£154,600 Compensation for Accident at Work

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Melanie Burden, Solicitor and our Head of Serious Injury Claims, agreed to help our client make an accident at work claim against her former employer, acting on a No Win, No Fee basis. The case was handled by Melanie and Gulderen Salih, Associate Chartered Legal Executive.

Our client was working at a retail store as a supervisor when she was injured in an accident at work.

As part of her job, she had to move and unload heavy delivery cages. As she unloaded one cage, it tipped and fell with full force on top of her right arm and wrist, before falling onto her left foot.

Several of her colleagues had to lift up the cage, which she later found had been overloaded to double its normal weight. She was then taken to hospital by ambulance.

She suffered multiple injuries and had to undergo several surgical procedures to her wrist. She continued to experience intense ongoing pain, discomfort and sensitivity, and was eventually diagnosed with the debilitating chronic pain condition Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Type 1.

She was also diagnosed with psychological symptoms including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, which was fuelled by the persisting chronic pain.

Her injuries had several lasting consequences. For example, she couldn’t drive at all for about 8 months, and due to her continuing pain, she struggled to drive a manual car for some time afterwards. As a result, she had to buy an automatic smart car and other aids to make it easier for her to get around.

She was also unable to return to work, and while she wanted to find a suitable job as soon as she could, she was left nervous and fearful for the future, particularly given the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Before the accident at work, she had hoped to have a long career with her employer, as she enjoyed her job, the company was doing well and she was aiming to be promoted to assistant manager. But due to her injuries, this was no longer possible.

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How We Helped

Melanie and Gulderen arranged for our client to undergo several independent medical assessments, so medical reports on her condition and prognosis could be prepared. It was necessary to arrange examinations by a number of experts, including specialists in orthopaedics, psychiatry, and pain management, given the complexity of her injuries.

The reports concluded that her injuries included multiple fractures, cartilage tears and chronic pain. The workplace accident was also found to have had some psychological consequences for our client, including depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

We also arranged for our client to undergo a vocational rehabilitation assessment to help with her future plans, options and re-training for suitable alternative work in the future.

Gulderen and Melanie also assessed the likely financial impact of the accident on our client. This included her loss of income since the accident occurred, as well as the amount she possibly could have earned had she achieved her the promotion at work that she’d been hoping for.

Our assessment also looked at the cost of care and treatment she has received since her accident.

With this information, Gulderen and Melanie accurately valued the claim, so it fairly reflected the severity of what had happened to her, and the longer term impact on her life.

We approached her former employer with the details of the claim, and they accepted responsibility for the accident itself. However, they disputed the extent of her symptoms which had been caused, despite the injuries she suffered and the surgery which was required.

So while the case didn’t need to go to Court, it meant further negotiations were needed to ensure our client received a fair compensation settlement.

The Outcome

Following further negotiations with her former employer, we secured a compensation payout of £154,600 for our client. We were able to negotiate the settlement at one of the first virtual Joint Settlement Meetings at the early stage of the Covid-19 lockdown.

This saved our client the stress of having to face a Trial and be cross-examined about her symptoms and led to a sensible, stress-free resolution of her case.

The compensation will help to cover our client’s predicted future financial losses while she remains unable to work, as well the cost of her future care needs, pain management and therapy she has undertaken, including cognitive behavioural therapy.

The case highlights how dangerous overloaded and unevenly loaded roll cages can be in warehouses and how the debilitating pain condition CRPS can arise from a wrist fracture.

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