Work Claims Solicitors

Work claims solicitors enable you to recover compensation when you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident at work due to the negligence of an employer or somebody at your workplace who owed you a duty of care. Solicitors who provide legal representation for work injury compensation claims look beyond the initial trauma that has been suffered and consider what the long-term financial and health implications of the injury may be – not only for you as the victim, but for those around you who may have to provide support for you through your recovery from a workplace injury. To get specific, individual advice about compensation claims for a work injury, call and speak directly with a work claims solicitor.

Janitor Settles Claim for Workplace Slip on Ice

Posted on: August 28th, 2013

A janitor has settled his claim for a workplace slip on ice – due to which he lost his job – after a hearing at Edinburgh´s Court of Sessions.

The janitor in question – sixty-one year old Stephen McKeown from Port Glasgow in Inverclyde – suffered his injury in November 2010 after he had been asked to cover the absence of the permanent janitor from St Francis´ Primary School, rather than work at his regular location at St Stephen´s High School in Port Glasgow.

Arriving at St Francis´ Primary School at 7.00am, Stephen began salting the paths and the playgrounds by hand as he had done on icy days for the past eighteen years he had worked as a janitor. As school started at 9.00am, Stephen moved onto the areas of lower priority but, during the first break between lessons, he was told by two pupils that a condom had been discarded on one of the classroom fire escapes.

As Stephen climbed the fire escape to retrieve the condom, he slipped and fell on ice which had not yet defrosted, and injured his leg and back as he fell against a wall. Unable to continue his job as a janitor due to his injuries, Stephen´s work contract was terminated by Inverclyde Council in November 2011 – following which, Stephen made a claim for a workplace slip on ice against his former employers.

Inverclyde Council denied their liability for Stephen´s injuries and claimed that they were not in breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 as Stephen had alleged because they had a system in place for treating the school grounds when they were icy which, the council argued, Stephen had not followed.

Stephen pursued his claim for a workplace slip on ice and, last week at the Court of Session Outer House, Lord Burns found that Inverclyde Council´s safe system of work existed only on paper, and had never been put into practice.

Criticising Inverclyde Council for failing to train Stephen in the safest system of work or advising him of the availability of work equipment that could have prevented his workplace accident from occurring, Lord Burns awarded Stephen £30,000 in settlement of his claim for a workplace slip on ice.

Extension of MoJ Reforms will Allow Quicker Settlements of Personal Injury Claims

Posted on: August 5th, 2013

On 1st August 2013, changes to the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal program were introduced which should allow for quicker settlements of personal injury claims.

The changes relate to claims for personal injury compensation due to a road traffic accident, an injury at work or injuries sustained in a place of public access (public liability claims) which occur in England and Wales on or after 1st August 2013, and which have an anticipated value of less than £25,000.

Until these procedural changes were made, insurance companies could often delay settlements of personal injury claims by leaving the acknowledgement of a solicitor´s “Letter of Claim” – and failing to admit their policyholder´s liability – until the last possible moment.

Now, strict time limits have been introduced so that insurance companies have to acknowledge a Letter of Claim within 24 hours and advise the solicitor whether liability for a personal injury will be accepted or declined within 30 days (40 days for injuries at work).

This system replaces the old 90 day limit and insurance companies who fail to adhere to the new regulations will have the claim taken out of the cost-saving claims portal program with the insurance company liable for any additional expenses they incur whether they are successful in defending the claim or not.

The new procedures should enable claimants to receive settlements of personal injury claim much quicker; however there are several exceptions to the recently introduced regulations which include:-

  • Public liability claims against a private individual
  • Claims for food poisoning after eating in a restaurant
  • Claims due to a lack of care by more than one party
  • Any claim for an accident outside of England or Wales
  • Claims in which the defendant is uninsured or untraceable
  • Claims for medical malpractice or clinical negligence
  • Claims for compensation for contracting mesothelioma

The Ministry of Justice reforms do not affect the Statute of Limitations – which determines long you have to make a claim for personal injury compensation after discovering that an injury has been sustained – and only apply to accidents which have occurred or injuries which have been diagnosed on or after 1st August 2013.

