We recover compensation of £253,000 for a south Devon carer injured at work
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Our client, F , suffered an accident while working as a domiciliary carer in a patient’s home in south Devon.
She had been helping a lady out of bed and to the commode when the mechanical hoist broke. This caused F to pull her back, shoulder and hip.
Unfortunately her employers were not sympathetic and were troublesome in relation to sick pay. F therefore contacted us about claiming compensation for her carer accident and we agreed to act for her on a no win, no fee basis.
We initially submitted the claim against F’s employers saying that they had failed to provide her with a safe system of work and safe equipment to do her job. The insurers for the employer passed the matter on to the manufacturer of the hoist who admitted liability for the failure of the equipment they had supplied.
With this hurdle overcome we then just had to consider what injuries had been caused by the accident and what losses F had suffered as a result.
F was continuing to suffer ongoing pain and restriction. We instructed an independent orthopaedic expert to prepare a report about her physical injuries . The orthopaedic expert recommended treatment, including steroid injections and physiotherapy. Unfortunately these treatments, while giving some short term relief, did not get F back to her old self. We therefore arranged an updating examination with the orthopaedic expert. He was unable to fully explain the severity of F’s symptoms. While he agreed that they were completely genuine but said that they could not be explained orthopaedically.
We also obtained medical reports from a psychologist and a pain management expert which confirmed that F had developed a pain syndrome as a result of the accident.
As it was approaching the third anniversary of F’s accident we issued the claim in court to protect her position as claims for injury either need to be completely concluded or court proceedings issued within three years of the accident.
The court gave permission for the hoist manufacturer to obtain medical reports from experts of their choosing and they duly obtained reports from an orthopaedic surgeon, psychologist and pain expert. Both sides were also given permission to obtain reports from care experts setting out details of the care that F had required as a result of her problems and what care she would be likely to need in the future.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the experts instructed by the hoist manufacturer did not agree that all F’s problems were due to the accident. In particular, their pain expert said that he thought F would have suffered these problems anyway, even if the accident had not happened.
This made things far from straightforward because compensation can only be recovered for injuries and losses that are likely to be the result of the accident in question. There was therefore a risk that if we did go to trial and the judge preferred the defendant’s pain expert then F’s claim would be worth significantly less than the earnings and losses she had suffered.
Mindful of this and with F keen to avoid having to attend court if possible we entered into settlement negotiations. Tis resulted in an out of court settlement package totalling £253,000.
F was very happy with the award of compensation as it removes her financial concerns and will enables her to live as independently as possible.