An Accident at Work Claim Case Study - Client Situation
Ms L was, in the course of her job, helping her manager move boxes at his home when she was injured.
She’d been trying to move a particularly heavy box containing gardening equipment into a car when she felt pain in her mid to lower back. Over the next few days, the pain spread up into the thoracic spine and into the right shoulder.
When the pain started to ease, Ms L returned to work on light duties, but since she worked in a warehouse, performing light duties proved almost impossible. As a result, she had to take further sick leave and was eventually had to leave her job because of ill health.
Ms L’s pain gradually got worse over the following years, and she tried various treatments, including medication, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy, but none significantly relieved her symptoms.
How We Helped
Ms L approached our expert Personal Injury Solicitors for a free claims assessment and legal advice. We felt she had a good chance of successfully claiming compensation for her accident at work and agreed to represent her.
Gulderen Salih, Associate Chartered Legal Executive, took on her accident at work claim and immediately began investigating the circumstances behind Ms L’s accident, and the impact it had on her life.
As part of our investigation, Gulderen arranged independent medical assessments for Ms L from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, a consultant neurosurgeon, a pain and medicine consultant and a consultant psychiatrist.
These experts each prepared medical reports containing details on her condition and her prognosis, which would help us determine what care, treatment and support she would need in the future.
Among the findings was that Ms L’s ongoing pain was a psychological reaction to her back injury, which means the major depression disorder she was experiencing was both causing and being caused by the pain.
Our psychological expert also noted that our client had a significant background of psychological problems and that she was at risk of suffering from depression with any trigger in the future.
Gulderen also looked at other consequences of her back injury, such as the financial impact of lost earning, not being able to work, and how much care and support she needed.
Since our client couldn’t handle basic tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping in the weeks after her accident, she had to rely on her mother and sister to help with these routine chores.
Even as her back injury symptoms started to improve, she still struggled if any task took more than ten minutes to complete, so had to keep relying on her mum and sister. Although this was provided free of charge, it went over and above the level of help Ms L would have expected from her family in normal times.
Gulderen also looked at other outgoing expenses that resulted from the accident, such as medication costs, travel expenses and the cost of equipment she needed to help her manage her back injury, such as heat pads and muscle tape.
Gulderen approached Ms L’s employer with details of our work accident claim, stating that they didn’t warn her about the weight of the box or provide appropriate help so she could lift it safely. Thankfully, Ms L’s employer admitted liability (fault) for the accident, so the case wouldn’t need to be settled in Court.
Gulderen negotiated with Ms L’s employer for the right amount of compensation and a compensation settlement of £50,000 was agreed and accepted by our client.
The money will prove invaluable in helping her access the care and support she needs in the future, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and physiotherapy to help her manage her pain. It’s hoped that with the right treatment, her physical and psychological symptoms could be completely resolved within four years.
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