£100,000 for lorry driver injured in unsafe workplace, double initial compensation offer

Row of HGV lorries

Mr W was badly injured in an accident at work and unable to return to work, placing him in financial difficulty.

He dealt with two other law firms before contacting Digby Brown Solicitors for help with his accident at work claim.

How did the accident at work happen?

Mr W was working as a HGV driver for a small company in Scotland at the time of the accident.

Before the accident happened, Mr W had made several complaints to his employers that a railing or step ladder should be provided to help him up and down from the back of the lorry. However, no such aids were ever provided. Employers should take reasonable and practical measures to make sure everyone has a safe working environment.

When he was delivering goods to another company and stepping down from the back of the lorry, Mr W slipped and fell to the ground, fracturing the heel of his left foot and injuring his back.

What was the impact of his injuries?

Mr W was first put in a stookie and then later a moon boot to help his foot heal.

This meant he was unable to return to work following the accident as he couldn’t drive and found it difficult to even walk. He needed help from his partner to wash, dress and just get about the house.

“The accident drastically affected my life, it was turned around after what happened.

“I wasn’t working and it was unlikely I would get another job. I’m almost 60 and the doctor said he wasn’t sure I would be able to work again driving lorries or anything manual which is all I know.”

How did you feel making a claim after the accident at work?

“I felt quite within my rights to make a claim against my employer. He would say do this and do that and you weren’t to ask any questions. He would rather save money that protect his employees.

“He didn’t care – not once did he phone to see how I was after the accident although he did phone when I was in the hospital to find out where the lorry was.”

Accident at work claim with local solicitor – but went bust

Mr W got in touch with a solicitor he had used previously but after some time of having the case and making no real progress, his law practice went out of business.

Mr W then contacted the law society in Edinburgh and they advised that a personal injury firm would soon be in touch to continue with his accident at work claim.

Unhappy with lawyers in Glasgow who took on the case

“I was very unhappy with my lawyer’s attitude and approach in dealing with my personal injury claim. I found him very rude and unprofessional.

“He would often answer his mobile phone while in a meeting with me, carry out some filing or dictate notes – he hardly listened to me and seemed more interested in getting money than he was about my accident.”

Final port - Digby Brown for accident at work claim

Mr W contacted another firm before being steered towards Digby Brown.

“I hobbled along to the Digby Brown’s Glasgow office and spoke to a solicitor there and that was it. The case was transferred to Digby Brown and I was very happy with the way the case was handled.”

Interim payments

When our solicitors received the file from the previous firm it was clear there was very little work done.

As Mr W was experiencing financial difficulties as he could not return to work, his Digby Brown solicitor organised two interim payments within a year which were used to pay bills and get by.

As the insurer had admitted liability, it meant they would pay compensation to Mr W but how much compensation Mr W was entitled to was the real debate.

First offer of compensation

The insurers offered a pre-medical offer of £55,000 with the interim payments to be deducted.

Our personal injury solicitors were still gathering medical evidence however, based on the severity of injuries and the wage loss incurred; they recommended that Mr W should not accept the offer but rather that they proceed with medical investigations to fully value the case.

“I did the maths and it was not enough to cover the next 7 years before retirement at all so I took Digby Brown’s advice and did not accept the offer.”

Investigations into claim

Medical reports confirmed that Mr W’s injuries would improve but that he would suffer mild, occasionally moderate pain in the long-term and it was recommended he seek alternative employment.
 
Our solicitors also determined future and past wage loss as a result of not being able to return to his profession. At the time, Mr W had another 7 years until retirement.

Compensation for accident at work

Another compensation offer was received of £100,000 – almost double the first offer - which Mr W accepted.

“I feel you couldn’t have done any better than you did, you advised me all the way through when it came to accepting offers and left it ultimately for me to decide with your help.

“I would give you a 1000/1000 – I was thoroughly impressed. You did wonders, investigating the accident, chasing things up and keeping me updated.

“Everyone was kind and helpful and very prompt - I thought the process would take a lot longer than it did.

“I was over the moon with the compensation I received, didn’t expect that at all. It was a big surprise and a bit of a lift.

“You have to be careful with it though and remember you’re not a millionaire as this money needs to last you so you really need to live as you did before the accident.

“I hope never to use you again but you would be my first call if something happens.”

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