Friday, February 22, 2013
Accident at Work Case Histories
Injury at work case settles for over 3.5 times original compensation offer
In this case, our client was injured at work, sustaining a crush injury to his right thumb ,with scarring and loss of sensation, when a spreader beam toppled over. We advised the client that his employers were in breach of Regulations 6 & 8 of the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 1998) together with Regulation 10 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAH 2005).
Following this advice, the defenders conceded they were liable for the injury, allowing us to prepare a
valuation of this case.
Pre-litigation, the defenders offered a total of £2,270, with £1,400 of this attributable to the pursuer's injuries. We thought this wholly undervalued the claim and raised a court action. The case then settled for £8,000, over 3.5 times the pre litigation offer of compensation made by the insurers.
£9k settlement after injury caused by lack of Personal Protective Equipment
Our client cut his hand in an industrial accident while working on an electrical fusebox. His employer's denied liability for the accident.
Digby Brown argued that our client’s employers had breeched regulations 4,8, & 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), together with Regulations 4 & 6 of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations 1992 (PPE Regulations).
We carried out research into electrical standards, the types of toolkits an electrician ought to have had, referred to industry standards and used this body of evidence to show that the pursuer’s work practices were standard practice and the fault for the accident lay with his employers for failing to provide him with suitable PPE. Witnesses to the incident confirmed this.
The result was an offer of £8,000 being made, with the case eventually settling for £9,000.
Stuart McLean – Successful outcome after life-changing injury at work
Stuart McLean was employed as part of a team taking down an old warehouse in Fife in June 2010. Mr Mclean was tasked with helping to take down steel fabricated A-frames as part of the job but did not receive proper training nor was a risk assessment carried out.
While undertaking the work, two of the steel beams lost their support and collapsed inwards, falling and crushing Mr McLean’s arm. Following this serious incident, Mr Mclean was admitted overnight to Dunfermline Queen Margaret Hospital as there was a risk of compartment syndrome developing in his arm.
Although this did not occur, Mr Mclean sustained significant nerve damage in his arm and has suffered a great deal of pain since the accident. His injury means he is limited in what household tasks and general activities he can undertake and it has adversely affected his career and work opportunities.
Digby Brown represented Mr Mclean from his accident in 2010 until the conclusion of his case in November 2012. The defenders denied liability until just before the case was due to come to court.
Working through Digby Brown’s Compensate funding scheme for personal injury claims, we were able to ensure that Mr McLean had access to all of the medical experts, reports and assessments that he needed to make a successful claim and continue his rehabilitation from the effects of the accident. As a result, Mr Mclean was able to settle out of court for a significant amount.
Speaking about his case, Stuart said:
“What happened to me in June 2010 was life-changing. On a personal-level, the two and a bit years since then have been a struggle and I’m glad that I’ve been able to settle it out of court.
“One of things I’m grateful for is the access I’ve had to medical assessments and experts, some of which I wouldn’t have been able to access via the NHS. It made such a difference to me to know that the pain I was suffering was real and not just in my head.
“Throughout my case, Digby Brown were there to help and guide me.”
Accident at work aboard tanker vehicle in Lanarkshire
As part of his duties at work, Mr X was required to transport waste material in a tanker vehicle to a landfill site in Lanarkshire. Mr X was required to clean the inside of the tanker. The only way to do this was to climb over the back of the tanker and then climb inside it.
While trying to clean out a tanker in September 2011, Mr X slipped and landed on a sharp metal handle attached to a valve on the tanker. The handle penetrated his scrotum. Mr X was taken to hospital in an ambulance and received stitches. Following the accident, Mr X experienced difficulty driving as the vibrations from a vehicle caused him pain and discomfort.
His employers repeatedly ignored Mr X's request for compensation. Thankfully, because of the help he received from Digby Brown, Mr X was able to obtain £1,500 in compensation, with his case concluding in August 2012.
Industrial accident in East Lothian
Mr N was working for a firm manufacturing aircraft parts in East Lothian in July 2011 when he was struck in the face by a metal rod he was using. The rod burst through the guard of the drill he was using to protect his face. Mr N had been told to use a makeshift tool as the original drill he was supposed to use for the job was broken.
Mr N suffered from painful swelling and bruising to the right side of his jaw, which required him to take anti-inflammatory medication for two weeks. A dental bridge over his upper incisor also fell out and had to be replaced at Mr N’s expense. He was also advised he may require further dental treatment in the future.
His employers denied liability for the accident and said the accident was Mr N’s fault. With the help of the specialist advice he received from Digby Brown, Mr N sued his employers and the case settled outside of court for £2,500 in August 2012.
£125,000 for welder who badly injured his shoulder
Mr R. was working in the course of his employment as a Welder, in the Highlands. He was injured in trying to push closed a heavy hanger door. Because of the state under foot Mr R. fell and suffered a complicated dislocated shoulder injury. He was unable to return to his previous employment as a welder. Liability for the accident was denied by his employers. Digby Brown were confident that Mr R. had a good case. After raising a Court action on his behalf settlement was negotiated in the sum of £125,000.
