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Case Study: Wrist Injury After Slip on Wet Stairs in a Hotel in Turkey
Mr S was awarded £23,000
With JMW's help, a £23,000 compensation settlement was awarded to a man who suffered a wrist injury after slipping on hotel stairs whilst holidaying in Turkey.
Mr S was on a package holiday in Turkey with his family when he slipped and fell down stairs. The stairs led to an underpass which allowed access to the hotel’s facilities, and were being hosed down by a hotel representative at the time of Mr S’s accident, soaking the steps and turning them into a slipping hazard. Mr S fractured a bone in his wrist and damaged the cartilage, and decided to make a claim. He was put in touch with JMW Solicitors where our dedicated holiday team handled his claim.
We wrote a letter of claim to the holiday company Mr S had booked his holiday with, the defendant in this case, notifying them of Mr S’s intent to make a claim.
Mr S provided us with information as to how his injury had affected his holiday, and how he had been recovering from it; as it had been on the first day of a two week break, he was unable to join in with any of the activities. He went to his local A&E on return from his holiday, and they confirmed Mr S’s wrist injuries.
Denial of liability
The defendant wrote back to us denying responsibility for Mr S’s accident. They stated that there was no evidence to suggest the area was unsafe, handrails had been provided on the stairs, a warning sign had been in place, and as Mr S noted that there was cleaning in progress, he should have taken more care. They also highlighted that the resort was complying with local safety standards, and had recently undergone a health, safety and quality audit.
Mr S responded; he told us that there were no warning signs visible at the top of the stairs, and that the cleaner cleaning the stairs had a large hose and was letting the water run down the stairs like a waterfall – they were not being dried.
We requested additional documentation from the defendant, who were slow to respond. Meanwhile, we also asked Mr S to update us on his symptoms. He told us he was still experiencing a dull pain on a daily basis, but was just getting on with things as best he could. He also provided us with details of several witnesses to his accident, whom we could contact to support his claim.
Mr S’s claim was close to the time where it either needed to be settled or involved in the Court process, so we discussed it with a barrister and asked him to provide advice on the prospects of the case’s success. The barrister agreed that Mr S’s case had merits, although we would need to understand the local standards, i.e. the safety standards that the hotel was required to legally uphold.
Building the case
We took a witness statement from Mr S, outlining his accident, injuries, and how these had affected his life. We also arranged an appointment for Mr S to see an independent orthopaedic surgeon, who would prepare a medical report on Mr S’s injuries.
We also asked Mr S to provide her with details of any financial losses that had occurred as a result of his accident, so that she could prepare a Schedule of Loss document, outlining all the elements of Mr S’s claim. She also arranged for witness statements to be taken from Mr S’s fellow holidaymakers to support the case.
The defendant passed the claim to their solicitors to deal with, and we advised them that we were issuing Court proceedings. We also contested their position on the local standards, highlighting that, as the stairs were being hosed down by a cleaner, it was foreseeable that the steps would be slippery no matter what country the incident occurred in.
The medical report arrived back in the office and confirmed Mr S had suffered a jarring injury to his right wrist which had led to probable post-traumatic osteoarthritis. This provided an explanation as to why Mr S continued to suffer pain symptoms, however, the expert also recommended he undergo an updated x-ray and an arthroscopy to confirm his prognosis. It was believed this would help improve his symptoms, but that they were permanent.
We received their defence. We felt that this was defective, as it did not clearly state the reasons as to why they would be defending against Mr S’s claim, something we raised with them. They then made an offer to confirm responsibility on a 60/40 basis, meaning that they wanted Mr S to accept a 40% portion of the blame for his accident, and accordingly he would accept 60% of any total agreed compensation award. After discussion with Mr S, we advised him to push for an 80/20 offer, meaning he would receive 80% of any total agreed compensation award. As the defendant’s defence was defective, we highlighted to them that she would not apply to have it struck out of Court if they agreed to this. The defendant did agree to this.
We also recommended that Court proceedings be paused whilst we awaited the rest of Mr S’s medical evidence; although we had received the results of his X-ray, we were yet to receive an updated medical report that considered this, and advised regarding whether Mr S needed an arthroscopy.
Concluding the case
When the updated medical report arrived in our office, it advised that Mr S should undergo the arthroscopy. Mr S advised us that he would prefer to try and reach an amicable settlement without the arthroscopy, and advised her to make an offer to the defendant to settle the case. This encouraged the defendant into a negotiation process. Although the defendant was late in responding and we were on the brink of having to restart court proceedings, they finally responded to us, agreeing to accept a counter offer we had made to them during negotiations.
Mr S was delighted with this, and was happy to accept their offer. We confirmed with the defendant their offer was accepted, and the court process was halted.