Nick was a car mechanic working at a local garage. He was cutting through a disc brake on a Ford Fiesta using an electric saw. As a skilled mechanic, this was a job he’d done many times before.
As he was using the saw, the blade suddenly snapped and large pieces of sharp metal flew into Nick’s face. He was thrown backwards two feet.
Nick was immediately rushed to hospital.
The hospital gave him several local anaesthetic injections to numb his face while they cleaned it up and stitched it back together.
When they’d finished, Nick looked in a mirror and realised the extent of his injuries. He had two deep slashes, each the length of a box of matches, over his nose and up to his forehead. And another two large lacerations in the middle of his forehead.
Nick left the hospital with 12 stitches on his face. After two weeks, his stitches were taken out but he kept getting sharp, shooting pains in his face. His facial wounds did, gradually, begin to heal. But he started to get excruciating headaches every day for six months after the accident. The headaches would often last up to three hours and he would feel dizzy and be unable to move as it made the pain worse.
Nick went back to work about 10 days after the accident, but he couldn’t concentrate as his headaches were getting worse, and he was very worried about using power tools.
His GP diagnosed a mild concussion and put him on a short course of codeine – a heavy-duty painkiller – and signed him off work for four weeks.
How We Helped Nick
About six months after the accident, Nick contacted one of our Accident at Work Lawyers and Gulderen talked through what had happened.
Gulderen noticed that Nick was wearing a hat that covered the top half of his face and that he seemed nervous and anxious. Nick mentioned that he was feeling self-conscious about the scars on his face and that he was worried that people would pre-judge him and automatically think that they were the result of a fight.
So, whenever he left his house, he wore a hat to try and cover them up.
But this insecurity, along with his headaches, also stopped Nick from seeing his mates, playing football once a week, cycling on the weekend, and walking his dog each day.
His life had been seriously impacted because of his accident and his injuries.
Nick found he was irritable, he kept forgetting things, and he couldn’t concentrate for long periods of time, and had serious bouts of anxiety which sometimes led to panic attacks.
Even though he’d gone back to work, his tasks were taking around 25% longer because he didn’t want to use power tools.
Gulderen sent Nick for medical, psychiatric; neuropsychiatry and plastic surgery examinations. He was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, which prevented his brain from functioning normally, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression.
He was also advised by a plastic surgeon to have an operation to help improve the scarring on his face.
Gulderen found that Nick wasn’t given any head or facial protection to wear, other than a pair of goggles. And, although Nick had plenty of experience using the electric saw, the blade was actually fitted by the Sales Manager who’d never used the tool before and had hadn’t been given any training.
The Outcome for Nick
Gulderen showed that the local garage that Nick worked for was entirely responsible for the accident and that his injuries had seriously affected his work and home life.
As a result, Nick was awarded £48,000 in compensation. Nick’s road to recovery was a long one, but his compensation will help him start to rebuild his life.
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