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Tradesman wins £500,000 brain injury compensation following accident at work

Client stories

Express Solicitor’s partner and specialist in employer’s liability claims, Robert Weeden, helped his client, tradesman Alan J, turn an initial £50,000 offer into a six-figure successful claim for compensation following a workplace accident.

Alan, who was just 29 at the time, was working away from home in Cambridge for a glass structure specialist when the step ladders he was on collapsed underneath him. This caused him to lose his balance and fall over 6ft to the floor, hitting his head and arm on a metal rod in the process.

As a result of the impact, Alan was knocked unconscious and received a deep laceration to the right side of his head as well as damage to his arm. Following hospital treatment for his deep wound and x-rays on his arm which confirmed it wasn’t broken, he was discharged after a few hours and returned home to recover from his physical injuries and serious concussion.

After physically recovering from the accident and managing his concussion symptoms, Alan tried to return to work before realising that the extent of his injuries were more serious than first diagnosed. He pushed to obtain a second opinion, which confirmed that as a result of the accident, Alan had and was still suffering from the effects of a brain haemorrhage, caused by the impact of the fall.

A life changing diagnosis that was never investigated by the hospital at the time of admittance or subsequently at follow up appointments, despite Alan sharing his extensive list of symptoms which included him becoming more confused, restless, and agitated.

Acting for claimant Alan J, 34 from Bromley, Express Solicitor, Robert Weedon, commented: “In Alan’s case this required us and the defence to complete a higher than average number of reports from consultant neurologists, neuropsychiatrist and neurorehabilitation experts to obtain the support he needs in the future.

“As a result of our thorough investigations, medical examinations and evidence gathering, our team of skilled specialists negotiated a really good settlement for his case at a joint settlement meeting (JSM) which awarded him £540,000 net of 70/30 liability split.”

Alan adds: “At first I wouldn’t give Express Solicitors the company name as my mum’s husband had worked there for 26 years and was quite high up in the company and was currently at the time still working there. Because of this, I was reluctant at first to make a claim. However, after the second diagnosis which uncovered I had received a significant brain injury to my frontal lobes and not being well enough to return to work to be able to support my partner and two young sons, I had the full support of my family to go ahead with the compensation claim. I was simply looking to be compensated for the loss of earnings and clear the debt from not being able to work.

“During the claim’s process I saw and undertook loads of tests with specialists, brain doctors, MRI scans with the best scanning equipment. Although tiring at times, this did help me to better understand my condition and help me cope better with the long term prognosis and ultimately led to Express Solicitors securing an increased financial settlement on my behalf.

“I’m actually a roofer by trade, my dad has a large roofing company and I’ve always worked in and around building sites. The year I took on a different job, for something a bit safer, I ended up having an accident.”

An average day at work leaves dad of two with life changing injuries

On the day of the accident. 6th April 2015, dad of two, Alan J was tasked with putting together the steel frames, in preparation for the glass panels to be installed into a modern glass extension in Cambridge.

“I went up the step ladder to tighten up the bolt and from what I remember the ladders just collapsed underneath me. On the way down, as I’ve been told I hit my head and arm on the metal rod that was sticking out of the floor.

“I believe I was knocked unconscious for no more than 30 seconds and I was trying to get up straight away but clearly struggled. An ambulance was called immediately and I was taken to hospital. In the hospital they stapled the six inch open wound on the right hand side of my head back together and sent me for X-rays on my arm as it was swollen badly. The doctors suspected it was broken as it looked like I had two elbows at the time, so they thought that I’d broken my arm. I hadn’t but for ages I had a big hole in my arm and it went black from the bruising. There were no brain scans or investigations on my head at the hospital and I was discharged after a couple of hours.”

At home in London, I was very unwell. I was severely concussed and physically battered and bruised. There was a lot of confusion for the first few weeks but I just thought it was normal. I had to go see the duty nurse every two days for weeks afterward, who cleaned the large wound on both my head and arm. While I was reporting my symptoms to each of them, they kept saying it was just the effects of concussion. However, I was really struggling to get my words out and my mouth was dry all the time.

“I tried to go back to work but I just couldn’t. I didn’t have any energy. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I then went back to my doctors and pushed for a referral. I underwent further assessments at King’s College Hospital in London. My MRI scan came back all clear, so I was then referred to a neuropsychological rehabilitation unit for people that have head injuries.

“The doctor I saw there was really helpful and supported me for over a year in my rehabilitation but I wasn’t getting any better and I really didn’t understand what was going on.

“She later diagnosed a brain haemorrhage, so having a name for my condition and a prognosis gave me the push I needed to seek compensation to cover my losses.

“I used to like playing football but after the accident I had to stop doing that as I struggled with balance and severe fatigue. In order to take back control, with the help of my mum I invested in a personal trainer, who I used to see about twice a week, to work mainly on my balance to start with as well as a lot of strength and endurance training to help overcome my fatigue. My balance was all over the place, but with the personal trainers’ support I got back to a place where I was able to go on 5k runs. While I felt great at that particular moment, due to my brain condition, heavy work-outs did wipe me out for days afterwards as I couldn’t physically recharge my batteries fast enough.

“Seeking compensation I called a couple of companies, one being Express Solicitors, and they showed the most interest in my case, arranging to come and see me from Manchester to obtain more details.

“The more I physically healed from the accident the more apparent the mental damage that had been done was affecting me. Over the course of the claim I had to attend lots of hospital appointments for various consultants to assess my condition, both to support my claim and the defence team as well. This often left me exhausted and weary at times so when the first compensation offer was made, in the region of £100k, I was leaning towards accepting this to bring the case quickly to a close. If it had not been for Express Solicitor’s Robert Weedon’s experience and reassurance that it was in my best interest to ride with it a while longer, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.

“Express Solicitor’s perseverance, tenacity and support secured the larger settlements, which has allowed me to purchase my first home, the neighbouring property to my previous rented accommodation which has helped to safeguard my and my boys’ future.

“Robert was always available to answer my questions, provided reassurance and regular updates on email and was very patient with me. While I did find the process stressful at times, I’m delighted with the outcome Express Solicitor secured for me.

“I’m still learning to live with the effects of my condition seven years on. I’ve learned to live with the daily tinnitus, lack of short-term memory and struggles with my speech. I’m in much better control of my own health on a day to day management and the partner I’m now with, she’s unbelievable she helps me with everything I need.

“I plan, when my stepdaughter starts school this September, to go back to work for the family’s roofing firm in some capacity.”

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