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Compensation following 17 year old’s chainsaw injury

Graysons’ personal injury specialists have won £110,000 in compensation for a young man who injured his hand when using a chainsaw.

Last updated on November 30th, 2021 at 11:50 am

chainsaw injury

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Harry was a confident young man – 17 when he had the accident – who worked for a steel erecting business.  He was fit, having played football for Derby County School of Excellence at Derby Academy, but academia was not his strength.  He wanted a physical job and wanted to work straight out of school.  He could put his hand to most things, including woodwork, metalwork and working on cars.  He was lucky enough to get a job straight out of school as an apprentice steel erector with the company.

No training to use chainsaw

When there was no steel work to be done, Harry would work on the company owner’s property, which was an old one that he had bought to renovate.  On the day of the accident, the owner’s son was in charge and gave Harry and another young man a list of things to do.  He then left for the day.  The work given included cutting some trees down with a chainsaw.  Harry had used one before but he had never received any training.  Harry started to cut down one of the trees (it was about 20ft tall), from left to right, but after a few minutes, it fell towards him and knocked the chainsaw into his hand.  He felt pain immediately but daren’t look at his hand.  He was in a state of panic and felt sick and dizzy.  When he did look at his hand, he saw a deep cut on the top of it; 2 cm wide and 5 or 6 cm long with shredded flesh and veins through which he could see bone.  Harry’s mate rang the owner’s son, who arrived back within about 15 minutes and said Harry should go to A & E.  Harry’s grandad came and took him to the Derby Royal Hospital, where he was seen quite quickly, given an anaesthetic and the wound was stitched.  He was then allowed home.

No time off work after chainsaw accident

Naturally Harry was in pain and couldn’t sleep, but he got up the next morning, and, despite his mum and dad wanting him not to go to work, he went, fearful of the fact that if he didn’t he would lose his job.  The company owner didn’t really see the injury and the atmosphere was thoroughly unpleasant with his work mates making fun of him, blaming him for the accident and calling him stupid.  He did the best he could with his left hand, as his right, dominant hand was heavily bandaged for about 8 weeks.  He noticed a lack of trust from the management and staff at work.

Depressed after chainsaw accident

During the first couple of months after the accident, life was pretty difficult for Harry.  He was unable to properly care for himself and had to rely on family and friends.  Driving was very difficult as he had lost grip in his right hand.  He lost sensitivity in his hand and couldn’t feel it burning if, for example, he ran hot water over it.  His hand also became very sensitive to the cold, cramping and making it difficult to work.  He now has to wear gloves and do things to try to warm up his hand, such as have hot drinks or go inside to the warmth.   He couldn’t work on his car the way he had previously and couldn’t ride his bike (which was his hobby) as he couldn’t grip the brake. He split up with his girlfriend of 4 years not long after the accident.  His parents felt he lost his drive and confidence and that he thought no one had confidence in him.  He became depressed and had medication prescribed for it – but he didn’t have a day off work.

After an argument with some co-workers at his the company, Harry left and after a couple of small jobs he eventually became a self-employed builder carrying out building renovations and repairs for another company.  He still can’t do some delicate electrical work or joinery and has to ask for help on jobs that need delicacy or power.  Whilst his left hand has become stronger and he can use it more, it’s not as accurate as his right hand used to be, so even hitting a nail with a hammer can be dangerous for him.   After 2 years with this company Harry is still paid less than others and is still a ‘junior’, which he feels is due to his hand injury, as things take a little longer and he has to ask for help for some tasks.  He had hoped to be much further on in life by this time, perhaps having started his own business the same as many of his family.

Covering the scar is very important to Harry – it reminds him of the accident, so he had reconstructive surgery, which improved the look of the scar and he has camouflage make-up for it now.

Graysons takes up the case

Harry contacted Graysons to pursue a claim against the company – which he found difficult to do, and we took up his case, which has been extremely complex and long winded.  Our personal injury specialists arranged medical experts for Harry and introduced him to a specialist camouflage make-up consultant.

Whilst the company accepted liability, its insurers made a very low offer of £75,000, which we were unhappy to accept and made counter offers, which were not accepted.  We issued court proceedings but were able to negotiate an acceptable settlement of £110,000 (liability had been split 90/10) before the case went to court.

Harry is delighted with his compensation and is looking to buy a house.  His mum says:

“Thank you so much on behalf of Harry and his family for all your hard work, dedication and diligence with Harry’s case, we certainly could not have picked a ‘better firm for the job’, and know that without your drive and constant belief in Harry the outcome could have been very different. We would not hesitate to use you or Graysons in the future should the need ever arise and would without doubt recommend you to anyone who asked.”

If you have had an accident at work and want to know if you can claim compensation, please contact our experts and we will arrange a free of charge meeting in which we can discuss your case.

You can find out more about claiming compensation for injuries that are caused at work on our web pages.

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