Housing Association Support Worker Accident Claim - Case Study

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The claimant was a support worker for a housing association, employed to assist in the care of service users at a home in St Andrews. She was referred to Thompsons through her union, Unite.

The background

During the course of her usual employment our client suffered a fall while assisting a service user. She had been walking with him in July 2019 as he used a three wheeled rollater which had been modified so that the brakes were constantly applied. As they walked through a cobbled pedestrian area, without warning the service user fell and knocked our client to the ground.

The consequences

On falling, the support worker was helped by a colleague who happened to be assisting another service user nearby.

Our client was taken to St Andrews Community Hospital. She was also later treated by her GP and required a further trip to A & E where it was confirmed that she had suffered a tibial plateau fracture in her left knee.

Following the work accident, the support worker spent several months on crutches and during this time was unable to return to work.

Her knee injury took more than nine months to heal.

The settlement

Under Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and with reference to vicarious liability, Thompsons work accident solicitors intimated a claim on the basis that the care needs of the service user and the risk he posed to support workers had not been adequately identified via risk assessment.

The service user's care plan had highlighted his instability, and changes made in his care, including having the brakes applied to his rollator which was authorised by a physiotherapist and occupational therapist, were not adequate to protect his carers from the risk that his falling would pose. Liability was admitted by the housing association but we advised our client to reject the initial offer of £15,000. Thompsons was able to negotiate a settlement increase to £20,000.

The work accident compensation claim was settled on 22 July 2020.

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