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Young Artist Suffers Career Ruining Injury on Work Experience

Personal injury solicitors working on behalf of a talented young artist are claiming £280,000 in work injury compensation after an accident involving a circular saw that sliced her left index finger off.

Katie Ward, 28, had a dream of working within the film industry, and was working for architects Allies & Morrison on a work placement when the accident ruined her career prospects. Katie had graduated with a first class honours degree in model making in 2006 and had a bright future career ahead of her before the workplace accident.

She was working on a circular saw in order to cut wood for a model. Not only was the machine unguarded but Katie was also undertaking the work unsupervised on only her second day on her work placement. Surgeons managed to save the finger and re-attach it, but it has had a detrimental effect on her life since, being unable to work with machinery due to post traumatic stress disorder.

At Coventry County Court in April 2011, a judge awarded Miss Ward £80,000 in damages, a figure that compensates her for her injuries but not for future loss of earnings due to a career ruining injury. The judge stating that:

“I am unable to find that this young woman, either as a matter of fact or law, fulfils the criteria of a disabled person.

“[a career in model making] was simply beyond her, not because she lacked skill, but because she had lost motivation due to the accident and was now far behind the pack.”

Test Case Surrounding Meaning of Disability and Definition of Ruining a Career through Injury

Katie’s work injury solicitors are now challenging the ruling in order to chase a larger, £280,000 work injury compensation package, arguing that Katie should be awarded disability status due to the impact the workplace accident has had on her life and career prospects; she has taken an administrative college job as an alternative to her dream career due to her injuries.

As an example of how the injury ruined her career, Katie displayed a sculpture of a Wallace and Gromit character that she had made since the accident, admitting that she was ‘embarrassed’ by it. The judge took this as evidence that Katie should not be perceived as disabled as he could see ‘little difference’ between this piece and the work she had produced prior to her injury.

Theodore Huckle QC, said:

“The judge appears to have wrongly concluded that, because the claimant can and does still do things, including with her injured hand, and because she can continue to do things in part by avoiding use of that hand, then she is not to be regarded as ‘disabled’ for these purposes.”

Judgement will be given at an unspecified later date.

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This test case into the definition of disability and what constitutes a career ruined by injury is an interesting one as it is evident that Katie Ward has decided on a very different career path as a direct result of the injury she suffered on a work placement.

An injury suffered in the workplace can have a devastating impact on the victim, leading to time away from employment in order to recover. There are also many associated costs, including medical expenses and rehabilitation in some cases. Add to that the potential for a career ruining injury as potentially in this case and it is easy to see why work injury compensation is so important to a victim of a personal injury accident that was no fault of their own.

For a free, no obligation consultation with a personal injury solicitor contact Duncan Gibbins on  . We offer open and honest advice regarding potential claims for compensation having successfully worked on behalf of clients from all walks of life and from all over the country.

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