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£31,000 Compensation for a Toe Amputation claim

In this case study, we take a look at the situation which lead to a male worker at Marks & Spencer successfully making a compensation claim against the company. £31,000 in compensation was paid to the victim of this work-related accident due to the fact he had to undergo a toe amputation.

The victim was working in the loading bay of the Marks & Spencer store, operating a scissor lift to unload stock from a lorry to the warehouse. During the process of carrying out this task, his foot became trapped. His foot was completely crushed, and his big toe required amputation meaning that he would be away from work for quite some time as he received treatment and rehabilitated.

Following a lengthy claims process, the victim was awarded a total of £31,000 for a variety of reasons, which are detailed further down in this case study.

Workplace Injury Statistics

Workplace injuries in the UK are extremely common. The UK Government in the form of the Health & Safety Executive publishes extensive statistics about workplace accidents and the injuries they cause.

In this particular case, the victim was injured due to a workplace accident involving unloading a lorry. As we can see from the graph below, accidents involving lifting and handling, which include unloading accidents such as the one in the case study are the second most common type of accidents in the workplace.
Work injury statistics

Details of the Workplace Toe Amputation

The victim of this workplace accident at Marks & Spencer suffered from a crushed foot, which upon examination, required big toe amputation NHS treatment.

Having to undergo big toe amputation surgery is a serious procedure. The big toe itself is used to keep balance, and to provide leverage for walking. Losing a big toe in this way means that toe amputation recovery is always going to include a lengthy period of physiotherapy whilst the patient learns to walk again. If the rehabilitation goes well and there are no toe amputation complications, then a person can expect to recover full functionality within a few months. The NHS has published some excellent information on amputation injuries and the recovery from them.

In this specific case, it took several months before the victim could return to work full-time.

Establishing Liability and The Court Cases

With this particular workplace accident case, there was a need to prove liability for the amputated toe that the victim suffered. Every workplace is required under Health & Safety Regulations to provide a safe workplace for its employees. The question was whether Marks and Spencer were in breach of these regulations by failing to be compliant with HS&E directives, leading directly to the victim’s toe removal.

This was a critical aspect of the claim. If blame could be attributed to Marks & Spencer, then the route to making a successful claim for compensation after worker loses toe would be open. Additionally, it would also be possible to claim for lost earnings whilst the victim spent time off work, having therapy to help him walking after toe amputation.

Upon inspection, Health & Safety Officers found that the management team at the Marks & Spencer store were aware of the employee’s habit of riding the scissor lift and had done nothing to stop this behaviour. Therefore, they were deemed to be in breach of Health & Safety compliance and were liable.

Compensation After Worker Loses Toe

Once it was proven that Marks & Spencer was liable to pay compensation, a settlement was agreed. Workplace accidents are one of the most common causes of amputation and the damages awarded were in line with similar payouts for the same type of injury. Marks & Spencer was fined £20,000 for the breach of Health & Safety compliance and they were also ordered to pay legal costs of £11,113. The compensation paid was a total of £31,000 and covered:

  • General damages for the pain and suffering caused by the injury. Despite there being no complications of amputation the victim was still in considerable pain for some time. There was also a provision for the toe amputation recovery time. Amputation healing time can be long, and during this time the victim was unable to walk without aid.
  • Special damages to cover the loss of earnings whilst the victim was away from work. There was also a provision for the potential loss of earnings in the future if the injury reduced the hiring potential of the victim.
  • All costs pertaining to both medical treatment and also the court case.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you have suffered a serious injury such as a toe amputation due to a workplace accident, you will likely be able to claim compensation. If you lack the personal funds to engage a solicitor under a regular agreement, you might be better off using No Win No Fee solicitors.

A No Win No Fee agreement, which is also often called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) describes a deal for legal representation which means you don’t pay anything at all until the legal firm wins you a compensation pay-out.

How Legal Expert Can Help

If you have suffered a serious injury such as a toe amputation as the result of an accident at work, we might be able to help you claim compensation. Call us today on 0800 073 8804 and we will take the details of your injury, as well as the accident which caused it, and let you know if we think we can claim compensation on your behalf under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Useful Links

Amputation claims guide

A guide from Legalexpert.co.uk to compensation amounts for amputation injuries.

Toe amputation claims guide

A Legalexpert.co.uk guide to toe amputation compensation claims.

A guide to work accident claims

A guide on how to claim compensation for accidents at work.

NHS information on amputation injuries.

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