Case Studies

07 June 2024

Kate Golding, Battens’ Head of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, was delighted to achieve a very satisfactory six-figure compensation award for a gentleman involved in an accident at work.

The Claim

Our client was working as an HGV delivery driver and loader, delivering animal carcasses to a local butcher’s shop in a vehicle provided by his employer. Whilst he was in the process of offloading one of the heavy carcasses, using the steps at the back of the vehicle, one of the steps broke, causing him to fall nearly 3 feet to the hard ground below.

Liability for the accident was admitted by the Defendant employer.

Our client initially noticed pain in his back and his hamstring. As time progressed however, the pain spread to his neck, right shoulder, upper arms and both hands. He also went on to suffer urinary issues, which he had not suffered before the accident, all of which had a significant psychological effect.

Medical expert evidence obtained on behalf of our client from a Consultant Orthopaedic & Spinal Surgeon, a Consultant Psychiatrist, a Consultant Urologist, a Clinical Psychologist with a specialism in chronic pain and a Consultant in Pain Medicine, confirmed, amongst other things, that our client had developed a Chronic Pain Condition (Somatic Symptom Disorder with predominant pain) as a result of the accident at work, which, although the prognosis was complex and difficult to predict, was likely to mean that the pain and ongoing symptoms caused by his injuries would remain at moderate to severe level such that he would be unable to return to his pre-accident job. Indeed, any form of meaningful employment was going to be a struggle for him.

As well as claiming compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by his injuries and his consequential loss of earnings, there was also, amongst other things, a significant claim for care and assistance provided and to be provided in the future by our client’s family, notably his wife, who, during the course of the claim suffered a significant health setback herself, which left her unable to care for our client and requiring care herself. This represented another significant complexity in the claim.

This aspect of the claim was informed by expert opinion provided by a Case Manager and Occupational Therapist we instructed on our client’s behalf.

Based on our medical expert evidence, the schedule that we presented to the Defendant ahead of the Joint Settlement Meeting, including the claim for compensation for his pain and suffering and all past and future financial losses (including loss of earnings and costs of care both past and future) totalled just under £700,000.

The Issues

Whilst the Defendant employer had accepted that the accident was caused by its failure to ensure our client’s health and safety whilst he was at work, the employer, based on medical opinion it obtained in opposition to ours, argued that the accident could not have caused the nature and extent of the symptoms that the medical evidence we obtained supported as being causally related to the accident.

Instead, the Defendant employer argued that our client suffered no more than a 3-month soft tissue injury to his back with Somatic Symptom Disorder that could only be attributed to the accident for about 3 years, whereafter any symptoms and/or related disability were due to unrelated stressors and/or his pre-existing vulnerability.

Its opinion on the financial losses claimed, both past and future, to include the significant claims for loss of earnings and care and assistance were calculated in accordance with those timescales.

As against our schedule of just under £700,000, the Defendant argued that our client’s claim was worth no more than £30,000.

The Outcome

Upon completion of the medical evidence by both parties and before the costs of preparing for trial were incurred, the parties agreed to come together for a Joint Settlement Meeting to thrash out the issues between us (and our experts) and to try to achieve a compromise.

Following a number of hours of toing and froing in negotiation, it was eventually possible to persuade the Defendant that the claim was worthy of a six-figure settlement, which is what was ultimately achieved, along with payment of our client’s legal costs.

Our client’s compensation was paid into a Personal Injury Trust Account set up following advice from Battens’ Trust specialists.

For assistance with personal injury claims, please contact Kate Golding, Head of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence – Tel: 01935 846072 or Email: