£42,000 award for leg fractures falling from a bus
Compensation of £42,000 was awarded in 2012 to an 88 year-old woman who was injured in an accident involving a bus. Her injuries included a fractured hip and leg fracture sustained when she fell from a bus a year before.
The claimant was boarding a bus operated by the defendant. As she stepped up into the bus the driver pressed the button to close the doors. The woman fell backwards out of the bus onto the pavement.
Following the fall, she could not get up and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance.. At hospital her injuries were diagnosed as a fractured right hip as well as bruising to her right arm and torso.
While in hospital the claimant suffered further pains. To investigate X-rays were done. These confirmed a fracture to her right leg as well as hip. The fractures required surgery to repair the bone with pins and a metal plate.
After treatment and recovery the claimant was discharged from hospital. She needed physiotherapy for five months.
The surgery to her leg following the accident left it 2cm shorter than before. She had a 14cm scar on her hip.
She had restrictions in her movement and her walking distance. She became reliant on the use of walking sticks to move around.
Before the accident the claimant lived independently in her own home, doing her own shopping and cleaning. The accident left her needing extensive assistance with household tasks.
She was less independent as a result of her reduced mobility. This caused emotional stress reducing her confidence.
For several months she was unable to leave the house without her family there to help or to use public transport.
Medical experts felt the lady would have needed more care eventually. The accident had brought this time forward by 3-5 years.
Allegation and liability
The claimant alleged the defendant was negligent in that the bus driver opened his doors then failed to wait for her to board before shutting the doors again.
Her injuries were caused by the closure of the doors and lack of care of her as a passenger.
The physical injuries had brought forward her need for increased care and assistance by 3-5 years.
The claimant was psychologically affected. She was unable to enjoy life as before and suffered a lack of confidence.
Conclusion and settlement
Lliability was admitted and the matter did not progress to a Court hearing.
Compensation of £42,000 was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement.
£23,500 was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
The remaining £18,500 was awarded in respect of future care and travel costs.