The Serious Injury Team at Moore Barlow recently acted on behalf of a client who sustained a serious injury whilst at work and won a six figure sum.
Our client had only been working for the Defendant for a short period of time as a general labourer. On the day of the accident, he was in the process of mixing cement and emptying a wheelbarrow when he was struck from behind by a JCB being driven by another employee.
He was taken to Basildon Hospital where he was admitted for treatment. The x-rays revealed that he sustained a crushed vertebrae and cracks in his lower spine.
A subsequent MRI scan revealed that he had suffered a disc prolapse and musculo-ligamentous injury to the thoracic spine. Following his injury, he was unable to mobilise without crutches and despite NHS physiotherapy treatment and steroid injections, there was little improvement.
Help with rehabilitation
As a result of the ongoing pain, our developed chronic post traumatic pain in the form of a whiplash associated disorder. We instructed a case manager to help our client’s recovery and offer additional rehabilitation in the private sector. A private referral for psychological treatment was made to help improve symptoms of low mood, anxiety and depression.
Our client was unable to return to work following his injuries and his employment was terminated with the Defendant company on the grounds of ill-health. At the time of the accident he was also a part-time Firefighter looking to potentially work full time in the Fire Service. He was also unable to return to work as a Firefighter due to his ongoing restrictions.
Our client was considered to be handicapped on the open labour marker as a result of his symptoms and was at a significant disadvantage in securing future employment. We obtained funding from the Defendant insurer to provide vocational support and help with searching for alternative employment. The Defendant insurer also paid for our client to attend training courses to retrain, thereby gaining other qualifications which would assist him looking for work in the future.
Following the Defendant’s investigations primary liability was admitted. However, it was alleged that our client was partly to blame for the incident (known as ‘contributory negligence’). The insurer argued that our client was 25% at fault and offered to settle the claim on a 75:25 basis in our client’s favour. This would mean that our client would receive 75% of the total value of his claim. This offer was rejected.
Proceedings were subsequently issued. The insurer maintained that our client should be held contributory negligent for the injuries he sustained in the accident and they served a Defence with their allegations. Whilst they continued to allege contributory negligence, we were able to obtain interim payments to assist our client financially given our client was no longer receiving an income.
We obtained expert evidence in the fields of orthopaedic/spinal surgery, psychiatry and chronic pain management and also sought advice from a barrister. We were able to successfully negotiate a six figure settlement which included a claim for the pension loss from the Fire Service.
Our client had been understandably upset that the insurer had suggested he was in any way to blame for what happened, was happy that we were able to achieve such a settlement. It also meant that he did not have the additional stress of the legal proceedings and going through to a trial.
Thank you Siobhan, Emma and the rest of the team for all your help in what arguably has been the hardest 3 years of my life!Client
Our client’s claim was conducted by Senior Associate, Siobhan Thomas and Associate, Emma Dryden. With thanks to David White of Counsel, 12 KBW.
How Moore Barlow can help
If you’ve suffered a serious injury which wasn’t your fault, please contact our expert team of personal injury lawyers on our freephone helpline number 0800 157 7611 or contact us online.