Farm worker receives nearly £2million thanks to specialist amputation solicitors
Our client was working on a farm in Fife when the machine he was using became choked. The machine was turned off so he put his hand in to remove the blockage.
“I went to get everything out, I got out a couple of handfuls and when I went in to get the third there was a loud bang and I thought I had broken my hand.”
Tragically, the machine restarted at the moment when our client put his hand in and it was amputated at the wrist.
Medical staff carried out emergency operations and fought for 14-hours to try and re-attach his hand but they were sadly unsuccessful.
“I’ve had to learn how to do everything left handed as I was right handed before the accident. I’ve been provided with prosthetics both through the NHS and privately.”
Despite the use of prosthetics our client was unable to return to work.
“I’ve been in farm work all my life. I had a house on the farm and when it turned out I wasn’t going to be able to go back I lost my job I was made homeless as well as unemployed. The solicitors for the insurers had sent me a letter to say I was unlikely to have a case and I should forget about it, they basically said I had no chance. I didn’t know what to do so I contacted the experts at Digby Brown, I’m glad I did.”
Kirsty O’Donnell from our specialist Serious Injury Team, took on the case and contacted his employers. The insurers denied liability and claimed that our client had received all of the training he needed and was at fault for the accident. This was not the case.
“When I started working at the farm I was shown how to use the machines but didn’t get any formal training. The machine we were using would get clogged up all the time and there wasn’t a procedure to fix it.”
After obtaining numerous reports from experts including medical, engineering and vocational, Kirsty was able to put together a strong case against our client’s previous employer.
“Kirsty was great, she took care of everything and would keep me right on who I was meeting and when. When COVID-19 hit things continued as normal, the only difference was the assessments with experts were done by video. It was seamless.”
After raising litigation for the case both sides met virtually for the pre-trial meeting an initial offer was made of £500,000.
“The advice was very impartial, it was felt that my case was worth more but that it was my decision whether or not to accept or reject the offer. I agreed and chose to reject the initial offer.”
After further negotiation a final offer then came in for £1.8million, which was considered fair due to the impact on our client’s life including his injuries, loss of future earnings, additional care needs and future prosthetics.
“I was ecstatic when the offer came in! After the letter I received at the beginning I really thought it was going to be a lot less."
“It’s opened up what I can do, I’ll be using the money to buy a house that fits my needs better and to get all the things I need to get back to normal.
“I would tell anyone who isn’t sure whether or not they have a claim to get in touch. Everyone told me, including the insurers, that I didn’t have a claim. Definitely speak to the experts.”
Chris Stewart, head of our Serious Injury Team commented: “We are delighted to have been able to secure a fair settlement for our client. This case is a good example of why, after an accident, you should never listen to what an insurance company tells you, it's important to seek expert legal advice.”