Case study: claim of worker who suffered spinal and head injuries after a fall 

Compensation: six-figure settlement

Summary

Mr W was seriously injured when he fell through a fibreglass roof at his workplace. He suffered broken bones in his neck and chest, nerve damage and a head injury. Mr W got in touch with YouClaim to claim against his employers whose negligence had caused the accident. Mr W was awarded a six-figure settlement.

 

The Accident

Mr W had been attempting to retrieve some packaging from an internal roof at his workplace when he fell. The packaging had been improperly stored and Mr W fell through a fibreglass roof.  His injuries included several broken bones in his neck and chest, a closed head injury and nerve damage to a thoracic spinal nerve. He also had a 2 inch long cut to his scalp requiring 5 staples, and sustained loose chipped teeth.  After contacting YouClaim, solicitor Gordon Cartwright was assigned to his case and sent a letter of claim to Mr W’s employer.

 

The Claim

After his accident, Mr W had been prescribed strong medication to help relieve the pain in his lower back.  A side effect from Mr W’s medication was that it was causing him depression, mood swings and headaches.  He was also suffering from stress and had issues with memory loss.  Mr W’s recovery and rehabilitation treatment had to therefore address his psychological and physical requirements.

Mr W returned to work six months after initial medical treatment, however, he was working on reduced hours, so was receiving a lower income.  This led to a period where Mr W’s employers would not allow him to work at all until he was fully recovered.  Mr W had also suffered a loss of enjoyment; he was a skilled cricketer, and had aspirations to play at a professional level, however, the extent of Mr W’s injuries meant that this was unlikely to be a possibility now.

 

The Case

Gordon quickly ensured that witness statements to support Mr W’s case were gathered from Mr W, his father, his best friend, and his auntie, who he stayed with after the accident as she provided him with care and assistance.  He also arranged to receive copies of Mr W’s hospital and GP records.

The defendant’s insurer didn’t agree to fund an immediate needs assessment.  This meant that Gordon couldn’t immediately get on with helping Mr W’s rehabilitation.  Whilst the insurer accepted responsibility that Mr W’s accident happened at his workplace, they suggested he contributed to his fall, and they required evidence that their insured was directly responsible for Mr W's accident.

Gordon asked a barrister to advise on this complex case.  The barrister agreed that securing independent medical reports from a neurologist, neurosurgeon and psychiatrist was the most important next step and Gordon proceeded to arrange these medical examinations.  Gordon was also able to secure an interim payment to support Mr W with his finances.  Gordon also asked Mr W to keep a diary detailing his psychological issues on the run up to being examined by the independent neuropsychologist.

 

Settling the case: compensation

With court proceedings issued, the defendant’s solicitor still suggested that Mr W was partly responsible for the accident, and that any compensation he received should be reduced.  Mr W and Gordon did not agree with this, and the issue was listed for a separate trial in Court.

The defendant’s solicitor got in touch ahead of the Court trial on Mr W’s level of responsibility for the accident, offering a “split” in the level of compensation he should receive if he were to be found partly responsible.  The combination of the two offers to settle Mr W’s case drew Gordon into a negotiation process.  Ultimately, Mr W made an offer which the defendant’s solicitor accepted.  Mr W was delighted that the case had come to a conclusion, stating that he felt it was “amazing”.  

 

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