Miss R was working as a care assistant in Hereford when she was asked by her supervisor to attend to a patient who lacked mobility so there was a requirement to manually move them around. Under normal circumstances it required two carers to lift someone who lacks mobility as there is not always lifting equipment available at every patients residence. Miss R requested assistance from her supervisor but was told that there was nobody available so she would have to manage on her own.
Whilst attempting to lift her patient Miss R sustained a strain injury to her back. She sought advice from her GP on the same day and was told that she would be able to continue working. However several weeks later she returned to the same patients home where she had earlier strained her back whilst trying to move her patient. When she tried to lift her patient again because nobody was available to help Miss R exacerbated her previous back injury. When she visited her GP the second time he told her to take some time off to recover and she subsequently took nearly 3 months off work after the second incident.
Miss R instructed Hayward Baker Solicitors to act for her in a personal injury claim for compensation when the back pain did not improve and that it was now travelling down her left lower limb to her left heel.
Hayward Baker stated the claim to the Defendant insurers via the Personal Injury Claims Portal and they replied with a denial of liability. Hayward Baker argued Miss R’s case and about a month later an admission of liability was received but the insurers argued that they may argue contributory negligence and causation. Basically the insurers were saying that Miss R may be partly responsible for the accident and they may argue that the cause of the injuries were not directly attributable to the material accident.
The next step was for Hayward Baker to obtain Miss R’s medical records from her GP and the hospital she sought treatment for her injuries sustained in the accident. Once the medical records were received the Solicitor dealing with Miss R’s case read them to ensure they contained details of the incident where she was injured which it did. A medial examination was then arranged for Miss R with an Orthopaedic Consultant so she can be examined and then a report upon the injuries sustained in the accident can be formulated by the Consultant.
When the medical report was received it confirmed the injuries were as a result of the accident and also endorsed the fact the Miss R required help at home for domestic tasks during the period she was unfit for work.
Once Miss R had approved the medical report the report was disclosed to the Defendant insurers asking they reconsider there liability decision. Liability was still in dispute when the insurers replied so Hayward Baker prepared proceedings to take the matter to Court for a judge to decide.
Once all the Court papers were formulated and approved by Miss R her Solicitors issued proceedings against the defendant. Once the proceedings were served to the insurers a letter followed some two weeks later from a firm of solicitors who were to act on behalf of the defendant in any subsequent trial. It was at this point that the defendant solicitors made an offer to settle the claim in full for £10,000. This offer was rejected by Miss R following advice from her solicitor. A month later Hayward Baker made a counter offer to the defendant insurers for £13,000 and to settle the claim without having the claim go to trial.
The offer was accepted and Miss R’s claim was settled for £13,000 which included travel expenses, loss of earnings and a claim for care as well as compensation for her injuries.
The whole case from submitting the claim to Miss R receiving her cheque for compensation took just under 20 months. The claim could have settled much earlier if it was not for the defendant insisting on the causation and contributory negligence issues and because of this proceedings had to be issued causing further delays while the claim went through the court system.