Compensation for chemical burns
I recently acted for Mr J who was injured when working as a porter in a hospital. As Mr J was emptying the domestic waste hospital bins, he sustained chemical burns to both hands from liquids which had been incorrectly disposed of in the domestic waste bins rather than the clinical waste bins.
Both burns resulted in blistering and Mr J had to take a month off work to recover. He found however that since the accident, his hands are extremely sensitive and he is unable to use standard soap or shampoo as this often causes a rash to both hands, resulting in further blisters.
Mr J previously instructed another firm of solicitors but his initial solicitor had retired and he was not happy with her replacement. He approached me almost three years after the accident and I discovered that little had been done to progress his case.
All injury claims have to be issued within three years from the date of the accident or they are time barred and a claim is no longer able to be brought for the injury. Given that we were nearly three years on, it was necessary to issue court proceedings immediately to protect Mr J’s claim. I also immediately applied for Mr J’s up to date medical records with a view to having him seen by specialist medical experts who would provide an opinion and prognosis on Mr J’s injuries. I could not see from the previous solicitors file that we had had a response from the NHS Trust admitting or denying responsibility for the injury so I chased them for this and they came back fairly swiftly admitted liability.
I organised for Mr J to be seen by a plastic surgery and hand expert, and by an expert dermatologist who diagnosed Mr J with contact dermatitis. It was expected that his condition could be managed conservatively. However, given Mr J’s job as a hospital porter, the experts felt that if Mr J lost his current job, he would be at a disadvantage on the labour market when trying to secure a similar role.
I disclosed both medical reports to the NHS Trust which then made an offer to settle Mr J’s claim for £20,000 which he was delighted to accept.