgeon specialising in upper limbs) who specialised in this type of injury. The expert concluded in his report that G would need regular steroid injections to manage the pain and that there was an 80 per cent chance that G would require further surgery on the wrist in 15-20 years’ time. He also predicted that G would develop osteoarthritis in about 20 years’ time.
‘We deal on a regular basis with people who have suffered life changing injuries and we know which experts to work with to understand the long term implications of any injury. Getting the appropriate expert on board from day one is crucial; they need a very good understanding of the client’s symptoms. We always do the groundwork at a very early stage and that definitely pays off in the end’, explains Navdip.
One of the main challenges in this case was that G’s native language was Spanish. This meant that all of the documents which needed to be prepared for the potential court case needed to be translated. This was no problem for Navdip, who instructed translators to ensure that G fully understood what was going on every step of the way.
As is often the way when there is a serious injury, the insurers try every trick in their book to avoid paying or reduce the amount which they have to pay. G’s case took four years to settle, but ‘We do not give up easily, and invested a considerable amount of money and time in securing the relevant evidence to prove the seriousness of the injury and the long term needs of our client. Where these investigations require time and money, we will go to the ends of the earth to make sure it is done properly’, says Navdip.
Compensation for the present and the future
When calculating the settlement figure, Navdip ensured that G’s ongoing and future medical treatment was taken into account. But another very important consideration was the money G would have earned had they been able to stay in similar employment. The amount of compensation needed to be enough to provide an income for G in case they could not work in the future.
The case eventually settled for £175,000, a figure which delighted G and the family and went far beyond any of their expectations.
If you have had an accident at work or elsewhere which has left you with a life-changing injury, no matter how complicated your case may seem, contact Navdip Gill, in our Personal Injury team on 01908 689338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.