Personal injury claims specialists help secure pay-out for delivery driver subjected to crushed hand at work

A busy depot in Hertfordshire provided the backdrop for an incident that one woman would like to forget, were it not for the relenting pain she experiences to this day as a direct result of what she believed was an avoidable accident.

The claimant, Helen Waycott, was employed at the time of the accident in a delivery depot in Hemel Hempstead, where she was hit by a passing vehicle, according to the case she successfully brought before a claims tribunal recently.

The delivery driver subsequently found herself on the receiving end of a crush injury, after her hand was pinned back by a lorry which was in the throes of squeezing past the victim so as to accommodate another moving vehicle which was looking to use an adjacent space within the confines of the depot.

The claimant – who was herself in the midst of closing the rear doors of her own lorry as this incident panned out – suffered physical damage to both her hand and arm, despite advising the driver of the culpable vehicle that she’d need to close the doors of her lorry prior to the aforementioned vehicle passing safely.

However the other driver moved forward, the direct consequence of which saw the claimant’s right hand and arm being trapped and crushed between the door of her own vehicle (which she was in the process of closing) and the previously approaching lorry’s cab unit.

On sustaining the injury the victim was immediately transported to the A&E unit of the nearest hospital, as she told of how her damaged arm had by this time swollen. Despite no bones being broken, a plaster cast was fitted to the claimant’s right arm and it later emerged that she developed CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) as a physical legacy of the incident.

In the intervening passage of time between the accident occurring and the claimant putting in motion her personal injury claim, various news sources learned how she’d attempted (albeit in vain) to return to her place of employment with a view to assuming her duties on two, sadly failed occasion; firstly 6 weeks on from the accident as well as some 18 months down the line.

However the pain was unbearable according to the victim, which left her with no other choice than to quit her job. Unable to secure an alternative means of employment to this day, the claimant also spoke at the time her personal injury claim was vigorously pursued on her behalf of her former work environment being one of overcrowding and potential danger. So much so that she cited instances when vehicles would stop in unsafe areas of the depot.

On receiving a financial pay-out as compensation for the injuries she suffered, the victim spoke of how she considered herself relatively fortunate, in terms of proving that her former employers were liable for the injury that befell her. Waycott; “I count myself lucky; the camera in the cab of my lorry filmed the accident, which meant that the depot had to admit responsibility. There should have been more space available for drivers to stop to check their vehicles were safe to drive, but that was not the case in the depot.”

Going on to describe how physiotherapy has played a crucial part in her recovery process, the claimant also told of how the compensation figure awarded to her would mean she’d be in a favourable position to clear her debts and give her the physical wherewithal to help her find a new job. Also adding their take on this particular case, Unite the Union’s (who advised the claimant from the outset, along with instructed her to choose a personal injury claims specialist to fight her corner) regional secretary added; “This particular depot was a notorious hotspot for overcrowding and her accident is a result of the risks not being thought through, health and safety just wasn’t taken seriously enough.”