Mr J* suffered a fractured hip whilst attempting to put a trolley away after shopping in a supermarket with his wife. Unfortunately the car park that he was pushing the trolley across was in a state of disrepair. He tripped and fell landing heavily on his side. After the accident he was taken by ambulance to his local hospital. The accident and emergency department referred him to the orthopaedic department. The scans showed that he had suffered a fracture of his hip.
As a consequence of the injury he had to have a hip replacement operation. He was recommended to me by a former client, says Jason Claridge Director and personal injury solicitor at Ward and Rider Solicitors.
We advanced the claim against the supermarket. Our argument was that the area was not fit for purpose. This was a large commercial entity. The supermarket had a footfall of thousands of people daily to it. Our argument was very simple.
The car park should be reasonably safe for people to use. It could not be the case we argued that the car park was in a fit and decent state if it was the case that it was rutted and had several pot holes in it. They accepted that they were to blame for my client’s accident although they raised the issue of whether the accident caused his injuries in full and he also said that he should have been watching where he was walking and therefore he was partially to blame for the accident.
We responded by saying he is not supposed to be looking at the surface of the car park all the time because that would potentially mean that he would be involved in dangerous activities such as walking into other people or walking into the path of cars, vans and lorries. Therefore we refused to accept that he should be in any way accountable for his accident. He was entitled to expect a car park which was fit for it’s purpose which was allow pedestrians and vehicles to use it without the risk of suffering injury.
We were able to take photographs showing measurements of the accident location. We demanded that they disclosed to us records of inspection, maintenance and repair as well as other complaints and accidents. In addition we asked them for disclosure of CCTV footage for the month before the accident so that we could view the car park.
They decided to accept liability in full rather than send us this documentation and it is always important in personal injury claims to make sure that you ask for their own records which may cause them difficulties in the defence of the case.
We then obtained medical evidence. Unfortunately he had not made a full recovery from his hip replacement surgery. This happens in a small percentage of people. As a consequence of this although he was a retired man he was always very fit and active. He helped look after his wife. He helps look after his children and grandchildren. All of that stopped. Furthermore he was no longer able to enjoy his principle leisure activity of walking with friends.
We were able to advance a claim for him in relation to the pain, suffering and loss of amenity suffered as a consequence of the fractured hip. Furthermore as a result of this injury we also were able to claim for his travelling to and from the hospital and his claim for medication. Because of his ongoing incapacity he had some restrictions in relation to heavier domestic activities and we argue that this would be lifelong. They argue that as he was getting older he would not be able to undertake such activities in any event but our argument was that he would always be more restricted than he otherwise would have been had it not been for this accident.
There were a series of offers made by both parties. The defendant’s representatives started at a low offer. I advised the client that this was designed to test his appetite for litigation. We did have to issue court proceedings to force their hand and eventually they made an offer of £56,000 which he felt satisfied in accepting in relation to his injuries, past and future financial losses.
We acted for Mr J* under a conditional fee agreement, referred to as a no win no fee agreement. The approach of Ward and Rider Solicitors is to act for client’s under such agreements as if to give them certainty. We are happy to act for them in relation to claims arising out of road traffic accidents, tripping and slipping claims, work related accident claims as well as claims involving medical negligence.
*Mr J’s name has been changed but this indeed is his case.