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Slip, trip and fall accident claims are some of the most common types of work accident that we deal with at Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland.

We are highly skilled and experienced in this type of claim and many employees are referred to us by their unions so that we can pursue personal injury compensation on their behalf.

The following article is the case study follow-up for a back injury accident claim relating to a delivery driver who suffered a fall during the course of his employment.

The background

Mr Christopher McEwan had been employed as a Brakes delivery driver for approximately 16 years when his trip accident occurred on 16 October 2018.

His daily tasks involved delivering cages of food and goods to schools, care homes and businesses within a specific area.

One of his regular delivery addresses was a nursing home in Bailliestone. When visiting the facility, Mr McEwan was required to transport cages from his van along an entrance path to the home. This path was in a bad state or disrepair which hindered the movement of the cages. Mr McEwan had raised concerns about the condition of the pathway to managers at Brakes and with at least one member of staff at the care home prior to the accident.

On the date of the trip accident, Mr McEwan was pulling a cage along the path approaching the care home when a wheel got caught on a broken part of the paving. The cage came to an abrupt stop and this caused Mr McEwan to fall backwards. He landed on the ground in a seated position.

Although in some considerable pain, Mr McEwan completed the delivery as he was working on his own that day. He tried to continue his day's schedule but after an hour or so, the pain was too much for him to bear.

Another Brakes employee came out to pick Mr McEwan up and he was taken back to the depot where an accident report was completed.

The consequences

Mr McEwan's back injury was treated by his GP and he also received physiotherapy which was arranged by Brakes' Occupational Health team. Mr McEwan had to pay for these sessions out of his own pocket.

He was unable to return to work for 19 days and lost earnings as a result.

The settlement

Thompson's personal injury solicitors intimated a claim to Mr McEwan's employer, but liability was denied. So we raised the back injury claim in court.

The defender continued to deny liability, arguing that Mr McEwan was familiar with the delivery area at the care home and that he had contributed to the accident.

As part of our investigations, we had recovered a copy of the accident investigation. This report makes reference to the fact that Mr McEwan had complained about the condition of the pathway to the care home prior to the accident date. There was a note from the care home that confirmed this. The home's representatives advised that the complaint had been reported to their estates management team but it had not been followed up before the incident occurred.

We also had supportive evidence in the form of the accident report, photographs, training records, risk assessments and witness statements from Mr McEwan's colleagues who confirmed the poor state of the path at the care home.

A medical report from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon confirmed that Mr McEwan suffered a muscular injury to his mid back with symptoms lasting for six months.

The initial settlement offer from the defender was £2,500. Although we considered this a reasonable sum, we believed there was room for improvement and after discussion with Mr McEwan this offer was rejected.

A further settlement offer was put forward by the defender of £3,400. Mr McEwan was happy to accept this offer.

The back injury accident claim settlement was agreed on 28 June 2022.

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