Case Study: Laceration to Side of Eye Suffered While Working as a Lifeguard

Mr T received £5,250

With JMW's help, a man has been able to obtain a £5,250 settlement with his employer after receiving a laceration to the side of his eye whilst working as a lifeguard.

The case

Mr T was working as a lifeguard at his local leisure centre when a colleague hit him near his left eye with a rescue pole.  He decided to make a claim and was put in touch with JMW Solicitors. 

The claim

Mr T noted a fellow lifeguard was holding a pole used to help swimmers out of the pool in emergencies as though he was about to start swinging it.  Mr T approached his colleague to tell him not to do this, when his colleague suddenly swung the pole, catching Mr T at the side of his left eye.  Mr T suffered a laceration, dizziness and headaches as a result. 

A letter of claim, outlining Mr T’s incident and intent to make a claim, was sent to the leisure centre, who passed it to their insurer to handle. 

Denial of responsibility

The leisure centre’s insurer denied responsibility for Mr T’s injury on the basis that Mr T was an experienced lifeguard who anticipated the accident and could have alerted his colleague by other means.  They also suggested that Mr T returned to work immediately after the accident and didn’t complain about headaches or dizziness. 

Mr T advised us that he in fact took a week off, that he did shout over to his colleague, and that he did not anticipate his colleague would swing the pole as he approached. 

Contributory negligence

After a delay in responding to us, the insurance company finally replied to numerous letters we had sent.  They accepted primary responsibility for Mr T’s accident, but felt he should take a share of the blame as he noted his colleague may have been about to swing the pole, a concept known as contributory negligence. 

This would mean that rather than receiving 100% of what his claim was worth, Mr T’s claim would be deducted by a percentage of negligence the insurance company alleged, in this case, 15%. 

We disagreed with this, and Mr T gave further detail of the events surrounding the accident, highlighting that he had undertaken all reasonable courses of action.  We pressed the insurance company to accept full responsibility for his accident, which they eventually did. 

Financial losses and medical examination

We asked Mr T to send us details of any financial losses he had suffered as a result of his accident, photos of his scaring, and made arrangements for him to get examined by an independent medical expert, who would be able to provide a report highlighting the cause of his injury and his prognosis. 

An independent Accident and Emergency Specialist examined Mr T.  His report highlighted that Mr T’s laceration to the face healed within four weeks, the bruising and swelling to his face healed within two weeks, but that the incident left him with permanent scarring. 

Meanwhile, we put together a Schedule of Loss for Mr T, a document that clearly highlighted any financial losses he suffered as a result of his claim. 

Taking the case to a final settlement

Once we received the photos, we sent these, along with Mr T’s Schedule of Loss and his medical report, to the insurance company, to encourage them to make an offer to settle the case.  The insurance company responded with a low offer that we advised Mr T to reject, which he did.  We also advised Mr T to put a counter offer forward, something we would do on his behalf, which Mr T agreed to. 

The insurance company rejected this offer, and put forward a further offer.  We felt that this was still too low.  We engaged in negotiations with the insurance company and encouraged them to put forward an increased offer. 

We advised Mr T to accept this offer, and he was delighted to do so.  He had these kind words to say of us:  “I wish to thank yourself and your colleagues for helping me throughout the duration of this case. It has been a difficult time for me, especially at the beginning so thank you for offering me sound advice. I hope that all is well with you in the future.” 

Have you also been injured at work?

If so, speak to our expert team for some free no obligation advice about whether you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 054 6570 or fill in our contact form

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