Our specialist Personal Injury Accident at Work team has recovered a substantial six-figure sum for a client who suffered permanent injuries as a result of an injury at work.
This case highlights the need for employers to provide suitable work equipment and to ensure that all relevant training is provided to employees to allow them to safely carry out their responsibilities.
How did the accident happen?
Our client was employed as an HGV driver in Shetland. On the morning of the accident, he was tasked with loading the trailer of a low loading HGV vehicle. The trailer of the vehicle included a heavy-duty ramp at the rear which was held in place by two pins. In order to begin loading, our client required to lower the ramp by releasing the pins. The pins appeared to be stuck and having never used this trailer previously, he attempted to release the pins manually. As with the other trailers he had operated, our client assumed the ramp was supported by a hydraulic mechanism. This allows the ramp to fall slowly, once the pins are released. He struck the pin with a hammer and as it released, the ramp fell down rapidly, crushing his hand and wrist. That afternoon our client was admitted to hospital for immediate surgery.
What injuries did the client suffer?
Our client suffered significant injuries including a displaced crush fracture to his wrist. Following surgery, his wrist remained painful, unstable and movement was restricted. Despite rehabilitation and physiotherapy, his symptoms persisted and he developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Further surgery was carried out in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms and this involved the removal of the distal aspect of the ulnar bone. Our client's level of pain improved slightly however, the residual pain, stiffness, restricted movement and instability were not expected to resolve. He was unable to return to his job as an HGV driver nor any employment involving manual handling.
Injured within the course of employment - what is the legal position?
In terms of the relationship that exists between employer and employee, there is a legal obligation incumbent upon employers to take reasonable care of their employees and to provide them with a safe working environment. In this case, we were able to prove that the lack of training or instruction provided was a key factor in the injury.
How were we able to recover compensation for the accident at work?
The employers, in this case, denied any failure on their part and so we raised court proceedings directly against them at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. We successfully recovered a substantial six-figure sum of compensation for our client for his personal injuries and also for the significant financial losses he had incurred and will incur in the future as a result of his reduced capacity for work.
When you suffer an accident at work it is important that specialist workplace injury solicitors are instructed and our Personal Injury team are here to help.