£10,000 settlement following a slip and trip incident at a pub
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“The resulting injuries left the client unable to properly care for herself at home and carry out daily tasks, taking away her independence. Not to mention the pain she had to endure from a severe bone break and going through an operation which required her to have metal plates and screws inserted to align the bones back into place. I’m delighted that we were able to settle this case for Mrs Wigham securing her £10,000 in compensation.”
“The resulting injuries left my client unable to properly care for herself at home and carry out daily tasks, taking away her independence.”
A short break ended with long-term injuries
In the summer of 2020 in between lockdowns, Sharron Wigham and her husband went on a short holiday not far from their home in Carlisle. What should have been a short, relaxing staycation in their campervan ended with a trip to A&E and having to travel back home earlier than planned.
During the break, she and her husband stopped one afternoon at a Wetherspoons pub in Kendall for some lunch. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions at the time, the pub had altered its layout to accommodate a ‘one way’ system designed to help customers maintain social distancing rules.
Due to having a full ankle replacement some time ago, Mrs Wigham used crutches when entering the pub to use their disabled bathroom. “There were no toilets whatsoever on the ground floor, so I had to make my way upstairs.” The pub entrance had no ramp or ground level access and the disabled bathroom was on the second floor of the building.
“There were no toilets whatsoever on the ground floor, so I had to make my way upstairs.”
After our client had been escorted in the lift by a member of staff on the way up, she found herself alone as she tried to use the lift again to come back down. Mrs Wigham explained, “When I came out of the toilet, the member of staff had gone. I tried to use the lift myself to get back down but it wouldn’t work. I panicked and got out as I didn’t want to become trapped in the lift.”
An unsafe journey back to her table
The lift wasn’t working, so Mrs Wigham had to make her own way down a lot of steps in a poorly lit corridor. “I took my time going down the steps but because it was poorly lit I just missed the bottom step and I fell over.” When nearing the bottom of the stairs, Mrs Wigham missed the last step causing her to fall to the ground with her wrist taking most of the impact after extending out her arm to try and soften the fall. Mrs Wigham added, “Someone close by did offer to help me up, but I find it easier to get back on my feet by myself, so I declined their offer and with the support of my crutch, managed to stand back up.”
“I took my time going down the steps but because it was poorly lit I just missed the bottom step and I fell over.”
After picking herself up, Mrs Wigham made her way back to her husband in the pub’s outdoor-seating area where he was seated at a table.
Reporting the accident
“I had my arm resting on the table in front of me and my wrist was getting bigger and bigger”
Mrs Wigham’s wrist began to swell and she told members of staff about her fall who eventually called for an ambulance. “A first response worker came to me first and assessed my wrist. We had to wait an hour for the ambulance to arrive as my accident wasn’t deemed as an emergency, which was absolutely fine by me as I wasn’t in a lot of pain at the time.”
Eventually, Mrs Wigham was taken to hospital where an x-ray revealed a nasty break in her wrist.
“They had to realign my wrist and put it in a supportive cast. At first I declined any pain relief as I’m a tough cookie, but once they had started to move my wrist I had to use gas and air! The pain was indescribable. I then had to wait sixteen days after that for my operation. During the operation I had to have nine screws and two metal plates inserted, the doctor told me it was a nasty break.”
A long but determined road to recovery
When talking about her recovery, Mrs Wigham explained how upsetting it was for her to not be able to do normal activities and continue with her much-loved hobbies of knitting and cross-stitching. Mrs Wigham described herself as “a very independent person” and said she would “just cry in frustration” from not being able to do anything for herself whilst her wrist healed.
“I felt useless and upset that I wasn’t able to do anything for myself. My husband and friend had to do everything for me including helping me to the toilet, having a shower and getting dressed. They also had to help clean my home and do the cooking. I couldn’t lift heavy trays out of the oven or even chop vegetables.”
As part of her aftercare, Mrs Wigham received many sessions of physiotherapy to help her regain movement in her wrist.
“The doctors weren’t sure I would ever get full movement back in my thumb, but that was the first part of my hand I got to move again! I was determined to get back to doing the things that I love.”
Mrs Wigham says she still struggles with lifting anything heavy, but she has been able to return to her hobbies and gained back her independence.
Making a claim
Reflecting on her fall and the way she felt she was treated by the pub staff at the time, Mrs Wigham began looking into making a claim for compensation. After a search online, she found Express Solicitors and was put in contact with Principal Partner, Sarah Mawdsley. Sarah works as part of Express Solicitors Occupier’s & Public Liability team and is very experienced in this field since joining the company in 2007.
Mrs Wigham described the support she received from Express Solicitors as: “Absolutely amazing, they kept me up to date with everything, explained things I didn’t understand, they couldn’t have been more helpful.”
Sharron adds: “I made a handmade thank you card for Sarah to show my appreciation, nothing was too much trouble for her and she was so supportive and I wanted her to know how grateful I was.”
“Express Solicitors couldn’t have been more helpful, they were absolutely fantastic!”
Despite the pub continuously denying liability, Sarah worked tirelessly to pull together a case to prove Mrs Wigham’s innocence on the day of her fall. Following the court assessments, the decision was ruled in Mrs Wigham’s favour and she was awarded over £10,000 in compensation.