Donna Hopewell

Donna Hopewell

With help from Express Solicitors, Donna Hopewell, a former teaching assistant for children with special needs, won £400,000 compensation from Hertfordshire Council after slipping at work and injuring her knee.

In June 2012, on her first day back at work after half term, Donna got out of her car in
torrential rain and slipped on some wooden boards that had been placed on the grass in the school grounds.

Donna explains: “There was no need for the boards to be on the grass, but they’d been there for a while and because of that they were covered in moss and slime and had become really slippy in the rain. I went flying and seriously hurt my left knee, which was treated as a sprain at first, but some

months later I discovered that I had damaged my cruciate ligament.”

“I hurt my knee in the June, went back to work in the October and exploratory tests on my knee the following July revealed the full extent of the damage. It was then I decided to make a claim – it wasn’t about the money, but the fact that my workplace had been so dangerous and lessons needed to be learnt.”

“In April 2014, I injured the same knee, again at work. I offered to accompany a child to class but nobody came to relieve me so I spent the whole
lesson sitting on a stool. Then, because another class were late finishing, the students came rushing past me down the stairs and my knee went again. I should have been protected but I wasn’t, the school didn’t even fill out an accident form.”

“My husband found Express Solicitors on the internet and partner Daniel Slade looked after my claim with a fantastic team behind him. Everyone was really helpful, understood what I was going through and kept me informed at all times.”

“I now have chronic fibromyalgia and while I had it before, I was a single parent, running a home and managing it without any problems, but the accidents made it worse.The council tried to claim it was an existing condition and the accident had no relevance to the pain I was in, but that wasn’t the case and Express Solicitors proved that.”

In cases like Donna’s, claimants can expect to achieve around £75,000 to £100,000 but Express Solicitors won her some £400,000 in compensation. She concludes: “I was really surprised and delighted to have won so much during a joint settlement meeting.The compensation has given us the opportunity to move into a different property, which has lots of potential for us to get a bedroom, shower and toilet built downstairs and fit things like eye level ovens in the kitchen to make life easier for me.”

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