Lady Solicitor Personal Injury Claim Lady Justice Old Bailer

HGV Lorry Driver Wins Compensation Claim Against Employer for Accident at Work

Mr M, a HGV lorry driver from Preston, Lancashire, suffered an injury whilst at work. Mr M was asked to put up a loaded trailer from his employer’s yard and deliver it to a supermarket distribution centre in Neston. When Mr M got to his employer’s yard and checked the load he noted that whilst it was on pallets, it had slipped backwards. Retaining straps had not been used to secure the load. It was very early in the morning when Mr M collected the loaded trailer and there was no one else around in the yard who could assist him with restacking the load. As Mr M was on a timed delivery he made the decision to go ahead with the delivery.

When Mr M arrived at the distribution centre he attempted to manoeuvre the load in such way as would enable him to unload and deliver the goods. Unfortunately, in doing so the load became even more unstable and he fell from the rear of the lorry, sustaining an injury to his back.

Mr M gave us a call and we agreed to pursue a compensation claim on his behalf for the injuries suffered in the accident at work.

A Letter of Claim was sent to his employers who responded by denying liability for the accident. A Letter of Claim was also sent to C Ltd, who had been responsible for loading the trailer in the first place. Again liability was denied. As neither potential Defendant was willing to accept liability for the accident formal Court proceedings were issued in the Preston County Court. A medical report was obtained, showing that Mr M had suffered a soft tissue injury to his back. The majority of his accident related symptoms had settled within approximately 7 to 9 months of the accident date.

As the injury claim could not be settled by negotiation it had to be dealt with at a Court hearing. The Court decided that the First Defendant, Mr M’s employers, had failed to comply with their duty to ensure Mr M had a safe system of work. However, the Court felt that Mr M himself had not taken all the steps he could have done in order to prevent the accident from happening. It therefore made a finding of 20% contributory negligence against Mr M. This meant that Mr M’s employers were responsible for 80% of the accident.

The Court decided that the company which loaded the trailer in the first place was not responsible at all for Mr M’s accident.

The Preston County Court awarded Mr M approximately £7,300 in compensation for his injuries, subject to a reduction for the contributory negligence. In addition the Court ordered that the First Defendant (the Claimant’s employers) had to pay the Claimant’s legal costs and the costs of the Second Defendant.

This case demonstrates that simply because an employer denies liability in an accident at work it does not mean that the Court will agree with their position. The courts will always take a detailed look at the appropriate workplace health and safety regulations to ensure that these have been adequately and properly implemented by the employer. If the employer has breached its legal duties then the chances are that it will be held liable for any accident or injury arising.

Alternative case studies from New Deal Fair Deal relating to industrial accidents include the lady whose finger was lacerated by a faulty meat slicing machine leading to a meat slicer contributory negligence claim that was agreed at the 20% level. The laceration to a right thigh as a result of a trip on plastic sheeting that lead to a compensation claim against a contractor or the case fought by a specialist industrial injury claims solicitor relating to a Derby delivery drivers compensation claim resulting from slipping on loaded pallets in the rear of his truck.