Fire warden's claim for trip injury

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During her employment as a business improvement officer for the Scottish government, our client was involved in a workplace accident. She is based at St Andrew's House in Edinburgh and also acts as a fire warden for the building – a role which led to her sustaining an injury.

On 7 March 2017, at around 11am, the building's fire alarm went off for a fire drill. As a fire warden, our client has to escort people out of the building to a nearby muster point. However, on this occasion, as she was making her way to the muster point, her foot got caught in a pothole on the pavement. She tripped but managed to stay upright by holding on to a colleague. However, she sprained her ankle in the process.

The Consequences

The pain in her ankle meant our client couldn't walk without difficulty. She needed assistance from her colleagues so she could get to the muster point. After receiving first aid, she returned to work. She later needed to call her mother to come and drive her home, as the injury meant she was unable to drive her car herself.

The following Monday, our client's GP suggested that she visit the hospital, where the staff confirmed that her ankle wasn't broken but was very badly sprained. They gave her a compression wrap and told her to keep her ankle elevated.

The sprain resulted in our client limping for three to four weeks following the accident, but the injury didn't fully resolve for two months.

Overall, she was absent from work for two weeks, during which time she was paid in full and didn't sustain any loss of earnings. She did, however, incur out-of-pocket expenses as she had to take a taxi to her hospital appointment.

She was confined to her house and unable to complete household chores by herself during the time she was off, and she also had to miss her regular exercise class.

The Settlement

Our client was able to instruct Thompsons' personal injury solicitors through her union, PCS. We intimated a claim to her employer on the basis of occupiers' liability law. They had failed their responsibility of maintaining the premises and making sure it was free of any hazards that would put employees and visitors as risk. We also made reference to the Directive 89654 Work Place (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations as well as Regulation 3 of the Management Regulations.

Her employer initially denied liability, so we proceeded with litigation and arranged a pre-proof consultation. Just prior to the date of the consultation, however, the defender put forward an offer of £2,500. We discussed this sum with our client, who felt it was fair and confirmed she wanted to accept it, settling the case on 8 August 2017.

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