No Blame Culture - Just a Fair Claim


The best way to find out what's involved in a personal injury claim, is to see what other people in a similar situation have done.

Back Injury at Work

In this recent case of ours, our client, a deliveryman at Parcelforce, made an accident at work claim after suffering a back injury whilst sorting parcels in the back of his van. He came to us from his trade union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), and we were able to help him.

Left Without Support

Our client was moving around parcels in the back of his van when the weight in one shifted. This resulted in him spraining his lumbar and damaging the muscles and ligaments of his back. The parcel in question weighed 39.5kg, which made it very heavy as well as unstable. He shouldn't have had to single-handedly lift this parcel, especially without proper training.

Parcelforce didn't supervise the task appropriately, nor was there any help from colleagues.

Additionally, the parcel shouldn't have been in his van in the first place, as it had not been packaged appropriately and was too heavy for a standard parcel delivery.

Taking Action on Accidents at Work

After contacting the CWU, his case was passed on to us. As trade union lawyers, we are in a strong position to help those who've suffered due to an accident at work. We arranged for him to see a medical expert who suggested physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage and manipulation of his spine.

With this treatment a full recovery was expected.

However, he had still suffered for a lengthy period of time, and this had an impact on his quality of life. He was off work for 6 months due to the accident, and when he did return, he had to come back on reduced working hours for 2 months. This affected his ability to provide for the household he shares with his wife and 2 children. He also struggled with his hobbies, football and pool, as well as day to day social activities and having fun with his children.

Because we were able to demonstrate to Parcelforce they could have done more to support him in handling that package, or better still, stopped it from reaching his van in the first place, we were able to secure £6800 in compensation. The value of the claim was actually agreed at £8000, but was reduced by 15% on the basis that he was partly responsible for his injuries.

The 15% responsibility was due to the fact that Parcelforce successfully argued that he was a very experienced post person. He had a vast knowledge in handling and had received a level of manual handling training that should have taught him how to correctly handle heavy parcels. They therefore claimed that he partly contributed to the accident by failing to exercise full care for his own safety.

Blame and a Claim?

This goes to show that even if you played some part in an accident at work, you're not expected to bear the full burden alone, and this is only fair.

Our client complimented our service, and was keen to allow others to hear his story, saying:

"I would like to thank you for all your help in this matter. The service provided was exceptional and I would have no hesitation in giving permission for you to publish a case study based on my case. I am also happy to provide a testimonial about the quality of the service received and will be recommending Simpson Millar LLP to family and friends requiring legal help."

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