BP was a 23-year-old father to his first child when he had an accident at work that left him with a spinal fracture and traumatic brain injury.
BP was working as a labourer/roofer on a flat roof on a construction site when he fell through an inadequately protected roof light.
Prior to his accident, he had enjoyed socialising, off-road mountain biking and playing football, as well as spending time with his partner and 10-week old child.
BP sustained a spinal fracture to his thoracic spine and required operative treatment to fix the fracture with metalwork. He subsequently had surgery to remove the metalwork. He also had a small subarachnoid bleed to the brain and his brain injury was classified as a complex mild traumatic brain injury. He also had significant psychological symptoms and developed chronic pain that was resistant to treatment, although there was a dispute between the experts as to the client’s prognosis from his pain symptoms.
The injury profoundly affected the client. In the initial period after the accident he was not able to carry his young child and missed out on the full experience of fatherhood with his first child.
A claim was brought against BP’s employer and the main contractor for the construction site.
Primary liability was admitted, but allegations of contributory negligence were raised by the employer and main contractor. They alleged that due to his previous work experience, BP should have been aware that material covering the roof light was insufficient and that he should have been wearing a hard hat. The defendants were arguing for a deduction of 20% for contributory negligence and this was resisted throughout the negotiations.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought a prosecution under Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act against the main contractor, who pleaded not guilty to the offence but was convicted and fined £30,000. The HSE prosecution took almost two years to complete.
The claim settled before the issue of court proceedings at a without prejudice meeting. The claim was dealt with consensually by the defendants who appointed one key contact to correspond with us in handling the claim.
The rehabilitation was fully funded under the Rehabilitation Code, which meant that BP had swift access to the rehabilitation that he required to assist him to regain his independence and maximise his rehabilitation.
The rehabilitation included input from a multidisciplinary team involving a psychologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, pain management consultant and urologist and the provision of domestic, gardening and dog walking support.
The claim settled for £1.5m and whilst it was ongoing BP received interim payments of £108,000 in addition to the rehabilitation funding. The settlement included compensation for future loss of earnings and pension, the future cost of care support and case management, domestic and household support, physiotherapy, psychological therapy and occupational therapy treatment. He was 25 at the time of the settlement of his claim. By this time, BP and his partner had been able to move on with their life. His partner had a second child, who is now eight months old, and he has been able to be more actively involved with care for his new child.
BP’s life beyond injury
Prior to the accident, BP lived with his partner’s parents but he was on the local authority housing list and he and his partner were in receipt of means tested benefits. Following receipt of his first interim payment, a personal injury trust was set up to ensure that BP continued to be eligible for means tested benefits including Housing Benefit. He continues to receive ongoing support and is in the process of purchasing a property.
Testimonial from BP
“The settlement has let me move forward with my life. It has given me a place to live, which in turn has given me my independence and increased my self-esteem. I am now able to focus on being an active Dad and look after my daughter. I am able to return to day to day activities such as shopping.
I would definitely recommend Stewarts to anyone who needs personal injury assistance. Nichola was brilliant all the way through. She reassured me and was very quick to respond to me with anything I needed. She tried to help as much as possible, and was excellent. I am very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the claim.
The claim will help me be settled for the rest of my life. I am thankful to Nichola for what she has achieved for me. I’m pleased I decided to go with Stewarts and Nichola to help with my case, as I feel the outcome would have been different if I’d have gone with another firm.”
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury pages.
Life Beyond Injury
We have teamed up with other clients who have catastrophic injuries to tell their stories of Life Beyond Injury. Please visit the Life Beyond Injury webpages here.
We hope that by sharing these stories, newly injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity to lead full and active lives.
Please feel free to share our films. You can join in the conversation and share your stories of overcoming adversity to lead a fulfilling life beyond injury:
On Twitter, using the hashtag #lifebeyondinjury.
Or on Facebook, using the same #lifebeyondinjury hashtag.