Case Study

Injury Sustained To Hand

Case Type: Accident at Work
Injury: Right thumb amputation and right index finger crush
Settled by: Paul W Tracey
Settled on: 17th January, 2023
Injury Sustained To Hand

Case Summary

The Incident

Piotr was working part time as a carpenter when one day he was asked to help his colleague cut wood using an electric saw. Unfortunately, the saw lacked the necessary safety features, and as he attempted to saw the wood, it moved unexpectedly, leading to a severe accident where his fingers got caught in the saw. Before the incident, Piotr had not received any formal training on using this specific saw. However, following the accident all employees received proper training, and the saw was removed from use.

Immediately after the accident, Piotr was rushed to the nearest hospital by ambulance, his injuries were not treated until the next day which resulted in an infection and his right thumb required amputation. The doctor informed Piotr that his index finger would no longer be functional.  He had to stay in the hospital for several days to recover from the injuries he sustained.

Due to ongoing difficulties with his dominant right hand, Piotr has been unable to work, and this financial burden has forced him and his family to return to Poland. Despite participating in an exercise program to enhance the function of his hand and reduce pain levels, Piotr faces challenges in his daily life and has struggled to participate in hobbies he once loved such as fishing.

As a result of the injury, Piotr has experienced significant pain, distress, and discomfort. He is a father to two young boys who depend on him at home. Piotr has also been affected emotionally, he is self-conscious about the appearance of his hand and tries to hide it, especially when he is with his children and their friends. Piotr experiences embarrassment whenever he is required to shake hands with people. His condition is ongoing, and it is likely his symptoms are to continue in the long term.

Case progression:

Court proceedings were instigated, and the case was brought to a successful conclusion.

Case settlement:

The case was settled in the High Court in February 2023 for the sum of €225,000.

This case was a great success for our client, and we are extremely pleased with the work Paul and his team accomplished to achieve this excellent outcome.

*Note: Client name changed for GDPR reasons

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the legal time limits?

    The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim vary depending on the situation. The general rule for all personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

  2. How to calculate the value of my claim?

    The Injuries Board Book of Quantum provides us with general guidelines as to how much compensation may be awarded in a personal injury claim and is used by the Injuries Board when they are assessing a personal injury claim. This book was compiled by examining sample cases from over 51,000 closed personal injury cases from 2013 and 2014 and is based on actual court figures. It shows us what personal injury compensation amounts were awarded in the past and help give an estimate as to how much compensation could be awarded based on a person’s specific injuries.

  3. What to do after an accident at work?

    After an accident at work and before making a work related claim, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. In minor workplace incidents whereby you have a slip, trip or fall, you may feel as though you are fine, but what you don’t realise is that the minor injury you have suffered could develop into a bigger health issue for you. Assessing your health after an accident is a critical first step.

    Once you have had a medical assessment there are a number of steps you will follow:

    1. Report the accident to your superior

    Before making work related claims it is important that you notify your manager at work as to the accident that occurred. You need you to inform them of the injuries you suffered and the cause of the accident. It is advisable for you to seek confirmation from your superior that you have reported the accident, whether it is written or electronic.

    2. Seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor

    Once you have reported the accident, it is important that you seek advice from a personal injury solicitor who has experience with accidents in the workplace. They can then talk you through the next steps as to what is involved when making work related claims.

    In the event that you do decide to take a personal injury claim, you are not obliged to personally tell your employer. Your solicitor can write to your employer and notify them of the claim. Some of our clients have told us that they feel that it would be better for them to inform their employer that a claim was being made and that their solicitor would be in touch. This is a matter for each client. Generally, we would advise that all communications regarding the case take place between the legal representatives.

  4. How do I report a workplace accident?

    It is important to immediately take the following steps after the occurrence of an accident at work.

    • Report the accident immediately to your superior and ensure that an accident report is completed and you are given a copy of it.
    • Seek medical attention immediately and ensure that your doctor or hospital personnel keep detailed records of the accident.

    There are strict obligations on employers under the Health & Safety Acts together with other legislation to ensure that employees have a safe system of work and that employees are properly trained in the tasks that they are carrying out and that they are provided with proper equipment in the course of their employment.

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