Claim Answers: My finger got caught in the door at my office. Can I make a compensation claim for this?

My finger got caught in the door at my office
Eoin P. Campbell
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief

General Answer: If you have not already done so, you need to immediately visit a doctor to get treatment for whatever injuries you have suffered. In addition to increasing your chances of recovery, you need the medical records to pursue your claim. You also need to ensure that your injury is accurately recorded in the Accident Report Book.

This type of injury caused by being caught in a door is known as a crush injury. Your doctor will need to produce a report describing the symptoms of your injury – such as swelling and bleeding, level of pain or numbness, and especially any deformaties or permanent. Some of the common symptoms of a crush injury include swelling and bleeding in the area, damaged skin, pain or numbness or, in the more severe accidents, a deformed or mangled body part.

More importantly for any injury compensation claim, the doctor will need to give you a diagnosis for the future, especially if there is loss of function that impacts your work (for example, unable to type on a computer keyboard).

The next step is to establish if a third party is liable for the accident. Even if you are an ordinary employee working in your office, it may not necessary be your employer that is the defendant in the case (it could be, for example, the building owner). There might also be contributory negligence if you are partly responsible for your own injury.

What actually happened in this case: We had a quick phone call that established that the victim was an employee and that the building was owned by her employee. The door was a security door that has sharp metal edges and automatically snapped shut. The victim was collecting the post and was carrying a large bundle of packages and letters. The should be security video coverage available. The medical records will show a serious injury to one hand – severed tendon. The victim has not yet returned to work and while fellow employees have been very supportive, management has only contacted her regarding sick pay and not discussed any potential crush injury claim. The conclusion from the call is that the victim needs to contact a solictor to start building a case for the employer liability, especially securing a copy of the security video and asking an expert to assess the saftey of the security doors.