Kent worker receives £100,000 compensation after building site accident

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Kent worker receives £100,000 compensation after building site accident

2nd August 2012

A construction worker has received £100,000 in compensation after he sustained serious head injuries whilst working on a building site.

The Kent man was hit in the head by a skip suspended from a crane as it was being moved from one part of the site to another in August 2008.

Now 42, the injured man had been waiting to empty and clean the concrete skip which was being lowered towards him. “The crane driver had a reputation for being a little bit erratic, and there had been a number of complaints about him previously,” said the father of four. “He managed to drop the skip on the end of the chain and it caught me square on the left side of my head.  Even though I was wearing my hard hat at the time it was a huge impact that knocked me off my feet.”

He was taken to Darent Valley Hospital for emergency treatment, but the injuries he sustained left him suffering from various neurological symptoms. “Even though it was almost four years ago, I still suffer from things like loss of concentration, confusion and fatigue,” he said. “I have periods of memory loss, dizziness, headaches, altered vision, tinnitus and loss of co-ordination. I also am more irritable, I have disturbed sleep and I suffer from anxiety attacks and mood swings.”

At the time, the man was employed as a ground worker with Braintree-based Tamdowne Construction. He had been working for them for several months before the incident, but has been unable to return to work for almost four years. After sustaining his injury, he said he felt like he had lost his independence.

“I still can’t work, my confidence has suffered and I sometimes get quite depressed about everything,” he said. “I get very frustrated because I forget things and lose things, like my mobile phone and my keys, and then I get snappy with my partner and my children.”

He contacted Mark Hatzer, a serious injury expert with Fentons Solicitors LLP, who immediately began investigating his case.

“My client sustained what is termed as a mild traumatic brain injury, and the effect on his life has been significant,” said Mark, a partner with the firm. “Not only has hehad to cope with the neurological issues that his injury caused, but the financial repercussions have been tremendous.”

Mark said that whilst the man’s employer admitted liability for his injuries in January 2010, it then took another two-and-a-half years to negotiate a settlement with the insurers.

“We were able to secure an interim payment = shortly after the admission of liability, as he continued to pursue his claim,” said Mark. “For almost the first two years since the incident, he was surviving on statutory sick pay.”

Even after admitting liability, the insurers continued to argue over what was an appropriate level of compensation. “We had to prove not only that my client had been injured on the site that day, but also the extent of the injury and what long-term affects there might be,” said Mark.

Following more than two years’ of more negotiating, Mark settled the claim for £100,000. “This has been an ordeal for my client and his family, one that the defendants did not make any easier on him by dragging this out for so long,” said Mark. “I only hope that now they can begin to move on with their lives and he can continue his recovery, without fear of how he will pay for the care and treatment he needs.”

Although he asked to not be identified, the injured man said he was surprised at the way the defendants had forced the case to go on for so long, particularly as they admitted liability so long ago. “This has been a dreadful time for me,” he said. “The strain of all this caused my partner and I to separate, and I’m just so grateful to Mark and the team that they could help me find somewhere to live.

“When my accident happened, one the managers told me I wouldn't get anything if I pursued the case, and warned that they would make it awkward if I did. But I would tell anyone who finds themselves in the same position as me that however bad things seem, with the right team supporting you things do get better and they shouldn't think twice about seeking help and standing up for their rights.

“Mark and the team at Fentons really cared about my needs and the needs of my family. They always made sure I had the proper medical help, even when the other side was not releasing funds and I was only receiving state benefits to live on. I’m just glad it’s over.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons Solicitors is experienced in handling claims relating to all types of serious injury and has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of accidents at work.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.