Success Stories for Work Accident Claims

You are reading our Work Accident Claims success stories.

Interim payments help to ease the pain of a nasty fall

Scott Richards (not our client’s real name) had been injured for almost 3 years before he approached Bolt Burdon Kemp to fight his claim for compensation. He had fallen backwards down a flight of stairs at work because the banister had come away from the wall. He had landed heavily on the right side of his back, which caused soft tissue injuries around his spine and an aggravation of a pre-existing hip condition.

Scott subsequently developed persisting pain in his back and hip, which made physical activity and prolonged sitting and standing very difficult. He also became clinically depressed. We issued court proceedings in advance of the three year time limit to protect Scott’s legal right to bring a claim.

After court proceedings were issued, Scott’s employer admitted responsibility and we obtained expert medical evidence from independent orthopaedic, psychiatric and pain specialists to allow us to put a value on his claim.

We obtained £17,500 in interim payments to help Scott cope financially whilst his claim was ongoing. Just over 18 months after being instructed, we successfully negotiated a final compensation package of £59,000.

Scaffolding accident causes shoulder injury

Our client, a 63 year old painter and decorator, suffered a significant injury to his shoulder whilst working on a building site. He climbed down a ladder, walked along some scaffolding and caught his foot on an aluminium trim that was protruding at the end of one of the scaffold boards. This caused our client to fall forwards and hit his shoulder against a nut and bolt joiner, which held two scaffold poles together.

Our client suffered a serious shoulder fracture and a soft tissue injury to his neck. He also suffered a psychological reaction to the accident. We brought a claim on behalf of our client against several potential defendants including the client’s employer and the scaffolding company. The client’s employer admitted liability for the accident.

We valued our client’s claim by obtaining medical evidence from a shoulder expert, a pain management expert and a psychiatrist. It was reported by the experts that our client had no prospect of returning to work before retirement age, owing to the ongoing pain symptoms in his shoulder. We managed to negotiate an out of court settlement of over £100,000 for our client.

Assault in the work place resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Miss A worked as a residential care worker, looking after young people suffering from behavioural difficulties, many of whom had a history of violence. She was assaulted twice in the course of her employment by the same young person, who had also previously assaulted other staff members. As well as suffering a mild head injury, damage to her eyes and widespread bruising, she also developed significant symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which prevented her from working. Medical evidence found that although she would likely recover from her injury with treatment, she would always be at risk of a relapse in the future.

The Defendant denied liability for the assaults, as they believed that they had done all that they could to protect their employees and that they could not have foreseen the assaults or prevented them. Our claim was that there were clear indications that an assault was going to occur, but that they failed to take any action to protect our client until after she had suffered two serious assaults, which we argued that, by this time, such action was too late.

We were successful in negotiating a settlement of £43,000 for our client, just 6 weeks before the trial was due to take place.

Hydraulic arm of skip lorry causes crush injury to employee’s arm

Our client, a crane operator, suffered a significant injury to his arm whilst helping a lorry driver raise a skip onto the lorry bed. The skip was lifted using the lorry’s hydraulic arm. Meanwhile, our client went to pull a debris cover out of the way. In doing so his arm became trapped between the lorry bed and the hydraulic arm. After his arm was trapped for a few seconds, the hydraulic arm was lifted back up. He was taken in an ambulance to hospital, where it was found that he had sustained crush and puncture wounds. Fortunately, no bones were broken.

Our client was kept in hospital for five days, during which time he underwent compartment surgery on his arm. Since then he has also had a skin graft operation.

We sent letters of claim to the client’s employer and the skip company. Primary liability for the accident was later admitted by the client’s employer. It was agreed between the parties that our client would accept 33% contributory negligence for attempting to grab the debris sheet.

Once medical evidence of our client’s injuries had been obtained, we negotiated a £40,000 out of court settlement for our client.

