Claim success after holiday fall leaves lasting damage

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Claim success after holiday fall leaves lasting damage

17th February 2010

A holidaymaker who fell on the first day of her vacation has been awarded £42,000 in damages after she suffered a permanent injury to her arm.

The hospital cleaner, who was in her late 50s at the time of the accident, had only just arrived at the Arizona Apartment building in Gran Canaria when disaster struck in February 2006.

"My husband and I took the suitcases upstairs and then headed back down to the main living area," said the victim, now in her early 60s. "All of the flooring was the same colour - the landing, the steps, the hallway - and the stairway was split-level, with a second smaller landing area near the bottom of the stairs.

"As I came down and reached this landing area, I thought I had reached the bottom of the stairs, but in fact I had two further steps still to go down. I missed the two final steps and fell onto the floor of the living area."

She was knocked unconscious in the fall, and when she came to her husband had moved her to the sofa. "I was immediately aware of pain in my left arm," she said. "I remember looking down at my arm and seeing that my elbow looked to be in the wrong place. Instead of the elbow being on the back of my arm, it looked like it was on the side," she said.

An ambulance was called and she was given emergency treatment, which included an operation to move the elbow back into position. When this was unsuccessful, she underwent a second operation under general anaesthetic to try and reposition it.

"I was in pain for the rest of the holiday, and arranged for my daughter to make an appointment with my doctor for as soon as we returned to the UK," she said. "I saw my GP the next day and was referred to a specialist at the hospital just two weeks later.

"When I saw the specialist, the cast was removed and I was x-rayed again. It was very painful to move my arm and I was told I would need another manipulation as the one done in Spain was not good enough. The next day I underwent another manipulation under general anaesthetic."

Nicola Simpson, holiday specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the damage sustained by the arm later turned out to be even worse than first thought.

"My client began to notice that while she couldn't move her arm as well as she once had, her hand had also started to feel numb and wither," said Nicola. "She returned to hospital and was told that because of the nature of her original injury and the permanent damage to her arm, she would require further surgery to reposition her ulnar nerve.

"She was told that although the operation would stop further deterioration, it would never be as it was before the accident."

Due to the serious nature of the injury and the subsequent time off work, Nicola settled the claim for £42,000.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.