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case studies personal injury

Greg Hollingworth’s story
Greg was the victim of a serious head injury in a road accident on the 20th March 2004. He was in a Rehabilitation Unit for many months and my family instructed Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in Milton Keynes to act on his behalf.

Having been robbed of the capability to deal with matters himself it was very reassuring to know that Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors were fighting his corner. His solicitor, Anne Maguire had the knowledge and understanding to manage his case to a successful conclusion and he has kept in touch with her since.

At the time of the accident he was training to be an accountant but it soon became clear that he would not be able to continue that career.

He have found a different path which is just as rewarding and sometimes even more challenging.

Over the past several years he has worked with a Stroke Charity in Milton Keynes.

He takes telephone calls from people whose lives’ have been ripped apart by strokes. He helps and directs them to Resources such as benefits advice. He is not a trained Counsellor but can empathise with them and have a genuine understanding of their problems. This is not a career that he had planned but he is very happy that he is able to help other people who are in distress.


Employee receives £325,000 Compensation for severe hand injury
Anne Maguire, Personal Injury Solicitor first met Mrs Kaur at her home in June 2014.  She had suffered extensive injuries to her right hand in a work accident whilst operating a chapatti machine in a food factory.  The guard had been removed from the machine and when her client went to remove a blockage of flour, the blade came down and went into her right hand and fingers.  She effectively lost the use of her right hand and suffered post-traumatic stress and depression.

What was really concerning abou this case was that her employer permanently removed vital safety equipment from the door of the machine. They then removed the sensor and rewired and overrode the safety cut out in order to use the machine without the safety guard.

Both these actions were incredibly dangerous and showed complete disregard for Mrs Kaur’s health and safety. She was a very loyal employee and worked in the factory for many years. The insurers argued that she was partly to blame for the accident and that she should lose 25% of her damages. Mrs Kaur was deeply hurt by these allegations. We made it clear to the Insurers that given Mrs Kaur had been instructed to put her hand into the machine to remove wastage every 30 to 40 minutes, we would not accept any deduction in damages.

Finally the Insurers conceded that the employers were 100% to blame and we settled Mrs Kaur’s compensation claim in full at £325,000.
Anne was very pleased to act for Mrs Kaur as she was the major bread-winner for the family and had been physically, psychologically and financially disadvantaged. It was very satisfying going up against the Insurance company and fighting Mrs Kaur’s corner for the compensation she truly deserved.


No RTA Impact but successfully secured £170,000 Personal Injury Settlement
We’ve all heard of “no win, no fee” when it comes to personal injury claims for road traffic accidents, but “no impact, no injury”?
Sam Seaford, PI Solicitor acted for Mr Steve Emms, a man in his late 50’s, who was involved in a single vehicle RTA. He was teaching a leaner driver how to drive a lorry. As they were proceeding along the road at about 10mph, the learner without warning or instruction mistakenly applied the lorry’s airbrakes. The lorry stopped dead in an instant causing Mr Emms to be thrown violently forward in his seat and into his seatbelt.

The interesting part about this case was that the Lorry didn’t hit a single thing but the forces involved when the airbrakes were applied were enough to cause injury. Mr Emms described this as if the lorry had “hit a brick wall”. Not something you might expect and certainly not something the defendant vehicles insurers were eager to accept.

Being a hardworking individual who had never claimed before, Mr Emms thought he would simply shrug off the pain he began to experience post-accident. He had no intention of making a personal injury claim. However, he was unable to do so and as time went on his pain got much worse. Ultimately, it transpired that he had suffered a prolapsed disc in his neck, necessitating surgery, which overall meant he was unable to return to work. Financially, things became difficult.

Sadly for Mr Emms, despite the lorry not hitting a thing his injuries were severe and had a marked impact on his life. However, despite the claim being strongly defended on causation (the Defendant did not want to accept Mr Emms could have been so servery injured in the accident) Sam was able to secure him £170,000 in compensation so he could continue to provide for his family, remain in his family home and be financially secure long past his retirement age.

Like most of Sam’s clients, Mr Emms did not want to be involved in an accident and did not want to be injured. He certainly did not want to make a personal injury claim. He was a man who worked all his life and intended to work well past his retirement age so he could continue to provide for his family. Sadly, this accident intervened and turned his life upside down. It’s not just the injury that is so significant but also the ongoing impact it has on a person’s life and ability to work and earn. Sam was very pleased to work for Mr Emms and obtain the best compensation he could to help him and his family. Personally it was a satisfying and hard fought case but well worth the struggle to get Mr Emms back in a position he would have been but for the accident best we could.


Man falls off ladder and received £100,000 in compensation.
A client was injured at work falling off a ladder at work, which had not been ‘footed’. We pleaded a breach of the Workplace (Health Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

He suffered a fracture of one of his lumbar vertebra, together with an injury to his hip and elbow.

As a result of his injuries he could not continue in his occupation in housing maintenance and had to take a driving job working less hours, with a subsequent reduction in earnings. In addition he was unable to carry out DIY and gardening around the home – things he would normally have done before the accident.

