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The long term effects and connotations of crush injuries

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Tuffnells Parcels Express Ltd was fined £150,000 after one of their employees was seriously injured in an accident at their Essex depot.

22 year old warehouse porter Simon Mason suffered serious head injuries when his skull was crushed by a reversing lorry. He needed constant care for several months and underwent a number of operations. Although he is now back at work, he still suffers long term effects.

Mr Mason was waiting to unload a trailer which was reversing into a loading bay. He noticed the trailer wasn’t straight, thought it had stopped moving, and put his head around the back to advise the driver. But as he did so, the trailer reversed further and crushed his head against the bay wall.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Tuffnells had failed to assess, control and properly manage risks at the depot and had also failed to provide a safe system of work for staff. Mr Mason’s injuries were severe and he will be entitled to claim compensation for his suffering, loss of earnings and to cover any future medical treatment he may need.

Crush injuries often carry long term connotations. Pain can be ongoing and the injuries can prevent the victim from returning to work. Simon Lowe was lucky in this respect, as he was able to go back to his job, although he does still suffer from problems relating to his injuries. Sadly this was not the case for fire fighter and financial adviser Andrew Murray, who was unable to return to either of his positions after suffering a crushed foot whilst on Fire Service duty.

Injured fire fighter compensated for long term effects of crushed foot

Andrew Murray, a 45 year old retained fire fighter, suffered a crushed foot whilst on duty which has resulted in him having to give up both his part time Fire Service position, and his full time job as a financial adviser. He has been awarded a ‘substantial sum’ in compensation.

Mr Murray was helping to secure a demolished chimney using a hydraulic platform. But his colleague lost control of the platform causing Mr Murray’s leg to become caught between the roof of the building and the platform.

He suffered severe tissue damage and five years after the accident, he still suffers from ongoing pain and restricted movement as well as loss of concentration and flashbacks which have resulted in Mr Murray being unable to continue his financial adviser role. It transpired that the colleague who was operating the machine had not received suitable training. The Fire Service admitted liability and settled out of court.

Even in cases where employers admit liability, it is still exceptionally important to engage a solicitor with the expertise to bring a case strong enough to command an adequate award that covers all the issues connected with crush injuries.

The work accident claims solicitors at Stephensons have specialist expertise in pursuing cases involving crush injuries. Whether or not your employer has admitted liability or been proved negligent, we can still help. To discuss your case with one of our friendly personal injury experts, call us on 01616 966 229.

By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney