Poor Property Maintenance Causes Injury To Grandmother Visiting Her Son


The Law Of… Failing To Have Adequate Maintenance

In October 2013, Jackie Martin set out from visiting her son in Middlesex with her grandson. She didn't expect to end the day in hospital, but because of a lack of maintenance at the property's car park, that's exactly where she ended up. After a very painful injury that was not her fault, she contacted Jonathan Thursby at Simpson Millar's Personal Injury team for help.


Protruding Metal Bracket

Mother of 2, Jackie Martin had been returning to her car after visiting her son in Middlesex. As she walked past a metal gate post, a protruding metal bracket caught the side of her head and she was knocked to the floor. The metal bracket had been protruding by 3 inches and had been left after the removal of one of the gates.

After her fall to the floor, Martin was left dazed. Feeling embarrassed, she attempted to pick herself up off the floor and fell back down on the ground. Her grandson, who was with her at the time, was crying with fright.

Having seen what happened, Martin's daughter-in-law came to help her. Martin was guided by her daughter-in-law towards her car where it was hoped she could sit down long enough to recover. Martin fell again at this point and began vomiting due to the pain she was in.

An ambulance was promptly called for and Martin was taken to Ealing Hospital to be looked over and treated.

Aftermath Of The Injury

At Ealing Hospital, Martin received a scan of her head and a physical examination. It was found that she had sustained soft tissue damage and whiplash. The hospital told Martin that had she not been wearing a baseball cap at the time of the incident, she may have lost her left eye. Instead, she was left with a lump on her eyebrow and a severe headache.

A year passed following the accident and Martin had been left with recurring debilitating headaches that left her with anxiety and constant pain which caused her to vomit. The headache attacks provoked large levels of stress and made Martin reluctant to leave the house for fear of being caught out with severe pain and vomiting.

Martin decided to seek compensation for what she felt was an incident that could have been avoided had she been warned of the protruding bracket.

Inadequate Maintenance And Inspection

Martin sought the help of Personal Injury Lawyer at Simpson Millar, Jonathan Thursby. He quickly established that the management of the upkeep of both the residence and car park were at fault on a number of grounds.

They were liable for:

  • Failure to have in place an adequate system of maintenance and inspection
  • Failure to warn Martin of the hazard
  • Failure to cordon off the area in question
  • Failure to maintain the area in a reasonable state of repair
  • Failure to remove the bracket or otherwise make it safe
  • Exposure of Martin to a risk of damage/injury of which ought to have been known
  • Failure to take reasonable care to ensure that Martin would be reasonably safe whilst visiting the premises
  • Failure to take reasonable care that Martin was reasonably safe from personal injury

Trout Road Management Ltd were reluctant to accept liability as they felt that they had a reasonable system of inspection in place. But through the tireless efforts of Martin and Thursby, the case was settled.

Road To Recovery

Martin has since completed a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), designed to help her cope with the aftermath of the incident and the anxiety caused by the pain she suffers from as a result of the accident. CBT is a talking therapy that helps someone manage their problems by realigning the way you think and behave. It can be particularly helpful for those who have suffered traumatic events that have left a person with mental and physical health issues.

The final settlement resulted in £6,500 in compensation for the client.

Jonathan comments:

"This case is a reminder to all that personal injury can happen anywhere any time and can have long lasting effects."

"It is common for people who have gone through something traumatic such as this to suffer from mental health issues and they should be taken as seriously as any physical health issues that stem from accidents of this sort."

"From a compensation point of view, Jackie's mental health issues were a big part of her claim. She has suffered greatly with anxiety since the incident because of the physical pain she has as a result of it."

"Therapies such as CBT can have long wait lines, but if paid for privately using compensation settlements, can speed up recovery time."

If you have had an accident that was not your fault, contact Simpson Millar today.

To find out how we could help you please make a no-obligation enquiry or call freephone: 0808 129 3320.

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