Irwin Mitchell’s specialist workplace accident team have helped a man who was seriously injured in an accident to claim compensation.
In April 2008, our client was employed as a shop fitter and was assisting to unload a large container of kitchen fittings. He was stood behind a fork lift truck that was unloading the container itself, however, the load was not being correctly lifted and as the truck reversed, the load became unstable and started to fall. Our client took a step back to avoid being hit by the falling load, but in doing so, he stepped into some stillages that had been left lying around and fell backwards injuring his head and back.
When the accident was investigated it was found that our client’s employer had never made a safe plan of work for unloading the container, provided any relevant training or conducted a risk assessment. It was also clear that the client and his co-workers were under a lot of pressure to empty the container quickly so that it could be on its way again and therefore avoid a fine.
As a result of the accident, our client suffered a hyper extension injury of his spine causing him to be rendered tetraplegic, and he now has no movement in his arms or legs. He also has decreased muscle tone in his chest thus making it difficult for him to speak. His injuries are so severe that he now has very high care needs and relies upon visits from a local authority carer to move him from his bed to his wheel chair in the morning and back again in the evening. Due to his limited movement he is no longer able to leave the house to, apart from to go to church.
The employer originally denied that our client was employed by them or that he had been asked to be present to help unload the container. An early offer of £250,000 (including legal costs) was made by the employer. However, this amount was grossly inadequate as it did not take into account the amount and the cost of the care that our client needs.
Four years after the accident, his claim has been settled in the sum of £2.8 million pounds. Prior to the settlement our client was forced to rely solely on local authority help including accommodation and care, however he will now be able to move into a home which has been specially adapted to suit his needs. He will also be able to fund further rehabilitation and physiotherapy which will enable him to regain some of his independence and greatly improve his quality of life.
The family said: “The service we have received from Irwin Mitchell has been nothing short of five star. We were always informed of every stage and advised accordingly. We were made to feel in control and we appreciated the number of house visits everyone has done. On behalf of everyone in the family, I would like to thank you for your support during this case and for helping us achieve this successful result.”
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