Scaffolding accident causes serious knee injury

Our client, a window glazer, was involved in an accident whilst he was working on scaffolding. He stepped down from a ladder onto a scaffold board, which gave way from underneath him. He fell from first floor level to the ground. He suffered a severe injury to his knee. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance and underwent surgery. Our client was unable to return to work for four months, following which he returned to light duties.

A claim was brought against the client’s employer and another company who were contracted to build the scaffolding. Liability was initially denied by both Defendants. Following our investigations, liability was conceded by both Defendants, who agreed to each contribute 50% towards our client’s compensation.

We instructed an orthopaedic surgeon, a plastic surgeon and a psychiatrist to report on the extent of our client’s injuries. Throughout the duration of our client’s claim, we obtained interim payments to assist him financially. Following extensive negotiations, we negotiated a settlement of £46,000 for our client.

Accident caused by a detached excavator bucket

Our client suffered severe orthopaedic, neurological and psychiatric injuries when struck on the head and left (dominant) arm by a 1-tonne bucket that became detached from an excavator and fell on him. He was rendered unconscious immediately. He suffered a left brachial plexus and arterial vascular injury; the left circumflex nerve was ruptured, the medial cord was contused and the lateral cord narrowed.

There was also a dislocation of the acromio-clavicular joint, a fracture of the left radius and fractures to the metatarsals of both feet. The Claimant underwent several operations and remained for many months in very severe pain.

We recovered £800,000.00 for this client.

Falling concrete block causes brain injury

Mr H, a construction worker, was hit on his head by a falling concrete block. He sustained a fractured skull, loss of consciousness and permanent loss of sense of smell and taste due to brain injury. He suffered some ongoing cognitive deficits, reduced organisational skills, short term memory problems and mild depression.

We obtained £285,000 in compensation for him.

Prison worker attacked by inmate

Mr Y was employed by the Defendant, the Home Office, at a prison as a civilian instructor teaching inmates manual trades.  He was assaulted by two inmates in the course of their escape from the prison. Mr Y suffered a laceration requiring 13 stitches and a hairline fracture to his skull. He subsequently became depressed and made suicide attempts.

He developed post traumatic stress disorder and took medical retirement. The Home Office, who initially denied liability, made an offer to settle the claim for £18,000.

The case settled the day before trial for £180,000.00.

Falling pallet causes brain injury

Mr R sustained serious head injuries when, while he was working as a forecourt attendant, a metal pallet fell from the back of a lorry onto his head during the delivery of stock to the service station.

Mr R sustained a fracture of the left side of the skull, contusion of the right temple lobe of the brain and a thin subdural haematoma in the right parietotemporal region.

Fortunately, Mr R made a remarkable recovery from his injuries and we were delighted to achieve a settlement for him of £150,000.00.

Crush injury to fingers

Our client was unloading two large excavator buckets from a tipper lorry whilst at work. In order to reach the buckets he stood on the forks of a fork lift truck. One of the Claimant’s colleagues was operating the fork lift truck and he moved it up too high which trapped our client’s left hand in between two parts of the truck.

Primary liability was admitted by the defendants (employers) however one third was deducted to reflect the Claimant’s own negligence because he had been instructed not to stand on the forks in this way and there was a sign on the fork warning against this. Our client suffered crush injuries to three of his fingers on his left hand including amputation of the tip of his index finger which required complicated surgery on two occasions.

Fortunately he was able to return to work however he continued to suffer from severe cold sensitivity, weakness on gripping and pain. We negotiated compensation for the Claimant in the sum of £145,000.

Carpenter overcome by solvent fumes

Our client, a carpenter, was overcome by solvent fumes in a confined space while using a strong adhesive to fit floor tiles. The employer had failed to assess the risk of this happening, or to choose a safer alternative product.

Our client suffered hallucinations, thought he was going to die, and lost consciousness. He later tried to return to carpentry work but was troubled by flash-backs of the incident whenever he used adhesives.

The employer resisted the claim, and we took the case to trial, where our client was awarded £145,000 damages.

Fall from height

We represented a man who fell 15 ft from a flat roof whilst working as a heating and ventilation engineer. He was given a ladder to access the roof which was not long enough and he lost his balance whilst trying to move from the ladder to the roof.

