Injury at work claim awarded £100,000
Mr Meadows suffered a nasty injury to his right elbow at work when his arm was crushed between a large piece of metal, and a wall, during a lifting operation.
How did the work accident happen?
Mr Meadows and his colleagues were attempting to remove a 20-tonne valve for servicing when the injury happened. In order to service the valve, they had to fix a plate to the end of a large pipe.
The plate – weighing 1.2 tonnes – swung towards Mr Meadows and struck him on his right arm, crushing it between the plate and the concrete wall, causing serious injury.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, it just came swinging towards me and I couldn’t get out the way in time.”
Impact of injury at work
Mr Meadows fractured his right elbow and a soft tissue injury to his right forearm. He underwent two surgeries to help him gain mobility in his arm but still suffers from loss of rotation and weakened grip as a result of the work accident.
“It was a big strain especially right at the beginning. After the first operation, I couldn’t even open my hand. Everything you do day to day was a struggle.”
“The injuries are still affecting my life today. If I go to the shops and the cashier passes me change I have to remember to use my left hand. I don’t have the rotation in my right hand to make my palm face the ceiling.“
Off work for over 8 months
Mr Meadows was off work recovering from his accident and subsequent operations for 8 and half months. When he returned to work, he was limited in what he could do due to his injuries. For example, he was unable to use power tools such as grinders.
Injury at work claim for compensation
Mr Meadows contacted Digby Brown Aberdeen to pursue an injury at work claim.
“Everyone said I would be entitled to something but I wasn’t going to make a claim. It was when my employer dropped my pay to statutory sick pay that I had to make a claim, they forced my hand.
“I decided to get in touch with Digby Brown in Aberdeen as I heard a lot of good things about them and they were local which was great.”
Insurers refuse to accept he is disadvantaged in the labour market
Medical evidence collected by Digby Brown proved that because Mr Meadows suffers from forearm stiffness, a lack of rotation and weakness in grip, it places him at a disadvantage in the labour market.
He is now less able to take on work involving very heavy lifting, fine manual dexterity, and use of heavy duty power tools. Whilst he returned to work, he finds that he is slower than he used to be, as he has to alter the way he would have normally carried out certain tasks, due to his injuries.
Mr Meadows was made redundant when the company went into administration due to the downturn of the offshore industry - less than a year after returning to work.
“My injury is always going to hold me back when it comes to my career and everyday life but it’s just a case of trying to get on with things and seeing how I manage.”
Insurers refused to accept responsibility for work accident
The insurers admitted liability at the beginning but later denied responsibility for the work accident. They also had Mr Meadows followed by private investigators to prove he was not as injured as he claimed to be.
Insurers offer £20,000 for work injury claim
Our solicitors argued that his employer failed to provide reasonable care to provide Mr Meadows with a safe place of work, safe work equipment and a safe system of work and breached the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
Before going to court, the insurers best and final offer was £20,000 for the work injury claim.
Digby Brown take insurers to court to get the right compensation. Further investigations from ourselves, including taking statements from all of his colleagues (past and present), and having the medical expert view and comment upon the footage, ensured that we were in a strong negotiating position regarding future loss of earnings before going to court.
Work injury compensation 5 times the initial offer
Once Digby Brown’s solicitors in Aberdeen raised the work injury claim in court, the insurers raised their offer to £55,000.
Our solicitors continued to negotiate and remain strong on Mr Meadow’s future loss of earnings. The case settled for £100,000 – 5 times the offer before taking the insurers to court.
“Digby Brown were brilliant, all the way through my claim. My solicitor was always in contact letting me know exactly what was happening and when it was happening.
“Although the insurers weren’t compromising whatsoever, Digby Brown managed to get me 5 times the initial offer.
“The compensation has made a big difference. During the 8 months or so that I was off work, I wasn’t getting my full pay and was only receiving sick pay, which meant I got into debt trying to pay bills. The compensation helped clear that and means I can live comfortably now.”
What would you tell others injured in a work accident?
“I would definitely advise anyone who finds themselves in the same position I was in, to get in touch with Digby Brown.”