If you sustained a serious thumb injury at work which resulted in the amputation of your thumb, you could be entitled to file for compensation against your employer, providing the incident happened in the last 3 years and because of the error of a work colleague or employer negligence. The loss of a thumb can seriously impact your ability to grasp and grip objects and as such it could mean you are unable to carry out the job you used to do prior to being injured. To find out more about how to claim compensation for the loss of a thumb at work, please read on.
What is My Employer’s Responsibility in the Workplace?
Employers must keep you and your work colleagues safe while they are carrying out their daily tasks and failure to do so which results in a workplace accident, could leave them open to being sued for any injuries that employees sustain. There are various laws in the UK and Health and Safety Executive regulations which employers and employees must abide by. This includes ensuring that you are provided with the correct type of personal protector equipment when carrying out a job that presents more in the way of risks than others.
Your employer is obliged to set in place all “reasonable” measures to keep you safe while you are carrying out your job. Other responsibilities that an employer must adhere to include the following:
- For all employees/workers, whether permanent or temporary which includes contractors and agency workers, to be provided with adequate and ongoing training to ensure they are capable of doing a job
- To ensure that all tools, any equipment and machinery that is regularly used in the workplace, is correctly maintained so it is in “good” working order and to ensure that it is regularly serviced as per the manufacturer’s guidelines
- To replace any tools, machinery and equipment that cannot be repaired so they can be safely operated and used
- To ensure that risk assessments are routinely carried out in the workplace with an end goal being to identify dangers and hazards before setting in place “reasonable” measures to reduce the risk of harm and injury to employees/workers
- To ensure that all employees/workers are given a copy of working procedures which should be available at all times for referencing
- To ensure that all personal protective equipment is correctly stored and readily available to employees when needed
As previously mentioned, should your employer fail to carry out any of the above and as a result you suffer a serious injury that results in your thumb being amputated, you would have the right to seek compensation from your employer, providing your claim meets specific criteria which is that the workplace accident occurred in the last 3 years and you were not responsible.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive in a Successful Loss of a Thumb Claim?
When it comes to the amount of compensation you may receive if your loss of thumb claim is upheld, it would depend on the severity of your injury as well as the complexity of your case. In short, in order to calculate how much you may receive, a solicitor would arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical professional who would write a detailed report on the injuries you sustained and how your future ability to work is negatively impacted. This medical report is crucial as it would be key to how much you may be awarded either by a judge or your employer’s insurers should they wish to settle your loss of thumb claim before it goes to court.
You would be awarded both “general damages” and “special damages” with the latter being that much easier to work out as they are based on “actual” expenses and costs you incurred because of the injury sustained at work. General damages are awarded on the pain and suffering you had to endure which means they are a little harder to calculate. As a rule of thumb, the more severe your injury is and how it impacts your overall health, well-being and ability work, the more in the way of general damages compensation you would be awarded in a successful loss of thumb claim against a negligent employer.
What are My Workers Rights Following an Accident at Work?
Some workplace accidents and injuries are “reportable” to the Health and Safety Executive because the law requires that specific injuries are reported to RIDDOR. With this said, all accidents and near misses in the workplace should be officially recorded in one form or another whether in an Accident Report Book or by some other means which could be in a personal email sent to an employer or in a letter sent recorded delivery to an employer.
Your rights are protected if you are involved in a workplace accident that leaves you injured, whether your injuries are slight or a lot more severe. This means you have the right to do the following:
- Seek compensation from your employer should they be responsible for the injuries you sustained. It is worth noting that even if a work colleague caused the incident, your employer could still be held liable for your injuries
- To know that your job and position within a business, is safe even if you file a personal injury claim for a workplace injury against an employer
If you are threatened in any way which includes an employer telling you that you would be made redundant or fired if you seek compensation from them, your employer would be committing an offence because it is illegal for them to act in this way towards you. As such, before doing anything else, you should seek legal advice from an employment solicitor who would offer crucial advice on whether you could file further legal action out against your employer.
Should I Sue My Employer for a Loss of Thumb?
As previously mentioned, your employer must keep you safe from injury while you are working for them and if they fail to do so, you have the right to seek compensation for the injury you sustain. Having to undergo a thumb amputation is a traumatic experience that can seriously impact your ability to grip and grasp anything. This type of traumatic injury can also affect you psychologically for which you would be entitled to receive compensation. Suing an employer for a loss of thumb at work would be perfectly reasonable providing they could be deemed liable for the accident occurring and the injury you sustained.
