Crush Injury Compensation Claim for Apprentice Marine Fitter

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Our client, an apprentice mechanical fitter, suffered an accident at work in November 2020 while employed by Babcock Marine, working at Faslane Naval Base.

He was referred to Thompsons' personal injury solicitors by his union so that we could assist him in his crush injury claim.

The background

On the day of the workplace accident, our client was working on the Coulport Jetty assisting a qualified fitter. They were carrying out four-yearly maintenance tasks on a 200-ton service crane.

The two employees had been working at a height of approximately 40 feet up the crane. They were working on the crane's long-travel wheels. The work required the two men to remove bolts on the crane plate and tilt it up so they could access the wheels.

The qualified fitter had been using a screwdriver to keep the crane plate in place while our client then attempted to take hold of the underside of the crane plate. However, as our client reached for the crane plate, the screwdriver was removed and the crane plate, which weighs a round 35kg came down upon our client's hand.

The consequences

Our client's right hand was crushed and it began to bleed heavily. He had not been given any training in respect of emergency procedures when working at height and he was forced to climb down the crane alone before seeking medical assistance for his hand.

Our client was taken to Vale of Levin Hospital by a colleague.

He had suffered significant crush injuries to his dominant right hand, specifically affecting his index finger. In December 2020, our client attended Glasgow Royal Infirmary for surgery to his finger.

Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland intimated a claim to our client's employer and liability was admitted.

The settlement

We commissioned an expert report from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who confirmed that our client had sustained a crush injury which had required plastic surgery. The report noted that, one year on from the date of injury, it was unlikely that there would be any improvement in ongoing symptoms, scarring and to the appearance of the finger. The injuries would therefore be permanent.

We also obtained a report from a consultant clinical psychologist who stated that our client was experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress resulting in an adjustment order with mixed anxiety and depression.

It was established early on that the method used by the trained fitter to hold the crane plate in place was not a standard method of operation. This had put our client at risk.

Our team of workplace accident solicitors sent the medical evidence to the defender's insurer and an initial compensation settlement of £10,000 was put forward. This was rejected.

A further offer of £15,000 was made and, following discussions with our client, this sum was accepted.

The personal injury claim settlement was agreed on 20 June 2022.

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