£356,000 awarded after fall at work injury

The female claimant was awarded total damages of £356,000 after a fall at work.

Accident circumstances

The claimant was aged 33 at the time of the accident at work. She was employed by the defendant college as a lecturer and on the day of the accident she had tripped over the wire of an overhead projector. The projector had been left there by the teacher who had been teaching in the classroom before her.

Injury Details

The claimant suffered pain to her neck, shoulder and back which were described as whiplash type injuries. The pain then spread throughout her body and so she underwent numerous tests in the hope of diagnosing the problem. She visited neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and psychiatrists but they were unable to assist with the pain she was experiencing.

A course of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy followed with further scans and rehabilitation but nothing seemed to help.

She was eventually diagnosed as suffering from severe fibromyalgia. She had been unable to work since the accident had occurred and experts advised that it was likely that she would struggle to return to work at all.

The claimant brought a claim against her employer under the Employers Liability Act alleging that they had been negligent it their health and safety duties towards her.

Liability was admitted by the defendant.

Conclusion and Settlement

After a lengthy period of negotiations the claimant and defendant were able to reach an agreement as to damages outside of Court. It was felt that there was a level of litigation risk to the claimant and so the defendant secured a reduction to the damages of twenty five percent on the basis of this risk. A settlement was therefore agreed at seventy five percent of the damages that had been claimed.

There was no particular breakdown in respect of the damages that were awarded but the claimant's Solicitor advised that £35,000 was in respect of pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The balance was made up of damages for loss of past and future earnings as well as past and future care.

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