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Work accident causes deep laceration to Electrician’s hand

Our team of specialist personal injury lawyers based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) Offices, has secured compensation for an electrician who sustained a deep laceration to his hand whilst working from a cherry picker.

The Claim was for damages for personal injury and subsequent losses arising out of an injury at work caused by the Defendant’s negligence and breach of statutory duty, together with interest and costs.

The Claimant was a self-employed electrician. He was sub-contracted to the main contractor for electrical work on the South Eastern Rail Network. At the time of the accident the Claimant was working with a work colleague approximately 15-18 feet of the ground, on a cherry picker inside one of the train shed buildings. They were installing metal brackets inside the building to take the weight of outside lights.

They were using Unistrut and had cut a length and put an L-shaped bracket on top, ready to fix it to the side of the shed. The metal is what is known as “rough cast” and therefore it had sharp edges. The Claimant’s colleague had an IPAF Licence and was therefore solely responsible for operating the cherry picker.

Holes had been marked through the bracket onto the wall ready to drill. The Claimant took the bracket away so that his colleague could drill the holes. The Claimant held the metal brackets with two hands; his right dominant hand was on top of the bracket. He was holding the bracket outside of the cherry picking facing the wall on which it was to be fixed. The basket of the cherry picker was uptight against the wall of the shed and just below a horizontal support for the steel-frame shed. The work colleague operating the cherry picker gave no warning and suddenly moved the basket of the cherry picker. As the basket moved, the bracket that the Claimant had been holding was dragged with some force across the palm of the Claimant’s right hand, causing a deep laceration.

On the receipt of instructions it was necessary to carry out detailed investigations to establish the employment position and the relevant Defendant.

The Letter of Claim was sent and within 3 months the Defendant’s Insurers admitted liability for the accident.

A medical report was obtained from a specialist hand surgeon who concluded that the Claimant required some hand therapy to de-sensitise the scar tissue in the palm of his right hand. The Claimant was also diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. The surgeon recommended steroid injections and a night splint and if that failed to relieve the symptoms then the Claimant would need Carpel Tunnel Decompression.

The Defendant’s Insurers released interim payments to enable the Claimant to undergo the hand therapy and steroid injections recommended by the surgeon.

As he was self employed and unable to work for an extended period of time the Claimant struggled financially, he also became depressed and a report was obtained from a Consultant Psychiatrist regarding his mental state.

After gathering the medical evidence the claim was settled for £50,000.

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