Mr Carl Parkhurst, a 25 year old emergency care assistant, has been awarded £6,000 after suffering from an ankle injury whilst working for the Great Western Ambulance Service. Mr Parkhurst’s job involves assisting paramedics on service when attending to medical emergencies by ambulance.
Mr Parkhurst’s accident happened at the Weston General Hospital whilst he was on stand-by for another call at approximately 10pm. Mr Parkhurst was a passenger in the ambulance and it was being driven by his colleague who was driving toward the ambulance garages to park up. Throughout the day the ambulances are parked on the forecourt but for security reasons they are parked in the garages during the evening. At the time of the accident, the key pad on the garage door was out of order; therefore Mr Parkhurst had to get out of the ambulance to open the garage doors manually.
Mr Parkhurst opened the passenger door of the ambulance and placed his foot firstly on the ambulance step, and then on what he thought was going to be tarmac on the ground. As he stepped down onto his right foot all of a sudden Mr Parkhurst’s ankle gave way and there was a loud popping sound. As he fell to the ground, Mr Parkhurst’s ankle twisted and he fell to the floor. It became apparent that he had stepped into a sunken, defective drain which was 3 inches deep and had therefore caused his ankle to buckle.
Mr Parkhurst immediately shouted out to his colleague to come and help him as he was in a tremendous amount of pain. Mr Parkhurst’s colleague gave him gas and air to help with the pain relief as well as oral paracetamol and ibuprofen. His colleague then took Mr Parkhurst to the hospital where he was sent for an x-ray.
Mr Parkhurst’s ankle had swollen considerably and he could not put any weight onto his foot because of the pain. After his x-ray, it was confirmed that there were no breaks consequently Mr Parkhurst had his foot put into a plaster cast and he was given crutches, he was also told that he had sustained soft tissue ligament damage and was given a follow up appointment for the fracture clinic. Over this period Mr Parkhurst was also given a sick note so that he could take time off work to recover.
Mr Parkhurst wore the plaster cast for 11 days before returning to the fracture clinic to get it removed. At the fracture clinic he was told that he had sustained an anterior talo-fibular ligament injury to his right ankle.
The injury on Mr Parkhurst’s ankle was beginning to take a toll on his overall wellbeing. He was suffering from low mood and a lack of sleep due to the pain and discomfort he was experiencing. Mr Parkhurst slowly began to put weight back on his foot so he could walk again without the aid of crutches. In doing so he felt as though he was beginning to make slight improvements, although he was still in a lot of pain when he woke up first thing in the morning and if he’d had a busy day his ankles would swell too.
In total, Mr Parkhurst had to take over 3 weeks off work and lost out on extra overtime pay that he would have usually done in a standard working week. After his accident Mr Parkhurst received extra care and assistance from his housemate who would help him in and out of the bathroom, with personal care, and also did all of the housework and cooking for him.
Mr Parkhurst was unable to undertake his usual hobbies such as playing the drums, going on long walks and swimming, as well as generally feeling low and stressed.
Since the defective grid was on the property of the Great Western Ambulance Service, they were found liable for Mr Parkhurst’s injuries. The Great Western Ambulance Service has the responsibility to ensure that the area in which their employee’s work is free from any obstructions or danger that could cause any harm or injury. In this instance, they failed to carry out thorough inspections of the area meaning that the defective grid wasn’t noticed and was therefore the cause of Mr Parkhurst’s injuries. Thanks to the work by Kate Sanderson at Express Solicitors, Mr Parkhurst was awarded £6,000 in compensation for his injuries.
If you have suffered from an accident at work that was through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For free legal advice from a specialist Employer’s Liability solicitor and help with making a claim, please call Express Solicitors on: 0800 158 5274.