Compensation for worker who suffered life changing spinal cord injury

Levenes have concluded a settlement for a worker who suffered a life changing spinal cord injury when he fell down a shaft on a major construction site.

The case illustrates how claims can be successful even if there is some mystery as to how the accident occurred.

The Claimant was working on a large construction site.  He was found towards the end of the shift at the bottom of a shaft. He had last been seen working a few minutes before. Due to his severe injuries, he had no memory of what had happened to him, but it was found on investigation that close to where he had been working there was an shaft with scaffolding that was supposed to prevent him from falling but which was not fixed at the correct height. He was found at the bottom of the shaft.

There was no dispute that the scaffolding barrier was too low – and that it was negligent for the companies involved to have allowed that to happen – there was a major dispute about who was to blame for it and whether it made any difference. The defendant’s argued that it was irrelevant that the barrier was too low because probably Mr M climbed over it.

Investigations revealed that the shaft was covered with a fireproof board which was not strong enough to carry a man’s weight and that the area was not very well lit. The reason why the barrier was too low was that work had been done by a screeding company to raise the height of the floor. When that work had been done, the height of the barrier should have been raised by the same amount at the same time as well, but this was not done. The barrier had been at the wrong height for about 8 weeks, and nobody had put that right. Whoever was responsible for inspecting the safety of the site had not done their job properly.

There was no positive evidence one way or another as to how it was that the Claimant came to fall down the shaft but he could have taken a wrong turning, tripped or leaned against it. The case was set to go to trial, but settlement was agreed a few weeks before.

Levenes were able to argue a point from a case called Drake v Harbour in our client’s favour.

Put very simply, the court said in Drake v Habour that if the loss that occurred is of the kind that was likely to happen from the negligence of the Defendant then the court is entitled to say that it was the negligence that caused the claimants loss and injury. The burden of proof is always with the Claimant to prove what happened and that what happened was due to the negligence of the Defendant but in this situation, Drake v Harbour makes that much easier.

Because of this case, the Defendants had to try to come up with some alternative explanation as to what happened and somehow persuade the court that the accident was not due to negligence.  They were clearly not confident of being able to do so and agreed to settle the case. Their argument that the Claimant deliberately climbed over was fanciful.

Commenting on the case, Tim Beasley, Head of Catastrophic Injury at Levenes Solicitors, said “This case really shows how important it is to consider breaches of health and safety and whether they have caused the accident. It is also vital to investigate all the facts of the case. It has been a hard journey for our client who has had a very tough time but pleasing as well to be able to achieve a settlement of his case.”

The Claimant was represented by Tim Beasley and Mehtap Arslan.

Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Claims

Our specialist spinal cord injury solicitors have been successful in some of the most complex claims. Levenes spinal cord injury solicitors really understand how serious this type of injury can be and the many problems people suffer.

You will need expert advice on what action you can take to obtain accident compensation. You can trust in the experience and knowledge of our team of professional serious injury lawyers to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.

Get in touch today and find out within 1 hour if you have a claim. Call us on 0800 048 2355 or request a call back now.

 

 

Compensation for worker who suffered life changing spinal cord injury

30 Nov 2021Accident at Work

Claim in confidence today 0800 048 2355 or leave your details below to find out within an hour if we can help.

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All I can say is today I'm a client satisfied with the service provided from Levenes, especially from Michele Richards. Mrs P