Care worker personal injury claim for neck and shoulder injury

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Thompsons personal injury solicitors were instructed through our client's union, Unison, following a workplace accident in which she suffered neck and shoulder injuries.

The background

Our client is a home carer employed by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership. Her role involves going into service user's homes to provide care. On the day of the incident in November 2018, she, and a colleague, were attending an elderly service user with reduced sight.

It was an evening visit so they could get the service user ready for bed. This was carried out in the service user's bedroom, which had limited space. As our client was helping to put the service user into his night clothes she had to bend down behind him. At this point the service user fell back, landing on our client who was knocked to the floor. The gentleman then landed on top of her.

Our client was firstly very concerned for the service user's wellbeing and she and her colleague immediately made sure he was OK. They finished their duties and moved on to the next job.

The next morning, our client found that her right shoulder and back were causing her significant pain. Having phoned her employer to report the incident which had happened the night before and realising she had been injured, she went to her GP.

The consequences

Our client had physiotherapy but suffered continued pain in her shoulder. She was absent from work for several months, losing out on overtime pay as a result.

Prior to the workplace accident, our client and her colleagues had raised concerns about the service user's mobility and the lack of equipment, such as a hoist or stand aid, in the bedroom he liked to sleep in. At least one of our client's colleagues had also suffered an injury while attending the service user.

Thompsons solicitors arranged for our client to be examined by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who confirmed that she had sustained a rotator cuff sprain to her right shoulder and a soft-tissue injury to her neck.

We intimated a claim for personal injury compensation to our client's employer. Liability was denied. They argued that a risk assessment had been carried out and that our client had not followed her training. However, we obtained witness statements confirming that complaints had been made to the Service Manager about the working conditions in the service user's home and we also obtained a statement from the other home carer who had been injured at the same site.

The settlement

Thompsons solicitors in Scotland raised court proceedings in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court in respect of the care worker accident claim. Shortly after, we received a settlement offer of £8,000. This was rejected.

A further offer of £10,000 was put forward and we advised our client that this was a reasonable offer. Our client was happy to accept.

Settlement was agreed on 23 February 2021.

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