Our client was x-rayed and diagnosed with a fractured spine and was treated accordingly with a back brace, however it was later discovered that he didn’t suffer a fracture and what was seen on the x-ray was a pre existing condition called Schuermann’s disease.  He suffered depression and developed chronic pain syndrome.

We obtained £139,000 compensation for our client.

Work accident at sea

We acted for Mr M who was employed as a deck bosun on board a ship in the North Sea. He was injured in an accident while being lowered from his ship into another boat (the daughter craft) when there was a failure (either mechanical or human) and he dropped at speed into the boat below.

Our client suffered a fractured spine. As a result of his injuries he was not able to continue working as a sailor. Fortunately his employers re-trained him once he was able to go back to work and he was given an office job. The claimant argued that had the accident not occurred, he would have been promoted to chief mate within 5 years. This was disputed by the defendant. In addition there was a dispute as to whether he would have been able to continue claiming his income tax back (SED). We instructed a forensic accountant who prepared a report as to the claimant’s loss of income and obtained witness evidence to support the claimants claim.

We obtained £130,000 compensation for Mr M.

Scaffolding Accident

Mr D was 33 years old when he was working for a sub-contractor fitting fire doors at a nuclear bunker site in Northwood. He slipped from a scaffold platform, fell 2 metres, and sustained a fracture to his spine at T12, and left scapula.

He was off work for 1 year and we recovered £125,000 in compensation for him.

Fall in car park at work

We acted for a client who suffered a back injury after falling over in the car park at work. Our client had left the office for the evening and as she made her way over to her car, she tripped over some steps and fell on the ground. She didn’t see the steps because the lighting in the car park was broken and it was very dark.

Our client suffered an acceleration of a pre existing back injury in the accident and was unable to work in her previous job because she was unable to sit down for long periods of time. In addition to the back injury, she suffered with depression after the accident due to the pain and the impact that the accident had on her life.

We obtained £116,784.95 compensation for our client.

Crush Injury to hand

Our client, a low-loader driver, had his left thumb crushed when loading heavy equipment as a result of his colleague’s negligence. The employer admitted responsibility and after collecting evidence about his injuries and his future job prospects, we negotiated compensation of £113,000

Right hand caught in mill

Our client, a production worker, operated a large mill producing rubber mats for cars. As a result of the employer’s faulty safety arrangements and inadequate safety procedures, his right hand was crushed by a roller. He had made a partial recovery by the time we had secured an admission of liability and compensation of £105,000.

Care worker suffers lifting injury

Mrs O was a care worker working in an old people’s home and employed by the London Borough of Camden. Part of her job was to help lift patients. As a result of the Council’s unsafe lifting practices, she developed a back injury which prevented her from working. She was awarded £90,000 at trial.

Hand caught in machinery

Our client, Mr B, was working as a labourer on a construction site and was asked by one of the foremen to clean the Trommel machine. The Trommel machine was used to crush and breakdown waste from construction sites. Mr B had not been given any training in relation to cleaning the machine. The foreman showed him how to perform this task which involved using a shovel or hand to dislodge debris and soil/rubble that had become caught in the belts, while the belts were moving.

Mr B caught his right hand in the machine and suffered a degloving injury whereby the flesh and skin was torn from his hand. Mr B had to undergo surgery to repair the damage and had two skin grafts to improve the appearance of his hand. We obtained £80,000 compensation for Mr B.

Fall from a rooftop

Mr M, a 34 year old shutterer, fell from an unguarded rooftop 30 feet to ground below, sustaining fractures to both wrists. We secured him £80,000 in compensation

Housing worker threatened at work

Our client was employed as a support worker for a housing association, specialising in providing accommodation for men who had been homeless or in prison. The service users she supported often had drug and alcohol problems and anger management issues. She was threatened by two service users who both became fixated with her, and when their ‘advances’ were rebuffed, later made abusive and violent threats to her and her family. Our client went off on maternity leave some months after all this started, but felt that due to the lack of support from her employers, she could not return.

