Hannah was employed as a house keeper in a hospital. She was walking from the kitchen and was proceeding through a fire door when the fire door closed quickly and struck her. Hannah instinctively put her hand out to steady herself and got her left hand jarred on the frame of the door. As a result of this, Hannah suffered a broken index finger on her left hand. In addition, the top of her index finger burst open.
Hannah attended the A&E Department where an attempt was made to freeze the tip of the finger. This was unsuccessful and two stitches were applied. Diagnosed with a fracture of distal phalanx of her finger, she underwent intensive occupational therapy and was off work for a period of 6 months as a result of the injuries which she sustained.
Personal Injury Claim Pursued
Hannah approached this firm to pursue a personal injury claim on her behalf. It was Hannah’s case that the door in question was defective in that the closing mechanism on the door was such that it closed too quickly and did not give enough time for someone to walk through the door. A letter of claim was directed to the hospital. After investigating the matter, liability was robustly denied. The next step was to issue legal proceedings.
Legal Proceeding Issued Against The Hospital
If a case is unsuccessful the costs can be quite significant for the client. However, as specialist personal injury lawyers, Paschal O’Hare Solicitors have a delegated authority with a large legal expenses insurance company. As a consequence, we were able to place legal expenses insurance on the case. In effect, Hannah's costs were insured.
Accordingly, we obtained a report from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who was of the opinion that Hannah would be left with hypersensitivity at the tip of her index finger and that she would have to adapt to avoiding tasks using the index finger. A consulting engineer was retained who carried out an inspection of the accident location and prepared a report. The matter proceeded to trial.
On the morning of the trial the defendant indicated that it was making no offer of compensation. A witness for the defence, who had come upon the accident shortly afterwards, was in attendance. Having spoken with this witness, it was clear that he was supportive of Hannah ’s asertain that the door in question closed too quickly. Defence representatives were made aware of this. In light of that, they indicated a willingness to negotiate and the case settled for £10k.