Despite rigorous health and safety improvements over the years, industrial accidents are still not as rare as they could be. However, as a High Court case showed, it is a personal injury lawyer’s mission in life to expose negligence and ensure that victims are justly compensated.
The case concerned a middle-aged plant operator whose left arm was crushed as he attempted to retrieve a piece of metal that had become caught in a heavy machine. He needed extensive skin grafts and underwent a succession of operations to fixate shattered bones. His recovery was complicated by infection; the limb had to be immobilised for many months and, despite gruelling rehabilitation, he remains significantly disabled.
After he lodged a personal injury claim, the company for which he was working at the time admitted liability for the accident in full. However, the case was complicated by his diagnosis with a rare neurological condition about two years after the accident. The condition, which was unconnected to the accident, affected the value of his claim in that it greatly reduced his life expectancy and would probably have rendered him unable to work in any event.
His legal team, however, succeeded in overcoming those difficulties by negotiating a £350,000 lump-sum settlement of his claim. In approving that outcome, the Court expressed its deepest sympathy and noted that his last years of healthy life had been blighted by the accident. Although his condition was progressive, the Court hoped that the settlement would enable him to live as comfortably as possible.