Personal Injury Client Stories – Miss M

Young female Claimant receives five figure settlement for horrific burn injuries after an accident at work.

A 22-year-old lady, working as a domestic assistant in a care home, suffered full-thickness burns to her right, dominant hand while. The workplace accident was related to an old laundry press that didn’t work properly.

What happened?

In June 2016, Miss M, worked as a domestic assistant in a local care home. She received a message from a work colleague, that mentioned she was down to do overtime in the laundry to gain experience. She had only worked in the laundry on 2 or 3 previous occasions, but this had always been under supervision. The laundry press was really old and the safety bar from across the top was missing. On the day of Miss M’s accident, none of the other safety features of the machine worked.

Miss M had not received any proper training.  She was feeding a sheet through the top of the laundry press around a roller.  To activate the press, she put her foot on the pedal beneath the machine. As she did so, the top came down, trapping her hand.  Had the safety bar been present on the machine, it would have automatically cut out. She immediately released her foot from the pedal but the top did not raise back up.  Her hand was trapped, and even when she turned off the machine, it still did not release.  The only way to release her hand was to physically pull it out, using her left hand.  She suffered full-thickness burns to her right hand.

Miss M’s Recovery

Miss M’s recovery was slow and painful and affected her ability to work.  She had to undergo emergency surgery to have skin grafts using skin from her right upper arm.  At the time of the accident, Miss M lived with her partner in their own home.  She went from earning a full-time wage to receiving £70 per week, Statutory Sick pay. She was worried about how she would make ends meet.

Marie Oxland, who represented Miss M said “it’s important, at an early stage in the claim, to try and establish liability and to try to secure an interim payment for clients. This is especially the case where their injuries prevent them from earning their usual wages. The majority of our clients have mortgages and regular outgoings which do not stop just because they have an accident.  If it’s not possible to secure an interim payment, there are still things that can be done. Clients should contact the Department of Work and Pensions to establish what benefits they may be entitled to. This is in addition to Statutory Sick Pay especially if the accident occurred at work”.

accident in a public place

How else were we able to help Miss M?

In addition to the physical injuries that Miss M sustained, she also had significant psychological injuries. 

Expert medical evidence was obtained from a Plastic Surgeon and from a Clinical Psychologist.  Whilst the wounds to Miss M’s right hand healed, she was left with significant scarring to her right hand. She also had permanent and unsightly scarring at the skin graft donor site.  Recommendations were made for reconstructive surgery on the hand and revision surgery to the upper arm.

Arrangements were made for Miss M to see a private surgeon, funded by the Defendant’s insurers. This was done by way of an interim payment to discuss the benefits of surgery.  Although her hand was sensitive, she decided against surgery as there was only minimal benefit. However, she underwent revision surgery to the donor site. This was also funded by way of an interim payment from the Defendant’s insurers.

Miss M also underwent psychological treatment in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which the Defendant’s insurers paid for. This helped with her symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Have you had an accident at work? Find out more about how our specialist Personal Injury team can help you, by following this link.