Rob* is a Scottish long-distance lorry driver who suffered serious injuries while he was working in Birmingham. Because of the way the law operates, Rob’s personal injury claim had to be handled by a law firm in England as that was where the accident happened.
With the client’s kind permission, we can take a look at his case.
* The client’s name has been changed at his request.
In the early hours of 10 October 2015, Rob arrived at a depot in Sutton Coldfield where he was due to collect a load and take it up to Dundee.
After his lorry had been loaded, Rob moved his vehicle forward into the area where he could fit the safety strapping. As he was fixing the straps, another lorry, that had also just been loaded, pulled alongside his vehicle, ready to also have its load strapped down.
Rob explained: “The other lorry juddered as it pulled up at the side of me. The next thing I knew, a loaded pallet, weighing about a ton, fell from the lorry and crushed me to the ground.”
Rob was rushed by ambulance to Birmingham hospital, where he was found to have four fractures to his spine, two fractures to his pelvis and internal and external bruising.
His injuries were so serious that he remained at the Birmingham hospital for 3 weeks and was in an induced coma for much of that time. He was then transferred to hospital in Dundee, where he had to stay for another 3 weeks or so.
Unsurprisingly, Rob’s injuries caused him considerable pain and discomfort. He couldn’t stand for more than about 10 minutes, which made him reliant on help from his family and friends.
He couldn’t work for over a year and when he did return to work, he could only manage part-time work initially.
Although Rob has recovered well and has been able to go back to full-time work, he can’t manage his job in the same way anymore. He needs a second man to accompany him to help lift, as he finds the work too tiring now. He also struggles to open the heavy curtain sides and finds hitching up the trailer difficult. These restrictions have left Rob with serious concerns about his future employability.
These accidents don’t just affect the injured. Rob’s family and friends have seen a big difference in him since the accident. They say he seems withdrawn and doesn’t enjoy being in groups anymore, where he used to be a very sociable man.
One relative commented: “It’s as though he’s in constant pain, he just can’t settle for any length of time when he’s out and about.
“His wife has had to cope with a huge emotional change and has had to take over most of the jobs in the home and garden.
“He can’t walk his dogs anymore and has had to give up his hobbies of fixing cars and DIY.”
Besides the social costs, Rob was also left counting the financial cost. He lost earnings, had to pay out for travelling to and from medical appointments and also had prescriptions to pay for.
After a lengthy legal battle, our personal injury solicitors were able to secure a six-figure out of court settlement to recover Rob’s losses and help him get his life back on track.
Getting compensation right
Part of the compensation award was in recognition of the fact that Rob’s employment prospects are now limited because of the injuries. This is where the solicitor’s skill and experience are important because they need to be able to accurately calculate future losses as well as past losses.
Have you been injured at work?
If you have been injured in an accident at work, make sure you instruct a solicitor with workplace injury experience. If they miscalculate the compensation you are entitled to or settle for much less that you should have received, you will not be able to claim again.
You have one shot at claiming personal injury compensation – make sure you get it right.