Warehouse worker claims for back injury

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In February 2022, our client suffered a slip and trip accident due to an unsafe work environment and injured his back. His union referred him to Thompsons Solicitors so we could claim work accident compensation on his behalf.

The background

At the time of his workplace accident, our client was employed by DHL as a warehouse operative in East Kilbride. His duties involved packing and loading lorries.

On the day of his fall, our client was working through the night. During his break, he walked down a set of concrete steps on the premises. It was very icy that night and the steps had not been gritted, nor was there a handrail. Our client slipped and fell down the steps, his back hitting the concrete on the way down.

The consequences

Our client’s back was in immediate pain. Before he went to the hospital, he overheard one of his managers say that the steps should have been gritted. At the University Hospital Wishaw, our client received an x-ray of his back, neck (which was also becoming painful), and ribs. He was advised that he had suffered soft tissue damage to his back and was given painkillers.

Because the pain did not subside, he also saw his GP, who prescribed him strong pain medication. He had to keep returning to his GP, as the medication was largely ineffective.

While recovering from the accident, our client was absent from work. He missed out on overtime and shift allowance, incurring a loss of earnings of almost £500. He felt that he had to return to work when his statutory sick pay ran out, even though he was still experiencing pain.

Our client’s job requires a lot of heavy lifting, which became very difficult to do with his back injury, and for several weeks following the accident, he struggled with physical activity. He could not walk his dog, complete household chores, or do the shopping. He also could not play football, his main hobby.

The settlement

We intimated a personal injury claim to our client’s employer, and their insurer accepted liability.

To gather medical evidence to help with the claim, we instructed a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to examine our client and assess the extent of his injury. The consultant confirmed that the accident had caused underlying problems in our client’s back and advised that it would take him 12 months to recover. We sent the medical evidence to the employer’s insurer.

The employer soon offered a compensation award of £8,000, which we discussed with our client. Our work accident solicitors advised him that this was a very reasonable offer, and he confirmed he was happy to accept it.

We reached a settlement for this personal injury claim on 14 October 2022.

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