Support Assistant Claim against Council for Personal Injury

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Our client, an additional support assistant for special needs children, was employed by Argyll and Bute council and was injured in the course of her employment.

She was referred to Thompsons Solicitors Scotland by her union, so that we could pursue the claim against the council for personal injury compensation on her behalf.

The background

In January 2019, our client was working in a situation with children who were known to have behavioural issues. She and a colleague were in the lunch hall where a class was underway.

Our client advised us that one of the children was running around the lunch hall while pushing a lunch trolley with wooden sections to carry utensils etc. He began to forcefully push the trolley in our client's direction and one of the wooden sections became dislodged and struck her in the face. The force of the blow knocked our client to the ground.

The consequences

Our client immediately felt pain in her face. She was given first aid by colleagues and an ambulance was called. She was taken to Vale of Leven Hospital.

Our client had suffered facial injuries, including a wound to the bridge of her nose with skin loss over the midline. A medical report from a Consultant confirmed that this injury healed in six to eight weeks; however she continued to suffer headaches, facial pain and neck sprain symptoms. For around 12 months after the date of the incident.

The school employee also suffered psychological injuries as a result of the incident and we instructed a Consultant Psychologist to write a report. This report confirmed that our client had suffered an adjustment disorder for 17 months after the incident.

The settlement

During the process of gathering medical evidence, Thompsons' personal injury solicitors began compensation settlement discussions with the defender's insurers. However, the initial settlement offer of £5,500 was rejected by our client.

The case was close to being time-barred and as no further offer was made, the raising of court proceedings was deemed appropriate. The defender's solicitors expressed a desire to settle the claim out of court and a further offer of £8,000 was forthcoming.

This sum was also rejected by our client and following further discussions a personal injury compensation sum of £9,000 was accepted by our client.

Settlement was agreed on 1 April 2022.

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