I can not recommend this solicitors enough. I am very happy with the level of service I got from both Kevin and Jack. They both worked extremely hard with resolving my case and got the best result. As a firm they are very professional whilst creating a friendly/ comfortable relationship. They ensured I was updated every step of the way and reassured me to call them when ever I needed this never seemed to be to much for them. Very highly recommended.
Client: Ryan Chadd from Liverpool
Claim: Work accident compensation claim for:
- Personal injury
- Loss of earnings
- Other calculable losses.
Result: £45,000 compensation (less repayable state benefits and charges) plus legal costs.
Mr Chadd kindly allowed us to use his details for this case report. This account is based on his version of events.
Ryan Chadd was a 21-year-old machine operator at a factory in Liverpool. His life changed when his right index finger was made to look “like a McCoy’s crisp” in an accident at work.
The accident happened when Ryan was operating a friction welder. This piece of heavy machinery fuse-welds metal bars together by holding them in metal clamps. Watch the video below to see it in action:
The friction welder was suitable for long metal bars only. This requirement allowed operators to stand at a safe distance from moving parts. But the bar Ryan was welding was short – about 60 cm/ 24 inches long. So, he had no alternative but handle the bar close to the clamps while the machine was running.
As Ryan fed the bar into the machine his right Index finger became trapped between the closing clamps. The pain was agonising.
Ryan pressed the emergency button which stopped the machine. But the clamps had trapped him. He could not free his hand.
A supervisor came over after what seemed like ages. He did not know what to do. Ryan had to tell the supervisor to turn the machine back on so that he could open the clamp.
Mr Chadd went to the A&E department at Aintree Hospital. Medics cleaned and dressed his wound, but the finger was beyond saving. Doctors at Whiston Hospital removed the dead bone and terminalised the stump four days later.
Ryan suffered with ongoing pain and needed physiotherapy to help his recovery. Seven months after the accident Mr Chadd went under the knife again. This time doctors removed the remains of the finger’s nail bed.
As well as his physical injuries, Mr Chadd suffered from various other symptoms, including:
- sleepless nights
- low mood
- poor appetite
- anxiety, especially when he heard loud noises.
Understandably, the accident affected Ryan’s personal life. He avoided activities he used to enjoy. Ryan, who is right-handed:
- gave up on his hobbies of fishing and playing darts
- avoided doing DIY
- disliked driving because he was afraid of being in heavy traffic
- avoided preparing food because he was afraid he would trap his finger under a knife
- stopped going to drive-through restaurants because it was hard to pay with his right hand
- felt self-conscious because of his finger’s stump and avoided socialising.
Mr Chadd told his doctor about these issues and went for counselling.
Ryan lived on state benefits until he went back to work nine months later. He found it hard to return. Ryan was still extremely anxious and afraid of getting injured again. He eventually left his factory job and worked as a car valeter. Later he found work as a cable repair technician.
How Donoghue Solicitors Helped Ryan With His Work Accident Compensation Claim
Ryan knew he needed expert personal injury solicitors to help with his work accident compensation claim. Fortunately, his dad knew a man: Kevin Donoghue, solicitor.
Kevin discussed the accident circumstances with Ryan. Mr Donoghue’s legal advice was that Ryan had grounds to bring an injury at work claim against his employer. He could seek compensation for losses caused by a breach of Health and Safety legislation, among other things.
The solicitor agreed to take Ryan through the claim process on a “no win no fee” basis. This meant Mr Chadd did not have to fund his case privately.
Kevin had two primary goals:
- Prove that Ryan’s employers were responsible for his accident
- Get Ryan compensation for all of his losses.
1. Proving Liability for Ryan’s Accident at Work
Kevin gave Ryan’s employers full details of his client’s potential injury compensation claim. He told the employers that, in his legal opinion, they were responsible for Ryan’s workplace accident. This was because they failed in their statutory duties to:
- perform a suitable risk assessment to protect Ryan’s health and safety while working with the friction welder
- put safe working practices in place to prevent the injury or otherwise protect Ryan
- make sure that the work equipment was fit for purpose
- avoid manual handling operations which involve risk of injury to employees.
