The claimant’s details have been changed but this is indeed a true case
Phil Mulryne acted for Mr D, the Claimant to pursue a claim for personal injuries and losses following an accident during the Claimant’s employment.
The Claimant tripped over a crumpled mat causing him to fall and sustain an injury to his left groin/hip area.
The Claimant attended hospital and underwent scans and x-rays which did not reveal any fractures. The Claimant’s symptoms did not improve which meant he had to take a lengthy period off work (in the region of 6 months). He was encouraged to return to work by his Employers and promised that he would be put on a new role which involved lighter duties, but he ended up doing heavier work which aggravated his injuries. He struggled on at work but ended up after a few months having a further period of around 8 months off work.
During this period, the Claimant still struggled to function and further medical attendances/treatment didn’t do much to improve his symptoms.
The Claimant was offered redundancy in September of 2020, and he felt that it was probably better for him to take redundancy as he was concerned that he would be dismissed by his employers as he was struggling to complete his work efficiently. Whilst he was on lighter duties, he was of the view that some time sooner or later he would have to return to his pre-accident role.
The Claimant continued to struggle with pain in the groin/hip area. It was recommended that he underwent a pain management assessment. The suggestion being that the symptoms were likely to continue but could be managed.
When the claim was put to the Defendants, liability for the accident was admitted but the value of the Claimant’s claim was disputed.
As no agreement to settle the claim could be reached, court proceedings were commenced.
Offers of £30,000.00, £40,000.00, and finally £50,000.00 were put forward by the Defendants with the final offer accepted by the Claimant.
It was felt that the claim for personal injury damages was worth somewhere in the region of £25,000.00, although there was going to be a significant range of opinion in terms of the medical evidence. The Defendants had received permission from the court to obtain their own medical evidence which had not yet been served. There was a significant risk that Claimant’s claim could be worth less than the above valuation in the event that the Defendant’s obtained their own medical evidence. The Claimant’s orthopaedic expert indicated that the Claimant had suffered, on the face of it, a soft tissue injury and couldn’t explain the reason for ongoing symptoms, although a pain management assessment was appropriate.
The Claimant incurred in the region of £25,000.00 loss of earnings up to the acceptance of redundancy. Again, there was concern that this could be challenged by the Defendants.
There was no evidence to support the fact that the Claimant would have continued working beyond retirement age (he accepted redundancy after the statutory pension age). It was felt that there would be a maximum of £20,000.00 additional loss of earnings that potentially could be claimed and to reflect the risk on him not being able to work in his pre-accident capacity. The Claimant did not discuss with his employers when accepting redundancy that his decision was made due to accident-related issues.
A claim had also been put forward on the basis that the Claimant had to have some assistance with gardening which he undertook prior to the accident and his share of housework. This head of claim was assessed in the region of £5,000.00.
Counsel’s opinion was obtained on the value of the claim and Counsel had concerns that the Claimant may struggle to achieve an award in excess of £30,000.00 (the offer that was on the table at the time the claim was assessed by Counsel). Counsel believed there were some prospects of obtaining an award in excess of £50,000.00 if all of the Claimant’s evidence was accepted, but the medical evidence was likely to be significantly challenged by the Defendant and their appointed experts.
Taking everything into consideration, it was felt that a figure of around £50,000.00 would be an appropriate settlement figure based on the risk of a significantly lower award.