Leg injury claim results in one million pound compensation pay-out
James McNally, head of Personal Injury at Slee Blackwell Solicitors, has recovered over £1,000,000 for an Essex lorry driver who ended up having his leg amputated following an accident at work.
Our client was standing at the back of his HGV when one of the Defendant’s employee’s unexpectedly opened the rear doors. The trailer contained a shipment of cocoa butter and a number of heavy boxes fell out landing on our client’s foot and wrist, fracturing both.
Our client had already lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident some years previously but had been able to return to work full time.
Our client was a type 2 diabetic so his recovery was complicated, especially after the injury to his foot became infected. The infection could not be contained and eventually resulted in a below knee amputation of his right leg. This resulted in him looking at life as a double amputee and unable to work.
We reached an agreement on legal liability for the accident with the Defendant’s lawyers but no agreement could be reached on the value of the leg injury claim. The key disagreement was in respect of the legal concept of ‘causation’ and the extent to which the accident had ’caused’ our client’s condition. He had a number of pre-existing health problems and was a heavy smoker. The Defendant argued that even if the accident had not occurred it was likely that he was going to end up requiring an amputation in any event. The Defendants also maintained that our client’s health issues had reduced his life expectancy and he would therefore be likely to die about 10 years before reaching retirement age, even if he hadn’t been injured.
These arguments were complex and in total ten medical experts were asked to provide advice on all aspects of the claim, including care and prosthetics.
The leg injury claim was delayed for almost two years when the Covid-19 pandemic trapped our client in the Philippines where he had been visiting family. It became further complicated when he developed DVT following the long flight home.
Matters were finally settled out of court at a ‘Joint Settlement Meeting’ which our client attended with his solicitor James McNally and a specialist Personal Injury barrister. This resulted in a compensation package giving our client a gross figure of more than £1,000,000.
“This was a long and complicated claim which clearly benefitted from our national expertise in Personal Injury law. There were a huge number of experts and the client’s health was poor which not only meant arguments as to what problems the accident had caused but also meant that we were constantly having to obtain updated medical reports as his health deteriorated and condition changed. The final settlement figure reflects the care and assistance our client is going to need in the future as well as the fact he is now unable to work. For the past few years he has been entirely dependent on his elderly mother for support and this compensation will mean he can get paid carers in which will benefit him and her.”