Joiner gets £125,000 after breaking back in ladder fall

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An ex-joiner has received £125,000 in compensation after breaking his back in a ladder fall at work.

A 62-year-old man from Fife was installing a staircase in a house when he fell two metres from the steps.

He suffered two fractured vertebrae, a collapsed lung and several cracked ribs.

He had worked for the building firm for 23 years but was laid off after his injuries stopped him returning to work.

“When I realised my work were claiming that I overstretched on the steps and caused the fall, my mind was made up to go ahead with the claim as that wasn’t what happened at all.”

However, our client raised a legal action for compensation and hopes other workers won’t be afraid of taking control if they are injured at work.

“I was hurt through no fault of my own and suffered life-changing injuries.

“I’m just glad I was finally proved right and I hope this helps others persevere.”

He was taken to Victoria Hospital where scans confirmed he suffered fractures to his T3 and T5 vertebra and other internal injuries.

The tradesman had to wear a back brace for three months as he recovered which meant he relied on relatives for daily care.

“One minute I was on the ladders with a tape measure in my hand to size out the new staircase and the next thing I know I’m lying on the deck.

“Then I’m taken to hospital and I’m in agony and before you know it I’m strapped up for three months and I’m not able to work again.

“All in the blink of an eye.”

Lawyers also discovered the joiner should never have been sent up a step ladder on his own to carry out his task and that someone should either have footed the ladder or there should have been a scaffolding in place.

Ryan Smith, Senior Solicitor at Digby Brown’s Kirkcaldy office, led the investigation into the incident.

He added: “The law is very clear - where an employer has failed to provide the right equipment and failed to carry out risk assessments then it makes them liable for an incident and any subsequently sustained injuries.

“In this case, his life was altered because of injuries he suffered through the negligence of his employer so he is legally entitled to damages.

“No settlement can ever stop the pain but it can at least help put the practical aspects of life back together after an accident.”

Our client added: “I am glad I visited the Digby Brown Kirkcaldy office that day - I wouldn’t have the compensation otherwise. I am unemployed now because I don’t have full mobility and the compensation has helped ease financial worries.

“Ryan was absolutely first class, he did all the hard work and I didn’t need to do a thing. I would advise anyone to go see Digby Brown for legal advice after an accident at work.”

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