Case study: claim of coffee shop worker who lacerated tendons in dishwasher accident

Compensation: £12,000

Mr P had nerves and tendons in his finger lacerated after the handle of a mug he was holding fell off, causing other mugs to shatter and cut him. Mr P’s employers admitted fault and agreed to pay a settlement. Mr P’s YouClaim lawyer, Angela helped Mr P to obtain £12,000 in damages.

The Accident

Mr P, a barista, was filling the dishwasher when the handle of the mug he was holding fell off in his hand. This caused the other mugs he was holding to shatter. The mugs caused a laceration to his left hand and created a division of two tendons and one nerve in his left little finger, impacting on both his job as a Barista and also his hobby and intended career of being a session bassist. Mr P decided to place a claim for his injuries and conducted an internet search for a suitable firm of solicitors. Angela Hince was assigned to his case.

The Claim

Angela sent a letter of claim to Mr P’s employer, the defendant, whose insurers confirmed that they were conducting an investigation into their responsibility for Mr P’s accident. At the conclusion of their investigation, the defendant’s insurers confirmed that they were going to take full responsibility on the case and would settle Mr P’s claim out of court.

In order to make sure that Angela could obtain a reasonable settlement offer on Mr P’s behalf, she instructed a medical expert to examine his injuries and began to prepare a Schedule of Loss to submit to the defendant’s insurers, outlining every element of Mr P’s life that the injury had affected, and that he was therefore entitled to claim for.

The Case 

The medical expert confirmed that the laceration to Mr P’s fingers resulted in a division of two tendons and one nerve in his left little finger, that surgery was performed and physiotherapy attended as a result of the accident. He confirmed that the movement in Mr P’s little finger was restricted and this was not going to improve. 

Angela also created a schedule of care and assistance to highlight the assistance Mr P’s girlfriend had to give him as a result of the accident, such as driving to hospital appointments and carrying out all domestic chores, which she confirmed in a witness statement. 

Mr P’s accident left his little finger too stiff to enable him to continue playing the bass guitar, which led to a potential claim for a loss of his future career and also the loss of happiness Mr P suffered as a result of no longer being able to play. The claim also had a loss of earnings element to it, as Mr P was not able to work for several weeks after the accident, and then worked part time for a period, prior to returning to full time work. 

Settling the case: compensation

Angela combined all of these elements to Mr P’s case to create the Schedule of Loss, and sought advice from a Barrister to ensure that certain elements of Mr P’s claim, such as the loss of future career, were valued appropriately and to corroborate the believed total value of the claim. 

The Barrister made some changes to Angela’s Schedule of Loss, and once Mr P had agreed the Schedule, Angela released these documents to the defendant’s insurers, and invited them to make a settlement offer. They made an offer that they felt reasonably reflected Mr P’s claim, however, Angela advised that they could be persuaded to offer more. Mr P consented to Angela opening negotiations with the insurers and she was able to encourage them to offer £12,000, which Mr P was happy to accept. 

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