In addition to the compensation for his injuries the Claimant was able to recover for his reduced earning capacity and inability to carry out normal DIY and gardening chores around the home. We calculated his past and future loss of earnings based on what he would have earned had the accident not occurred, compared to what he was earning post accident.  He received compensation of £100,000.


Employee receives £20,000 compensation for a psychological injury
It is well established that someone who has been physically injured through the fault of someone else can make a claim for compensation, eg the victim who suffers a whiplash injury through the actions of a negligent motorist.

It is not so straight forward if someone suffers a psychological injury through the negligence or breach of duty of another.
Ann Summerling acted for a client who was employed by a Police Authority as a civilian member of staff. She was taken out by police officers as a ‘ride along’ to gain experience of day to day routine police work.

As part of their duties on the day, the police officers had to attend a ‘sudden death’ incident where someone had committed suicide by hanging. Ann’s client went into the house and witnessed the person hanging, and was asked to help handle the deceased’s body and search the property for a suicide note and other evidence.

She was not given any training prior to this incident and did not receive any de briefing or support afterwards. This was despite the fact that police officers are given training before attending ‘sudden death’ incidents.

At first the client did not seem to be too badly affected by what she had seen, although she was initially shocked. However, over the following weeks and months she started getting panic attacks and symptoms of anxiety, depression and flashbacks of the incident.

She was normally a happy and positive person and living in a secure and stable relationship with a supportive partner, and she could not understand why she was feeling like she did. She did not initially connect it to the incident at work.

Her GP and Occupational Health Department diagnosed her as suffering from PTSD as a consequence of what she had witnessed at work and she was given antidepressants and underwent a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatment. She had several months off work and when she returned, certain things would crop up which would remind her of the incident. Eventually she left the police force as the work was a constant reminder of what had happened and was affecting her ability to recover.

Despite an apology from the Chief Inspector, an acknowledgement that the client should not have been present at the scene of the hanging and an assurance that lessons would be learned, liability was denied by the Police Authority.

Ann persevered with the claim and was successful in achieving an agreed compensation in the sum of £20,000.00 for the psychological injuries and cost of future counselling treatment, enabling her client to put the distressing incident behind her and move on with her life.


Resident who tripped on uneven pavement gets £20,000 in compensation
Mrs G tripped over a raised and rocking paving slab on her way to work one morning in September 2012.

The area of pavement was in a very bad state due to tree roots which had caused the paving slabs to rise and break. The Claimant suffered a fractured wrist and developed the onset of early osteoarthritis.

The local Council denied liability, court proceedings were issued and medical evidence obtained. We were able to negotiate settlement before trial for £20,000.


Engineer who broke leg in accident with fork lift truck successfully sues for more than £7,000
An engineer who hadn’t received proper training at work fractured his leg when a fork lift truck he was driving toppled over down a slope.

Adrian, 32, had been working as a field service engineer for around four months at Crown Forklift Trucks when the accident occurred in September 2005.

Despite not being trained, he was asked to service and test drive a truck at one of the firm’s customers, in Luton.
The truck toppled to the left hand side, breaking Adrian’s shin, calf bone and ankle, causing him to be in hospital for several weeks and off work for five months.

Adrian, who now works as a prison officer, suffers discomfort running and has had to give up playing competitive football as a consequence.
Geoffrey Leaver successfully negotiated £7,012 compensation from his former employers.


Secretary who fractured wrist after tripping on uneven pavement secures more than £7,500 compensation 
A medical secretary who tripped on an uneven path as she made her way to work was awarded £7,678 after she broke her wrist in a fall.

Diane, aged 63, was walking along Eaglestone footpath, towards the Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust, where she worked, when she caught her foot on tarmac forced up into a mound because of tree roots beneath.

The accident, which happened in June 2007, caused Diane to fracture her right wrist.

Milton Keynes Council denied liability, claiming that the footpath had no defects when it was inspected seven months earlier, in October 2006.
However, at a trial at Milton Keynes County Court, it was found that the path had been in a poor condition for several months and the council had failed in their duty of inspection. A judge dismissed their version of events and found in favour of Diane.

The claimant had a small loss of earnings claim in the region of £250. Her fracture healed without surgery although she would have some difficulty opening jars.


Woman who broke her wrist after she slipped outside her home has been awarded £11,000 compensation
A woman who suffered a fractured wrist when she slipped and fell on sludge from an overflowing drain has won £11,000, thanks to Geoffrey Leaver.

Diane, 61, successfully sued the Radcliffe School, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, after she slipped in a passageway behind her home in May 2009.
Despite warnings from other residents, the school failed to repair the drain which repeatedly overflowed in heavy rainfall, causing sludge to spill over onto the walkway.

Diane needed surgery on her left wrist and was off work for five months. She suffered permanent damage, which caused her on-going discomfort and affected her ability to do everyday housework and shopping.

