A university student has received a substantial sum in compensation after his leg was amputated following a workplace accident.

Mitesh Patel, 21, from Wembley in Middlesex lost his right leg below the knee after he was pinned by a forklift truck during his holiday job.

Mitesh was working for the Tile Depot in Cricklewood Lane, London in June 2008 when the horrific accident happened.

He had taken the sales job over the summer holidays to help pay for his business studies degree at Hertfordshire University.

Driver of Forklift Truck had received no training

His work colleague was using the forklift truck without any previous training and rammed into Mitesh.

The truck’s rear end swung round pinned Mitesh’s leg against a gas tank.

Despite eight hours of surgery doctors were unable to save his leg. It was amputated below the knee.

Following the accident Mitesh’s mother, a member of the GMB, contacted his union to enquire about pursuing a claim for accident compensation under the Friends and Family Scheme.

Employers admitted Liability

The GMB instructed Thompsons Solicitors which was successful in settling the claim after the Tile Depot admitted liability.

Over the last 18 months Mitesh has adapted to his injuries and has now returned to his studies at Hertfordshire University. He plans to use the compensation to buy a tailor-made prosthesis.

He said: “The last 18 months have been a nightmare. I never imagined that an accident like this could happen to me. Dealing with my injuries was difficult at first but I’ve learnt that you have to just pick yourself up and get on with things.

“It is good to be back at university now. I get tired very easily and I still have phantom pains in my leg, but I am determined to finish my degree regardless of my injuries. I am looking forward to being able to use my new prosthesis which this compensation will allow me to buy.”

Very serious and tragic accident

Richard Ascough from the GMB said: “This is a good example of the many benefits of union membership. Had it not been for the Friends and Family Scheme Mitesh would have found it difficult to pursue compensation.”

David Thompson from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This was a very serious and tragic accident. It is simply unacceptable that a worker untrained in using a forklift truck was allowed to do so.

“Mitesh has shown courage and determination in returning to his studies at university. This compensation will assist Mitesh to find a more suitable prosthesis and to make much needed adaptations to his home.”