Lady Solicitor Personal Injury Claim Lady Justice Old Bailer

JCB Operator Suffers Spinal Injury

Kent Site Worker Wins Compensation After Suffering a Back Injury in an Accident at Work

We have recently settled a personal injury claim on behalf of a claimant from Margate, Kent who suffered an accident at work whilst employed by a building contractor on a site in Dartford. 

The client was working as a JCB operator.  As part of the site’s security measures, protective screens were fastened to the cab of the JCB diggers every night to prevent vandalism.  Whilst our client was removing a security screen one morning he slipped and fell approximately 8ft, landing on his back.

He appointed us to deal with his accident at work claim, under our New Deal scheme which guarantees 100% compensation on a No Win – No Fee basis.

One of our experienced personal injury solicitors drafted a Letter of Claim. This was sent to the employers who, whilst they initially admitted liability, raised the issue of contributory negligence claiming that our client was 50% to blame for the work accident.  We disputed this and eventually the defendants backed down and admitted liability in full. 

A medical report was obtained from an orthopaedic surgeon who was of the view that, despite the fact that the client was unable to return to work due to ongoing spinal pain, the accident related symptoms would only have persisted for three to five months.  Anything beyond that date was not, in his opinion, accident related but instead due to age related degenerative changes in the spine.  We questioned whether the expert was certain about this but he was unwilling to change his mind. 

We therefore made an application to the court for permission to obtain an opinion from a specialist consultant neurosurgeon.  This report was more favourable as it indicated that, whilst there was some age related degenerative change, a significant proportion of the client’s symptoms (and therefore his ongoing loss of earnings) was due to the accident at work. 

The injury claim was settled by negotiation between the parties after court proceedings were issued but before final hearing took place.  Our client was willing to accept a compensation award in excess of £24,000 and in addition the defendants repaid benefits that he had received since the accident, totalling a further £13,200. 

This case illustrates the need for personal injury cases of this kind to be dealt with by experienced, specialist accident solicitors who are able to take a robust approach when issues of contributory negligence are raised by defendants. It also illustrates how important it is for the solicitor to take a critical approach to the medical evidence and to be prepared to challenge the conclusions of medical experts. In many cases there can be a range of opinions between different consultants as to the nature, extent and severity of any ongoing symptoms that may be accident related.  The medical evidence is of crucial importance in any accident claim and will directly impact on the amount of compensation that can be recovered.

We recognise the importance of having accident claims dealt with by highly experienced solicitors. Most cases are dealt with by a fully qualified solicitor (rather than a paralegal) and many cases are dealt with by a partner. By ensuring that cases are handled at the appropriate level we are confident that you will be happy with the service provided and above all, the end result of the claim.