If you have any questions regarding how the quicker settlements of personal injury claims may affect you or your entitlement to personal injury compensation, you are advised to speak with a claims solicitor at the first possible moment.

Airport Baggage Handler Back Injury Compensation Claim Resolved Out of Court

Posted on: March 1st, 2013

A worker at Stansted Airport, who sustained a debilitating back injury after a luggage vehicle accident, has settled his airport baggage handler back injury compensation claim against his employers out of court.

Sixty-four year old Mr Mick Draper from Braintree, Essex, sustained his serious back injury while working for air freight firm Swissport in March 2009. A buggy, used for pulling trailers packed full of baggage, collided with Mick while he was moving an empty trolley, throwing him several feet onto a nearby luggage chute.

Mick continued to work at the airport for several weeks even thought he was in some pain. One morning in April 2009 he awoke to find that he was unable to move when he woke up. After being sent by his doctor for appropriate physiotherapy, specialists diagnosed Mr Draper as having three broken bones in his back. He had to undergo a series of re-constructive procedures; despite which he still finds it painful difficult to walk, lift and complete basic domestic tasks.

An official enquiry into the airport accident showed that the buggy driver who lost control of his luggage vehicle had been worked shifts of seventeen hours for the eleven days in the lead up to the accident – despite warnings from Mick’s union to the Swissport managers that this was unsafe. On being informed of this Mick visited a solicitor and made a baggage handler injury compensation claim against his employers.

Swissport admitted that they had placed the health and safety of their baggage workers at serious risk by allowing employees to work such long hours and settled Mick´s baggage handler injury compensation claim for an undisclosed sum out of court.

Injury to Nurse at Work Claim Upheld in Court

Posted on: February 14th, 2013

A claim for an injury to a nurse at work has been upheld in the High Court after it was ruled an injury sustained while working at Epsom Hospital´s Outpatients Department was not due to the contributory negligence of the nurse.

Having arrived arrived early at the Outpatients Department for work one Monday morning in March 2008 Sister Germaine began to prepare the department for the day´s clinics. The nurse discovered that over the weekend contractors had altered the rows of metallic seating in the waiting room to lay new flooring and failed to replace them properly.

Sister Germaine asked for the help of porters to move the rows of seating as they were in the way of the doors to the consultation rooms, but was advised told that they (the porters) were too busy on different work. She also asked that staff member from the maintenance department be sent to help her with the task at hand but was told that it was not their job, and reported the issue to the project manager responsible for overseeing the contractor’s work on re-laying the floor.

As patients were starting to arrive at the clinic– some of whom were quite elderly and needed a seat while waiting – Sister Germaine took the task upon herself to replace the metallic rows of seating but, as she moved the last one into its correct position, she injured her back. An accident report was filed through her line manager in the hospital and incident forms were sent across in April and May.

After seeking legal guidance about her accident, Sister Germaine made a injury to nurse at work claim against the Epsom and St Heller University Hospitals NHS Trust for accident injury compensation in respect of the pain and suffering she had experienced and also for the loss of income she had been inflicted with due to having to leave her job due to her back injury.

Despite admitting liability for Sister Germaine’s injury, the NHS Trust alleged that, by shifting the metallic seating rather than wait for a porter to become available, she was to blame for her accident and injury by failing to apply her manual handling training, failing to apply her working knowledge and experience as a senior nurse and by failing to opt for an alternative course of action.

At the High Court in London, Judge Simon Brown QC found in favour of Sister Germaine´s injury to nurse at work claim and stated that there was no reasonable argument of contributory negligence to answer. The judge stated that Sister Germaine had filed accident reports following her injury which clearly pointed out an issue without apportioning blame.

He remarked that the contractors, project manager and hospital porters had been negligent with regard to do their jobs and the manual handling training Sister Germaine had been given was for moving of patients and not of hospital furniture. In the circumstances, it had not been appropriate to expect Sister Germaine to avoid moving the seating as she had asked for help but had been refused it.

Sister Germaine´s cinjury to nurse at work claim will now go forward to be assessed for damages.

