Case study: £120,000 Compensation for Delivery Driver Injured at Work

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Elizabeth Royall

Solicitor, Personal Injury

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According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the main cause of fatal accidents for workers were falls from a height, and non-fatal injured amassed 561,000 for 2023. 31% of those were slips, trips and falls, which was the case for our client, who was a delivery driver.

Our client was working as a delivery driver and was attending a customer’s premises to deliver a pallet of food. To access the back of her van she used a Rhino safety access step which had been fitted to the back of the vehicle. The driver stepped onto one side of the step to retrieve a fallen box. As she did so, the step gave way causing our client to fall backwards.

As the step gave way, she injured her right leg, hip, and knee. Instantly she was in severe pain and was taken to the accident and emergency department at the local hospital. She had x-rays taken and although no broken bones were evident, she was given a splint to support her knee and crutches. She saw a physiotherapist, who believed there had been an internal derangement of the knee and in turn referred her to an orthopaedic surgeon. An MRI scan of her right knee and lumbar spine revealed a complex meniscal tear and she therefore had to have surgery.

A Complex Meniscal Tear causes:

  • Pain with twisting
  • Pain with turning
  • Pain pivoting
  • Back of the knee pain

It is not limited to this, as the injury can be very complex, as the complex meniscus is a pattern of various tears.

Our client continued to suffer from pain and disability in her knee but returned to work around 8 weeks later, but due to her injury she was unable to carry out her usual job. The pain in her knee got progressively worse and she was put on light duties which had a significant impact on her earnings. As time went on, she found herself stumbling and falling, including two significant incidents a few months apart. She was seen again by a consultant who noted significant degeneration and recommended a knee replacement operation.

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How we Helped our Client

We contacted the company concerned and they immediately admitted liability. They had failed to ensure the Rhino step on the van had been properly fitted and repaired following a previous incident.

We compiled a claim which we submitted to our client’s employer. This included a number of damages for her injury and we also calculated the amount of care she had needed so far.

She had been tended to by various members of her family and, for a while, had to leave her home to live with her partner after a particularly bad spell. While some normality has now resumed, she still requires help with domestic tasks and has to be taken to and from medical appointments. She had been signed off work at various times, due to the accident, and as a result had missed out on a significant amount of income. We included this in our calculation as well as calculating any future costs for treatment and care because of her ongoing issues.  While the claim was negotiated, we were able to secure an interim payment from her employer to help with her costs so far.

 

The Outcome

After discussions with the employer, they proposed an out of court settlement of £120,000 which our client accepted. This will be used not only as material compensation for the injury and the stressed caused, but also as redress for the lower salary which she will now be restricted to due to her disability. Future care costs and treatment will also be covered by this sum.

Some common accidents include:

  • Falling from a car or work vehicle – especially Motorbike.
  • Collision with another road user.
  • Being struck by another car while loading or unloading.
  • Manual handling injuries – usually when loading or unloading heavy items.
  • Being hit by a falling object. These include parcels and loads which haven’t been safely secured.
  • Being injured for carrying something overweight. I.e. too heavy for one person.
  • Tripping or slipping on any unsafe paving or driveways at the delivery location.
  • Injury after carrying furniture deliveries up narrow staircases without the relevant equipment or individuals to help.

If you’ve been affected by any of the above accidents, you may be entitled to compensation and various types of support. Our Personal Injury Lawyers always listen to your situation and tailor any advice to suit your needs.

 

What are My Employer’s Responsibilities?

Your employer has a legal duty care responsibly for your health and safety in the workplace.

They must always provide:

  • A safe work process or system
  • A hazard free environment
  • Appropriate training
  • Trained staff and wider members of the team
  • Appropriate work equipment

If you believe that you employer has not met their legal responsibility of care and you were injured as a result, you may be able to claim for compensation.

Even if you are self-employed, you may be able to also claim compensation for your injuries. When you provide services to a third party and you have an accident , the company you’re contracted to could be held responsible—which is why they have certain types of insurance in place.

 

What Should I Do If I’ve Had an Accident at Work?

Of course, you should always seek medical attention, but if the injury is less serious, you should follow these steps.

  • Fill in the accident at work report accurately and as soon as possible
  • Take images of the accident scene and of all your injuries
  • Gather names and contact details of witnesses

If you’re a trade union member, tell your union rep what’s happened

This is all important evidence for your claim. If your injuries are serious and you’re off work as a result, your employer should report your accident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

 

How Long Do I Have to Make an Accident at Work Claim?

In England and Wales, you legally have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim, but there may be some exceptions to this. I.e. if you were living or working abroad during the accident.

Either way, you should always get specialist legal advice as soon as possible, because the earlier a claim is made, the better your outcome could be.

Essentially, the quicker you act, the easier it is to find the required evidence to back your claim.

If you have been injured at work and you feel your employer may be at fault, contact our team of expert Personal Injury Solicitors. They have experience helping people like our client and can often deal with your case on a No Win No Fee basis. Just call us on 0808 239 3227, for a free claims assessment.

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Elizabeth Royall

Solicitor, Personal Injury

Elizabeth is a solicitor working within our Serious Injury team, based in our Manchester office. She specialises in helping people who have been involved in a variety of accidents such as accidents at work, accidents in public places and road traffic accidents.

She has achieved compensation for people who have sustained a wide range of injuries from accidents that were not their fault, such as soft tissue injuries, fractures, amputations and multiple injuries.

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