Civil Servant's Trip Accident Claim at HMRC Buildings

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An HMRC employee suffered a workplace accident in East Kilbride. The civil servant was referred to Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland through his union, PCS, to pursue the claim on his behalf.

The background

Our client had been working in an HMRC office and on the day of his workplace accident in May 2017 had just exited a staff kitchen when he tripped on some uneven flooring. The floor was made of concrete covered with carpet which had only been laid in the previous few months. Our client caught his foot on an uneven area of the carpet and fell forwards, striking his knee on the floor and hitting his forehead on a glass panel.

The accident occurred at 7.10am and there were very few staff present in the building so our client returned to his desk. Eventually, colleagues arrived to assist our client and a first aider advised him that he should go to hospital, however our client decided to remain at work.

A few days later, our client was suffering significant pain and he contacted the NHS. As a result of the workplace fall, he suffered a two-month closed minor head injury and a three-month soft tissue injury to his knee.

The settlement

Thompsons intimated a claim to our client's employer but liability was denied on the basis that they were not responsible for the area in which our client fell. They also claimed that no floor defects were present and provided photographs.

The claim was redirected to the landlord of the office building who took a great deal of time to respond. Eventually they said they were willing to consider the claim on a without prejudice basis.

At this point Thompsons solicitors in Scotland felt there was sufficient evidence to raise court action in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court in Edinburgh. Liability continued to be denied and it was the defender's position that their risk assessment processes were robust.

However, as court proceedings progressed, the defenders put forward a trip accident compensation settlement sum of £2,900.

It was our opinion that this was a reasonable offer in the light of all the aspects of the case and the evidence gathered. Our client decided to accept the offer. Settlement was agreed on 21 January 2021.

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