When someone has been injured in a workplace accident and then consider making a claim for accident at work compensation, they usually share the same concerns and worries about pursuing a claim. Our claimants often tell us that they worry about whether making a claim could damage their employer, cause problems for colleagues or even lose the claimant their job. Good employers will handle an accident at work and any claim that follows properly, and leave the claim to be dealt with by their insurers and the claimant legal team. However, not all employers are as open minded, and sadly we hear stories about how some become defensive, obstructive and difficult towards an injured employee if they indicate that they may take legal action and pursue a claim for personal injury compensation.
At Direct2Compensation we understand these concerns and know how to explain things in simple terms that can help you to understand your rights after an accident at work, and we have found that it helps people considering pursuing a claim for accident at work compensation if we share the stories of other claimants. Here, we describe a situation in which one client who works as a wood machine operator within a joinery product manufacturer found himself after an extremely nasty accident in 2015.
Mr. C W sustained a very serious laceration at work, an accident that left him requiring 8 hours of emergency surgery. He lost part of a tendon in the arm which required transplanting a nerve from his leg into the arm in a bid to minimise the loss of dexterity and sensation to the injured area. Mr. C W was left unable to work for a minimum of 6 months with a huge loss of income to cope with and the knowledge that he would never make a full recovery from the injuries and that he would have a permanent disfigurement as a result.
Mr. C W is a typical working man, married with a daughter trying his best to support his family by working full-time. He shares the same responsibilities as most of us – a mortgage to pay, bills to cover and facing the cost of life in modern Britain. Prior to his accident at work, he had never needed any legal support and had not ever suffered ill health or been unable to work.
Mr. C W had worked for the same employer for 15 years as a wood machinist in a joinery manufacturer. He joined the company as an apprentice after leaving college and when the senior wood machinist left 5 years ago, he was appointed to replace them. The business was a busy one, making many various items on a bespoke basis for many suppliers. Mr. C W spent much of his working day operating dangerous machinery including lathes, cutting machines, various saws and other tools. Due to the busy nature of the workplace, staff had little time spare and the employer, although popular with the employees, had not provided any ongoing training or regular refresher training to the staff within the machine shop. They had also opted to skip machine servicing due to the lack of available time that they felt they could spare. Mr. C W had reported the need for some machinery servicing and reported a few faults and had been advised that they would be taken care of. With this in mind, Mr. C W continued with his duties and worked hard to ensure that all orders were completed on time.
On the day of the accident, Mr. C W was going about his usual business and, at the time, operating a large industrial lathe, shaping an item forming part of an order. He then took the same item to the spindle machine as he needed to use the 100mm blade to finish the item. Before using the blade, he checked it as best he could to ensure that it was secure and then commenced work. Unfortunately, whilst using the spindle machine, the blade snapped and flew off, firstly severely lacerating the tendons in one hand before it then caused an extremely severe laceration to the inner forearm and then in to his stomach.
Needless to say the accident caused colleagues to rush to his aid and the emergency services were called to the scene. Mr. C W was then treated by paramedics and rushed to hospital to undergo a blood transfusion and 8 hours of surgery. He then spent quite some time in hospital undergoing further surgery before he was discharged to recover at home, signed off from work for a minimum of 6 months.
It transpired that the spindle blades had been reported as requiring replacement as another colleague had noted that they had began to crack and had reached the end of their safe working period. Unfortunately, the employer had failed to inform the entire machine shop staff team and they had not ordered new cutting blades. They were clearly guilty of employer negligence as they had allowed the machine to remain in use, despite it being a known hazard to health, as they were desperate to complete an order on time.
A full report of the accident was made by Mr. C W as soon as he was home from hospital and the employer confirmed that they had recorded the details of the accident within their accident book.
The accident at work compensation claim
Mr. C W was a very reluctant workplace injury compensation claimant as it was something he was particularly uncomfortable in doing, even though his employer of 15 years had placed their need to complete an important order above their legal obligation to provide employees with a safe and secure working environment. At Direct2Compensation we often encounter this scenario. However, he felt that he had no option other than to pursue a claim for accident at work compensation as he would suffer permanent repercussions from the injuries and would be heavily out of pocket as his employer did not provide or offer sickness pay.
Whilst Mr. C W was initially struggling with the need to pursue a claim for compensation, with the help of his wife and family and the simple and easy to understand Direct2Compensation claims process he came to the view that making a claim was justified, and a fair outcome to the horrible accident at work in which he had been injured. As with all claimants, we worked hard to ensure that we had given Mr. C W the confidence to make his claim and that he understood how no win no fee works and what the various stages of the claims process would be.
Right from the first contact we had with Mr. C W, we knew that the specifics of his accident at work meant that he had a very strong claim for laceration at work compensation, with very realistic prospects of succeeding. With Mr. C W, it was a case of offering support, explaining that he had a very just reason for pursuing a claim and explaining that we would definitely be able to place him with the right specialist laceration at work solicitor to match the needs of his circumstances and his claim. Once we had Mr. C W’s consent to proceed, we immediately passed the matter to one of our specialist solicitors and they agreed with our view of the claim and immediately accepted the matter. We then confirmed this with Mr. C W, explained to him the need to formerly instruct the solicitor to work for him and pursue the claim on a No Win No Fee basis by way of signing a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Our solicitors commenced work on the claim as soon as they had received Mr. C W’s signed documents and obtained an admission of liability from the 3rd party insurers within the first month.
Due to the severity of the injury at the centre of Mr. C W’s claim, the matter is ongoing at this time. This is because the full extent of the permanent implications of the injuries he suffered is not yet known. The specialist medical treatment he has received regarding the transplant of a nerve from his leg to his arm can take many months to settle and the medical experts are as yet unable to state to what extent their surgery has succeeded. With this in mind, it has not yet been possible for Mr. C W’s legal team to place a final valuation on the injury element of his claim as it would not be in Mr. C W’s best interests to settle the matter before this is known.
Mr. C W’s solicitor has managed to obtain an interim payment from the 3rd party insurers which has allowed him to pay his bills and have the same financial state as he would have received from his wages if he had been able to work. Mr. C W has advised that the interim payment obtained with the help provided by Direct2Compensation and the solicitors with whom his claim has been placed, that he has been able to concentrate on recovery, medical treatment plans and ongoing rehabilitation therapies without the unwanted stress of how to cope with a loss of wages as a result of his injuries. Due to the admission of liability, Mr. C W’s solicitor has also managed to get the 3rd party to provide specialist physiotherapy treatments with a view to speeding up the recovery process.
Mr. C W understands where things are at with his claim and that once the full extent of the injury/recovery prognosis is known, that his solicitor will be able to agree a final full settlement for this claim along with a full claim to cover the loss of income and other costs he has incurred because of his accident at work.
How Direct2Compensation can help you
If you are in the same situation as Mr. C W and you have been injured in an accident at work, Direct2Compensation can help you make a claim for accident at work compensation. We know your rights and can help you to enjoy a similar outcome to that of our other accident at work compensation claimants – like Mr. C W. We can give you advice, support and help you maximise the outcome of your claim, we’ll ensure that you can recover any losses – like lost income through a special damages claim and be able to answer any questions you may have in terms you’ll understand.