Geoffrey Leaver successfully secured negotiated damages, which included those for loss of earnings and hospital and travel expenses.


Warehouse worker wins more than £2,000 compensation for injury at work
An employee at a parcel warehouse who injured his knee while loading up a lorry has won £2,036 damages, thanks to Geoffrey Leaver.

Andrew, 21 injured his left knee in November 2008 when his foot became wedged between the loading dock and the back of a HGV as he tried to climb inside.

The accident left him with knee problems for six weeks.

Andrew claimed his employers, The Big Green Parcel Holding Company, were responsible for the accident because a four inch gap had been left between the dock and the lorry and no bridging plates were available to close the hole.

The Big Green Parcel Holding Company, where Andrew worked part-time, denied liability, claiming the gap was smaller than alleged and that metal plates were available.

However, at a trial at Milton Keynes County Court, in July 2011, Geoffrey Leaver successfully argued Andrew’s case and a judge awarded him more than £2,000 compensation.


Farmer who suffered brain damage following accident awarded almost £500,000 
A farmer suffered a major head injury and was left brain damaged when his tractor was forced off the road after it was struck from behind by a HGV.

Brian, 52, was driving his red Trimax tractor along the A5, at Old Stratford, Bucks, when he was hit by the Volvo lorry in April 2003.

The tractor came off the road and careered down an embankment, leaving Brian with a severe head injury.

He spent two months in hospital and was left with permanent brain damage which affected his memory, caused severe mood swings and loss of motivation. He also lost some hearing in both ears, and suffered a broken collar bone and shoulder blade.

The accident forced him to stop work and he is unlikely to return in the future.

Geoffrey Leaver secured Brian £475,000 in a negotiated settlement, which included damages for loss of earnings and any future care he may need.


Schoolboy wins £50,000 damages for accident which cost his grandparents their lives
A boy has been awarded £50,000 compensation after he was badly burned in a road accident which cost his grandparents their lives.
The boy, 13, was travelling in the front middle seat of a van, either side of his grandparents when they were struck head-on by a car coming in the opposite direction.

Both his grandparents were killed in the accident, which happened outside of Milton Keynes in January 2005. Although Luke survived he suffered serious burns which required skin grafts to his buttocks and legs.

He spent one month in hospital and missed three months of schooling as a consequence.

The youngster also suffered some post-traumatic stress in the immediate aftermath, which included anxiety about travelling in a car with loved ones, although this is unlikely to be permanent.

His scars will require lifetime care using creams.

Geoffrey Leaver successfully negotiated a £50,000 claim for damages without the case going to court.


Family of Chinese national killed on M25 secure £400,000 damages
A Chinese national was killed after his car was struck by a lorry when he pulled over onto the hard shoulder of the M25 to check his sat nav.

Although the man, Xing had recently been made redundant, and his earning potential was called into question, our solicitor secured £400,000 compensation on behalf of his wife and baby.

The accident happened on the 10th November 2007 and there was an issue over whether the man would have returned to China with his family, meaning his potential income would have been significantly reduced. There was also an issue in relation to partial blame as the man had stopped on the hard shoulder in contravention of the Highway Code. These issues were resolved in favour of the deceased driver.


Accountancy student hit by car awarded almost half a million pounds damages
Geoffrey Leaver won £450,000 compensation for an accountancy student whose career earnings were seriously damaged when he was injured after being struck by car.

D was in his first year at university when he suffered a serious head injury after stepping out in front of traffic in Central Milton Keynes.
Although he admitted partial blame, the student’s ability to qualify as an accountant was damaged. He secured a lower degree than anticipated and was unable to obtain a training contract, forcing him to switch careers to marketing.

The driver of the car disputed that the student would have qualified as an accountant and alleged that he would not lose any earnings in his new marketing job.

However, this was not accepted and the case was settled on the basis that our client sustained a reduction in his earning capacity as a consequence.


French student who lost leg in accident wins rehab care thanks to Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors
A French student who was studying in the UK when she was involved in an accident has secured proper care thanks to Geoffrey Leaver.

The woman Leila Touah switched to us a year after the accident on 6th January 2007 because she was worried she was not receiving proper rehabilitation in France.

Despite several attempts to get her walking again on her damaged right leg, doctors decided they needed to amputate three years after the accident.

Our solicitors arranged for her temporary accommodation in France to be specially adapted, a care regime put in place and for her to undergo surgery prior to the settlement of her claim so that Leila had all the support she required and for the rest of her life.


Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors wins £60,000 compensation for woman with PTSD
A woman who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following an accident in May 2005 in Leithworth which damaged her career has been awarded £60,000 damages.

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors managed to secure the award for Pauline, 59 after she switched to us because she was unhappy with the £5,000 offer she received through a previous solicitor.

We investigated the whiplash and shoulder injury, which resulted in her being laid off work, and concluded that the PTSD she suffered had hindered her career in the ambulance service.

She received around £60,000 which included a substantial sum for loss of earnings.

She said: ‘Many thanks for all you’ve done for us.’