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Case Study: Knee Injury From Defective Floorboards
Mr V Was Awarded £10,000
JMW has helped a man successfully obtain £10,000 compensation for a man who suffered a knee injury whilst walking on defective floorboards.
Mr V was a member of bar staff who had been asked to re-stock two bars at work. When Mr V walked down a flight of stairs, his foot got caught between uneven floorboards and he twisted his knee. Mr V sustained injuries to his knee and made a claim against the bar.
We sent a letter of claim to the bar, the defendant, who passed it to their insurers. The insurers admitted liability for the defective staircase, however, they required us to prove Mr V's injuries had occurred as a result of the accident and the defective floorboards.
Mr V was struggling to walk, and we arranged for Mr V to be examined by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. He indicated that Mr V's injuries were caused by the accident and left him at severe risk of developing osteoarthritis. He recommended that Mr V undergo surgery.
The defendant’s insurer requested Mr V be examined by their own independent medical expert. This expert’s report suggested that Mr V's knee was degenerating due to an old sports injury, and that the accident was unlikely to have directly caused the injury. It did not acknowledge the defective floorboard had an effect.
We asked a barrister to provide us with advice in light of the defendant’s insurer’s medical report. Prior to the accident, Mr V was a physically active person. The barrister advised that the key issue was to get the medical experts to agree on the effect the defective floorboard had on Mr V.
The defendant’s insurer then contacted us with surveillance footage apparently showing Mr V walking with no issue, and they made a low offer to settle the case. Mr V confirmed that the footage was in fact of the wrong person, so we rejected the offer.
We issued court proceedings on the case. The case was passed to a defendant solicitor, who made us a “drop hands offer”, where each side agrees to drop the case and pay its own legal costs. We advised Mr V to reject the offer, and allow us to put forward an offer to settle the case.
We followed court directions and exchanged a list of documents with the defendant’s solicitor, as well as putting in a request for certain documents that they held. We also exchanged witness statements and had a joint medical report produced by both experts, who maintained their original position.
The defendant’s solicitor made another low offer. After agreement from Mr V, we entered into settlement negotiation. We were able to agree a figure of £10,000, increased from £3,500. Mr V was extremely happy with the outcome.