A delivery driver, Mr N was assisting to unload some steel beams he had delivered to a building site, when the forklift truck driver attempting to remove the beams rammed the forks into Mr N’s right foot, crushing the foot and causing multiple fractures to his big, second, third and fourth toes. His big toe became infected and he eventually had to have it amputated.
Mr N decided to make a claim for his injuries and searched the internet for a firm of solicitors to assist him. He found YouClaim, who put him in touch with Jason Harwood, a Senior Associate at JMW Solicitors, who has had many years’ experience in dealing with accidents that have caused severe injuries.
Jason wrote a letter of claim to the contractors responsible for undertaking the building work, the defendants, who referred it to their insurers. After investigating the accident circumstances, the insurers attempted to allege that Mr N should hold a level of liability for the accident, which they placed at 50%, as they suggested Mr N breached health and safety policy by standing on the lorry while the steel beams were being unloaded.
After discussion with Mr N, Jason was able to counter this proposal and suggest that liability be set at a 75/25 basis; although the defendant’s insurers suggested that the accident happened because Mr N was standing in the wrong place on the lorry, and in breach of health and safety standards, we countered that Mr N only had cause to stand there on the basis that the driver was inexperienced. The site was also cleared before Mr N’s employer’s Health and Safety manager could carry out a proper inspection, removing possible evidence in Mr N’s favour.
The insurers accepted these arguments and agreed to the 75/25 split. With this issue resolved, Jason was able to focus on establishing the value of Mr N’s claim, in order to pursue a reasonable level of compensation. Jason made an appointment for Mr N to meet with a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, so that an independent assessment of his injuries could be made, a prognosis delivered and the information provided could assist Jason with compiling a Schedule of Loss – a document outlining all the quantifiable losses Mr N had experienced as a result of his accident, and therefore what he was entitled to claim for.
The consultant confirmed Mr N’s crushing injuries and suggested he had made a good recovery, although had some problems with his foot. These problems were particularly to do with his second toe, and the consultant speculated that there was a 40% chance Mr N may require additional surgery on the toe within five years. He also confirmed that without special orthotic footwear Mr N was provided with, his mobility would have been greatly restricted as a result of the accident and that the residual symptoms of pain and discomfort that Mr N had been experiencing was going to continue indefinitely.
Jason also had Mr N seen by an orthotics/prosthetics expert, in order to find out if Mr N would be able to purchase comfortable, aesthetically pleasing footwear, and how often he would have to replace his prosthetic. This expert suggested that Mr N would be able to wear his own footwear, as long as he was provided with three carbon sole plates, which would need to be replaced every two years.
Jason then put together a Schedule of Loss for Mr N, including provisions for replacement carbon soles, surgery costs for his second toe, travel, prescription, medication, care and miscellaneous expenses, as well as pain, suffering and the impact on his personal happiness as a result of the claim.
Along with the reports from the two medical experts, Jason sent the Schedule of Loss document to the defendant’s insurers, with a proposal for them to make a reasonable offer to settle Mr N’s claim. The insurers responded to Jason with a £36,000 offer, which Mr N was very happy with. He chose to settle his claim in full for that amount and was exceedingly pleased with the service he received, both from Jason, and through YouClaim.
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