Our Serious Injury solicitors helped a milkman secure a six-figure compensation settlement after suffering devastating injuries caused by his own milk float.
In early 2019, Mark* began working as a milkman in Central London. He had recently returned to the UK from Dubai so that he could be closer to his children.
Upon his return to the UK, Mark found some warehouse employment but he was looking for something more long term. He enrolled on a two-year plumbing course at his local college after a friend told him that there were plumbing jobs available.
After enrolling at college Mark, looked for a job that would fit in around his studies. It was also important he could earn enough to pay his bills and help him save up for a house deposit.
Mark found a local dairy delivery company who needed delivery drivers to work night shifts. This was ideal as it fit around his lifestyle and his studies. After talking to the company, he learnt that he’d need to do a three day induction course before starting.
Starting his new job
After completing an induction Mark’s new employer gave him a training log detailing a 12-week training plan. The log contained a series of training reviews needing weekly sign offs from peers and management staff.
Mark completed the health and safety part of the log but after completing this section, there was little encouragement to complete further training. This became a cause for concern for Mark as there were clear gaps in his training and knowledge. The only further training he had was shadowing co-workers for a few days.
When shadowing his co-workers, Mark was quick at helping complete tasks. This impressed his management team and led them to believe he’d be efficient in his new role.
He became increasingly concerned at the lack of training he was getting as he realised large parts of his training log weren’t fulfilled or verified. Mark raised concerns with his Assistant Manager and refused to work until given further training. His employers then gave him a further two days of training before introducing him to his new delivery route.
Before he started driving for the company, Mark believed he'd drive a right-hand-drive diesel vehicle. But when he began driving, the company provided a left-hand-drive electric float - something he was unfamiliar with. Even though Mark told his management he wasn’t familiar with this new driving set up and that he’d not had to complete a driver’s assessment he began delivering.
Mark was a driving instructor for ten years before moving to Dubai, so he was a competent and confident driver. While delivering for the company colleagues made Mark aware of the float’s known faults. The milk float’s handbrake had known issues as well as a colleague experiencing the float randomly shooting forward after getting out and applying the handbrake.
After completing his delivery route quicker than expected, he returned to his depot early before getting ready to clean his float. As instructed, he left it in drive and applied the handbrake. Mark can recall his colleague telling him the handbrake was on when he checked.
Without warning, the float thrusted backwards, knocking Mark to the ground and then reversing over him. The rear wheels ran over his legs and the front wheels running over his upper body. A colleague found Mark on the floor in significant pain and rang an ambulance.
Paramedics took Mark to the intensive care unit at a nearby hospital where he stayed for three days. He'd suffered devastating injuries including many broken bones around his body and multiple soft tissue injuries.
Mark’s line manager visited him in hospital to ask if he wanted to bring a claim against the company but Mark’s main concern was his recovery. Doctors then told Mark that needed to stay in hospital for a further four weeks. This wasn’t what Mark wanted as he had a good standard of care and support network at home.
After several requests, the physio team carried out an assessment and agreed Mark could leave hospital earlier than the initial four weeks.
Helping Mark on his road to recovery
Mark then contacted our Serious Injury team for help in claiming against his employers. Serious Injury solicitor Stephanie Pelling began helping Mark with his claim.
Stephanie began speaking to Mark to learn more about his employment history and what he’d been through. Once she understood Mark’s circumstances, Stephanie gathered expert reports from several relevant consultants, including an Orthopaedic and Psychiatrist Consultant.
Mark’s employers initially denied responsibility but later admitted liability after our own investigations alongside a health, safety and environment investigation.
This was a massive weight off Mark’s shoulders as he found the treatment from his employers frustrating. Mark’s employers then agreed to settle Mark’s claim and we negotiated a six-figure sum to help rebuild his life.
The compensation has been crucial in giving Mark financial security and some much-needed peace of mind for the future.
The settlement has allowed Mark to finally put money towards a house which was his intention when first arriving back in the UK. It has also replaced lost earnings during the period he couldn’t work for following the incident.
Following the incident, Mark has received private physiotherapy to help with his rehabilitation, paid for by his claim.
Unfortunately Mark’s life injuries mean he’ll struggle to continue with his plans to work as a plumber. However, his compensation settlement will support Mark and his family during any necessary retraining.
"Although Mark may not be able to fully return to his previous lifestyle, we hope this settlement will help him move forward," said Stephanie. "Mark’s now working with our Court of Protection team to set up a personal injury trust that’ll protect his finances for the future."
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, we may be able to help. Contact our serious injury team by calling 0370 1500 100.
*Not actual name used
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