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13 July 2015
Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Chris Baxendale is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
Chris specialises in employers’ liability cases as well as road traffic accident, public liability and product liability claims. He also has experience in handling complex head injury claims and representing the families of fatal accident victims.
Settlement Value: £301,348
What happened: Chris’s client had been sent on a two-week training course by his job centre to train to become a fork lift and balance truck driver.
He had completed the first week of the course with excellent results in all his tests. But at the start of the second week, he was standing beside a balance truck as the instructor demonstrated how the controls worked, when the truck suddenly reversed towards him.
Unfortunately he was unable to jump out of the way in time and his left leg was crushed beneath the wheels.
Impact: Chris’s client suffered a severe open fracture to his left lower leg. He was trapped beneath the truck in agony for almost an hour before the fire service was able to lift the truck off his leg and release him.
He required multiple surgeries including an osteotomy, and he had to wear an ilizarov cage for several months to lengthen his leg.
The timing of the injury was awful as his first child was due to be born just two weeks after the accident. As a result, he was unable to look after his baby daughter in the same way a new father should have been able to do.
Chris’s client is a trained joiner. He was undergoing the forklift truck training as work in his chosen trade fluctuated. As a result of the accident, he now has a permanent restriction and he is unable to do any kind of heavy manual work. Instead, he will be restricted to work which does not require any mobility, and as a consequence, he will not be able to return to joinery.
In addition, he was a keen amateur boxer and general sportsman and he will no longer be able to partake in any kind of contact sport. He will also only be able to drive an automatic car.
Although he has been extremely dedicated in his rehabilitation and has made a good recovery, he will be left with permanent restrictions and scarring as a result of his accident. He is now desperate to return to work to support his daughter.
How Chris helped: Chris obtained psychological counselling which helped his client come to terms with his injury and permanent restriction and also helped him manage the psychological effects of his injury.
Chris secured a significant future loss of earnings claim to reflect his client’s reduced earning capacity as well as his loss in pension payments. Chris also secured funding for occupational rehabilitation in order that his client may re-train and return to work.
Chris obtained interim payments throughout the case to pay for his client’s rehabilitation as well as to help with his lost earnings.
Decision: The case settled at a joint settlement meeting in June 2015 for £301,348.
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