Lawyers highlight the importance of seeking specialist legal advice for those who have suffered serious injuries.
A former forklift truck driver left disabled by a serious injury at work is looking forward to getting his life back on track after receiving a £125,000 settlement to help with his recovery and rehabilitation thanks to expert injury lawyers at law firm Irwin Mitchell.
His spine was crushed by the forklift truck he was driving at a bathroom manufacturing company when a ramp gave way under its wheels, causing it to topple over while he was still inside.
He managed to crawl free from the truck’s cabin but his injury was so severe he had to stay in hospital for six days before he was discharged and told to wear a special corset to help his spine heal. Originally from Poland, and living in Newcastle under Lyme at the time of the accident, he spent three months off work recovering after the accident in April 2008 as well as enduring intensive physiotherapy.
The 32-year-old is now hoping to get his life back on track thanks to expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who secured him the settlement. He is keen to increase awareness amongst injured people about the need to obtain expert legal advice from solicitors specialising in serious injuries in order to ensure that early funding is obtained for rehabilitation and to help cover the initial loss of income.
Rachel Di Clemente, a workplace accident expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office representing him, said: “This case is incredibly sad and shows the devastating impact accidents at work can have on people’s lives. He was in constant pain, was unable to work and felt isolated without his family around him in England.
“He was obviously very disillusioned with life but once he contacted Irwin Mitchell and we took on the case from his previous solicitors we used our experience and knowledge of serious injury cases like this to quickly get him access to an interim payment that he desperately needed. We were also able to arrange for immediate rehabilitation, including physiotherapy and counselling, which really helped him feel more positive and get back to work sooner than he ever imagined.
“Irwin Mitchell also has the resources and specialist knowledge to deal with Polish clients so we were much more able to connect with him on a personal level by bridging the cultural and language barriers. We made sure we provided him with an interpreter who translated all his paperwork and accompanied him to meetings so he could understand the case better.
“This settlement will help him continue to access the treatment he needs to help rebuild his life after suffering a serious injury.”
The client has since returned to live in Lodz in Poland. He said: “Before the accident I was strong, healthy and enjoyed my job working in a busy factory but the injury has completely turned my life upside down. I remember the ramp giving way under the wheels of the truck and it toppling over. I felt a sharp, shooting pain in my back straight away. I managed to crawl out of the truck but I realised I was injured and had to lie down.
“It was frightening to hear I’d fractured my spine and although I was relieved the doctors let me go home after six days, the pain was unbearable. I had to wear a corset and lie down all day hoping the drugs would help the pain.
“My fiancée was working but she had to do everything for me from making my meals, washing me and doing all the housework and shopping. Our friends lived with us and they would also help me get about a bit but it didn’t stop me feeling like a burden.
“I started to feel better once Irwin Mitchell helped me get access to the physiotherapy and counselling I needed to get on with my life. I’m so grateful they took my case because progress had been slow with my previous firm.”
He found part-time work via an agency for a high street fashion store, checking orders in the warehouse.
He said: “I was so happy to finally have a job and there was no heavy lifting, which I was relieved about, but the pain was still really bad. I still can’t sit for longer than an hour and sometimes the pain radiates across my whole back – it feels like it’s on fire.
“I’m relieved about finally getting the settlement because it will give me the chance to retrain and do something valuable with my life.”
If you or a loved one has suffered a back injury while at work and it wasn't your fault, our specialist accident at work claims team could help you to claim compensation. Read our Back Injury at Work Compensation page for more information.
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