£19,000 awarded after a health and safety breach
The 29 year-old claimant sustained the wrist injuries in an accident at work. The claimant was employed as an heavy construction equipment operator. When unloading a load of coal the vehicle the claimant was operating tipped over. The claimant was thrown out of the vehicle sustaining intra-articular fractures of both wrists.
The fracture in the left wrist was slightly displaced and for 6 weeks after the accident the wrists were in plaster. For a further 18 months, the claimant had restricted movement in both wrists together with some swelling and tenderness. After that period, the claimant continued to have residual symptoms particularly in cold weather.
As a result of the left wrist fracture being displaced, the movement in the left wrist was significantly more restricted than the right wrist. Three years after the accident, the claimant had made an 80% recovery.
The Court found that the claimant had a 50% risk of developing arthritis in his right wrist and a 75% risk of developing arthritis in his left wrist with increased disability and discomfort.
As a result of the accident the claimant lost his job. He did secure alternative employment as an HGV driver but the claimant's prospects were restricted insofar as he could not carry out heavier types of work.
The claimant alleged that his employers breached Health & Safety Regulations causing the vehicle to tilt and fall over.
Conclusion and Settlement
The claimant who was 29 at the date of the accident and 32 at trial was awarded £19,000 for pain and suffering and loss of amenity. The trial judge found that the total injury duration was some 3 years.