Case study: £4,000 Compensation for Trip and Fall on Pavement

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Charlotte Rankin

Senior Associate Solicitor, Serious Injury Claims

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A Personal Injury Claim Case Study – Client Situation

Jacqueline Wilde tripped on an uneven pavement outside a Co-op store and fell flat on to the floor. She hit her head and suffered multiple injuries, including lacerations to her face above the eye and concussion.

Jacqueline was very shocked and shaken by the accident and found the symptoms of concussion particularly distressing.

She suffered from headaches, altered taste and smell, difficulty concentrating and dizziness. She also lost weight as a result of stress, and her pre-existing depression got worse.

Fortunately, the symptoms were short-lived and she made a full recovery from the concussion. But, she was left with a permanent scar above her left eyebrow.

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How We Helped

Charlotte Rankin, one of our Serious Injury Solicitors took on Jacqueline’s claim for compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis. Charlotte made a claim on her behalf against the owners of the Co-op store, who she said were responsible for maintaining the area of paving right outside their store.

Charlotte asked Jacqueline to take photographs of the defective pavement and to show with arrows the direction in which she was walking.

In presenting the case, Charlotte argued that the Co-op store didn’t have a suitable system in place to inspect and maintain the pavement outside their shop. If they had, they would’ve been able to repair the defective area immediately, or cordon it off and warn visitors until it had been repaired.

Charlotte also asked to see the store’s accident record book entry and inspection and maintenance records for the area of paving in question. But they didn’t respond in time to our Letter of Claim, so Charlotte served a warning that we would apply to compel the Co-op store to disclose the information we had asked for. At this point, the owners of the Co-op store admitted liability (fault).

To help value the claim, Charlotte brought in a neurologist to examine Jacqueline, who confirmed her head injury and verified the symptoms of concussion she had suffered. 

Charlotte also assessed the financial impact of her accident and included a claim for 3 weeks’ loss of earnings, travel expenses and the care and assistance provided to her by her family.

 

The Outcome

At first, the owners of the Co-op store offered to settle for £3,000 compensation but we felt this was far too low for Jacqueline’s lasting laceration scarring.  On our advice, Jacqueline rejected the offer, and we made a counteroffer on her behalf. An increased final settlement figure of £4,000 compensation was agreed, which Jacqueline was then delighted with.

A key feature of this case was the kindness and empathy which our Solicitor Charlotte Rankin showed to our client. Jacqueline was vulnerable and went through a particularly distressing time during the case, as her husband had to be admitted having a lung and heart transplant. 

Her distress was added too by the defendants bringing up some past mental health issues, which caused her particular worry and upset. Jacqueline really appreciated the kindness and patience Charlotte demonstrated at all times, which she felt helped a great deal and made the claims process much smoother.

This case is a good example of how understanding the needs of a client and being aware of their mental health can make a significant difference to them. Charlotte was mindful of this throughout the claim and aimed to be what Jacqueline described as “a very calming presence at a time of great stress”.

 

Who is Responsible for Keeping Pavements Safe?

Councils as the Highway Authority must make sure that pavements correctly looked after, maintained and inspect public places regularly, including pavements, to check they are safe. If issues like loose paving slabs have been reported, the council must take steps to fix these to prevent people from sustaining injuries.

This means that we could help you make a claim for compensation against the council if they were negligent in their duty of care to you in some way. For example, as part of your claim, the council will need to demonstrate when they last inspected the pavement.

Even if you were vulnerable to being injured, for example by wearing unsafe shoes in icy conditions, it can still be possible to make a claim for compensation with the help of our expert Personal Injury team.

You can help us prove that the council could have prevented your injuries by:

  • Taking photos or videos of the scene of your accident, and your injuries;
  • Checking whether the council should have gritted a particular pavement if you slipped on snow or ice;
  • Collecting the names and addresses of any witnesses;
  • Reporting the incident to the police if somebody else caused your injury and letting us know the incident number.

If you think the council could have taken action to prevent your injury, get in touch today for a Free Claims Assessment. We’ll find out about how your injury happened and let you know if you could make a claim. We could even deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, just call us on 0808 258 3760, and let us help you.

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Charlotte Rankin

Senior Associate Solicitor, Serious Injury Claims

Areas of Expertise:
Personal Injury

Charlotte handles a caseload of Personal Injury cases dealing with Serious Injury, and has particular interest in Upper and Lower Limb disorders including Amputation of toes and fingers.

Charlotte also has management experience alongside her extensive legal knowledge, and regularly participates in Simpson Millar’s internal mentoring scheme.

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