I wasn’t sure if it was right to make an injury claim

Joiner at work on site

John Cook, a joiner from Dunfermline, was fixing floorboards in a new house when he fell ten feet from the upper level, suffering a blunt trauma injury to his chest.

He wasn’t able to work for two months and lost earnings while he was off.

When he was able to get back to work, he couldn’t work at a height anymore. He had post-traumatic stress disorder from the accident and was faced with having to pay a large sum to treat his psychological difficulties.

“At the beginning, I wasn’t going to make an injury claim as I thought it was just one of those things that happened. Ethically, I wasn’t comfortable doing it and I convinced myself the accident was entirely my own fault.

“The more I thought about it, I realised there was negligence on their part. On other work sites I have been on, there were things in place to protect workers in case they fell – but there was nothing like this here.”

Suzanne Hedderman, Associate in our Kirkcaldy Office, took over the handling of his case against his employer.

“From the word go, it was very simple and it was explained to me what to expect going forward. All the way through I was very calm and didn’t get stressed - it was a hassle free service.”

No safeguards in place

Our solicitors investigated his case and found his employer had failed to train him in the new method of fixing floorboards and didn’t provide any safety equipment like safety nets, harnesses or floor pads.  They had not carried out any risk assessments or method statements to try and protect their labourers working in dangerous situations.

Employer admits fault

It took some persuading but eventually his employer accepted our argument that they had breached their duty of care and were responsible for his accident. 

“Suzanne picked up on things I didn’t think of and I was like, “wow, you know your stuff.” I had no idea there were certain things you could include in a compensation claim and it was impressive the aspects of law she knew.”

Failed to make an offer

When it came to them making an offer the insurers failed to respond. To move the case forward, and encourage the insurers to make an offer, the case was raised in court.

The insurers came forward before the case went to court and Mr Cook's case settled in the sum of £13,000.

“My ethics have changed now after everything I went through because of the accident; the pain and not being able to sleep at night, being stressed because I couldn’t go back to work, the psychological impact of it all. The compensation goes some way to address what I went through.

“Suzanne never failed to impress and the attention to detail was just exceptional. Without it, I wouldn’t have achieved as good an outcome. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Digby Brown.”