Kate was enjoying a walk in Carrickfergus' Bashfordland Wood. As she crossed the metal bridge, both of her feet slipped from under her and she fell despite her best efforts to catch the rail. The impact of her fall resulted in a lower back injury and a further injury to her knee.
Kate attended Antrim Area Hospital for inital assessment.
She subsequently attended her GP and underwent Physiotherapy before being referred to the Northwest Independent Clinic Orthopaedic Department. The medical professionals involved in her treatment felt that Kate had suffered internal damage to her right knee. Accordingly, she underwent a knee arthroscopy which found that she has sustained a large buckle handle tear which required an operation.
Occupiers Liability Claim
Kate approached Paschal O’Hare Solicitors to seek advice about the possibility of pursuing a claim against the persons responsibile for the metal bridge. Kate maintained that the bridge was wet and quite slippy.
A letter of claim was sent to the Woodland trust, the occupier of the land in question. They denied liability and based that denial on the fact that there had been no recorded accidents at this bridge. Witness evidence was obtained from numerous woodland walkers who indicated that they had also slipped on the bridge.
We obtained medical reports in respect of Kate's injuries. High Court proceedings were issued and served. During the course of those proceedings, a report was obtained from a Consulting Engineer. His expert evidence was that the surface of the bridge carried a medium risk of slip when wet. Furthermore, the gradient on the downward slope was too steep to provide sufficient grip in the wet & damp woodland environment.
Kate's claim settles out of court
Prior to the hearing of the case, negotiations were invited. Negotiations took place on a compromise basis and the case settled. Kate received £24k in compensation.