Self-employed worker accident claim against occupier

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Natalie MarshChartered Legal Executive Lawyer

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Self-employed worker accident claim against occupier

The client’s claim

Brachers acted in a personal injury claim for a 68 year old self-employed painter and decorator (Mr R) from Dartford, Kent who suffered injuries whilst carrying out a job, which involved carrying out renovations in the defendant’s loft. He had been using a ladder to access the loft and was in the process of trying to close the loft door, which had no handle. As he attempted to pull the loft door towards him, he lost his balance and in doing so fell from the ladder injuring his left ankle.

The Claimant’s injuries were treated at the Darent Valley Hospital where x-rays revealed an ankle fracture. The claimant underwent surgery of his fractured ankle, with internal fixation using a plate and screws. Following surgery, the Claimant required a number a weeks off work before he was able to return on a part-time basis. Although he has made a good recovery from most of his symptoms, he continued to suffer residual symptoms from his injuries two years after the accident. A course of physiotherapy was recommended to alleviate the ongoing discomfort.

Our approach

Brachers took the claim on, under a no win, no fee (conditional fee agreement). As the Claimant was self-employed we identified a claim against the occupier of the house. The case handler, Natalie Marsh, submitted a letter of claim to the occupier. Although there was no dispute over the fact that there was no handle on the loft, it was argued by the occupier’s insurers that the Claimant contributed to his injuries in overstretching and in doing so fell from the ladder. The Claimant accepted that he could potentially have been more careful and accepted deduction for his own contributory negligence of 15%. This meant that once settlement was agreed, the Claimant recover 85% of the agreed compensation.

The outcome

When negotiating settlement, Natalie was able to secure damages to include the Claimant’s self-employed loss of earnings, travelling and parking expenses and the value of care and assistance others provided with tasks that he was unable to do for himself due to his injuries. In addition he recovered an award for personal injury, pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Mr R received a five figure sum in compensation. He was “extremely satisfied” with the conclusion reached in his claim and the damages recovered on his behalf.

This compensation claim for a fracture to ankle and other soft tissue injuries was dealt with by Natalie Marsh, a senior litigation executive specialising in personal injury, psychiatric and clinical negligence claims in Kent, Medway and beyond. Natalie can be contacted on 01622 680 428 or at