She was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by the Claimant’s expert and her treating doctors. The Defendant’s expert diagnosed her psychological problems (which included intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares) as post natal depression. Finding it difficult dealing with the litigation due to her ongoing psychological problems, our client agreed an out of court settlement with her employers for £75,000.

Dumper truck falls into a cable pit

Our client was employed as a ground worker at a construction site on Guernsey. He was driving a dumper truck moving soil from an excavation site to a spoil heap. The construction site had several cable pits which were not properly covered or marked.

The ground beneath our client’s truck gave way and the truck fell into a cable pit. Our client was thrown forwards and the left side of his chest hit the roll bar of the dumper truck. He suffered a back injury, several broken ribs and a haemopneumothorax which required hospital treatment and an operation. Our client tried to return to work but was unable to cope. We obtained £70,000 in compensation for our client.

Nurse suffers lifting injury

Ms S, a Nursing sister, injured her neck while moving a large immobile patient in bed. Ms S’s injury meant that she was unable to return to ‘hands-on’ nursing although she found a clinic-based job, which did not involve any lifting or moving.

Ms S had had two previous firms of solicitors acting for her. Neither firm had managed to understand the case properly nor obtain the appropriate expert medical evidence. We did and as a result obtained £70,000 compensation for our client.

Partial amputation of index finger on dominant hand

We acted for a lady whose right index finger got caught in a heavy faulty door when it slammed at high speed. The accident occurred at work. As a result of the accident she lost most of the pulp of her index finger. She underwent plastic surgery to try to reshape her finger tip but she was left with pain in the finger and some functional problems. The finger also represented an obvious cosmetic deformity.

As a result of the accident she also developed psychological symptoms including depression and anxiety and she underwent psychological therapy. We obtained £65,000 compensation for our client.

Finger crushed by concrete post

We acted for a young labourer in a work accident claim. At the time of the accident he was moving pieces of concrete from the back of a van into a skip at his employer’s yard. It was a dark winter evening and there was hardly any light in the yard. The pieces of concrete had been cut up by one of the claimant’s colleagues. The claimant was moving a particularly large piece of concrete with one of his colleagues when his colleague let go of his end without warning. The claimant was not expecting this and his left index finger was crushed against the side of the skip and the piece of concrete. The claimant suffered a serious fracture (compound comminuted fracture) of the index finger. He underwent surgery to fix the fracture and had extensive hand therapy however he was left with permanent symptoms in that he was unable to bend the finger properly. Liability was initially denied by the employers as they alleged a different version of events in which the claimant was to blame. We issued court proceedings against them and they admitted primary liability.

We obtained £55,000 compensation for the claimant.

Assault by hospital inmate

Mrs M a 62 year old care assistant at a psychiatric hospital was assaulted by an inmate in the course of her duties. The assailant should not have been on the unit. Mrs M was deeply traumatised by the event and was unable to return to work. We obtained £60,000 for our client from her employer.

Manual handling accident

We acted for a man who worked in a hospital as an anaesthetist assistant. He was assisting the anaesthetist turn a heavy patient onto her side when he suffered a back injury.

The anaesthetist turned the patients head and neck and our client was required to turn the rest of her body. There was no manual handling equipment available to use and no additional members of staff to assist. The NHS Trust admitted breach of duty. He was diagnosed with suffering a prolapsed disc. We obtained £50,000 compensation for our client.

Production worker allergic to latex

Our client was a production worker in a factory which re-cycled empty ink cartridges for computer printers. He was issued with latex rubber gloves, to which he was allergic. His employers failed to respond promptly or adequately to his complaints, and he developed asthma. We took court proceedings, which were settled shortly before trial for £50,000.

Back injury caused by moving metal handrails

Our client worked for a company which specialised in weatherproofing and insulating roofs and balconies. He was working on a fourteenth floor balcony, clearing the area for laying insulation, and he and a colleague moved some metal handrails which had been left in the way by another firm of contractors.

