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Case Study

Claimant blamed by defendant for their accident at work awarded £17,250 compensation

The claimant’s details have been changed but this is indeed a true case

Phil Mulryne acted for Mr J, the Claimant, to pursue a claim for personal injuries following an accident during the course of the Claimant’s employment.

The Claimant was employed by the Defendants as a warehouse operative. Whilst working, he caught his foot on a plastic strapping which caused him to fall and suffer injuries.

The claim was put to Mr J’s employers who denied liability. It was suggested that it was his own fault that the accident happened and that all Health and Safety policies and procedures were in place. It was suggested that the strapping/banding that was attached to a pallet was a pallet that Mr J had moved and unloaded himself. This was denied and the Claimant maintained that he tripped due to a piece of strapping being discarded, it was assumed, by a colleague.

Mr J advised that the matter was captured on CCTV footage although when this was put to the Defendants, the footage could not be located.

As Mr J fell, he sustained the injuries to his wrist. He had physiotherapy and his symptoms improved.

The medical evidence that was obtained in support of his claim confirmed that the accident was responsible for 12 months’ worth of symptoms to his wrists, and although he complained of some further problems, they could not be put down to the accident.

The Claimant was initially off work due to his injures for a period of around 6 months. He then returned to work on the proviso that he was able to undertake light duties. However, there were no light duties available to him and whilst he tried to return to his pre-accident level of work, he was unable to do this due to his ongoing pain and discomfort so he was signed off work again by his GP.

As he could not return to his duties, his employment was terminated by his employers.

Loss of earnings was claimed for a 12 month period in accordance with the appointed medical expert’s accident related symptom duration.

During the post-accident period the Claimant was restricted in terms of undertaking his usual household tasks so for period of around 4-5 weeks his wife took over his share of the duties. Also, he required some assistance for a period of around 2 months from his wife with personal hygiene/washing/dressing.

The Defendants continued to deny liability so Court proceedings were commenced.

Following the commencement of proceedings, liability was admitted.

Offer of £7500 was put forward and this was rejected.

Subsequently, an increased offer of £17250 was put forward which was accepted.

The breakdown of the final settlement offer was not provided, although I calculated that the Client’s personal injury damages was worth in the region of £4500 and loss of earnings was claimed at just under £13000. In addition, the claim for care and assistance provided by the Claimant’s wife was claimed for just under £1000.

It was felt that there were going to be difficulties establishing the Claimant’s loss of earnings for the full 12 month period. The Claimant did not seek further employment after his employment was terminated by the Defendants and he was not signed off work by his GP for the final 4-5 months of the 12 month period following the accident so there was a potential argument that the loss of earnings claim should be reduced.

However, taken all of the above into consideration, the Claimant received a compensation of over 90% of the total value of the claim so a good result was achieved.

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