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Six-figure settlement after slip in icy car park causes long-term injuries

Client stories

Express Solicitors, experts in personal injury compensation claims settled a six-figure compensation claim for Mrs R who injured her ankle whilst trying to walk across a carpark to attend a work event.

Express Solicitors, Principal Partner, Sarah Mawdsley represented Mrs R, 38, mother of two, from Kent, to secure the compensation she deserved after the injuries received prevented her from working, exercising and playing with her children.

Mrs R works as a Support Worker where she dedicates her time to supporting young people across the county of Kent. She was on her way to attend a networking event on the morning of her accident when she slipped in the icy car park whilst leaving her car.

Advised and represented by Sarah Mawdsley at Express Solicitors. Sarah instructed specialist independent medical experts to assess the client’s ankle to provide a second opinion and further prove the seriousness of the break was as a direct result of a very unsafe environment.

“This case required the gathering of evidence to support Mrs R’s claim for compensation on the basis that the surface of the car park was covered in ice and had not been treated with any salt grit or been removed in any way.” adds, Sarah Mawdsley.

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Mawdsley, continued: “The resulting injuries left my client unable to work for several months, stopped her from participating in high-intensity exercises and also from being able to play and take part in activities with her two young children. Undergoing extensive assessments, surgeries, physiotherapy and aquatherapy, has had a profound impact on my client’s mental health causing her to suffer with anxiety on a daily basis since the accident. I’m delighted that we were able to settle this case for Mrs R, securing her a six-figure settlement in compensation for the long-term impact this accident has had on her life.”

“The resulting injuries stopped my client from being able to play and take part in activities with her two young children.”

An accident after the morning commute

In April 2017, Mrs R was attending a networking event as part of her job. After travelling there in her car, she arrived early in the morning and noticed how icy the car park was once she arrived at the event venue.

“You could see how icy the car park was. As I got out of my car I saw a colleague a few metres away and we both told one another to be careful on the slippery surface. Ironically, just after that moment was when I fell.”

As she began to walk away from her car, Mrs R explained how her right leg slipped out in front of her whilst her left leg was under her body as she fell to the ground.

“It was a shock as I thought I was being careful enough, but my left ankle just went underneath me. I didn’t notice the pain at first because I was in shock.”

The accident aftermath

Someone helped Mrs R back to her feet and she tried to stand and walk on her leg but it was far too painful. An ambulance was called but the emergency services suggested Mrs R make her own way to A&E due to the high volumes of calls they had received that day.

“My manager drove me to the minor injuries unit in Folkestone where we waited for my leg to be x-rayed. Doctors told me I had two small breaks and the ligaments in my ankle were displaced meaning the joint was no longer being held together properly.”

“Doctors told me I had two small breaks and the ligaments in my ankle were displaced meaning the joint was no longer being held together properly.”

After her husband suffered a similar injury some years prior, Mrs R knew straight away that she would require surgery. After her leg was stabilised, she was referred to The William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and there she met the registrar. Mrs R’s ankle had swelled significantly during this time and doctors had to wait for the swelling to subside before operating.

In the meantime, doctors had to realign Mrs R’s ankle and she was given gas and air to make the procedure more comfortable. “The pain of them moving my ankle back into place was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and I’ve given birth twice! The gas and air helped slightly but it was still extremely painful.”

Mrs R was then taken to a ward and two to three days later, her operation was able to go ahead.

“Unfortunately the surgery didn’t go as planned and my bones were not being held in place correctly so I had to go back to hospital for a second operation four days later where an orthopaedic doctor conducted a tightrope procedure to ensure everything in my ankle was pulled together properly. The whole thing was very upsetting and distressing for me and my children.”

“My leg was in a cast for eight weeks and I had to use crutches. I had to ask for help and support from family and friends for tasks like childcare and doing household chores like washing and cooking. Eventually I started working towards being able to walk and drive again but I found operating a manual car much too painful, so I had to switch and purchase an automatic car, which wasn’t cheap.”

Eventually, Mrs R had to have a third surgery to remove the metal plates that had been inserted into her ankle because they were causing her so much pain. Doctors discovered she was missing a large part of cartilage in her ankle causing her bones to rub together, resulting in her developing post-traumatic arthritis.

“The only option I have left in order to potentially be pain free is to have my ankle fused, but this is dependent on your pain threshold and isn’t guaranteed.”

Our client then had to have a further operation, this time on her wrist. This was an operation she would have needed anyway, but doctors say it was brought forward as a result of having to use crutches. Multiple operations and recovery times led to our client having to take around four months off of work.

A long and complicated recovery.

“I still don’t have full movement in my ankle and I struggle with simple things like walking up and down hills, squatting and kneeling on the ground and even swimming can give me sharp pains. Whatever movements or activities I do in the mornings, I know I will feel pain as a result by the afternoon. Even if I rest my ankle, it can still swell and cause me pain, sometimes it’s horrendous.”

Mrs R can no longer take part in high-intensity exercises and classes, something which she used to enjoy and was a large part of her health routine.

“I’ve had a complicated recovery and I also now have quite bad anxiety which I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Doing activities with my children is very, very limited which is sad and frustrating.”

Making a claim.

After conducting some research and reading many online reviews and testimonies, Mrs R’s husband found Express Solicitors and reached out.

“The initial communications with Express Solicitors were really positive, so we decided to move forward with making a claim.”

When faced with the realities of suffering a severe injury and having to take extensive time off work, Mr and Mrs R looked at their situation and the impact it had on their family and felt it was only fair to seek compensation. “The initial communications with Express Solicitors were really positive, so we decided to move forward with making a claim.”

“The accident should never have happened and I wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

How Express Solicitors helped.

“The team at Express Solicitors kept me informed throughout the whole process and set realistic expectations from the start. They talked us through possible different scenarios and explained anything we didn’t understand.”

“Their quick responses helped so much with my anxiety and I never had to wait long for someone to call me back or respond to an email.”

“Sarah was fantastic, she answered all of my questions and always got back to me quickly. I can’t fault her at all.”

When faced with the prospect of going to court, Sarah and her team took our client’s mental health and wellbeing into strong consideration. Eventually concluding the case without a lengthy court case, by agreeing to a Calderbank offer.

“Sarah gave us reality checks and really explained what it would be like going through court proceedings. We wanted a fair ruling and price but after going through the pros and cons, we agreed on a lower settlement to resolve the case out of court.

“Sarah was fantastic, she answered all of my questions and always got back to me quickly. I can’t fault her at all.”

Compensation payout.

Since receiving her settlement, Mrs R has been able to pay off a significant amount of her mortgage and the payment has also covered the costs of her having to switch cars.

“The rest of the money has gone into our savings, so it’s there if we need it, giving us as a family some financial stability.”

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