Container door which injured client should never of been used
Mr V. worked for a demolition company. The door of a container sprung open as it was defective causing injuries to his shin. It had been brought onto the premises to be disposed of as scrap but his employers were using it as a container for expensive metal. The door and closing mechanism of the door had been damaged in such a way that the closing mechanism required to be forced into place and as the client was closing it, it sprung out and injured his calf. The defender's denied the accident occurred and disputed liability. We initially received an offer of abandonment from the defenders which was rejected. We obtained a report from a forensic engineer which was extremely helpful in showing that the door was defective. The door would never have "sprung" back if the door was not faulty. We were successful in securing damages in the sum of £6,000 for the pursuer, essentially a full liability offer.
Initial injury deteriorated causing Mr P. to give up work
Mr P. was injured whilst at work. He was up a ladder collecting hay when the ladder slipped from under him causing him to fall to his injuries. He experienced soft tissue injuries in his shoulder and leg which initially did not appear particularly significant but he went on to develop Compartment Syndrome which significantly restricted his movement in his leg and shoulder and he also developed depression. Initially he contacted us but decided not to proceed with a claim as he was worried about his employer's reaction, his wife persuaded him to continue with the claim which was a good decision as his condition later deteriorated and he had to give up his work. We got him an interim payment of £5000 to assist with his financial difficulties. The case ran to pre trial meeting with both senior and junior counsel and eventually settled for a total of £205,000.
Foot injury aggravated after fall at work
This lady was involved in an accident at work. She had returned to work following an operation on her foot and was using crutches. The work space lighting automatically dimmed at the end of a shift. On leaving her desk at the end of the shift, and in the dim light, the client tripped over a footstool that had been left in the walkway hitting her injured foot. This trip meant that her already injured foot would take longer to heal than originally anticipated. She consulted Digby Brown who attempted to reach a negotiated settlement with the insurers for her employers. This proved fruitless and liability was continually denied. Digby Brown raised Court proceedings in the Court of Session and the defenders eventually tendered £5000 and following further negotiations the matter eventually settled for £6000.
Back injury caused by disputed accident at work settles for £60,000
The client was involved in an accident at work in which he sustained an injury to his back. This injury meant he was no longer able to carry out heavy manual work. The client had been employed by the firm for over 20 years and was made redundant following the time off he had had due to his injury. The client contacted Digby Brown who took on the case. Attempts to negotiate a settlement with the insurers failed and Digby Brown raised proceedings in the Court of Session. Liability was denied at the outset and remained disputed throughout the proceedings. The matter finally settled for £60,000.
Accident at work causes forearm fracture in hair salon
Mrs H. slipped on a wet floor at her workplace, a hair salon in Edinburgh, suffering a nasty forearm fracture. She required external metalwork to re-set her forearm bones and to help the fracture heal. She subsequently developed a skin disorder at the site of the metalwork which spread across her body. She instructed Digby Brown to represent her in her claim for compensation. The defenders admitted that they were at fault but refused to accept the full consequences of her injuries. A court action was raised and specialist dermatologists instructed to investigate the skin disorder. The defenders eventually accepted full responsibility for her injuries in the days before the court hearing in the Court of Session and settled her case at a value of well over £10,000.
Monday, April 08, 2013
Compensation over 3x initial offer achieved for woman injured in supermarket
Ms S suffered cartilage damage in her knees when she slipped and fell as she excited a Supermarket in Midlothian. She had slipped on some spilt food which had should have been either cleaned up or cordoned off with warning signs.
Ms S suffered both on-going pain in both her knees and considerable inconvenience and disruption, including time off work, as a result of her injuries.
Before raising court proceedings, Ms S received an offer of £1.800 from the supermarket’s insuers. Because of the investigations we had undertaken and medical reports we had commissioned, we believed she was entitled to greater compensation and raised court proceedings on her behalf. This resulted in an increased offer of over £7,000 in compensation, over 3 times the orginal offer, which Ms S accepted.
Friday, April 05, 2013
Trade Union support, legal expertise help man injured at work on two occasions
Digby Brown represented a long term employee at a Scottish timber yard. In May 2011 , he was working with equipment provided by his employer. Unexpectedly the equipment fell apart causing injury to his head and neck.
In October 2011, the same individual was again injured when he fell in a pothole in the yard surface, injuring his ankle. The yard surface had been in a state of disrepair for several months, a problem which was known to the employer. Both incidents were witnessed by colleagues and recorded in the accident book.
After two accidents in such a short space of time, the individual decided pursue a claim for compensation. Despite a series of recent claims against the yard from other employees, the employer simply ignored his claim, perhaps assuming that he did not have the resources to take formal legal action. money or support to raise a Court action.
This individual was able to make a claim for compensation of his membership of the GMB Scotland Trades Union and access to full legal representation and funding through Digby Brown. We raised court proceedings on his behalf. Throughout the action , the defending employer failed to engage constructively with the legal process.
The claim was heard in court in March 2013. Having fully investigated, Digby Brown was able to call a number of witnesses to the court to support both of our client’s claims. The court found that he had been injured at work through no fault of his own and awarded him over £4,000 in compensation.
AITK89/1 and AITK90/1