Andrew’s Work Accident Settles for £50,000 (Castlereagh)
Andrew was employed as a HGV driver by a well-known local maintenance company. Whilst at work, he was asked to remove a machine from the back of a low loader flatbed lorry. He applied the hand break, lowered the ramp and removed the chains that held the machine in place before climbing into the large machine. As he climbed back out, the lorry moved causing him to lose balance and fall to the ground. It transpired that the hand break was defective.
Andrew was taken to hospital
Andrew suffered from extensive injuries and was admitted to the Ulster Hospital as a result. He had fractures in his tibia and fibula in his shin which required multiple hospital visits and the fitting of a frame. This remained in place for approximately 7 months, during which time Andrew needed assistance with his care due to reduced mobility.
As a result of this accident Andrew decided to pursue compensation. He contacted Paschal O’Hare Solicitors and we took on his case. We sent a letter of claim to his employer who passed the matter on to the insurance provider. They conducted an investigation and accepted that the employer had some liability but alleged that Andrew was guilty of contributory negligence. This is when an injured party is responsible for at least part of their own accident. The insurance provider said that Andrew should have disconnected the break line on the lorry. They alleged that his lengthy experience as a HGV driver would mean that he would know this.
We obtained expert reports
This position was not acceptable to Andrew. In light of this we issued High Court proceedings against the company. We had Andrew examined by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who advised that our client’s symptoms would improve in around 18 months. The expert also suggested that any stiffness or pain after 18 months would be permanent.
We also hired a consultant engineer who carried out an inspection of the lorry. This provided useful evidence to further progress the case. We entered negotiations with the employer as the court date approached. They maintained their position that Andrew was part responsible for the accident and offered a settlement figure of £25,000. This was rejected and we indicated that we would continue to trial if the offer wasn’t raised significantly. Further negotiations took place and we settled Andrew’s case for £50,000.