Accident at work doubles the initial compensation offer

Man looking out to sea

Mr M was working in a shoe repair shop when he suffered an accident at work which resulted in the traumatic amputation of his pinkie and the permanent fusion of his adjacent ring finger.

He was serving a customer who wanted to have a pair of boots re-heeled. When he was using the machine, the netting on the side of the boot became twisted on the rotating spindle, dragging his left hand into contact with the spinning wheel.

He looked down and saw his pinkie had been severed. His ring finger was broken but he didn’t even register this at the time.

Mr M was rushed to hospital where they carried out a surgery to his hand. He suffered fractures and his pinkie had to be removed.

Impact of accident at work

When Mr M returned home, he was unable to use his left hand which prevented him from driving, carrying out household chores but he was lucky to have a neighbour to help out.

He wasn’t able to go back to work for two months after the accident and this meant he lost his wages as a result, his work injury means he is not able to do heavy manual work.

To this day, Mr M still experiences pain in his hand as well as stiffness and sensitivity to the cold. He has a 50% reduction in grip strength and his permanent functional impairment can be calculated as 14% of his total hand function.

Claim for accident at work 

Mr M had worked in that industry for nearly 30 years when the accident happened, and was experienced in what he was doing. He realised that the accident could have been prevented if a guard had been on his machine and he decided to make a claim for compensation.

Local solicitor unable to help

Mr M went to a local solicitor to begin a claim but the employers’ insurance company denied liability as the machine had been inspected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and they found nothing wrong with it.

Digby Brown proved fault

The case was passed to Digby Brown’s personal injury solicitors and we proved denial of liability was unfounded and pointed out the correct regulations.  Mr M’s Employers’ insurers admitted fault and began trying to settle the case.

Over double the initial compensation offer

An initial offer of £18,000 was made by the employers’ insurers but this was rejected and the case was raised in court as we felt this was not an adequate amount.

Another offer was made but this was rejected again. At the Pre-Trial meeting, our personal injury solicitors were successful in persuading the insurers to increase their compensation offer to £40,000.

Mr M was happy with the final compensation amount of £40,000 – especially compared to the initial offer of £18,000. At the time, Mr M didn’t want go to court to see if the offer could be raised further as he had been working for the employer for a number of years and wanted to have it done and dusted.

“I can move on with my life and use the money in the future if needed. I am almost 60 and I am not sure what the future will hold for my hand and if this will impact on my work so the compensation has helped provide some security.”