Considerable damages have been paid out to a carpenter who lost his finger in an accident at work while carrying out a routine joinery job.

After his employer failed to admit liability, Patrick Meek contacted a specialist law firm. The case was investigated by a team of solicitors, went to trial and resulted in Mr Meek being awarded a substantial sum.

Nail gun

Your employer has a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment.

Mr Meek, 60, described the last six years as “hell” after losing his finger, saying the loss has ruined his career and that he can no longer do the job he loved.

The incident occurred in 2007, while Mr Meek was using a nail gun to make standard pallets. As he fired a nail into one of the pallets, it ricocheted into his left index finger.

He then had to endure an intensive course of physiotherapy to repair the damage caused to his finger.

Further trauma

The worst was yet to come when two years later Mr Meek experienced more trauma due to a post-operative infection that caused extensive irreparable tissue damage.  As a result he underwent a fourth operation which led to the amputation of his finger.

He said: “It has been an extremely traumatic six years. One amputated finger, eight rounds of surgery at three hospitals and I’m still suffering.

“That accident put an end to my working life as a skilled joiner. The distress of the ongoing medical implications means I now take anti-depressants, and I will be on painkillers for the rest of my life.”

He added: “I am reduced to claiming incapacity benefits, which is not how envisaged ending my working career.”

Employer failed to admit liability

Mr Meek did not want to name his employer but after they did not take responsibility, he was forced to seek other means to settle the case and get the compensation he deserved.

If you have an accident at work and your employer does not accept any liability, remember it is not the end. Your employer has a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment, so if your employer has breached any aspect of this duty of care – or you were injured due to the negligence of another member of staff – pursuing a workplace accident claim could get you the compensation you deserve.