Assembly Line Accident: How to claim for injuries whilst working on an assembly line, defective machinery, medical evidence, calculating compensation
Find out how a claim can be made for compensation from an employer for personal injury and financial loss (including lost income) from an assembly line work accident; we consider defective machinery, medical evidence necessary to support a claim with links to our showing articles how to calculate compensation amounts.
We use an online accident victim question concerning a machine malfunction causing a crush injury and loss of fingers to illustrate how this can be done.
Assembly line accident question
I work on an assembly line building rims for cars. The guard on the equipment I was using malfunctioned causing two fingers on my right hand to be trapped and crushed. I was assisted by colleagues and the whole assembly line turned off temporarily. An ambulance was called and I was taken to hospital – unfortunately the crush was so bad that my fingers could not be saved and had to be amputated.
The machine guard has broken down several times in the past and my boss knew about this, but never properly repaired it. I believe following my accident an investigation took place and the machine was replaced.
I am currently unable to work – my employer is paying me, but I fear for my future as I do not think I will be able to work the way I used to.
Can I make a claim for compensation for the loss of my fingers in this assembly line accident?
Work injury Solicitor Response
Your employer is under a duty to provide safe work equipment, which includes the machine guard. There have been problems with the guard in the past, so your employer was aware of the problem.
However, even if your employer was not aware and this was the first malfunction of the guard – your employer would most likely be held liable for the assembly line accident.
Your employer is under a duty to make a proper accident book entry and report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive using a RIDDOR report given your injuries were serious in nature.
The HSE likely investigated and inspected the offending machine – which is probably the work investigation you have referred to and it is most likely the HSE that concluded that the machine was dangerous and should be replaced.
All of your employer’s records – including the accident book entry, risk assessments and HSE documentation can be obtained by your solicitor, should your employer fail to accept fault.
We suspect however that once your employer is notified of a claim liability would be accepted by the employer liability insurers.
See our article how to prove employer fault for your work accident – this provides further details of proving fault in different accident scenarios.
Determining the compensation that you can claim for your assembly line accident
Amputation of two fingers on your right hand is a serious injury (whether this is your dominant hand or not). You have not only lost two of your fingers, but most likely the function of your hand will be greatly compromised and lead to disability.
In addition to your hand injury – you may have experienced other injuries both physical and psychological. Post traumatic stress symptoms may present themselves – as this is a typical type of accident which could cause such psychological damage.
The solicitor instructed to make your claim would need to prove the exact nature of your injuries, any ongoing disabilities and the effect on your ability to work. This would primarily be done using an independent medical expert – who would examine you, look at your medical notes from the hospital / your GP, so as to compile a report. This medical expert can be asked to comment on your ability to work – given the disabling nature of your injuries.
Using this report your solicitor would be able to calculate the likely compensation you could claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity – known as general damages.
In addition, to this your solicitor would compile details of all your financial expense and losses as a direct result of your assembly line accident. This would include past and future lost income, medical expenses, etc. These losses are known as special damages.
The amount of compensation you can claim would be the combined total of these general and special damages.
Specialist solicitor online assistance
If you would like to discuss your claim with our specialist solicitors online or direct on the telephone or have a question answered, see our specialist solicitor free online help options.