Rail employee’s trip and fall claim at Edinburgh station

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This case study relates to the claim of Miss Karine Wake.

In June 2019, Miss Wake was involved in a trip and fall accident at work. Because of the injuries she sustained as a result of her fall, her union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), referred her to Thompsons Solicitors so we could pursue personal injury compensation on her behalf.

The background

At the time of her accident, Miss Wake worked for London North Eastern Railway (LNER) as a customer experience host, a job requiring her to travel from Newcastle to either London or Edinburgh by train. On the date of the accident, she was scheduled to travel to Edinburgh on a morning train and then take a second train back to Newcastle.

When she arrived at Waverley Station in Edinburgh, Miss Wake and her colleague made their way to the platform from which their next train would depart.

The arrival platform they were walking across was made up of slabs. As she was walking, Miss Wake placed her foot on a loose slab, which moved under the weight of her foot, causing a height difference between it and the adjacent slab. This height difference caused her to trip. She fell on the left-hand side of her body, injuring her left arm, shoulder, hip, and ankle.

The consequences

Immediately following the accident, Miss Wake was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where she had several x-rays of the injured areas. The staff advised her to wear a splint on her wrist.

The Edinburgh infirmary later informed Miss Wake that she had suffered a fracture to her wrist and would require physiotherapy for the soft-tissue injuries to her shoulder, hip, and knee.

Although her soft-tissue injuries improved over the course of a few weeks, she was still experiencing pain in her shoulder, wrist, and thumb when she came to Thompsons Solicitors. The fall exacerbated her previously asymptomatic carpometacarpal degeneration, which was causing the ongoing symptoms in her thumb. The discomfort and restriction of movement in her wrist and thumb hindered her ability to complete daily tasks (including household chores, cooking, and driving). She had particular discomfort whenever she engaged in heavier work or was out in cold weather.

While she was recovering from her slip and trip accident, Miss Wake was off work for several weeks, during which time she missed out on attendance allowance, overtime, and commissions. Overall, she suffered a considerable loss of earnings. She also incurred some out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the injury.

The settlement

Miss Wake believed that National Rail was at fault; they knew the slab was loose and unstable but had failed to take adequate action to ensure the area was safe before her accident.

The defenders did not disclose any liability position before litigation. We intimated a workplace accident claim with reference to the Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and vicarious liability. National Rail initially denied liability.

Our personal injury solicitors were able to reach a settlement for £15,000, which was agreed to on 12 September 2022.

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