The claimant’s details have been changed but this is indeed a true case
We recently acted for Mrs X as a consequence of an accident. She had been on a day out with friends. Part of the agreed itinerary was that they would eat a meal at a restaurant near to the attractions they were visiting.
Before she sat down to eat, she decided she wanted to use the toilet. Unfortunately the toilets had been cleaned but there was no warnings put out. She slipped and fell, landing heavily, including striking her head on the floor. She lost consciousness.
She regained consciousness but was found by her friend at the same time. She was then taken to the local Accident & Emergency Department where they assessed her head injury and her orthopaedic injury. We initiated a claim against the defendant and their solicitors asked what tends to be standardised questions in such cases. In particular they asked about her footwear, they asked how quickly she was moving, why she did not see the slipping hazard and whether she had been drinking alcohol before the accident.
We explained to them she was wearing sensible footwear as she was walking. She was not rushing in any way. She had not drunk any alcohol prior to the accident, a fact which was confirmed by the accident and emergency department notes and ambulance service notes, she is not required to spend her time looking at her feet as she walked into this environment and we argued that any reasonable occupier would have had a system in place whereby the slipping hazard was highlighted.
As a response to the replies that we sent, they conceded liability. We then obtained medical records to instruct consultants. There were delays caused by COVID-19 but Mrs X saw an individual who dealt with her orthopaedic injuries and another individual who dealt with her neurological injuries.
Her orthopaedic injuries were the injuries she was initially most concerned about because of the pain she experienced but after some physiotherapy, which she paid for privately, she vastly improved. However what had happened to her was she had suffered cognitive issues. She saw a neurologist.
The neurologist advised after seeing the records and scans as well as speaking to her that she had suffered a post-concussion injury and traumatic brain injury. She had previously been an individual who passed retirement age had volunteered to work one or two days a week and she had in the past worked in a job where your cognitive functioning had to be at a high level because of the technical and demanding work that she did.
Her friends confirmed the changes in her following the accident and although the defendants tried to argue this was down to the natural ageing process, this was not accepted by Mrs X nor indeed her expert. Mrs X learnt to work around the cognitive deficits caused by the traumatic brain injury and post-concussion disorder. She accepted that there would always be a reduction in her cognition but she was able to cope with life on a functioning day to day basis at a level where she did not require any support. There were then a series of offers and counter offers, with Mrs X ultimately deciding that she would accept £30,000.
She decided she would use part of the compensation she received for the injuries and financial losses as a consequence of this accident to take a cruise in the Mediterranean with her friend. She explained that because of her age, she had been cocooned in her home for many months during COVID-19 and felt that she wanted to see some of the world again before she was incapable of doing this.
Ward & Rider Solicitors are willing to advise on all types of personal injury and clinical negligence claims arising from slipping and tripping accidents, such as this one, accidents at work or road traffic accidents, as well as cases arising from medical negligence. Please contact us for a consultation.