Trip on pavement causes glass laceration - £8,500

The injury:

Mrs H was injured as she made her way back to her home, from the corner shop.  She tripped on a board that had been left to cover a hole in the pavement on her street as she’d stepped to one side to avoid foot traffic.  The trip caused her to fall and hit her face on some exposed brickwork, breaking the bottle of wine she was carrying, which caused a glass laceration to her cheek, and a fracture of her left wrist.  She said:

“I hadn’t planned on making a claim, but I felt frustrated with the situation; the council had left a danger on our street and it hadn’t been fixed, which resulted in my accident.  I was worried that someone else could have had a very nasty fall.  That, combined with seeing a lorry mount the pavement and not being stopped, despite breaking some of the bricks, as well as the constant discomfort from my facial scar, encouraged me to make a claim, so that someone would take responsibility for the state of the street.  So I used the details from a TV advert I saw, which put me through to your team, where Linda dealt with my claim.” 

 

The case:

Linda Medhurst, Associate, dealt with Mrs H’s claim, which was against the local council, who have responsibility for maintaining the roads and highways in their council area.  They took some time in responding to Linda’s initial contact, ultimately admitting responsibility, however they disputed their full responsibility for the accident, suggesting Mrs H was partially responsible for the accident, as she had consumed half a glass of wine before the event.  They also outlined that they required clear evidence that the accident happened precisely how Mrs H was claiming. 

Linda assisted Mrs H in gathering the evidence needed to support her case was in place.  Mrs H had already taken photos of the accident scene the day after her accident, which she could provide.  Mrs H also provided Linda with details of several witnesses who had seen the accident occur, which she was able to get in touch with.  Mrs H said:

“I was able to explain everything to Linda, and I always felt that I had her full attention – I never felt like just a number.  If I needed to ask questions or understand something she’d said about how she was going to handle my case, she listened and made sure that things were clear for me, so that I could be left in no doubt as to how things were going and what was required.  I never got made to feel like I was holding anybody up, or that I was left hanging in the wind.  I was never made to feel that I was on my own, and that was a huge relief.”   

Linda also asked Mrs H to send her details of all the financial outlays she’d made as a result of the accident – medical expenses, travel expenses and loss of earnings – so that she was able to create a document that outlined the financial impact the accident had on Mrs H. 

 

The impact of the accident:

Mrs H’s injuries had been extensive; she had sustained a glass laceration to her cheek that required stiches and left a permanent scar.  Her wrist fracture was to her left hand, which she had recently had a carpal tunnel operation on.  She continued:  “As I was on warfarin when the accident happened, I lost a lot of blood and the entire experience shook me.  To know that I wasn’t on my own going through this was very comforting.”

Linda asked Mrs H to visit independent medical experts who provided reports on her wrist fracture and her facial scarring, which were supportive to her case.  This, along with witness information, detail about the nature of Mrs H’s accident in the street, and her expenses, enabled Linda to be fully prepared to take her case forward.  Mrs H appreciated this, saying of Linda:

“I was kept in touch all the way as Linda put the evidence to support my case together.  I know that Linda had trouble with getting hold of certain witnesses.  There was even one witness who initially provided supporting evidence for me, but then changed her mind and provided evidence to support the council instead, which was upsetting.  I was well aware that Linda put in a great deal of time to this, and I felt very lucky to have her on board.”  

 

Court attendance:

Although Linda did everything she could to enable the case was settled outside of court, Mrs H’s case ultimately had to go to court as the limitation period – the period of time by which a personal injury claim must be settled or involved in the court process – had approached whilst the case was still far from being settled.  Linda therefore, hired a barrister to support Mrs H during the court date and worked to ensure that both Mrs H and her case were fully prepared ahead of her court case. 

Happily, Mrs H was successful in court and the District Judge chose to award her £8,500 for her claim.  Mrs H concluded: 

“I would absolutely use JMW again, I wouldn’t hesitate.  I’ve kept all the documents you’ve sent me in a large folder, and I know exactly the level of service I’d get if I needed to get in touch.  Being in court was such an experience, but I was so confident in Linda’s and our barrister’s approach, and it was great to see that everyone’s hard work was worth it.  Thank you to JMW, Linda and our barrister and team!”