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Express Solicitors help woman secure £400,000 after slipping

Client stories

After Mrs Hopewell slipped on temporary wooden boards while getting out of her car at work, it was the start of a series of events that would see her unable to work and be reliant on family to help with day-to-day tasks.

Determined that someone shouldn’t have their independence and work taken away from them without compensation, Mrs Hopewell successfully claimed for an accident at work as Express Solicitors’ Stephanie Warlow secured Mrs Hopewell a settlement of £400,000.

An ill-placed board causes cruciate ligament injury

Mrs Hopewell arrived as normal to her job as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant in Hertfordshire. Because of muddy conditions, wooden boards had been put down in the car park to cover messy areas. The placement and condition of the boards caused Mrs Hopewell to slip as she was getting out of her car, suffering an injury to the posterior cruciate ligament of her left knee and a soft tissue injury to her ankle.

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This weakening in her knee caused a second incident in which her knee gave way while walking down some stairs at work. To make matters worse, the culmination of both of these incidents led to a condition she suffered with prior to the accident significantly worsening. This unfortunately resulted in Mrs Hopewell being unable to work and reliant on her family to help with basic tasks.

Proving liability and getting a suitable settlement

While liability for the original incident was denied by the local council in the beginning, it was later admitted. However, the main legal sticking point was the dispute on whether or not the accident on the stairs was a direct result of the slip in the carpark.

There was also a disagreement between parties about the severity of the original accident and that there was a gap of a couple of years between incidents. While Mrs Hopewell and Stephanie argued that she had not fully recovered from the injury following her slip, the defendant argued that this incident was what caused the ultimate injuries, as opposed to the fall down the stairs, which they admitted culpability for.

Despite external medical consultants including experts in orthopaedics, pain management and rheumatology, there was still a fair amount of disagreement between parties and it looked like the case was heading for trial.

The defendants even accused Mrs Hopewell of exaggerating her injuries and bringing a claim for damages far greater than the correct value of her claim. Not only was this very upsetting for her, but it carried the risk of her having to pay the other party’s legal costs if proven.

Victory and a landmark compensation payment

In order to try and finalise proceedings before going to trial, a Joint Settlement Meeting was held in October 2016. Despite a continuous back and forth, Stephanie and the team were able to secure Mrs Hopewell a large payout of £390,000. This, added to a previous interim payment of £10,000 brought the total to £400,000.

This significant settlement will help Mrs Hopewell regain some of her independence and make life a little easier for her and her family.

Stephanie Warlow was delighted to help Mrs Hopewell reach a settlement: “Our client has been through hell these last few years. From repeated injuries to underlying health complications, only for her integrity to be brought into question by the defendants. We’re delighted to help her secure such a large payment and help secure her family’s financial future moving forward.”

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