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18 November 2015
A taper and jointer who suffered fractures to his forearms when he fell from a step-up ladder at work has received £65,000 in compensation.
Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Robert Synnott is a personal injury solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Settlement Value: £65,000
What happened: Our client was working as a taper and jointer at a residential property. During the course of his work he was required to use a step-up ladder to gain access to an attic room.
The floor of the attic was made of plywood boards but gaps had been left between them to the extent that the rolled steel joist (RSJ) beneath the floor was exposed.
While our client was on the step-up ladder one of its legs fell into the gap between the plywood boards, causing our client to fall to the ground. When he put both his arms out to break his fall, he suffered bilateral Colles’ fractures.
How Slater and Gordon helped: When the client approached Slater and Gordon he was still unable to work and was experiencing considerable financial hardship as a result.
We contacted the company responsible for health and safety on site and secured from them an admission of liability. We then put together evidence to prove the extent of both our client’s injuries and financial losses.
Although our client sustained an orthopaedic injury, the effects of his injury and continuing financial problems were such that he also suffered from depression.
His physical and psychological injuries were so significant that that he was ultimately diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. We therefore ensured that he was examined by orthopaedic, psychiatric and pain management experts in order to establish the likely future effect of his injuries.
Once the medical evidence was obtained we calculated the full extent of our client’s financial losses including his past loss of earnings, the financial losses he had already incurred, and a claim for the handicap that his injury would cause him on the open labour market.
This took into account how his injuries would make it more difficult for him to find employment in the future and if successful, the likelihood that he would find it more difficult to stay in employment and be exposed to greater periods out of work, as a result.
Decision: The defendant took a long time to respond to the evidence from the medical experts and the schedule of our client’s losses.
We made a reasonable offer to settle our client’s claim but even that failed to produce a response until we stated that we would issue proceedings. At this point, the defendant accepted our client's offer of £65,000 to settle his claim.
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