Our client was a HGV driver who was loading his trailer using a Tail Lift. However, the tail lift was faulty, due to the batteries not charging sufficiently, meaning there was not enough power to lift the goods on the tail lift into the trailer along with the driver. He therefore had to raise the goods to a level of approximately 4 feet whilst stood on the ground and then attempt to climb up into the back of the lorry. As he did so, he slipped on the tail lift, falling and landing heavily on the ground on the right side of his chest. He experienced immediate severe pain in the right side of his chest and sustained lacerations to his left lower leg and left wrist, along with bruising and abrasions to his left upper arm, elbow and back. He was unable to work for a period of 4 weeks following the accident and required physiotherapy treatment to assist his recovery. We were able to recover Personal Injury Compensation for him of £5,000.
A brief summary of events is set out below.
Date of Accident: June 2016
Time between formal instruction and successful conclusion: We took on the case in July 2016 and settled it just 5 months later.
How the claim proceeded: Our client contacted us just a few weeks after his accident, and having agreed to take on his case, we sent a detailed letter to his employer setting out the basis of the claim and why they were responsible for the accident. Whilst waiting for a response from their insurers, we made arrangements for our client to be examined by an A & E Consultant. Just before our client was seen by the medical expert, we were contacted by the employer’s insurers admitting liability for the accident.
By November 2016 our client had been examined by the A & E Consultant and we were in receipt of a written report, which detailed his injuries and expected prognosis for recovery. It was the medical expert’s opinion that he had likely suffered a fractured rib as a result of his fall from the trailer and whilst the minor injuries he suffered settled within 2-3 weeks of his accident, the ongoing symptoms he was suffering with in his chest were expected to settle within a further 6 months, with the assistance of physiotherapy treatment.
Once in possession of the medical evidence and having compiled a schedule of his financial losses following the accident, we were able to value our client’s claim for compensation and put forward a settlement proposal to the employer’s insurers. Just 4 weeks later we were able to reach an agreement with the insurers and our client accepted their offer of £5,000 compensation to settle the claim.
Were Court proceedings necessary?: No.
Outcome: The client secured £3,500 for his injuries and £1,500 for his financial losses, including his loss of earnings for the period following the accident, when he was unable to work.
Comment: Our client had previously reported the tail lift as faulty to his employer, but they had failed to ensure it was appropriately repaired before expecting him to use it again in the course of his work duties. If the employer had ensured they had a more robust system in place for maintenance and repairs on their vehicles, this accident would never have happened and our client would not have sustained multiple injuries.
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