Grandmother Suffered Broken Hip After Christmas Eve Fall

Specialist Injury Lawyers Secure Settlement After Woman Falls On Ungritted Pavement


A grandmother suffered a broken hip as she slipped and fell on a pavement outside her local train station which was left covered in snow and ice in one of the coldest winters on record.

Sibella Whyte, 63 at the time of the accident, from West Kingsdown in Sevenoaks, was on her way to meet her husband on Christmas Eve 2010 outside Swanley train station.

She fell down on an icy stretch of pavement and, as she was unable to stand, was kindly helped by three passers-by and called an ambulance.

Once Sibella was examined and given an x-ray at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, she was told she would need a total hip replacement due to the injuries she sustained from her fall.

Sibella instructed specialist personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate why the pavements had been left untreated during one of the coldest winters on record, making it a safety hazard for pedestrians.

Irwin Mitchell has now secured Sibella a £16,000 settlement from Meteor Parking Ltd after they admitted responsibility for failing to treat the pavement in the icy conditions. The conditions will cover her loss of earnings and treatments she needed during her recovery.

Stephanie Whatmore, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Sibella’s accident could have been prevented if Meteor Parking had treated the pavements adequately, as the conditions were clearly dangerous for pedestrians in the winter months.

“She has been in a lot of pain since the accident but the settlement will allow her to continue with her rehabilitation from injury and contribute to the loss of earnings as she was unable to work as she was recovering from her hip replacement surgery.”

Grandmother-of-three, Sibella, said: “After my fall, I lost a lot of confidence as it was really difficult for me to get around as I was still suffering from quite a bit of pain and discomfort.  On Boxing Day 2010 I was given a hip replacement surgery and remained in hospital after surgery for four days to recover. As a result of my fall, I still suffer with pain in my right knee and my hip is very stiff.

“I had to take time off work as a private tutor at the Citizens Advice Bureau where I work as an advisor due to my injuries. I was also unable to drive for six weeks as I was on crutches, and I really struggled with simple everyday activities such as getting in and out of the bath.

“I used to cycle quite a bit but now do not feel confident to do so in case I fall again. I am just so pleased that the case has now been settled and I can put this all behind me now.”