£825,000 Recovered for Injured Construction Worker
In August 2018 my client was injured at work. He was on the site of a housing development and in his role as a groundworker he was required to excavate several manholes. As he lowered himself into a manhole there was an equipment malfunction and my client fell several metres to the bottom.
On landing my client felt his left ankle crack. He had suffered an open fracture. As he awaited rescue the fracture was contaminated by sewage. My client required several washout operations and further surgeries (5 in total) to reconstruct his ankle.
The court rules permit a claimant to apply to Court for an order to inspect property. As building sites are fast moving, it was necessary to make the application promptly after my client’s employers refused access. Inspection of the site and equipment was a reasonable request, to enable an appropriate engineering expert to report on liability.
On filing the application, the employer’s insurers conceded the issue of liability on a 100% basis which entitled my client to full compensation.
My client’s recovery was slow and difficult. Before the accident he was active and took part in boxing. In his previous military career, he had been a paratrooper. His injury affected him physically and psychologically. He gained weight through inactivity and began to drink heavily. His relationship broke down
On the insurer’s admission of liability, I quickly secured an interim payment on account of the claim which assisted my client in finding rental accommodation and he was able to pay for a range of treatment and therapies arranged by a rehabilitation case manager. Provision of private treatment was particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic when NHS services were limited. Around 18 months after his injury my client underwent surgery for metalwork removal, also on a private basis, which was successful.
However, my client continued to suffer with pain thought to be neuropathic in nature due to nerve damage in his foot. Such injuries commonly arise after complex fractures of the foot and ankle. Unfortunately, the prognosis for this is poor, meaning my client is unlikely to make a full recovery from his injury.
I instructed medical experts in the fields of orthopaedics and pain medicine. They agreed my client’s fractures had healed well but his nerve pain would continue to remain an issue. The insurer’s experts agreed.
Both sides agreed to attend a settlement meeting, but we were unable to reach agreement as there were significant issues between us on accommodation need, the requirement for long term treatment and the extent to which my client was capable of work. In essence the insurers considered my client had recovered reasonably well in the circumstances and would continue to improve.
However, after the joint settlement meeting the insurers made substantially improved offers which were within reasonable settlement parameters for the claim. Once negotiations were exhausted my client elected to accept £825,000. The money will go a long way to ensuring his future needs are met and he was delighted with the outcome.
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