Former quarry driver awarded significant compensation after an accident at work left him partially disabled
The 50-year-old man from Pencoed, South Wales, had been working for Seth Hill and Sons Ltd at their quarry in the Vale of Glamorgan for 24 years at the time of his accident.
He was parking a four-wheel drive JCB digger and stepped onto the quarry yard when he slipped and fell on the snow and ice underfoot.
Five post-accident operations
The impact from the fall shattered his left leg and he was rushed to hospital for treatment. He was diagnosed with a broken ankle and broken fibula and tibia leg bones. He required an initial operation to place plates, pins and screws into his broken leg bones and put a bolt through his ankle, in an attempt to repair the damage.
A year after his accident, he had two further operations to remove the metal supports from his leg. However, his leg and ankle still required additional treatment.
By March 2012, three years after his fall, he had had five post-accident operations, the final being a fusion operation which left his ankle in one static position, without any movement whatsoever. The medical conclusion was that they could not improve his condition further.
Accident forced the end of his career
“I had months of physiotherapy, five operations and the damage is still not, and never will be, corrected,” said the former quarry driver.
“The accident has ended my career. I loved my job and it’s all been taken away from me. The pain and trauma it has caused, both mentally and physically, is horrendous. I’m now classed as 25 per cent disabled and have been told that my injuries will never fully heal.
“We should have never been made to work that day, the snow was so dense it was up to my ankles and there was no way of seeing the icy patches underfoot because they were covered with snow.”
Thompsons stepped in where a non-specialist firm failed
After his accident he contacted a high street law firm who started a claim on his behalf. However, the firm were not specialists in personal injury and they advised him to accept a degree of blame for his accident which meant the client would have received less compensation than he deserved.
Unhappy with this service, he sought advice from Thompsons Solicitors and decided to move his claim to their specialist personal injury team in Cardiff.
Within 18 months of working with Thompsons, the 50-year-old had secured more than double the amount of compensation than the high street law firm had offered.
Accident could easily have been prevented
William Gasson, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This accident should never have happened. Seth Hill and Sons should have met health and safety standards and ensured that any roads and paths were gritted - especially given the adverse weather conditions.
“They put their employees at risk by forcing them to work in bad weather, leaving a loyal employee physically disabled for the rest of his life.
“It has been an extremely traumatic period for our client and his family. If the accident itself wasn’t distressing enough the legal saga that followed with poor quality advice from non-specialist solicitors added insult to his injuries.
“Our client was made to believe that he should accept he was to blame for the accident, advice we would never have suggested so lightly. I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with him to ensure that he has the right level of compensation he deserves.”
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