Back in early March, 2011, after a harsh winter there was a layer of loose grit covering the steps leading up to Nick Smith’s home. This was an external staircase that was usually lit. However, the light had stopped working and, although the landlord had been notified, the light still hadn’t been fixed which meant it was dark as Mr Smith climbed the stairs that evening.
The grit that was layering the steps caused Mr Smith to slip, he fell on the left side of his ankle and, after his wife had helped him inside he lay on the sofa as he was unable to put weight on his foot. As soon as his shoes were removed the swelling of his ankle became obvious and, after a few hours, when he realised it was more serious than a sprain he called his sister to take him to A & E.
After an X-ray, Mr Smith’s ankle was put into a cast and he was advised to return the next day. On his return the cast was changed as it was revealed he had fractured his ankle. After two weeks, Nick was still unable to put any weight on his foot and was referred to physiotherapist.
During a review, nine months later, it was obvious that things still weren’t right and he underwent keyhole surgery to try and find a “floating bone” and rectify any other problems that became apparent.
Even now, after corrective surgery, Mr Smith experiences excruciating pain that leaves him unable to do the simplest of tasks, including washing himself. Because of the pain that he experiences, he can’t do a lot of household chores, which he used to do to help his wife out, because he can’t put his full weight on his foot. He is also unable to take part in any of the sports that he used to enjoy regularly. Before his accident Mr Smith was a very active sportsman, playing football, rugby and lacrosse on a weekly basis.
Although out of work at the time of the accident, Mr Smith had taken a course to become a security guard which was one week from completion when the accident happened. After completing the course Mr Smith believes he was almost guaranteed a job as a security guard at the Olympics – this opportunity was missed because of the injury.
Mr Smith also has two young children and although he sometimes walks them to school (one mile away) this has become much less frequent because, due to the pain, the walk takes him much longer than it should.
Nick Smith also has to rely on his father to take him for hospital appointments; he’s also been told that he could need further surgery in the future.
Although the steps leading up to the door of Mr Smith’s home are council property, they would not admit liability until Express Solicitors stepped in and court proceedings were issued. They have since admitted their liability and thanks to the great work by sarah Mawdsley at Express Solicitors Mr Smith has been awarded £75,000 as compensation for his injuries.