Under most construction contracts, the contractor takes on the ground conditions risk. However, a recent case has demonstrated that the risk can fall on the employer.
Our client, Mrs VF, was taken to A&E having fallen from her horse. An x-ray was taken of her neck and she was discharged a few hours later. Two days later she contacted the hospital as she didn’t feel as though she was improving. The hospital said that she should come back if she felt she needed to. She returned, her x-rays were looked at and she was immediately immobilised on a bed wearing a neck collar and transferred to the spinal injury unit. Despite six weeks bed rest, the damage to the spinal cord had been done and she was left unable to walk and had lost sensation in her bowels and bladder.
How did we help?
At the Spinal Unit the doctors questioned the decision to discharge Mrs VF from A&E at her initial visit. Mrs VF contacted Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) to investigate whether this decision had been negligent and was put in touch with Sarah Huntbach. The NHS Trust denied that the spinal cord injury and the deterioration would have been avoided if she had not been discharged from A&E. Through our bringing a claim against the NHS Trust, Mrs VF secured an admission of liability for the decision to discharge her from hospital.
Mrs VF’s life changed beyond all recognition. After a lengthy period of rehabilitation in the Spinal Injury Unit, she returned home. Because of her injuries Mrs VF’s family made a bedroom downstairs, she could no longer participate in the family run business and lost the ability to pursue her active outdoor hobbies.
Sarah, having an in-depth understanding of a spinal cord injury and the impact this has on the person injured and also their family, was able to ensure that the most appropriate experts were instructed in the case to be able to determine all of the complex medical issues.
Mrs VF’s case settled out of court, at a round table meeting shortly before trial for a seven figure sum. She said, “It was a difficult decision to make the initial contact, meeting Sarah made it seem the right one. Advice given from initial consultation was clear, I felt at all times confident that Sarah managed a complex case with empathy. Sarah Huntbach is amazingly professional, she guided myself and my family through the darkest of times. We couldn’t have foreseen what events would befall during the seven years it took and, despite this, Sarah stayed a true professional.”
Following her injury, Mrs VF worked with us and other experts so she and her family could see how it was possible to realise her dream to renovate, adapt and move into a property that had been in the family for generations.
Sarah introduced Mrs VF to the wider team here at ACS at the point of settlement and they advised on setting up a Personal Injury Trust. Through this Trust, Mrs VF has now bought and rents out a number of properties, allowing her the opportunity to return to running a family business as she had done before the injury.
For more information
Please contact Sarah Huntbach
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