Time has Not Run Out For BT Engineers Claiming Hearing Loss Compensation

Posted on: January 19th, 2013

Time has not yet run out for the many former and current British Telecom employees, who have sustained a loss of hearing due to using faulty testing sets, to claim BT engineers hearing loss compensation.

In August 2010 – in the compensation case of Watkins v British Telecommunications – BT recognised that engineers had been given equipment for testing, tracing and installing telephone lines which produced loud, high-pitched tones and damaged their (the workers) hearing.

The case lead to many claims for BT engineers hearing loss compensation being filed and, as a lot of the injuries had been suffered years previously, BT revealed it would not enforce the three-year Statute of Limitations which normally restricts an employer´s liability for work injuries.

However, in June 2012, BT went back on its early decision to allow former employees a limitless period in which to claim compensation for BT engineers hearing loss, and commented that – from January 1st 2013 – any BT engineer claim for hearing loss compensation would now be subject to the three-year Statute of Limitations.

This means that past and present workers who have been diagnosed with hearing loss injury within the previous three years due to BT´s negligence are still permitted to claim compensation for BT engineers hearing loss injuries and receive compensation for their early loss of hearing.

Workers not involved with the testing of lines, but who have sustained a loss of hearing due to working in close to loud noise while a line installation was underway, and who were not given adequate protection for their hearing, are also permitted to claim compensation – subject to their hearing loss injury being diagnosed within the last three years.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has stated any present or past BT worker suffering from tinnitus, premature deafness or damaged hearing due to their working surroundings to seek legal counsel at the earliest possible opportunity.

Compensation Claims for Phurnacite Workers Upheld at High Court

Posted on: October 25th, 2012

More than one hundred workers at the former Phurnacite plant in Abercwmboi in South Wales will be entitled to claim for compensation following a test case at the High Court in which four Phurnacite workers claims were upheld.

The test cases were part of a Group Litigation Order on behalf of 183 former employees of British Coal, who had contracted illnesses allegedly due to working at the Abercwmboi site where waste coal was processed into smokeless fuel. The work-related illnesses ranged from lung cancer and respiratory diseases to skin and bladder cancer, and were caused – according to the claim for Phurnacite workers compensation – from working in conditions which were described in court as the “dirtiest in Europe”.

The Phurnacite workers claims were taken against the Department of Energy and Climate Change, who now have liability for claims made against British Coal, and alleged that British Coal had breached its statutory duties for health and safety. It was stated in the High Court that “dust and fumes to which men were regularly exposed contained substances which were known to be harmful, indeed carcinogenic.”

After hearing testimony in relation to the working conditions at the plant, Mrs Justice Swift found there was convincing evidence that diseases of the lung, namely Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer could be caused by the dust and fumes produced during the manufacturing process of the Phurnacite briquettes. However, there was insufficient evidence to link the instances of skin and bladder cancer to the working environment.

The judge said in her summation “I decided that the operators of the plant were in breach of statutory duties owed to their employees throughout the period of its operation. There were many measures that they could have taken to minimise or eliminate altogether the risks to their workforce had they chosen to do so”. Mrs Justice Swift made awards of compensation of between 4,500 pounds and 120,000 pounds to the four Phurnacite workers claims.

The judge´s ruling not only opens the door for the other qualifying former Phurnacite workers to make claims for compensation, but also for hundreds of other former British Coal employees throughout the country who have developed work-related illnesses due to their working conditions. Settlements of Phurnacite workers compensation will be calculated on the extent of the individual´s injury and the consequence the injury has made to the claimant´s quality of life.

Man in BT Engineer Mesothelioma Compensation Action Dies

Posted on: August 9th, 2012

A former BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing an action for BT engineer mesothelioma compensation against his former employers.

Derek Butler (74) was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who ruled Mr Butler had died as a result of malignant mesothelioma.

The court was also read a statement Derek prepared prior to his death in which the deceased explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. His new role included preparaing and remodelling of buildings which were transferring from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.

Although Derek´s major responsibility was in the planning of the remodelling, his work involved on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement continued – Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement in 1996.

