Our client was a visitor to a water play park with her young son. She was on a slide with her son sitting on her lap and as she hit the water at the end of the slide she struck the base of her back on the bottom of the pool and as a result suffered injury.
Our Client’s Injuries
Herniated disc lower back which ruptured causing nerve damage in the top of her legs. Pain down right leg along with a tingling sensation. Damage to sacroiliac joint on the left side and loss of leg movement for ten days.
How Hayward Baker helped:
One of our senior personal injury claims solicitors Michelle Higgins took on the case on a No Win No Fee basis and wrote to the defendant (owners of water park) blaming them for the accident and to pass on the details of the claim to their insurers.
The defendant insurers acknowledged the claim and at the same time confirmed that liability was denied on the basis that our client was too big to use the slide and there were signs to this effect around the pool and that there were lifeguards monitoring all areas so they did not fail in their duty of care to our client.
Michelle wrote to our client explaining that the defendant has denied liability and that the law governing this type of claim is the Occupiers Liability Act 1958 which states that the occupier of a premises must take reasonable steps to ensure that those persons using the premises are reasonably safe. This is not an absolute duty but one of reasonable practicability.
The Defendants have stated that there was adequate signage in place advising adults not to use the slide and that they had roaming lifeguards in place at all times to ensure the safety of visitors using the pool. They produced photographs of the signage and also staffing rotas to show how many lifeguards were on duty on the day of the accident.
To prove negligence was now going to be difficult but Michelle asked our client to obtain witness evidence to show that the lifeguards were not stopping adults using the slide, which turned out to be every other person according to video evidence and witness statements. The warnings signs were not placed as stated and were inadequate as they can only be seen if approached from one the left side, the life guards were clearly not operating as suggested as shown in the videos sent to the insured, even though the insurers were now ware of an issue the lifeguards did not appear to have changed their approach. The defendant had also confirmed that the lifeguards had since been debriefed on the slide and to keep adults off.
Michelle felt confident she could now win this case but still needed to prove the injuries were caused by the accident so she obtained copies of our client’s medical records from her GP and hospital.
On receipt of the medical records Michelle arranged an appointment for our client to see a Spinal Surgeon who having examined our client would formulate a report upon our client’s injuries. This report would then be used to prove our client’s injuries and help value her claim for compensation.
Having now investigated the matter further the insurers wrote to hayward Baker and confirmed that liability was now admitted subject to medical evidence.
The medical evidence was provided in the medical report and also highlighted a number of out of pocket expenses that our client could claim for in addition to her compensation for damages.
Our client’s schedule of special damages (Out of pocket expenses claim) contained the following:
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Loss of earnings
- Care and assistance around the home
- MRI Scan
- Loss of enjoyment of holiday
Once our client was happy with the medical report and her special damages schedule she signed and returned the approval forms to Michelle who then disclosed the same to the insurers inviting them to make an offer in settlement of her claim.
Michelle settled our client’s claim for £19,500.00