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Case Study

£5,100 compensation for claimant following an accident at work

The claimant’s details have been changed but this is indeed a true case

Phil Mulryne acted for Mrs B, the Claimant, to pursue the claim for personal injuries following an accident at her place of work.

The Claimant was pushing a trolley through a heavy double door, when one of the doors sprang back and trapped her fingers between the handle of the trolley and the leading edge of one of the doors, resulting in loss of the soft tissue tip of her left middle finger.

The Claimant was taken to hospital. It was decided that it was worth attempting to apply the small amputated portion as a graft under the local anaesthetics but this did not take, therefore she was left with a slightly reduced fingertip.

The Claimant’s symptoms improved and she was given exercises to do to improve the grip with her finger which was affected.

It was not envisaged that she would require any further treatment, although she did experience some discomfort in the fingertip, particularly in colder weather.

The claim was put to the Claimant’s employers and liability was denied. It was argued that the Claimant had opened the door with too much force and it was her fault that the door sprang back and trapped her finger.

It was argued on behalf of the Claimant that the only way of opening the door would be to use force from the trolley and there was no way of propping the doors open so trolleys could be safely pushed though. It was argued that there were insufficient policies in place for such task to be correctly undertaken and a lack of appropriate risk assessments. As responsibility for the accident remained in dispute, court proceedings were commenced.

The Claimant, in addition to personal injury damages, claimed for travelling expenses attending medical appointments, and also some care and assistance provided by her husband as she was unable to carry out her share of housework and general domestic duties for a month or son following the accident. Despite a period of absence from work, the Claimant did not incur any loss of earnings.

Following commencement of proceedings, inability remained in dispute and the trial date allocated by the local County Court. The defendants put forward an offer of £3800 which was rejected. This was subsequently increased to the sum of £5100 which was accepted.

It was assessed that the Claimant’s personal injury damages was worth in the region of £6000 or so with the Claimant’s total claim to incorporate other losses to be in the region of £6250.

There was no guarantee that the Claimant’s claim would succeed so proposals were taken into consideration the fact that the claim might lose and also that to some extent the Claimant could be held partially responsible for the accident taking place.

In the circumstances, the increased offer was accepted and the claim concluded.

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