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Pothole Accident Rotator Cuff Injury Case Study

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We were contacted by our client, a 37-year-old residential care worker, in May 2018 via his union, in relation to a rotator cuff shoulder injury he sustained in an accident which occurred on 7 September 2015.

The background

At the time of the incident our client was living with his mother in a council house owned and maintained by North Lanarkshire Council. At the time of the accident, the property was undergoing maintenance work that was being carried out by contractors on behalf of the council. However, the maintenance workers caused several potholes to form outside the front of the house as a result of construction lorry traffic and the placement of a heavy skip.

The client had earlier reported these potholes to the Council and was in possession of a case number to this effect. However, the damage on the driveway was not repaired adequately and the holes were only filled with render. On the day of the accident, our client caught his foot in one of the potholes while washing his car and fell on his left-hand side, injuring his shoulder. Soon afterwards, he contacted North Lanarkshire Council to notify them of his accident.

Initially, our client's GP felt the fall had caused only soft-tissue damage, but eventually, after the pain did not subside, he was sent for an X-ray which revealed a rotator cuff tear.

Prior to the shoulder operation, our client had already intimated a claim with the Council, but following contact with his Union, he instructed Thompsons' pothole accident solicitors with a view to claiming compensation for his injuries. We felt that his case had a reasonable chance of success and decided to raise court proceedings in the All-Scotland Personal Injury Court.

Once the client had received an arthroscopic operation on his shoulder injury Thompsons subsequently had him examined by a medical expert, Andrew Brooksbank, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. The medical evidence was sent to the defender.

The settlement

Once the defenders were in receipt of the medical evidence an offer of £15,000 was made in full and final settlement. This initial offer was rejected. The defenders then made a further offer of £17,000. We advised the claimant that this was a reasonable offer and should therefore be accepted. As such, settlement was arranged on 29 July 2019.

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