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Compensation for HGV driver forced to change career after injury

Client Stories

Liam was performing his duties as an HGV driver when he fell from a vehicle tail lift and suffered a serious injury. Robert Weeden, Principal Partner at Express Solicitors represented Liam. He shares what happened and how Express supported Liam on his road to recovery.

Liam’s story

A few weeks into his new role as a Class II HGV driver, Liam was asked to cover a colleague’s shift. This meant he had to navigate a different delivery route than he was accustomed to. On arrival at a drop, he learnt there was no forklift truck available to unload the delivery. Typically, he would open the side of the wagon and the unloading would be completed by the customer.

With no other means to make the delivery, he was instructed to use the pump truck and tail lift himself, which he was not trained to use. There was limited space to work from within the trailer to manoeuvre the pallets for delivery, and while pulling the pump truck towards him, the momentum of the weight of the pallets caused him to be thrown from height off the tail lift and his full weight landed on his right arm.

“We are well-versed in accidents at work cases like Liam’s. A large part of our role is to inform claimants about their rights as employees and, importantly, what they should expect from their employer.”

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The impact

Liam suffered a complex fracture dislocation of his elbow. Although attempts were made to save the elbow, he ultimately underwent surgery for a long-stemmed radial head replacement and repair of the ligaments. Unfortunately, Liam was left with permanent reduced movement, loss of muscle within the arm and weakened grip.

As a result of his injuries, Liam required extensive physiotherapy rehabilitation as well as day-to-day care from his partner. The level of his injuries meant he was unable to work as an HGV driver or undertake heavy manual work, which meant that despite only just starting his career as an HGV driver, he would have to change career to a less strenuous job.

Making an accident at work claim 

Robert Weeden, Principal Partner in the Employers’ Liability department at Express explained: “When we initially spoke to Liam, we advised him that despite the accident occurring at another company’s premises, his employer owed him a duty of care to ensure there was a sufficient level of training and a proper system of work. It is surprising how often we encounter accidents where both parties are uncertain about their responsibilities and employment rights.”

We were able to secure a full admission of fault from Liam’s employer within four months. Robert said: “The relatively quick turnaround in what was a complex case is testament to our team’s experience in managing injuries at work cases, and knowing exactly what we need from an evidential standpoint to put us in the best position possible to get a positive outcome. Accidents as serious as this, especially when they have occurred in the workplace can create real financial hardship. Our client, quite rightly, had serious concerns around not being able to work for the foreseeable. We successfully secured an immediate release of funds (interim payments) from the insurer to assist his recovery and avoid any financial problems.”

What are interim payments?

Personal injury interim payments offer crucial financial support during the progression of a compensation claim, providing funds before a final settlement is reached. These payments can be used to cover such things as lost earnings, private medical care, rehabilitation and adaptations to the claimant’s home. The flexibility of interim payments caters to individual needs, allowing for a single payment or multiple disbursements over an extended period, which is particularly relevant for serious injury and brain injury claims that may span months or years.

In Liam’s case, regular monetary payments throughout the duration of the claim were important. Robert emphasised: “It was crucial for Liam not to feel forced to return to employment during his recovery. Securing these payments alleviated any financial burden, enabling him to concentrate fully on his road to recovery.”

Waiting game

Independent medical evidence couldn’t be completed while Liam was still undergoing treatment. The long-term consequences of his injury remained unknown and would remain that way until his surgeries and course of physio were complete. Once in the position to proceed with medical evidence, offers of settlement were made, which were deemed insufficient. The case progressed to court.

The settlement

Robert and his team helped guide Liam through the process of court proceedings and were able to secure a substantial settlement of £140,000 without the need to proceed to trial.

“The whole team were delighted with the result. The interim payments we managed to secure turned out to be vital, as so often they are. The payments afforded Liam enough time and breathing space to fully recover and secure alternative employment, in doing so, giving him an opportunity to see how he would cope in another role. We were then able to move forward with an appropriate settlement.”

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Have you been in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault? Express Solicitors can get you the justice and compensation you deserve. We have an expert team with the experience to win even the most complex cases. Start your claim with us today.

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