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Case Study: Crush Injury to Left Knuckle at Work
Mr F, Stockport, Was Awarded £1,250
A man has won £1,250 thanks to the JMW personal injury team after crushing his knuckle whilst working.
Mr F, a yardsman at a recycling plant, was unloading skips with colleagues when he and two others attempted to re-load a large tree base which should not have been admitted on site. Mr F’s left hand became trapped between the skip edge and the tree base as it was being lifted, resulting in a crush injury to the left index finger/knuckle.
Mr F decided to make a claim for his injuries and was put in touch with JMW Solicitors where Jane Bedford McLaren, Senior Associate, handled his case. She sent a letter of claim to Mr F’s employers, the defendant, outlining Mr F’s intent to make a claim, which they passed to their insurance company.
Denial of liability
The defendant’s insurer denied liability, claiming Mr F’s supervisor couldn’t remember the accident. Jane asked Mr F to provide a witness statement, which detailed the accident circumstances and his injury.
In it, he highlighted that despite the defendant’s denial, Mr F’s supervisor was present at the time of the accident and had spoken to Mr F about it shortly after. Mr F also highlighted that he attended hospital with a colleague after the accident, which he would not have done if there had been no accident.
Jane acted to strengthen Mr F’s case, asking him to send in photos of the accident site and requesting a copy of the accident book from the defendant, which they later refused to provide. Jane also requested Mr F’s medical records.
Issuing court proceedings
Due to time restraints on the case, Jane issued protective court proceedings on Mr F’s case and the defendant referred the case to a solicitor. In preparation for Court, Jane assembled a bundle of documents to support Mr F’s claim, with further evidence supporting him.
She demonstrated that Mr F had clocked in for work on the day of his accident, but that there was also a record of him having attended his local A&E on the same day, during his working hours, showing that the accident occurred during the working day, likely at Mr F’s work premises.
Jane sent Mr F to an independent medical expert for examination and a report detailing Mr F’s injury, the likely circumstances surrounding it and his prognosis. The medical expert confirmed Mr F had experienced a crush injury and advised that he had recovered in the appropriate time frame for that injury.
Notice to admit facts
Witness evidence was then exchanged. Jane felt the witness statements she’d received from the defendant’s solicitor, which continued to deny the accident’s occurrence, raised some issues that needed to be narrowed, so she sent the defendant’s solicitor a notice to admit facts.
The defendant’s solicitor responded that they recognised Mr F had attended A&E on the day of his accident, and that he had not been subject to any disciplinary action for leaving work during his contracted hours.
However, they claimed to have had no knowledge of Mr F’s leaving the site until receiving the letter of claim. They also admitted tree stumps are not admitted onto the premises and that they would be put back into a skip when they arrive.
Offer and settlement
Jane organised a conference with a barrister to discuss the case, but on the day of the conference, the defendant’s solicitor made an offer to settle the case. The offer was at the lower end of what Jane felt the claim was worth and with Mr F’s agreement, she began negotiating with the defendant’s solicitor.
Jane was ultimately able to settle the case for £1,250. Mr F said: “Jane Bedford McLaren was a very nice lady and dealt with my case brilliantly. She was also easy to talk to.” Jane was delighted with the outcome on behalf of Mr F, and that she was able to achieve the appropriate compensation on a case with a difficult defendant.
Have you been injured whilst at work?
Suffering an injury in the workplace that was no fault of your own can be a frustrating experience. That's why our personal injury team are on hand to help you. Simply call us today on 0800 054 6570 or complete our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.