Electrician's injury payout increased after review

Our client’s injuries

David Henry tore cartilage in his left wrist after a ladder fell on him at work, resulting in him requiring multiple operations. He has never returned to full fitness since the accident, and suffers from persistent aches and pins and needles.

The accident and David’s fight for compensation

David sustained an injury in January 2003 while carrying out work for a maintenance company in the Treasury Building in London. He had been asked to replace a faulty ceiling light.

As he and his colleague were returning a ladder to a storage room it fell on top of David. In raising his arm to protect himself, David sustained extensive damage to the cartilage in his wrist, which required numerous operations.

When he returned to work, it was under instructions not to carry any heavy lifting or climb ladders  – two key parts of his role  – as the accident left his wrist permanently weakened.

David appointed his previous solicitor to pursue a claim for him in June 2003; the first step in what was to become a drawn out process that left him angry and frustrated. David was only paid up until October 2003, meaning he had no income for ten months until he returned to work in August 2004.

His first solicitor estimated his case to be worth an amount in the region of £100,000, but repeated failings from his previous solicitor resulted in David receiving just £10,000 – the amount his solicitor advised him to accept from the insurance company prior to the case going to trial in February 2006.

During this time David was forced to sell his home to avoid repossession and clear the debts that had been building up due to his inability to work for so long.

What did Hayward Baker Solicitors do to help?

Hayward Baker became involved in the case in November 2008, when David visited the home of our Managing Director Keith Hayward in France to carry out some electrical work.

Just prior to sustaining the injury, David had purchased a run-down farmhouse in the country to renovate and retire with his wife. After selling his home in the UK he relocated to France to live in the farmhouse as it awaited renovation. While there, he was doing as much electrical work for expats in the area as was possible, given the pain his injury was still causing him.

After a conversation about his injury – David arrived at the house with his wrist in a splint – he instructed Keith to obtain his case file  from the previous solicitor to see if it had been handled properly. When it emerged it had not, David instructed us to pursue a negligence claim against his previous solicitors.

Our investigation revealed David’s previous solicitor had made little attempt to pursue avenues of enquiry that would have made victory very likely had the case gone to court. The defence team employed by the building’s insurers disputed liability on the basis that they did not believe the accident had occurred, but we located witnesses who had not previously been spoken to and obtained evidence showing David should have been supplied with lifting equipment, rather than being left to use the heavy ladder that fell on him.

Armed with this information, we obtained quotes for the renovation work to David’s property in France – work he would he would have been able to do himself were it not for his injury. His previous solicitor denied being liable, arguing that the firm obtained a good settlement for David as they believed his case would not succeed in court. When presented with our evidence, however, we were able to convince them otherwise.

The outcome

After Hayward Baker’s intervention we made a successful claim against David’s previous solicitors for an additional £50,000 in July 2011, helping David and his wife to complete renovations on their French farmhouse and ensure financial security.

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