We recently acted for an individual who was referred to us by his Trade Union, following an accident whilst working on the railway. Our client was manoeuvring a piece of equipment on the railway track when the handle suddenly broke off, sending him tumbling down the trackside embankment.
A claim was made against the employers in respect of injuries to our client's back, neck and shoulder, which necessitated our client taking retirement approximately four years early. Proceedings were issued in the Sheriff Court and we claimed compensation for our client's physical injuries, past and future wage loss, pension loss and services his family had to administer to him given his injuries.
This was complicated by the fact our client was a former professional footballer, with a long list of previous neck, back and shoulder injuries which he assured us were due to his prowess with his head during his playing days!
Solicitors acting on behalf of the employers argued that due to this extensive history of injury, our client would have required to retire from his job on the railway within six months even if the accident had not occurred, thus his claim was worth, they said, only a minimal amount of compensation. We argued this point and instructed suitably-qualified medical experts to provide opinions as to our client's physical state, and were able to counter the evidence produced by the Defenders.
Given the differing views on the medical evidence, the matter proceeded to within three weeks of Proof before the Defenders put forward an offer to settle the case which we thought was acceptable. We discussed matters with our client and agreed to seek an improved offer and were eventually successful in recovering a sum more than three times the Defenders' original offer.
If you have had an accident at work and think you may have a claim, please contact a member of our Personal Injury team.