The inquest was also told that Derek had started a compensation claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”

Soldier´s Compensation for Loss of Hearing Settled Out of Court

Posted on: July 9th, 2012

A former soldier, who was forced to leave the armed forces due to sustaining a hearing injury, is to receive compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing after an out of court settlement was agreed between his legal team and the Ministry of Defence.

Michael Lee (26) had joined the armed forces in 2003 at the age of eighteen and had intended to remain a career soldier until age forty. However, in 2009 the Lance Corporal was diagnosed with permanent bilateral hearing loss of 15dB and downgraded for promotional purposes. He was discharged from the armed services during 2011.

After seeking legal advice, Michael made a claim for soldier´s compensation for loss of hearing as, he alleged in his claim, his injury was attributable to excessive levels of noise at prolonged drum and bugle practice between 2004 and 2008.

The Ministry of Defence admitted liability for his (Michael´s) injury and a negotiated settlement of compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing was agreed to account for Michael´s relatively young age, his loss of future earnings and pension, and future expenses related to hearing aids.

The award of 300,000 pounds is in line with other recent settlements for soldier´s compensation for loss of hearing, including Charles Bradlaugh (22) – who received 330,000 pounds after suffering a hearing injury on a practise exercise in which ear plugs were not provided in 2004.

Injury Compensation Case Record Settlement in Mining Tragedy

Posted on: July 4th, 2012

The biggest settlement ever for a US coal mining injury compensation case has just been announced, with the owners of the Upper Big Branch pit in West Virginia ordered to pay 210 million dollars in damages.

The Upper Big Branch coal mine was the location of a massive explosion in April 2010 which resulted in the death of 29 miners and, after a federal investigation, it was discovered that the mine´s owner – Massey Energy – was in breach of 369 workplace safety regulations – 12 of which directly contributed to the explosion.

The new owners of the mine – Alpha Natural Resources – will be responsible for the payment of the damages which includes 128 million dollars for safety upgrades, training and research, 35 million dollars in fines for safety violations and 47 million dollars for relatives of the victims.

Eighteen of the families of miners who died in the explosion have already settled their injury compensation cases for wrongful death, but many more remain outstanding – including nine claims for emotional distress made by mine employees who survived the explosion.

BT Applies Limits to BT Employees´ Claims for Hearing Injury Compensation

Posted on: June 9th, 2012

BT has announced that – in accordance with the Statute of Limitations – the company will be applying limits to BT employees´ claims for hearing injury compensation with effect from 1st January 2013.

The announcement reverses the policy made subsequent to the Watkins v British Telecommunications court case in August 2010, in which the company admitted that it had exposed former engineers to excessive levels of noise likely to cause injury by supplying them with unsafe oscillating and amplifying equipment to trace, install and repair BT telephone lines.

At the time of the court case, BT said that it would allow all future BT employees´ claims for hearing injury compensation without time limitation where the engineer had been provided with green and unmodified yellow testing sets. This original policy decision paved the way for many former employees who had suffered a loss of hearing to recover compensation from injuries suffered as far back as the 1960s.

Currently, BT employees and former employees who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury attributable to the company´s negligence are able to settle their BT employees´ claims for hearing injury compensation out of court irrespective of when their injury was diagnosed – with most claims being resolved for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds.

However, from January 2013, BT intends to apply a three-year time limit on BT employees´ claims for hearing injury compensation from the date on which a BT employee or former BT employee is diagnosed with hearing loss problem; after which time, should a period of more than three years elapse between the diagnosis of an injury and the receipt of a hearing injury claim, the company will challenge their liability for the injury.

Although the announcement will make little difference to current and former BT employees who recently have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using the green and unmodified yellow testing sets, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any BT employee or former employee who is suffering from a hearing injury to seek legal advice at the first possible opportunity.

Please note: Not all BT employees´ claims for hearing injury compensation are settled out of court. In January 2012, a BT employee´s hearing injury claim was heard in Cardiff County Court (Dew v British Telecommunications) after BT disputed the former employee´s claim which included the cost of a privately supplied hearing aid. The judge upheld the claim and the former BT employee received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his BT employee´s claim for hearing injury compensation.