The solicitor also argued that:
- it was reasonably foreseeable that Ryan would be injured using the machine as instructed
- Ryan suffered personal injury and other losses because of his employer’s negligence.
Kevin demanded that Ryan’s employers admit liability and compensate Ryan in full for his workplace injury claim. Their insurance company handled the claim and investigated.
2. Valuing a Factory Accident Compensation Claim
Sensibly, the insurers accepted responsibility without the need for a court hearing to prove liability. This meant that Mr Donoghue could concentrate on his second objective: getting Ryan full compensation to put him in the pre-accident position. This included proving Ryan’s right to compensation for
- pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (described in personal injury claims as “general damages”)
- calculable losses (“special damages”).
This exercise is not straightforward in complicated personal injury claims like Ryan’s. Kevin had to:
- get medical and other evidence to show how Mr Chadd had suffered as a result of his employer’s breach of duty, and
- show how the losses Ryan suffered were caused by his employer’s breach.
Ryan needed both parts to claim work accident compensation.
Proving this Factory Accident Compensation Claim
Mr Donoghue got to work using his extensive network of contacts.
He acted as a project manager, bringing together a team of experts, witnesses, and his client. Mr Donoghue also worked with his colleagues, including legal executive Jack Hudson.
1. General Damages for Personal Injury
Personal injuries anchored Ryan’s work accident compensation claim. These were:
- traumatic amputation of the right index finger
- psychological impact.
Kevin arranged for:
- a consultant orthopaedic and upper limb surgeon
- a psychiatrist
to examine Ryan and produce medical reports.
The orthopaedic surgeon noted that the finger stump was still sensitive to touch over a year after the accident. The injury restricted Ryan in the labour market, especially in any work involving keyboards or fine dexterity. Even his new job as a car valeter was difficult. Opening cleaning products was a struggle.
The surgeon said that Ryan’s finger function would improve, but that he now had a permanent disability.
The consultant psychiatrist diagnosed that Ryan had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.
Both experts confirmed that the accident caused Ryan’s injuries and ongoing problems.
2. Special damages for calculable losses
The medical evidence was supportive but told only part of the story.
Obviously, Ryan had lost income because of the work accident. But Kevin felt that there were other things for which Mr Chadd could claim compensation. These were a combination of past and future losses.
Ryan’s calculable losses included:
- loss of earnings
- loss of pension contributions
- medical costs
- travel, parking, and transport expenses to medical providers
- care provided by his partner and family members.
Ryan could claim future losses for things Kevin expected his client would incur as a result of his injury. They included:
- medical treatment costs
- prescription charges.
The law allowed Ryan to claim interest on the calculable parts of his claim.
Mr Donoghue also noted that Ryan received state benefits as a result of the accident. Mr Chadd could recoup those from his former employer as part of his compensation claim as well.
Working together, Kevin Donoghue and Jack Hudson got documentation and evidence to prove these calculable losses. They:
- sourced and reviewed loss of earnings documentation, which was complicated by the fact that Ryan had multiple jobs since the accident
- took witness statements from Ryan, his parents, and partner
- got an up-to-date schedule of state benefits.
Kevin then prepared a detailed forensic account of Ryan’s calculable losses to add to his claim for personal injuries.
This was a long and careful process, the kind of thing which takes time and expertise to do properly. But the preparation was essential. It meant that Kevin could pursue strong, fact-based negotiations with the insurers.
Compensation Claim Result
Following negotiations, Kevin settled his Ryan’s work accident compensation claim for:
- £45,000 (less repayment of benefits and other charges)
- his legal costs.
Ryan was thrilled that he had instructed Donoghue Solicitors to handle his accident at work claim. With our help he:
- got the maximum compensation available
- knew that everything had been carefully considered and dealt with
- settled his claim without court proceedings.
All this meant Ryan could start to move on from his horrific factory accident.
Contact us here for help with your work accident compensation claim.