Our client injured his back as a result and was treated initially with injections, eventually having to undergo an operation to remove one of the discs in his back. He had to have a lot of time off work sick, and was eventually made redundant from his job. We settled the case just before trial for £45,000 plus payment of our client’s legal costs.

Keyboard operator’s upper limb disorder

Ms T worked for a large company. She was conscientious, and her work involved long hours of keyboard work at the office, stretching well in to the weekends. She began to develop painful upper limb symptoms but struggled on until she was physically unable to continue. She was depressed and very worried about asserting her claim, for fear of jeopardising her job and the sick pay she was receiving.

We investigated her medical condition, and found that she had 3 separately-diagnosed upper limb disorders, some caused by her work and some not. Legal proceedings were issued, and within 6 months of those proceedings being sent to the opponent, we had negotiated a settlement of her injury claim, and advised her on a package of terms for voluntary redundancy, totalling £45,000.

Back injury suffered after colleague pulls chair away as Claimant sits down

We acted for a lady who was injured at work when one of her colleagues pulled her chair away as she was about to sit down. It appears that this was not done deliberately but nonetheless, our client fell onto her coccyx and suffered a back injury. We obtained £40,000 compensation for this client.

Stonemason with RSI accepts offer two days before trial

Our client worked as a stonemason and her work involved some heavy lifting and working with her arms above shoulder height and often in awkward positions. Our client started experiencing pain in her left shoulder, associated with repetitive nature of her work, which she reported to her manager and the HR department.

However, little was done to risk assess our client’s working conditions and to resolve her health problems. Our client was later diagnosed as suffering from tendinitis in her left shoulder. She subsequently developed tendinitis to her right shoulder. Her employer made her redundant. Our client had to have two surgeries on both her shoulders to treat tendinitis and alleviate the pain resulting from it.

We sued our client’s employer for their failures to carry out adequate risk assessments and ensure that our client has adequate rest breaks, etc. The medical expert we instructed reported that our client’s injury to her right shoulder was caused by her work and that as a result of this, she would be disadvantaged in the work place for a period of five years. It was also found that our client’s injury to her left shoulder was aggravated by her work.

The employer admitted liability but disputed the extent to which they were responsible for our client’s injury and the value of our client’s claim including her loss of earnings claim. We successfully negotiated a settlement of our client’s claim two days before the trial. Our client received £40,000.

Head injury whilst working at McDonalds

Our client worked at a McDonald’s restaurant. She was serving a customer when suddenly a TV monitor fell from its bracket on the wall and hit her on the head, knocking her to the ground. As a result our client sustained a minor head injury which caused moderate hearing loss, migraines, and a degree of anxiety in that she became very nervous about things falling on her

The migraines were very severe in nature as a result of the accident and affected her 6 days out of every 4 weeks. We referred the Claimant to an expert who treated her migraines with migration which improved her symptoms greatly so that she has now returned to her pre accident level. The ENT expert that we instructed recommended that she use small digital hearing aids in both ears to remedy her hearing loss. The Claimant was absent from work for 2 weeks but was paid in full. We obtained compensation for our client in the sum of £38,250.

Slip on wet staircase

Our client’s workplace was arranged over two floors, connected by an external staircase which was open to the elements, broken, and poorly-lit. One winter’s evening he slipped and fell, sustaining damage to his ankle ligaments from which he made a partial recovery. The company went into liquidation and we had to restore it to the Companies Register before suing it and obtaining compensation from its insurers of £31,000.

Broken leg on building site

Mr G was a shutterer working on a building site. An RSJ fell onto his leg, fracturing his tibial plateau (knee joint).  Off work for 3 months, he later made a full recovery and he won £30,000 in compensation.

Production worker’s asthma at electronics factory

Our client produced electronics components for the defence industry. She used a combination of fluxes, solders and cleaning fluids, some of which contained a known asthmagen.

A substantial increase in the number of soldering operations, together with a new combination of chemicals, provoked an asthmatic reaction which became long-term. The claim was settled for £30,000.

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