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Case Study: Ankle Sprain After Slipping on Ice
Janet L was awarded £8,500 for a major sprain when she slipped on ice and snow outside her local supermarket.
Janet's accident occurred in January, during a week when the weather had been unpredictable. It happened in an area of the North East known for its tendency to experience particularly bad weather conditions during the winter. The area that Janet slipped on had a patch of pre-existing ice that was coved by fresher snow, and neither had been salted, despite there having been regular snowfall for approximately two hours prior to the accident.
How Janet Built Her Case
After the accident, Janet L decided to seek compensation for her injuries and was referred to JMW Solicitors LLP, where our team of experts handled her case.
As with many claims, in order to settle the case in the best possible way for our client, we needed to establish how long Janet would take to fully heal, so that a settlement figure that realistically accounted for how Janet’s life had been affected could be sought.
Seeking a medical assessment
We arranged for Janet to visit an Orthopaedic Surgeon to examine her ankle, who advised that it would take 12 months for all her injuries to fade. This advice took into account the fact that Janet had worn a splint for approximately six weeks to help with the healing process, and that she attended a course of physiotherapy to help restore mobility. However, it did not take into account a condition Janet suffered from, known as hyper-mobility syndrome. Hyper-mobility syndrome causes an individual’s joints to be extremely flexible, and in Janet’s case, had she not been hyper-mobile, she would probably have fractured her ankle rather than spraining it.
This information was very important to us when it came to assessing what level of compensation she should pursue for Janet, as it was clear Janet’s injury and the following healing process, were affected by her hyper-mobility syndrome. We arranged for Janet to visit a Rheumatologist, so that a specialised opinion on her ankle could be provided, which would enable us to start seeking a realistic compensation amount.
Negotiating the £8,500 Settlement
Prior to Janet’s visit, the defendant solicitors representing the supermarket made an offer to settle her claim but in our opinion, it was too low. This offer was rejected. We were of the opinion that the defendant should have awaited the evidence from the Rheumatologist as it was clearly important to Janet’s case and would rightfully have an effect on the amount of compensation Janet would be entitled to. The defendant had objected to the instruction of the Rheumatologist on the basis that Janet’s hyper-mobility syndrome was not relevant.
Janet had continued to suffer beyond the initial 12 month prognosis that the Orthopaedic Surgeon had set, experiencing pain in her ankle which ruined a planned summer holiday, prevented her from participating in her family’s pastime of ice skating, prevented her from wearing high heeled footwear and made her fearful of slippery surfaces. The Rheumatologist confirmed that Janet’s continued pain was as a result of her hyper-mobility syndrome, which had caused her pain symptoms to be worse than they would ordinarily be and although, after the initial 12 month prognosis, Janet was 90% recovered, she would never be fully recovered, and would struggle to walk distances longer than a mile and ice skate.
The outcome of Janet's case
This accident and subsequent injuries clearly affected Janet’s life, and after considering all the information on the case, we opened negotiations with the defendant to settle Janet’s claim in full. After making an offer on the case, we received a counter offer, which we rejected, with Janet’s authority, as we felt it was still not appropriate to what Janet had suffered. The defendant came back with a third offer which, after discussing it with Janet, we accepted on her behalf.
Janet was very happy with the work JMW did for her, praising us for all our hard work and effort over the period of her claim.
Have you also been injured slipping on ice?
Have you suffered an ankle sprain or another injury that was not your fault during the winter weather? Contact our expert solicitors, who will be able to assist you in making a claim today. Call us on 0800 054 6570 or use our online contact form and speak to us today.