Daniel Campbell was employed by a scaffolding firm in the Highlands when he fell from a ladder causing a severe injury to his leg, leaving him unable to work.
The day the workplace accident happened, he and his workmates were instructed to cover up a number of battens and boards to prevent them from rotting during winter. It was dangerously icy that day and they complained that it was unsafe to do the job.
In order to put tarpaulin over the boards, Daniel had to use a ladder about 12 feet in height. There was no one available at the time to foot the ladder and there was nowhere to tie the ladder to secure it in place. Despite his concerns, he was told to just get on with the job at hand.
“I’m never complacent as I’ve been around ladders, and construction and heights all my life, so I’m never ever complacent. But when I was on the first rung to come down, the base of the ladder shot off and I fell 10-12 feet. When I put my foot up to the silhouette of the spotlight, which was out, I could see my leg was not at a very nice angle.”
Daniel broke his ankle in over 30 places, requiring multiple operations. The health impact of this work injury has been compared to suffering from a stroke, heart attack and in many cases, cancer. He is currently still using one crutch to get about and medical opinion is mixed as to whether Daniel will require a below the knee amputation, with varying views as to what to expect from the future.
“We should never have been doing that job in those underfoot conditions and there should have been somebody there footing the ladder. My employer did say, when it was brought to his attention that we shouldn’t be doing this in these sort of conditions, ‘I don’t care I just want the job done’. It’s either refusing to do the job and maybe getting sacked or just getting on with it and doing the job. In hindsight, I would have rather got sacked.”
Daniel is unlikely to be able to return to any form of regular employment, and the work injury has left him unable to drive for a period of time. Living in a rural location, this has meant paying for taxi’s to get to and from appointments. He is now only able to drive automatic vehicles. Daniel is also unable to get to the second floor of his home safely, play football with his grandchildren, walk his dog or return to any of his pre accident hobbies.
“I knew that I was seriously injured. Having a mortgage and all that sort of stuff, I knew I had to make a claim because nobody knew how long the injury would take to heal, or would it heal completely or would I lose my leg.”
Daniel contacted Digby Brown Solicitors’s office in Inverness a few weeks after the accident at work happened. A claim was made against his employers insurance and although they initially accepted liability, they later denied liability in full, resulting in the case being raised in court. They claimed that Daniel was experienced and should not have climbed a ladder without a colleague footing it, although there was no-one available at that time
An initial compensation offer was made and the insurance company sought to mitigate his workplace injuries claiming fusion failed to occur as a result of an infection, despite this being related to the injuries he sustained as a result of the accident at work. This was discredited by Digby Brown’s medical experts. After some toing and froing, the case finally settled for almost three times the initial compensation offer on the morning of the Proof in the Court of Session, without it having to proceed to a formal hearing in court.
“I just couldn’t believe it. They got a fantastic settlement for me, way beyond which I ever thought I would get. This has left me financially secure; I’ve no mortgage, I can now drive about in an automatic car, which I have to get to make my left leg redundant.
They are by your side all the time, they’re advising you and they are doing all the actual work. They’re just a godsend. You have to get a solicitor, if you’re injured you need to get a solicitor because you can’t do it yourself and Digby Brown have just been fantastic.
So every single time I would be pointing them to Digby Brown’s office in Inverness, every single time, because they have done wonderful things for me. So Digby Brown Inverness is the solicitors for me, for sure.”
Find out more about clients we have helped after an accident at work or if you would like to speak to someone about a possible injury claim, please call us on 0333 200 5925 or complete our contact form.