It is also worth noting that your employer must have liability insurance which must meet the legal required cover. The policy must also be issued by a recognised insurance provider. It is the insurer who would handle and deal with every aspect and stage of your loss of thumb claim which they would do through negotiation with a solicitor you choose to represent you with 95% of personal injury claims being settled before they go before a judge. In short, it would be your employer’s insurers who would pay the loss of thumb compensation you file for and not your employer.
Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Loss of Thumb Claim?
Having been involved in a serious workplace accident that leaves you with the loss of a thumb, you may not be able to work for a considerable amount of time. It can take several months to recover from this type of injury and the psychological damage it can have on you would be substantial too. As such, it is important that you place your focus on making a full recovery following surgery to remove your injured thumb.
Having legal representation on your side at a time like this, helps you and your loved ones through a difficult time. A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims of this nature would provide you with crucial legal advice on what evidence is needed to strengthen your case. Other benefits and advantages a solicitor would provide when representing you on a loss of thumb claim, would include the following:
- Accident at work lawyers can access legal libraries to research case precedents
- A solicitor can arrange for you to be examined by an independent consultant/specialist and the detailed medical report they provide would be essential when it comes to negotiating a fair and acceptable level of loss of thumb compensation
- A solicitor would represent you on a No Win No Fee basis once they are satisfied that you have a strong claim against a negligent employer
- A solicitor would handle your claim from the outset by contacting your employer and your employer’s liability insurance provider
- A solicitor would arrange for you to receive specialist treatment, therapies and aftercare rehabilitation which can help speed up your loss of thumb recovery considerably
- A solicitor would negotiate the correct level of compensation for the injuries you sustained
Is There a Time Limit to Making a Loss of Thumb at Work Claim Against My Employer?
There is a strict statutory time limit to filing a loss of thumb claim against your employer which is detailed below:
- 3 years from the date of your workplace injury
- 3 years from the day you turn 18 years of age should the workplace accident have happened before your 18th birthday
Waiting for too long to make a loss of thumb claim could result in you missing out on receiving compensation for the injury you sustained. This is true even if you have all the proof needed to uphold your claim. As such, it is better to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in amputation claims sooner rather than later.
Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing a Loss of Thumb Claim Against Them?
Worker’s rights are protected in the United Kingdom and this includes when they suffer any injury or harm in the workplace. An employer cannot fire you because you seek compensation for injuries you sustained while in their employment. Should you be threatened with the “sack” for filing an accident at work claim against your employer, you should contact a solicitor who specialises in employment law. The reason being that your employer would be breaking the law if they tell you would lose your job if you seek compensation for an injury you sustained in the workplace.
Would a Solicitor Work on a No Win No Fee Basis on My Loss of Thumb Claim Against My Employer?
A lawyer who specialises in accident at work claims would need to thoroughly assess your case before agreeing to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. However, once the firm of solicitors is satisfied that your claim is valid and that your employer could be deemed liable for the serious injury you sustained, you would be asked to sign a legal contract which is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement also referred to as a No Win No Fee agreement. This contract between you and the firm of solicitors sets out all the conditions and the “success fee” that would be payable on a successful loss of thumb claim.
You would need to provide a No Win No Fee lawyer with all the evidence relating to the workplace accident that resulted in you having a thumb amputated. This includes official records of the incident, initial medical reports, witness statements together with their contact details, the name of your employer’s liability insurers and photos of where the accident occurred together with photos of your injury prior to receiving any treatment if possible. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your claim against an employer would be.
A solicitor would then communicate with your employer’s insurance provider who must abide by the time limits to respond to the letter they are sent informing them of your intentions to file an accident at work claim. If your employer admits liability, the solicitor would then begin negotiating a settlement with the insurance provider having initially respected the “pre-action protocols” that apply to all personal injury claims.
If the insurance provider fails to respond to any communication in a timely manner, your solicitor may begin court proceedings. If your employer disputes liability, it may be necessary for your case to go to court and be heard by a judge. However, your solicitor would first investigate your employer’s claims with an end goal being to get them to admit liability for the workplace injury you sustained thus preventing the need to go to court.
The percentage that would be payable on a successful loss of thumb claim has a cap which is set at 25% of the amount you may be awarded whether by a judge or by your employer’s insurance provider should they wish to offer you an out of court settlement. The amount you pay for the legal representation you received, is deducted from the amount of loss of thumb compensation you are awarded which means you do not have to find the money to pay the “success fee” that would be due on a successful loss of thumb claim against your employer.
If you would like to know more about your employer’s responsibilities towards you in the workplace, the following link takes you to the Health and Safety Executive website where you will find a lot of useful information on the topic:
To find out more about rehabilitation following an amputation, the following link takes you to the NHS website where you will find a lot of helpful information on this type of surgery: