Experienced Engineer Claims £100,000.00 for Crushed Arm
The Claimant was injured in an accident which occurred at work and suffered from a crushed arm. The Defendants were the Claimant’s employers.
The Claimant was an experienced 47 years old engineer, injured whilst engaged in attending to a large printing press machine. The machine had jammed on several occasions. In order to check the machine the Claimant entered the machine and called upon a colleague to operate the machine manually by inching. When this was attempted the machine did not inch but operated a full single “stroke” causing the Claimant’s arm to be trapped and crushed. In order to extricate the Claimant the machine was further operated and caused a further trapping injury.
The Claimant suffered a minor injury to his left hand with a major and significant crushing injury to his right arm / wrist. The accident was a terrifying and disturbing experience. The Claimant developed a persistent anxiety reaction following the accident.
The Defendants’ insurers admitted priory liability and contended for contributory negligence at 15%. Interim payments were made.
Expert medical opinions were sought, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Consultant Upper Limb Orthopedic Surgeon and Consultant Psychiatrist.
Orthopedic Surgeons a realistic appreciation
Settlement was delayed to enable the Orthopedic Surgeons to gain a realistic appreciation as to the extent to which future deterioration would occur, future surgery would be required and the Claimant’s employ ability affected. In the course of the action the Defendants made offers of £36,000.00, £57,000.00 and £81,000.00. The matter was eventually settled for £100,000.00.
The matter was of utmost importance to the Claimant. He was disturbed and distressed as a result of the accident and the injuries and worries about the future. He required extremely patient detailed advice throughout. Furthermore, subsequent to service of the Defense and agreed directions between the parties which were intended to lead to a joint settlement meeting the Defendants withdrew their previous offer to divide liability 85/15 and replaced it with an offer of 50/50. The Defendants threatened to resile entirely from the admission of primary liability and to apply to the Court for leave to have the issue of primary liability placed in issue. This turnabout coming some 3-years and 6-months after the accident and following interim payments and substantial offers caused the Claimant very considerable shock and upset and resulted in a “nervous breakdown”.
The claim had to be looked at in order to deal with the Defendants’ arguments on liability (notwithstanding that the Claimant was advised that they were essentially spurious).
The Claimant’s anxiety and agitation continued throughout this matter unabated.
The claim had the potential for significantly higher damages but was settled by agreement at £100,000.00 bearing in mind, in particular, the contents of the joint medical statement which had the effect of reducing any allowance which the Court would be likely to make with regard to future loss of earnings.