In summer 2019, Ms R was shopping with her husband at Bookers Cash and Carry in High Wycombe when she fell and injured her hip.
Ms R was using a walking stick when she tripped over the base of a ladder which had been left protruding in an aisle. She felt an immediate crack in her hip as she fell and was in considerable pain.
The situation was made worse by the fact shop staff didn’t help her straight away, and the ambulance team also took some time to arrive, so she was left lying on the floor for more than an hour.
Ms R was taken by ambulance to hospital, and following investigations, went into surgery and had a full hip replacement. Unfortunately, it was found during these investigations that her breast cancer had spread to the bones, including the area where she was fractured. In fact, pain in her hip was the reason she’d been using a walking stick in the first place.
The pain and loss of amenity caused by her hip fracture and surgery meant Ms R’s planned cancer treatment had to be delayed, which added to the distress she was already going through.
Although the pain over her right hip eventually improved, it didn’t resolve fully, and she had to continue walking with a stick. Ms R also suffered worsening back pain because her gait had altered since the accident.
How We Helped
Following a free claims assessment with our Personal Injury Solicitors, Associate Chartered Legal Executive (Lawyer) Gulderen Salih agreed to take on her case and help her claim compensation.
Bookers Cash and Carry admitted liability (fault), which meant we wouldn’t have to go to Court to settle the case, and could instead concentrate on getting Ms R an appropriate compensation settlement.
Gulderen arranged for Ms R to undergo an independent medical assessment, so a medical report containing details of her condition and medical outlook could be written up. The report concluded that Ms R’s cancer contributed to her hip fracture, but stressed that if the fall hadn’t happened, she wouldn’t have suffered the fracture in the first place or needed hip replacement treatment.
We also arranged for Ms R to be assessed by an expert psychologist, who noted in their report that she was suffering with anxiety due to the delays in her cancer treatment and worries over restricted medical treatment because of COVID-19.
Ms R was also very critical of Bookers Cash and Carry for how they acted after the accident in a public place occurred. For instance, she said staff didn’t take proper care of her after she fell, and also kept the aisle of the store open so shoppers had to lean over her to get items from the shelves.
We argued to the shop owners that although they weren’t expected to compensate Ms R for any pre-existing medical problems, if she had an accident that led to a fracture that might not otherwise have happened, our client was entitled to full compensation for that fracture.
Furthermore, we believed that if the trip and fall accident led to a delay in her cancer treatment and affected her prospects of recovery in any way, she should again be compensated appropriately.
We successfully negotiated a £30,000 compensation settlement with Bookers Cash and Carry, which was accepted by Ms R.
This amount of compensation reflected the pain, suffering and financial impact of her accident, and also means she can access recommended treatment including cognitive behavioural therapy. This is important as she has suffered heightened anxiety and depression since her accident, partly because of the fall accident and also because of her pre-existing cancer and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
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